As a company dedicated to reviewing Dog Harness products, our definition of success includes embracing our responsibility to our community and our planet.
Sometimes stated as “doing well by doing good,” we’re conducting our business in a way that maximizes the good. As a result, we can do in the world while being mindful of the impact on the environment.
We love hearing questions from you – our community – about what action we’re taking to do so. We’re committed to being transparent as we discover the nitty-gritty details of our impact as a brand, so keep the questions coming.
Today, we’re going to dig deeper into one facet of our sustainability strategy: bluesign® materials.
LET’S ZOOM OUT FOR A SECOND
We’ll get back to what this has to do with your dog’s gear in a moment, but first, let’s get some context.
The textile industry is big. 62 million tons, big. That’s the estimated consumption of textiles back in 2015, with a shocking amount of it eventually being landfilled or incinerated (1 garbage truck full every second).
And the textile industry can be dirty. Chemicals, waste, pollutants, resource depletion, hazardous working conditions. When you consider how those 62 million tons are manufactured, the cost – to both the environment and humans – is staggering.
It’s overwhelming. The good news is there’s also growth in the efforts to choose ethical, sustainable methods over the toxic and harmful ones. And we’re committed to that effort. But how can you tell when a company chooses a sustainable path?
Enter bluesign® technologies. This is a team of chemical experts, systems specialists, manufacturing gurus, and production pros. All probably wearing superhero capes – changing the world by changing the environment. And the social impacts of manufacturing textiles and helping more and more brands do so.
DIVING INTO THE DEEP BLUESIGN® SEA
bluesign® was established back in 2000. The team works independently to trace and verify a material’s path along every manufacturing process step. From chemicals, fibres, and dyes to the final product and the hands that craft them. It’s a complex journey, but that depth of assessment leads to greater transparency and the ability to improve.
They assess facilities for chemical management competency, waste, and recycle stream proficiency. More importantly, they act as a resource for those facilities. Working together to improve efficiency and safety across their operation.
Because of their stringent certification process, you can count on materials coming out of bluesign® certified facilities to be safer and more sustainable for the environment, workers, and you.
HOW do they do the dog Harness?
For a bluesign® approved fabric, it all starts at the textile mill bluesign®. First, auditors rate the mill’s air and water impact, listing areas of concern. Then, guiding them towards sustainable alternatives (like organic and recycled fibres, eco-friendly dyes and chemicals, and wastewater and chemical recycling). Finally, they must meet strict standards for pollution control.
bluesign® also consults about their manufacturing processes. The more efficient a facility can operate, the more it can reduce overall water, energy, and chemical use.
bluesign® works with these facilities to implement safety features and oversee labour practices throughout the production process to help protect workers. Their rigorous chemical safety requirements for textiles further protect the workers. And even the end-consumer from exposure to harmful chemicals.
The same standards are applied in bluesign® certified factories that then carry out the production process for bluesign® system partners.
SO, ABOUT THAT DOG GEAR...
While not all our brands are not a bluesign® system partner at this point, we pursue supplier relationships with bluesign® certified.
We’re improving upon selecting our products and setting milestones to hit each year.
As we choose more products, you’ll start to see “bluesign® approved material” in all our materials list more and more. When you do, it’s a good indicator that you’re on the right track. When looking to make environmentally-minded choices for your dog’s gear.
Harnesses are an excellent choice for all dogs, especially for puppies, small dogs, or dogs with delicate throats that may be irritated by regular flat collar use. They are placed around the dog’s chest and rib cage and, therefore, have more contact points. This provides fewer opportunities for escape than when the leash is secured to a collar. However, even when using a harness, it is vital to keep the collar on with ID tags for identification purposes.
Harnesses may reduce issues of pulling in some dogs. But for other dogs, the opposite may be exact. Specific harnesses also have the potential to increase a dog’s desire to pull as the dog will no longer find it uncomfortable to do so. In that case, consider using a front-clip harness or a no-pull harness rather than one with a buckle on the back.
To choose a correctly fitting dog harness.
To choose a correctly fitting harness, you’ll need to know your dog’s general weight range and possibly a few measurements. It always helps to take your dog shopping with you to ensure a proper fit. Make sure the harness doesn’t pinch your dog anywhere. You may want to choose a padded mesh harness for a more comfortable fit.
Place the harness on your dog and tighten any buckles to ensure that the fit is snug but not tight. As with a collar, you should be able to fit two fingers under the harness at any point, which is very important when your dog is sitting. There are different types of harnesses available for many different needs. Such as the no-pull harnesses mentioned before or travel harnesses for transport in a car. Ask for help to find the tackle that best meets the needs of you and your dog.
When You Fit a Dog Harness
When you fit a harness on your dog, keep in mind that the actual fitting. It can be an unsettling event as you may be handling your dog in ways that she is not used to. Keep a close eye on your dog, and if it seems she’s getting mildly stressed (by panting, yawning, or excessively licking her lips), take a break and give her some space. Also, have a friend hold your pet’s leash while you fit the harness. Dropping the rope could result in your dog getting loose and possibly running off.
If you want to take your dog out using a harness, leave the collar with the tags on your dog. Suppose you have resorted to a harness due to a pulling issue as you work through and overcome the problem. You may want to revert to eventually using just a collar.
A collar and a harness can be interchangeably depending on the activity that you have planned with your dog. For example, for long hikes, a harness may be preferable as it may be more comfortable. However, a harness may be in the way for other events, and your dog may become tangled.