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Best Harnesses for Three-Legged Dogs

Are you wondering: Does my Tripawd dog really need a harness?

You’re not alone. Most people wonder if a harness is really necessary for a three-legged dog. The answer to that question is that it depends: on the age, size, physical capability, living conditions and travel frequency of your Tripawd.

Since all Tripawds lead different lives, they have different harness needs between puppyhood and senior days, depending on their current state of health.

To help you decide if your Tripawd dog needs a harness, and which one may be best for you, here is a quick summary of the harnesses we think are best for Tripawds, and why.

TOP PICK: New And Improved Webmaster Plus

All Purpose: Ruffwear Webmaster Harness

Originally designed for search and rescue dogs, the best-selling and affordable Webmaster harness is ideal for both front and rear leg canine amputees who:

  • Need a moderate amount of assistance, especially post-amputation
  • Require occasional lifting
  • Are active and ambulatory
  • Go everywhere with the pack
  • Love to explore and play outdoors

A good fit is achieved by working with any of the five different adjustment points. This is why it works great on both front and rear leg Tripawds.

The strategically placed top handle allows you to help your dog through a variety of conditions if needed, while the breathable, rugged fabric is comfortable enough to wear all day, every day, even while urinating.

A sturdy D-ring on top allows you to secure a leash, which makes it handy for going on walks.

For complete details about this option, read our full Webmaster harness review featuring front leg amputee Jerry or watch our updated demo video with rear-legger Wyatt. Once you try it we’re certain you’ll see why it’s our #1 selling harness for Tripawd dogs.

Get the Webmaster Dog Harness here

All Purpose: Ruffwear Doubleback Harness

The heavy-duty Doubleback harness is great for active front leg amputee dogs needing rear-end lift and support. It provides all of the benefits of the Webmaster harness but has extra support on the rear half of the body, through the incorporation of leg loops (which can be stowed inside the harness when not being used).

Other features include:

  • Fully-padded, under-belly support
  • Rear leg loops enable hip-lift and even weight dispersion
  • Multi-point adjustment areas for a custom fit
  • Rugged, durable design strength-rated to 2,000 lbs
  • Laced buckles for secure fir
  • Two handles, one providing direct hip support

Keep in mind that the Doubleback is not ideal for rear-leg Tripawds who need rear-end lift support, since the leg loops cannot be used on dogs with small or no stump remaining. It does not feature quick-release buckles like the Webmaster, but can be worn all day and during elimination. Read the full Doubleback harness review for details.

Get the Doubleback Dog Harness here

Walking: The Tripawd Convert Harness by EzyDog

The Tripawd® Convert Harness by EzyDog is an ideal walking and adventure harness for any dog. It’s especially great for front-leg Tripawds and is the only harness we know of that was specifically prototyped on a front leg canine amputee.

It’s a snazzy, rugged harness with key features including:

  • A one-buckle system for easy and fast on and off use
  • There’s no stepping into or out of it; just place it over your dog’s head, buckle and go
  • The front chest strap sits across your dog’s chest instead of behind the front legs, which prevents chafing and irritation
  • A lightweight but rugged, durable and breathable body piece makes it warm-weather friendly
  • The handle is comfortable and large enough for any size hand
  • Removable side patch for showing your Tripawd Pride
  • Can be worn during elimination.

While this harness does provide support for assisting your dog into cars and up and down stairs, we specifically recommend it as a walking harness. The EzyDog is not intended for use as a safety or mobility harness that allows you to frequently lift your dog or hoist him entirely off the ground. Read our entire Tripawd® Convert Harness Review for more information.

Get the Tripawd Convert Harness by EzyDog here

Mobility: The AST Custom Pet Support Suit

If your dog is experiencing significant mobility challenges, the Custom Pet Support Suit by Animal Suspension Technologies is an excellent investment for long-term support and assistance of both front and rear leg Tripawds. This custom designed Pet Support Suit made to order for your dog’s specific measurements. It is also an excellent idea for people who have mobility challenges of their own and need help maneuvering a less ambulatory dog.

