The 5 Safest Dog Leashes

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Determining how safe your dog leash is will come down to several factors: material, clasping mechanism, shock absorption, and visibility. If you’re looking for the safest dog leash you possibly can, you’ll want to evaluate your options based on how they stack up on these four traits.

This may go without saying, but the leash material needs to be strong and durable so you won’t worry about a flimsy cord snapping or your dog being able to chew right through the middle. The clasping mechanism should be built with tough metal that will hold your pup securely and not come undone at the first sign of tugging. It also helps if it’s rust-proof so if you're surprised by a sudden downpour, it won't start to erode. And, if the leash has any braking features, particularly with the retractable style, they should be solid and secure too.

In terms of shock absorption, it’s important that your dog leash has a bit of give so your pup doesn’t choke themselves when they start pulling, and so you won’t feel like your arm is being yanked out of its socket. Lastly, it’s helpful to have some sort of reflective striping or material to keep your pooch visible, especially if you tend to take evening walks together.

To help you out, I’ve compiled a list of the safest dog leashes for keeping your dog safe and secure, in varying styles, materials, and sizes.

1. The Overall Safest

This sturdy dog leash, which also doubles as a seat belt when your pup is riding in the car, is constructed with a robust, dual-safe hook and practically indestructible clasp. It's braided with four layers for climbing rope so you don’t have to worry about your pooch breaking free. On top of that, it's weatherproof with a tough leather cover and plenty of shock absorption to save your arm from getting sore if (read: when) your pup starts tugging. It has a 360-degree zinc alloy swivel snap to prevent tangling and a plush padded handle that helps ward off chafing. The strong dog leash is 6 feet long, as a bonus, features reflective material woven in for an extra layer of safety.

2. The Best Leather Leash

Available in three different sizes, this tough dog leash is designed with Italian bull leather that's been hand-braided for extra durability and safety. The material is strong enough that it won’t break yet it retains a certain degree of give to keep it semi-stretchy and soft. The impressive material can withstand a whopping 600 pounds of pulling force, so even if you have a strong, aggressive puller, you don't have to worry about them ripping the leash and escaping your grasp. The thickness also makes it more chew-proof than other leashes and its rust-free copper clasp adds extra reinforcement.

3. The Best Retractable Leash

If you prefer the convenience of a retractable dog leash that lets you give your pup freedom while still maintaining control, this one is a fantastic option. It's strong and safe with a holding capacity of up to 110 pounds. The size is big enough for large dogs but it has a slender, bulk-free profile that makes it a good choice for smaller pups too. Most importantly, the braking mechanism is reliable and secure so you can trust your ability to halt your dog on a dime if you need to. The tough nylon cord is smooth with a catch-free retracting system that won't snag and it remains taut while in use. Rounding out the features, the leash has a soft, ergonomic handle with an anti-slip grip so it won't slide out of your hands.

4. The Best Hands Free Leash

Designed for things like running, jogging, or using your phone, this hands-free dog leash allows you to multi-task while walking your furry friend. It boasts a built-in, dual-spring design with safety features for both you and your dog. For your pup, it creates tensile strength that will hold them securely and prevent them from breaking out or escaping. For you, it offers enough slack to absorb up to 150 pounds of dog weight. The sturdy dual bungees minimize any pulling and reduce strain on your arms and back. The belt showcases a soft padded cushion and easy-glide clip to keep the leash from getting tangled up. As a bonus, the six-in-one package comes with several accessories including a treat pouch, shoulder straps, collapsible water bowl, and poop bag roll. If you jog a lot at night, you might also want to check out this reflective hands free option.

5. The Best For Night Walks

If evening walks are your jam, this glow-in-the-dark dog leash allows cars, buses, and other people to spot you at night. It’s built with powerful LED lights that you can recharge with a USB cord, allowing five hours of illumination per charge for tons of consecutive walks. The versatile leash offers several modes including a steady state, rapid flashing, or slow flashing option. To shift through them, just click the button and you're good to go. Best of all, it comes in six different colors to choose from. "We have the green one and it is so excellent!" said one happy Amazon reviewer. "Just charge up on the USB and press the button to indicate which level of 'flash' you want and voila! You got yourself a very trendy but safety-inducing dog leash."

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