It’s all too common for dog lovers to want to pet random dogs in the street. Sometimes this is absolutely fine, but there are occasions when it might not be a good idea to pet someone else’s dog. For example, service dogs can’t be distracted while working, and this also applies to emotional support animals. As much as we love petting dogs, it can be dangerous if the dog gets scared easily, or has a tendency to bark or snap at strangers. This might seem like aggressive behavior, but is completely understandable when you think about it. If you were approached by a stranger in the street, it’s likely you would get angry if they got too close.
While it’s always possible to just tell someone not to pet your dog, the easiest way to make it known is by using a special harness or patch that explicitly states “do not touch.” Many of these are made with Velcro patches that can be stuck onto your dog’s existing harness, or you can buy a dedicated harness with this message on it. Many of the patches are inexpensive, although you will pay more for a specific harness. Which option you choose will be dependent on your individual needs, and whether it’s something your dog needs to wear all the time or just temporarily. To help you find the right choice, here are some of the best options available.
1. Industrial Puppy Do Not Pet Patches
These patches from Industrial Puppy are ideal for attaching onto your dog’s existing harness, and even have loop Velcro patches on either end for easy application. The patches are incredibly durable and made with weatherproof material, making them ideal for use in all kinds of weather.
The lettering on the patches is made from a reflective material, so the text will show up even in low-light situations. Buying the patches means you can save money because you don’t have to buy a dedicated harness, and they are easy to remove whenever necessary. The patches come in various sizes, meaning it should be easy for you to find the right fit for your dog. The brand also makes patches with different wording, so you can buy ones specifically for service dogs and other roles.
2. Doggy Stylz Do Not Pet Harness
The harness in this set is designed for your dog’s safety. It has reflective strips on the front and sides, meaning they will be easy to spot in the dark. The harness has two adjustable straps for ultimate comfort and a good fit, and it’s available in several different sizes. It has a nylon handle on the top for extra control if you need to hold your dog back at any time, and there is a welded D-ring on top so you can easily attach your leash.
The Do Not Pet patches are easy to remove if necessary, and are made from a durable and weatherproof material. The lettering is reflective, which makes for easy visibility even in low light. The harness has a quick-release buckle on the bottom and is bright red, making it even more obvious that your dog shouldn’t be petted.
3. Canine Friendly Patch for Collars and Leashes
This range of patches has various different caution notes, so there’s plenty of choice available. There’s the standard Do Not Touch, but there are also ones for anxious dogs and service animals. The text is large print and reflective, making them very easy to read from a distance. The best thing about these patches is that they come in various widths and can either be attached to your dog’s collar or leash. However, this does mean that sometimes the text isn’t as obvious as a harness patch.
The patches are made from neoprene, which means that they are both durable and weatherproof. It also means they can easily be slid onto leashes or collars, and so are very easy to remove. These patches are inexpensive and there is a great variety of texts available, although if you need a more obvious patch it would be best to look at other makes.
4. Dexii Limited Do Not Pet Leash
If you’re looking for an incredibly obvious way to avoid strangers petting your dog, this leash is a good place to start. The leash is bright red and has Do Not Pet repeated along its length. The text is embroidered, meaning there’s no chance of it wearing away, even through frequent use. The color of the leash helps to make it particularly obvious, and very hard to miss.
The leash comes in several different lengths, all the way up to 6ft, and so is a good choice for those that need to keep their dog on a leash when out walking. It’s recommended to combine this leash with a harness patch so there’s absolutely no confusion about whether your dog should be petted.
5. FunDog Do Not Pet Bandana
Another good alternative to a harness patch is this bright yellow bandana. Tying this around your dog’s neck is a good choice if you don’t use a dog harness, as it can be attached to their collar instead. The color makes it particularly obvious, however the text might be a bit too small, especially if you need to let people know from a distance that they shouldn’t come near your dog. The bandana is available in several sizes, and fits miniature to large dogs.
6. Doggy Stylz Do Not Pet Harness Vest
This great harness from Doggy Stylz has two removable Do Not Pet patches, and saddlebags, which make it a great choice if you have a working dog that needs to carry things. The patches feature reflective text and are both weatherproof and very durable. The patches attach to either the saddlebags or the harness itself, and are easy to remove as they are velcro.
