Help'Em Up Harness
Dos and Don’ts for the Help’Em Up Harness
The Help ‘Em Up™ Harness is made to be comfortable for your dog. But proper fit is key. If the harness is not fitting properly, or you have chosen the wrong size, chaffing and discomfort may occur.
DO: Measure your dog to select the right size – Determine the weight of your dog and take its measurements. The Help ‘Em Up Harness comes in five different sizes (XS,S, M, L and XL) based on the weight of your dog and also its measurements. Determining the correct size of the Help ‘Em Up Harness will make for a good, comfortable fit.
DON’T: Just put it on – Just as important as choosing the right harness, it’s just as important to adjust the harness for a proper fit, function and comfort. The Help ‘Em Up Harness is a 10-point harness system that is adjusted with straps and clips. It should be properly adjusted to fit each dog’s unique dimensions. It should fit as snug as a collar would be, but can be loosened for comfort when the dog lies down in it. Watch for early signs of hot spots and chaffing as it is a full-body harness and older dogs have sensitive skin.
Also keep in mind that aging dogs or those recovering from surgery can be sore and sensitive – if your dog is not responding well to the harness, or does not like you putting it on, don’t force it. There could be other health issues going on. Seek consultation from your veterinarian.
DO: Choose the correct Hip-lift – The harness is a full-body lifting device that comes with a front shoulder harness that connects to the back rear-half of the harness called the Hip-lift. There are two different versions of the Hip-lift to choose from. The conventional Hip-lift fits all female dogs and about 80% of male dogs whose penis is positioned farther forward (approx. 1 ½ – 2”) in front of the hind legs. For those few male dogs whose penis is positioned farther back — behind the front of his hind legs or right at his hind legs — the U-band Hip-lift would be the likely choice in order to provide urination clearance for those male dogs.
DON’T: Leave it on for excessive amounts of time – The Help ‘Em Up Harness is cushioned and comfortable to wear and can often be worn for extended periods (8-10 hours), but you should always keep close watch on those areas of friction where hot spots can occur: between the legs and torso, under the belly and pelvic area. Unlike slings or towels that need to be rigged with each use, the Help ‘Em Up Harness can stay on your dog during the day, but we do recommend you take it off at night. And if your dog is lying down in it, loosen or unclip the straps especially on the Hip-lift to prevent hot spots or chaffing.
DO: Keep it clean – The harness is machine-washable; let it air dry if possible. Clean it regularly, especially if it gets soiled. Having another Hip-lift on hand is always another option.
Caution: Use only on dogs as an aide in lifting or restraining. The dog harness will need to be adjusted to properly fit each dog’s dimensions. Follow dog harness sizing instructions and refer to our diagram. Do not leave on a dog for over-extended periods of time–use it as needed and then take it off. Loosen straps especially if your dog wants to lie down in it, to help prevent hot spots, any chaffing or overheating with sensitive skin. Take the dog harness off at night and let your dog sleep without it. Use proper care and clean regularly.
Washing Your Harness
All of our dog lifting harnesses can be machine or hand washed – but we recommend air drying. Dryers tend to dry out the neoprene over time. We do not recommend the use of bleach or other harsh detergents but mild soaps work great. Urine odour can be a problem so try to clean regularly. White vinegar and water in a 1:3 dilution works pretty well to cut the smell. There are also commercial cleaners available that can help to cut odour. Ask your favorite pet supplier for recommendations.
The Help ‘Em Up Harness can provide hours of comfort for your pet and ease for you when you have to lift your dog. But like any gear, it needs to be monitored and readjusted as your dog’s conditions change.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: How long can I leave the Help’Em Up harness on my dog?
It can be worn for extended periods; however, we suggest that you give your dog breaks from wearing it. Let them sleep without it if possible or if you have a dog that needs a potty trip at 3am, take it off after they return. Also, watch for them chewing on it when left alone.
If you are leaving it on for extended periods, please check for hot spots and overheating as it can become uncomfortable for your dog if left on for too long a time.
Q: Is it possible for my dog to urinate and defecate wearing the dog harness?
Yes! Neither males or females have problems defecating with the dog harness – as the support straps that come up between their hind legs are held apart by the dogs tail, giving consistent clearance for defecation. Female dogs have no urinating issues for the same reason. Most male dogs can use the conventional harness without issue, as their penis generally will come out in front of the belly band – giving them good clearance to urinate. However, for those male dogs whose penis starts further back, between their hind legs, the tip of their penis may be partially covered by the belly band. For them we have a male version called the U-band that provides a cutout for penis clearance.
Q: Is my dog lifting harness washable?
Yes, all of our dog lifting harnesses can be machine or hand washed – but we recommend air drying. Dryers tend to dry out the neoprene over time. We do not recommend the use of bleach or other harsh detergents but mild soaps work great. Urine odour can be a problem so try to clean regularly. White vinegar and water in a 1:3 dilution works pretty well to cut the smell. There are also commercial cleaners available that can help to cut odour. Ask your favorite pet supplier for recommendations.
Q: Can I use the back-end Hip Lift by itself?
The front half of the dog harness can be used alone but the Hip Lift (back Half) needs the connection to the front half to stay in place, otherwise it can slip off and could cause injury.
Q: What can I do if my pup chews off a part of the dog harness or I need a second front or back half?
We can sell you a replacement half of the dog harness in those instances. We do also sell front and back halves separately for this reason but many owners purchase a second half to have one on hand for cleaning purposes. Email to arrange to have a second dog harness half shipped.