Provide your Tripawd’s measurements and you’ll be guaranteed a tailored fit for life. The Custom Pet Support Suit features:

  • A soft, padded wrap underneath the belly area makes it ideal for immediate post-op use.
  • Velcro® top closure for a secure, no-slip fit
  • Choice of color
  • Custom fit for any size dog
  • Adjustable, detachable handles so your Tripawd can wear it 24/7 if necessary.

It also features heavy-duty, washable fabric, but we don’t recommend leaving it on your dog all day if you live in a warm climate. Because the Custom Pet Support Suit is tailor made, there are no returns. For details, see Jerry’s original Custom Pet Support Suit review and video.

Get the Custom Pet Support Suit here

Mobility: The AST Get-a-Grip Harness

The Get-a-Grip Harness by Animal Suspension Technologies is ideal for less mobile dogs who can use extra mobility assistance immediately after surgery or during recovery challenges. Here’s why we love it:

  • Comfortable under-belly support when carrying is necessary
  • Quick and easy to put on
  • Gives even support when lifting
  • Ideal for larger, heavyweight or less mobile dogs
  • Optional shoulder straps
  • Can be left on during elimination
  • Three sizes to choose from
  • Optional clip-on handles and shoulder strap is available

Like the Pet Support Suit, the Get-a-Grip is useful for pet parents with their own mobility challenges; an optional shoulder strap provides extra leverage when lifting or maneuvering your dog.

Read our Get A Grip harness review and see demo video for details.

Get the Get-a-Grip Harness here

Mobility: The AST Get-a-Grip Total

Choose the AST Get-a-Grip Total option when you need a variety of ways to help your dog in various situations. This “Total” option includes a Get-a-Grip harness, shoulder strap, and clip-on handles. This is an ideal solution to help maneuver your dog immediately post-op as well as when she’s getting into the car, walking on slippery surfaces and performing weight-bearing activities.

Read our Get A Grip product review and see this demo video for details.

Get the AST Get-a-Grip Total here

Front Range Harness Best for Small Tripawds

Ruffwear Front Range Harness

If you have a tiny, toy or very small breed Tripawd dog and want a great harness, we highly recommend the Ruffwear Front Range dog harness.

For small Tripawds with a girth size under 22″, the Ruffwear Front Range harness is perfect. It’s not as heavy-duty as the Webmaster or the EzyDog Tripawd Convert harness, which are great for larger, heavier dogs — but sometimes too much harness for the daintiest Tripawds.

Get Front Range Harness here!

Remember, there are no harnesses manufactured specifically for three-legged dogs, but these are the best harness options for canine amputees that we know about. As new ones appear we’ll be sure to let you know which harness is good for a Tripawd.

If you have a favorite harness we haven’t mentioned, contact us today, we’d love to hear about it!

16 Responses to “Best Harnesses for Three-Legged Dogs”

  1. Tucker, my nine year old lab, is a front leg amp.

    The Ruffwear Webmaster harness has been very helpful on walks – especially on rough or slippery terrain – and getting him in and out of the car.

    Tuck gets lots of compliments on his harness – and I have provided the link to the Tripawds website to anyone who has asked.

    Linda

  2. I don’t know how we would have gotten our rear tripawd, Murphy, through his recuperation from total hip replacement without the Ruffwear harness. He literally lived in it for the first month and then did all of his rehab for the next three months using the harness. He still thinks he “needs” it for going up and down the ramp into the car, even though we don’t have to hold onto it.

  3. Aloha! My husky mix, Samson, has a front leg amp from Osteosarcoma and has been getting along great, but has had some trouble getting in and out of the car because he can’t quite get his rear legs all the way up. I’m considering a harness for this problem but also because he was also recently diagnosed with bladder cancer. He currently weighs about 70 lbs and I weigh about 100 lbs and am 5″ tall. I can’t quite figure out which type of harness might be best because – 1) I’m worried about his abdomen getting pressure because of his bladder, 2) I’m not sure what would be best for a short/small person to lift /carry a large dog, especially as he gets weaker and I may need to do more than just lift him in and out of the car, and 3) I need the ease of being able to take the harness on-and-off fairly quickly and easily (we live in a tropical climate). Thanks so much!

