Dogs love walks more than almost anything else in the world. Not only do they have the chance to explore, make friends, and chase down fascinating scents, they also spend time with their favorite human – you!
An unfortunate tendency of some dogs, however, is their love of pulling. Owners, therefore, use collars or harnesses to keep their dogs close to hand. Harnesses come in all sizes to fit almost all breeds. Small dogs especially seem to love harnesses, and they come in handy if your little companion strains against his leash.
Finding the right harness can be difficult, however. There are a large variety of harnesses in the market to choose from. Fortunately, we’re here to help!
In this article, we’ll share some tips and tricks to help you find the right harness for your small dog. Then, we’ll review a few of our favorite small harnesses to help you make the right choice!
How to Choose the Best Harness for Small Dogs
- Read more: 8 Best Orthopedic Dog Beds 2020
Why Choose a Harness?
Why should you get a harness for your dog? According to Rover, vets and trainers recommend harnesses for small dogs due to their tendency to pull and pull. Small dogs can strain against their collars and injure themselves. That’s why it’s useful to find a harness that evenly distributes pressure on their bodies.
What to Consider When Finding a Harness
First and foremost, this is the most important consideration when finding a harness for your dog. You must ensure that you find the correct size to fit your dog. If a harness is too small or too large, your dog will be uncomfortable or might slip out of the harness.
Measure your dog’s girth around his chest (just behind the front legs), around his neck where a normal collar sits, from the bottom of his neck to his shoulders, and from under the neck to between his front legs.
2. The Type of Harness
Dog harnesses work for different purposes. Think about which behaviors your dog exhibits and how a harness might help to address those behaviors.
Back-clip harnesses work great for dogs who are trained to walk calmly and not pull as they’re not meant for dogs who pull. They won’t trip up a small dog by entangling his front legs. These attractive harnesses also protect dog’s vulnerable throats.
Front-clip harnesses allow owners more control over their dogs if they exhibit behaviors such as pulling or jumping. They also enable owners to turn their dogs around in different directions if needed. Front-clip harnesses have an increased chance of tripping dogs by snaring their front legs.
Tightening harnesses will tighten or exhibit pressure on a dog if they pull too much. As small dogs aren’t usually powerful enough to drag humans along with them, we’d recommend a different harness than a tightening one.
A dog harness should be made with comfortable materials. Comfortable, soft materials prevent chafing and injury to your pup. Some materials harnesses come in include polyester or mesh. Almost any good dog harness will use soft materials in their design.
4. Easy-to-Open Closures
Any fasteners, clips, or buckles should function properly, and you should easily be able to operate them. Make sure they secure your harness properly when in use so your dog won’t slip out or get loose.
If you take your dog out at night, consider getting them a harness with high visibility features such as LED lights, reflectors, or reflective materials. This will ensure both you and your companion are safe in low-light conditions.
6 Best Harness for Small Dogs 2020
Small, Medium, Large
Small, Medium, Large
Small, Medium, Large
The Puppa RiteFit dog harness is among the best harnesses you can find for your small dog! It offers a variety of excellent features at a budget-friendly price. Choose from any of nine attractive to match your style!
This dog harness features neck adjustability so if your dog is between sizes, you’re sure to be able to fit this harness to your dog regardless. Additionally, it also has an adjustable chest belt.
In terms of closures, the RiteFit dog harness has two D-rings on the back for leashes and quick-release buckles to make removing the harness easy.
The harness is constructed with high-quality air mesh that provides breathability and is water-repellent.
- Comes with two D-rings for your leash
- High quality air mesh provides breathability and is water-repellent
- Comes in nine colors
- Velcro might snag on long dog fur
- Slippery for dogs who might lag behind you
- Might not fit the large heads of some breeds
The Gooby Choke-Free Step-in Comfort harness offers a unique, efficient way for you to place the harness on your dog. Rather than snapping your dog in with clips in various places, all they need to do is step in and you’ll pull the harness up and click your dog in!
