Training your furry friend to become a service dog is something anyone can do.
A service animal is defined as any dog that can perform tasks for the benefit of someone with a disability. This can range from physical, intellectual or emotional disabilities.
During training and working hours, for easy identification, a service dog vest should be worn by the service dog (anyone doing a job needs a uniform)!
As any breed is suitable for service dog work, there are unsurprisingly a range of vests and harnesses for service dogs on the market.
We have done the research for you and found the best 8 vests; for all shapes, sizes and budgets.
Table of Contents
Choosing A Service Dog Vest
What To Look For
A service dog vest often doubles up as a harness. The key difference is the identification on the vest.
Some vests will simply state “service dog,” others will identify the dog as “in training,” and some will even identify the purpose (e.g. “emotional support dog in training”).
The most important consideration when searching for a service dog vest should be if you are planning on using it as a a harness too. If you are, the vest should be robust and strong enough to hold the weight of your dog when on leash.
If it merely serves to identify, then you may consider other features like design, color and comfort.
Features To Consider
Any vest you choose should correctly fit your breed.
You should measure for a safety vest like you would a normal harness. At any point, you should be able to slide two fingers between your dog and the vest for a comfortable but snug fit.
As your service dog will be performing tasks to help you with everyday life, they will be spending a significant amount of time in their vest.
It should therefore be comfortable for them. Padding often helps, but be mindful of service dog vests which are too bulky, these can restrict your dog’s movement and will be uncomfortable when lying down.
Like normal harnesses, you have a range of fits available:
- Front Clip
The vest fit you choose will ultimately depend on how your dog reacts to the fitting process. If they are wary of things going over their head, then opt for a step-in.
A final note on design, some service dog jackets have added pockets for your dog to carry essentials, again be mindful if your dog will be wearing the vest for a long period of time or if they are a small breed.
Which Dogs Can Use A Service Dog Vest?
Any dog can become a service dog.
That includes any breed, providing they are trained to perform tasks to benefit a person with a disability.
Emotional support dogs can also wear vests, identifying them as such, but these dogs don’t actually have to complete any formal training.
Service dog certification or identification is not a requirement in the US. This means that some people simply use service vests as a way to get their dog into places they couldn’t normally go.
The issue here is that service providers are becoming more and more suspicious of true service dogs.
Whilst any dog can use a service dog vest, we would only recommend those dogs for whom it is appropriate to wear a service vest to use one.
The Verdict: Best Service Dog Vests
|Service Dog Vest||Our Rating||Price Range|
|Best Classic Design||Service Dog Harness (Mesh Design)||$$|
|Best Jacket Design||PLUTUS Service Dog Mesh Jacket||$|
|Best Premium Design||Activedogs Premium Service Dog Vest Harness||$$$|
A robust service dog vest with firm loop straps and handles ()
- Available in a range of eight different sizes with adjustable straps, making it perfect for all service dog breeds
- Comes with ADA cards if you need to provide identification
- Heavy duty robust design with double-stitched nylon nylon
- Across shoulder fitting can be irritating for some breeds
A cost-effective service dog vest, available in a range of sizes, we are sure you’ll find one to fit your pooch and as it comes in a range of ten different colors, matching any dog too.
This robust and durable vest has an easy fix belly buckle making it very easy to fit with a top mounted handle, secure fixings and stitchings.
With this service dog harness, you can remove the name patches (as they are velcro), so it really can just double up as a simple harness for when your dog isn’t actively working.
A strong D ring on the back gives you an easily accessed leash point and the top handle ensures you can keep a hold of your service dog during the all-important training stages.
An affordable, breathable and easy-to-adjust service dog vest ()
- Breathable, wear resistant and durable high quality nylon material
- Free adjustment as all straps are adjustable allowing for the most comfortable fit for your service dog
- The additional belly strap (which prevents buckle rubbing) easily gets wet and muddy which then requires lots of washing
The Bolux service dog vest does exactly what it says it does.
Easy on and easy off design means this harness only has two buckles (one across the shoulder and one under the belly) meaning you can place the harness on the back of your service dog and then attach the straps.
This removes the need for stepping in or over the head faffing!
Like most vests, it comes in range of sizes to suit all breeds and has removable patches for those off-duty play times.
The Bolux comes with reflective stitching and reflective straps keeping your dog safe on those dusk outings.
A high quality, padded and breathable harness for service dogs ()
- Quick release side buckles and a rubber moulded handle for easy fitting
- Comfortable padding throughout with a contoured chest plate for a snug fit
- Comes with ADA cards and a clip-on ID carrier
- Over-head harness design may not suit some service dogs
- Premium price point which makes it more expensive than most other service dog vests available
The Activedogs service vest comes with a clip-on ID carrier and ADA cards which makes identifying service dogs much easier and faster.