    • Hi Michelle. You’re asking great questions, Samson is lucky to have you for his pack leader. That’s a tricky situation. I was going to recommend the Pet Support Suit but then you mentioned that you’re tropical. It’s a little heavy for that kind of climate. So far the Webmaster Plus sounds like your best bet. Feel free to contact us directly with any other questions OK? Best wishes to you and your pup, keep us posted.

  4. What do you recommend for my little Westie. She is a front leg amputee, as of three days ago. We’d like to give her the lift support of the handle type, but she’s too close to the ground. We would love any help with this you could provide.

  5. Dolly is a large blue heeler mix. Two months ago, she had her left front leg amputated due to a stage 1/2 cancerous tumor. Last week, she pulled a muscle in her right front leg. She’s on muscle relaxants and taking it easy for now. I don’t want her to reinjure herself. She loves car rides, and can get in the car herself. She’s having problems in that its painful for her to exit the car, so it takes me a long time to coax her out. I use hard cushions as steps to make it easier for her to get in and out of cars. Dolly weighed 74 pounds today at the vets and lives in central Texas where the Temps are in the 100rds in the summer. What do you suggest?

    • Hi Mary, Sorry to hear that Dolly is having challenges. We would still recommend the Webmaster harness for her, and if you’d like, the Ruffwear Core Cooler would be a nice addition for her in your climate. Just be mindful that when it’s wet and cooling her off it will leave damp marks on upholstery so you want to keep your car seats covered when you put it on her for car rides. One last thing you might want to consider: rehabilitation therapy. A good therapist can show you the best ways to manage her physical challenges and the best part is that the Tripawds Foundation may even pay for Dolly’s first visit. Good luck and we hope she gets well soon!

  6. We recently adopted Tonka, a 7 year old pit bull mix. She had her right front leg amputated in January of 2017. She is overweight and I am concerned about stress on her remaining front joints – we are having a lot of difficulty on walks, she tires quickly and will lay down wherever we are walking. What harness would you recommend? We are in Florida so it does get very hot.

    • Hi Stephanie. Thanks for adopting Tonka! She’s a lucky girl to have you looking after her well-being. It does sound like she needs to lose weight to increase stamina. Have you considered a visit to a rehab therapist who can show you how to help her drop those pounds? The Tripawds Foundation may even pay for that first visit so we hope you will take her. Meanwhile keep in mind that harnesses do not “support” a dog to help them walk. Harnesses help the human assist the dog. The best one I would recommend is the Webmaster, which is a very breathable harness for hot weather. Feel free to call or write with any other questions.

  7. Thank you, Jerry! We have an appt next week and we are starting hydrotherapy also. And yes, I am definitely the one who needs a little assistance supporting her 🙂

  8. Corey Young-Rogers August 5, 2017 at 6:11 am

    My american pit bull recently had to have his front right arm amputated all the way to the shoulder bone. It has been tragic for us and I need a harness that will help balance him while we walk him to rehabilitate him. This looks like exactly what we need! I am so thankful that you have this available and now I am just trying to find the link to order ours.

  9. Hello. Maybe I missed it, but was wondering if one of these harnesses could be used as a restraint harness in a car. Could you recommend one over another, or perhaps one that hasn’t been listed if appropriate? I have a three-legged lab (front leg amputated when she was a puppy). Thank you, Jim

    • Hi Jim. Technically you could use any of these harnesses in the car by running a seat belt through it. However, they are not crash-tested so you’d be doing so at your own risk. As far as we know, there are no assistive harnesses that can double duty as a device to help your Tripawd in everyday life as well as a restraint device. For crash-tested harnesses we recommend Sleepypod.

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  1. How To Choose Best Pet Support Harness for Three Legged Dogs » Tripawds Gear » Three Legged Dog Cancer Amputation Surgery Product Reviews Hel - March 26, 2014

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