The harness itself is padded and has two adjustable straps for ultimate comfort. It’s available in several different sizes, meaning you should be able to find the right one for your dog. The front strap has another reflective panel, so it should always be easy to see your dog. It also has a handle on the top for extra control. The underside is made from neoprene, and so is stretchy and comfortable, and gives great breathability. If you’re looking for a harness for a dedicated working dog, this would be a great choice.
7. Leash Boss Embroidered Vest Patches
These patches have embroidered text, which means there won’t be any chance of it wearing off. It’s embroidered using high visibility thread, giving your dog extra visibility in low-light situations. The patches come in several different sizes, and there are various different texts available. This makes them a good option for various kinds of service dogs.
The patches have hook and loop tags so they’re really easy to attach to your dog’s existing harness. They are incredibly durable, and the embroidered text can withstand any weather. There are two patches in a pack, meaning you can put one on each side. Being able to attach these patches onto your dog’s existing harness makes them an inexpensive and temporary option.
8. Dexii Do Not Pet Padded Dog Collar
A collar is another good and inexpensive option if you only need a temporary solution, and if you don’t use a harness. This collar is bright red, so is very obvious, and has large text. The text is very easy to read and is embroidered, so it’ll never wear off. It comes in several different sizes, and each one is adjustable.
The collar itself is padded for comfort, and has an easy to use buckle. There is a metal D-ring for your dog’s leash too. The collar is very durable and will last a long time. There are different texts available, and both buckle and semi-chock collars available. Overall, this is a great choice if you don’t use a harness on your dog.
9. Doggie Stylz Nylon Strap Dog Harness
Doggie Stylz have designed a reasonably basic, but still very effective dog harness. The Do Not Pet patches are removable, meaning you can change the text whenever necessary. There are various replacement patches available, so you can change the text to whatever you want. There is also an extra reflective patch on the front of the harness for added visibility.
The harness is made from heavy weave nylon straps that are very durable. There are two adjustable straps for the ultimate fit, and a strong plastic buckle. It has a stainless steel D-ring for your dog’s leash, and a handle on top for extra control. There are various sizes available, and will fit even large dogs.
10. SGODA Dog Harness Patch
These patches are very easy to attach to your dog’s existing harness, making them an inexpensive option if you don’t want to replace it. They measure 6” x 2”, and so will be suitable for large dogs too. You can buy various different texts, which makes them ideal for all kinds of working dogs.
The text is printed onto the patch, so it may not last as long as some other patches on the list. That said, the patches are made of waterproof polyester, so they will be very durable. Attaching them onto your dog’s harness is really easy because they have Velcro patches at each end. There are two patches in a pack, meaning you can put one on either side of your dog’s vest.
11. Dexil Limited Do Not Pet Color-Coded Dog Vest
Unlike other harnesses on this list, this one is a pullover style. It’s made of bright red neoprene material, so is very obvious and durable. There’s little chance of people bothering your dog when it’s wearing this harness. The Do Not Pet text is printed all around the front of the harness and is very easy to read. You can buy many different versions, and each one is color-coded with different text.
The harness itself is padded for extra comfort, and is completely waterproof. Both straps are adjustable and the harness secures in place with a sturdy plastic buckle. There is a metal D-ring around the collar area for attaching your dog’s lead. Sizes are available in extra small to large, and will fit dogs with a chest size of up to 32”. This harness is a much better choice than many others on the list because it’s so very obvious.
12. Petjoy Service Dog Vest
If you’re looking for a harness specifically for a service dog then this is a great choice. It’s bright red, so is very obvious, and will cover most of your dog’s back. It attaches in place with two buckle straps that go around your dog’s stomach, and both straps are completely adjustable. The harness has the words “service dog” printed on each side in big letters, and so it’s really easy to read. This should hopefully avoid any issues when out with your dog.
One of the best features about this harness is the fact that it comes with a clear plastic pocket on the back. The manufacturer’s give you several service dog information cards to put in there, but you can just as easy put your contact information or some other details in there for added safety. Although the standard version of the harness is red, there are two other colors available. This harness comes in several different sizes, and the biggest fits dogs up to 115lbs. It’s a great choice if you need an obvious harness specifically for your service dog.
Related Sources: Science Daily Purdue University Duke Canine Center