With a simple side-release buckle, this jacket is easy to use for all owners, and once the straps are adjusted, a perfect fit is very easy to achieve for most dog breeds.
Comfortable to wear, the chest plate is contoured and padded meaning it fits dogs with deep chests too. The D ring provides an easy leash point and the rubber molded handle enables you to keep your dog safe in an emergency.
A lightweight and compact vest for smaller breeds ()
- Lightweight and compact dog service vest suitable for smaller breeds
- Fast and easy to fit to wriggly pooches
- Missing a carry handle (in the smaller sizes) which can make securing the service vest more difficult
- Useful as an identifier rather than a harness for your service dog
Despite it being available in extra large and large sizes, the Petdogree service dog vest is more suitable to those smaller dog breeds.
Its less padded design means it is less bulky for toy breeds, but it still clearly identifies their supportive role.
Potentially more suitable for emotional support dogs, as this vest shouldn’t be used on service dogs who require a robust harness.
Its budget price doesn’t mean it compromises on quality. The service vest is durable and comfortable, especially with its adjustable straps.
Coming exclusively in red, it makes your dog easy to spot, along with its reflective lines, for those walks in the early evening.
A budget lightweight and mesh jacket for service dogs ()
- Clearly identifies your support animal as a service dog
- Lightweight and comfortable mesh design making it suitable for service dogs in warmer climates
- Cannot be used as a service dog harness and must be used as an identification jacket only
- Over-head design may not suit some dogs
The Plutus service dog jacket is great to identify a service dog as opposed to providing a harness to keep a hold of your dog.
It suits those dogs who wear their vests for long periods of time, as it is lightweight and comfortable, or dogs who are working in warmer climates.
This jacket is low-cost, which makes it a firm favorite for budget buyers. Coming in a range of sizes, you will be able to find one that is the perfect fit – especially with its adjustable straps and mesh design.
The mesh design also keeps air circulating which can be a saving grace in warmer temperatures.
Like most other service dog vests, the removeable patches allow for a quick transition to playtime or relaxation when your service dog isn’t actively working.
A no pull service dog vest ()
- Durable and robust design (4 D-rings front and rear) to prevent your dog from pulling
- Comes with a clear ID window to avoid confusion and makes identification of a service dog easy
- A service dog should not need a no pull harness
- The Bridge handle is sold separately which makes the total price very expensive
Suitable for small to extra large service dogs, the Activedogs no pull service harness is slightly more expensive than other vests in our list.
The robust and durable design, boasts secure handles and D rings so you can be sure you always have control over your service dog when you need it.
The easy-to-use side-release buckle, means it’s a great option for those owners with limited finger or hand dexterity too.
The padded panels offer extra comfort for your dog, whilst the adjustable straps provide a custom fit.
A classic and simple service dog harness ()
- Available in a range of four sizes for dogs from 26” to 42” chest girth
- Reflective piping to keep your service dog safe at night
- Embroidery of your dog’s name on the vest
- More appropriate for identification of service dogs rather than a walking harness
- Sewn in service patches cannot be removed
The Petjoy is a classic service dog vest with a very simple design for easy identification.
It is made from water-resistant material, meaning your dog will have some shelter from the rain if you get caught in a shower.
Its no-stink interior means it doesn’t absorb odor, giving you more time in between washes.
The Petjoy has 3 D-rings to attach leashes or accessories to, and its rubber molded handle gives you control in any emergency situation.
Not only that but with the additional D rings, you can attach backpacks or side saddlebags to carry any additional items necessary.
A classic and simple service vest ()
- Simple lightweight non-bulky design which is perfect if your dog has struggled with other designs in the past
- Large handle keeps you in control if needed
- This service dog vest is not padded which means it may become uncomfortable during longer working sessions
- Across-shoulder design may irritate some dogs
The Pawshoppie vest is a lightweight emotional support vest and provides easy identification for your emotional support animal.
A robust and leightweight harness, the ID patches are easily removed and can be swapped for emotional support patches if this is what your service dog’s role is.
Available in a range of sizes, and adjustable straps, you can easily ensure the most comfortable fit for your dog with this harness.
It is secured by two buckles, one across the shoulder and one under the belly, meaning it is a great option for those dogs who can be a little wriggly with step-in or over-the-head vests.
Service, therapy and working dogs can provide vital support to those who need it, so it should only be service dogs who wear service dog vests.
Your dog needs a service vest if they are performing tasks which benefit you if you have a disability.
Well-meaning strangers know to not interact or distract your service dog, and businesses will generally allow you to access their services without telling you your dog isn’t allowed in.
These service vests allow easy identification of your service dog in public places.
If you don’t truly have a service dog, or need one, then don’t purchase a service vest. If you do need one, then we hope our top eight service dog vests have given you a good range of options and one which will suit you and your service dog best.