Updated November 15, 2022
From nighttime walks to early morning jogs with your furry friend, there are many times you and your dog need to wear easily visible gear to keep yourselves safe. But how do you find the best reflective dog harness to meet your dog’s needs?
We rounded up a list of the top, vet-approved reflective dog harnesses and tested them with the pups in our lives so we could give you a hands-on review of the best reflective dog harnesses available today!
Not only does the Noxgear LightHound and Reflective Harness feature neon fabric, but it also comes with rechargeable LED lights rather than batteries that need replacing. Durable and weatherproof, the harness is adjustable and comes in several sizes.
We tested this one out on Cooper, a black adult German shepherd. In both pitch black and beneath the street light, Cooper stood out, although the pictures of him didn’t turn out as well. Check out our day-to-night GIF below to see what the harness looks like in sunlight and the dark.
|✓ LED lights
|✗ Basic design
|✗ Somewhat expensive compared to other options
While the reflective nature of this harness could be a little better, it’s incredibly adjustable. Because of this, the Ruffwear Flagline Harness is ideal for deep-chested dog breeds, like German shepherds, and more barrel-chested ones, like Tibetan mastiffs.
We tested this harness out with Corona, a large adult German shepherd, and it fit him exceptionally well — even with him constantly trying to play and making pictures hard.
|✓ Adjusts for a wide range of dogs
|✗ Due to the numerous straps, it might be a tempting chew toy
|✓ Very secure
|✗ The reflective features could be better
|✓ Features a handle at the top for easy maneuverability
|✓ The company practices sustainability
As a reflective harness, the rabbitgoo dog harness has special reflective tape along the seams. Some of the colors are also brighter and stand out more.
We chose the lemon yellow harness, and the light, bright color seems to enhance the reflective material along the seams. Because of its durable construction, the harness held up to Cooper’s pulling, tugging, and playing very well. It is ideal for big, powerful breeds.
|✓ Great fit
|✗ Reflective properties could be better
|✓ Easy to put on and take off
|✓ Very adjustable & secure
|✓ Has thicker, heavy-duty buckles
|✓ Durable construction
The Bolux is an excellent choice due to its bright color and the reflective strips along the seams. Plus, it’s made well and seems like a durable choice for pet parents.
We tried this harness out on two dogs, a medium-sized pit mix, Ana, and our full-grown German shepherd, Corona. Right out of the box, very little adjusting was needed with Ana, and it fit her well. Plus, it was easier to get pictures due to her calmer personality. For Corona, a bit of adjusting was necessary, but once it was right, it fit him well, too, and was easy to put on despite his more excitable nature.
|✓ Very adjustable
|✗ None, it’s a good choice for arthritic dogs
|✓ Easy to put on and take off
|✓ Has a strap for a flashlight to be added
SPOT THE DOG’s color, along with its reflective dots and bars, is designed to make sure dogs stand out in the evening. We tested this reflective vest out on Pete, a lovable, medium-sized boxer. It fit him well, and because it is very adjustable, it fit his bulky, barrel-chested form without an issue. Because of the design though, the vest either has to be worn under a harness, or pet parents will have to cut a small hole where their regular harness has a leash hook to maximize visibility. You could forgo a harness and use a dog collar and leash instead.
|✓ Can adjust to fit a variety of dog breeds
|✗ Out-of-the-box, the design doesn’t allow for a harness underneath without modifying this vest
|✓ Easy to put on and take off
|✓ Company donates a portion of proceeds to a rescue
When selecting the best reflective dog harness, it’s important to keep in mind that the primary purpose, beyond the harness securely fitting your dog, is its reflective properties. The harness is for evening and night walks or hikes, so it needs to stand out. Here are the three biggest things to look for when selecting a reflective harness for your dog.
When selecting a reflective dog harness or vest, pay attention to the amount of reflective material on it, and the type of reflective material as well. In the case of the SPOT THE DOG! vest in particular, almost everything on the harness has a reflective property, including neon reflective polyester and reflective fabric tape. Many harnesses available on the market today would benefit from additional reflective materials, so keep that in mind as you and your dog go for your evening walk.
Harnesses, like clothing, aren’t always one-size-fits-all. It’s best to measure your dog before making a purchase. Be sure to use a cloth measuring tape and measure across the neck and girth of your dog. For dogs that are still growing and are on the cusp of a size, consider selecting the next size up to avoid replacing the harness sooner rather than later, and to make sure it’s a comfortable fit.
You’ll also want to consider durability. While we don’t put harnesses through the proverbial ringer, we do test them out on a variety of dogs, including ones that are more excitable and have been known to be rough with their harnesses. You’ll want to consider the construction and durability of a harness before making a purchase.
Take note of any harnesses in the list above that our testers feel may not be up to the task of keeping up with rougher pups.
The betterpet lab developed a set of criteria and then put them to the test in real-world situations. Those factors included:
The writers, editors, and staff of betterpet are pet parents, and we know the value of accurate, trustworthy information. Because of this, the content we create is reviewed and approved by our vets. We tested these reflective dog harnesses so that when we say a reflective harness is best, it comes from firsthand experience.
Police dogs use tactical harnesses while on duty. These harnesses have a lot of benefits for larger dogs, particularly working dogs, and often include the option to add dog labels — or even to add or swap out reflective materials as needed.
Technically, dogs can wear a harness all the time. However, the best practice is to remove the harness at night. This is especially true for long-haired dogs that run the risk of matted fur and tangles. It also allows dogs to rest more comfortably at night.
Harnesses are typically more comfortable for dogs because it reduces the pull that comes from a collar. A harness can also function as a thunder jacket for some dogs. Such calming vests apply gentle pressure and trigger the release of calming hormones (the same reason swaddling works for infants!).