The Best Emergency Rescue Harness for Dogs · The Wildest

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Must-Have Dog Hiking Gear: Emergency Rescue Harness

Homegrown in New Hampshire by Mountain Dogware.

by Susan Tasaki
Updated September 23, 2021
Dog in an Emergency Rescue Harness
Photo Courtesy of Mountain Dogware

It’s a nightmare scenario: You and your dog are having a great time in the outdoors when suddenly, something happens to them — a fall, a twist, a snake bite — and they’re out of commission. If they’re too big for you to comfortably and safely carry in your arms back to your vehicle, what do you do?

An innovative product from Mountain Dogware, a family-owned business, has the answer to that question: their Pack-a-Paw emergency rescue harness. It’s one of those things that, when you see it, you think, “Well, yeah! What a good idea!”

An Essential Dog Rescue Sling

This particular good idea originated with Stefan, an avid hiker, ultra-marathon runner and dog lover haunted by a story about a dog who broke his leg on a mountain and was left to die because his person couldn’t carry him down. It then moved forward with the help of other like-minded folks — including the manufacturer — who collaborated to develop the design and get it through the prototyping process.

The company describes the harness as “small enough to fit in your pocket, strong enough to carry a mountain dog.” The sling provides a secure, cradle-like way to carry a dog on either your front or your back. A sort of canine Baby Björn, if you will, but one that — judging from the videos — is considerably less complicated to hook up.

  • Securely supports the dog’s whole body

  • Easy to use on either your front or back

  • Lightweight, only 6.7 ounces

  • Made in the USA

Sizing the Rescue Harness

The harness comes in two sizes and is described as a “universal fit,” which means it will fit some dogs more precisely than others. However, it’s constructed to hold your dog safely and properly regardless. The “medium” is suggested for dogs 30 to 60 pounds, while the “large” works for dogs 60 to 140 pounds. You can get a better assessment of the best size by measuring the distance between your dog’s front and back legs. Dogs measuring 12 inches or less will fit a medium harness, whereas dogs measuring over 12 inches would do better with the large.

But wait, there’s more! You don’t have to be an endurance hiker or backcountry enthusiast to find this helpful. Using its straps as handles, the Pack-a-Paw can also be used to lift a dog in and out of a vehicle or as an assist in navigating stairs or a treacherous trail.

To improve your peace-of-mind quotient, add this lightweight emergency harness to your safety kit or backpack. Then, adventure boldly, secure in the knowledge that should your dog require it, you’ll be able to carry them out and get them the help they need.

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Susan Tasaki

Freelance writer Susan Tasaki lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her Husky, who wishes they both got out more.

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