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How Dogbelt evolved

After one of our dogs (Kaksi) had surgery to remove a skin tumor on the side of her chest, she could not use any of her usual harnesses. Since she often pulls on the leash, it was awful to walk with her, and see her strangle herself in her collar. We then often walked in the country, so that she could run free. During one of these walks it was not possible to have her loose. She pulled, and was strangled. We stopped after a while and I said to my partner Maria -I can no longer stand to see her strangled by her collar. There must be a way to solve this ..”.

We thought of different solutions (including carrying her 3km to our home). Suddenly I got an idea, and moved the necklace from the neck to the hip. Kaksi just stood and looked at me, as if she wanted to say, -Are you ready soon so that we can continue the walk? See the photo below, where she just put on the pre-stage of what we today call Dogbelt, on her hip. The surgical compress can be seen on the left chest.sen.

We were very surprised. Not only did she accept the belt on her hip, she also immediately became calmer to walk with. Later that day, I searched online for a similar product to buy for Kaksi. However, there was nothing but hip support for injured dogs. I decided to investigate this in more detail, and since I have a doctoral degree in my luggage, I decided to investigate the state of knowledge in published research. I also looked up and had meetings with researchers specializing in dog injuries, to find out if there was any risk of putting the belt on the dog's hip instead of throat. What I found, and as the researchers told me, was that there is a large amount of documented damage to dogs' throat, necks, breasts and shoulders after using both collar and harnesses. Of the five small animal veterinarians and dog researchers I spoke to, no one saw any obvious risk of injury using a hip belt. In fact, they told me, the state of knowledge is that we know that collar and harnesses can cause a lot of damage to our dogs. I was then convinced that a hip belt could be a working product, valuable for both dog and owner..

I soon discovered that the necklace I used on Kaksi's hip was not optimal as a belt. The biggest problems I found were that when it was put against the body so as not to slide backwards, it became too tight; it was too narrow to support the hip and abdomen; it was too thin to provide adequate support, and it was too thick and static for the hind legs, hips and back to move dynamically.

What followed was a one-year development and test period, with many different prototypes, to solve one difficulty at a time and avoid creating new ones. Some prototypes solved many problems, but became too big and quite ugly, see prototype number 2 below.

We have now launched Dogbelt as prototype number 25, after we and Kaksi together with several other dogs and their owners, tested it practically for more than a year and 300 hours of long walks.