The attractive X-frame evenly distributes force across your dog’s chest. This ensures he can breathe easily when you’re walking him! The harness also features four adjustable nylon straps so you can fit the harness specifically to your dog.
The micro suede trimming and the soft mesh make this a comfortable harness, and we’re sure your dog will practically leap into this as you both get ready for a short jaunt or a long walk!
The lightweight breathable material helps your dog stay cool during the warm summers. At the same time, the mesh keeps moisture away to alleviate any discomfort, rubbing, or chafing. Additionally, you can even wash this in a garment bag, and it’ll come out as new!
- X-frame helps prevent choking
- Made with micro suede and soft mesh for extra comfort
- Lightweight breathable material keeps your dog cool
- Attractive design
- Not suitable for puppies or dogs who like to lag behind their owners
- Sizing runs small on some dogs
Like the Gooby Choke-free Harness, the Pawtitas Pet Reflective Harness is a step in-type dog harness where all you need to do is have your pet step into it, pull up, and clip. Extremely easy to use, the harness comes in 13 different colors to suit all tastes and styles.
Unlike some harnesses, the Pawtitas one works very well with smaller dogs and even puppies. It’s perfect for such breeds as Pomeranians, Yorkies, Chihuahuas, and other small or toy dog breeds.
Its reflectivity offers another great feature. Made with a cotton/polyester-blend strip, its design allows for the reflection of light in low-light environments – perfect for night-time strolls!
This is a great budget option if you’re looking for an attractive, functional harness.
- Made with a reflective strip for safety in low-light environments
- 13 different colors to suit all styles and tastes
- Perfect for smaller (<5 lbs) dog breeds
- Easy placement with a step-in style
- Not suitable for dogs who love to chew
- Might be too flimsy or thin for some dogs, especially heavier ones
If your dog loves to pull a Houdini and escape, look no further than the Comfort Dog Harness. Built with both sturdiness and comfort in mind, this harness will give you more control over your dog. It comes in four sizes with a variety of colors! The X-small fits a chest girth of around 12-14 inches.
This lightweight harness only weighs two ounces so your dog will most likely not even notice he’s wearing one! Its sturdy material “hugs” your dog to alleviate stress and tension when walking. If your dog pulls, this harness contains padding that decreases the strain on the lower neck and trachea.
The Comfort Dog Harness is held together by a Velcro strap and a quick release clip. Use these to quickly and securely place the harness on your dog! Lastly, two reinforced D-rings hold your leash in place.
- Perfect for dogs smaller than 5 lbs.
- Hugs a dog’s body to alleviate stress and tension while walking
- Great for dogs who are escape artists
- Large difference between X-small and small sizes
- Sizing might be too small for some dogs
- Few adjustable straps to conform the harness to your dog’s size
Although slightly more expensive than other harnesses, this sturdy harness packs in a lot of features that makes the price well worth it. The Front Range Harness works very well for dogs who love to pull. A front leash attachment gently discourages your dog from pulling and keeps them facing forward and in-step with you.
This harness comes with padded chest and stomach panels for extra comfort and protection against chafing and rubbing. Your dog will be able to keep stride with you through many walks and hikes and still be comfortable at the end of the day!
It’s also extremely adjustable. Four straps enable you to fit the harness to your dog’s exact measurements.
Another great feature is the harness’s reflectivity. The reflective trim keeps your dog safe in low-light conditions, especially in late night hikes or other outdoor activities. Overall, this harness can be your dog’s best friend in any type of outdoor condition!
- Suitable for outdoor activities
- Reflective strip assists with seeing the dog in low-light conditions
- Extremely adjustable with four straps
- Leash attaches at the front to prevent dogs from pulling
- More expensive than other brands
- Nylon leash attachment wears out easily
- Sizing runs small
- Plastic clips might break with heavy use
The Kurgo Tru-Fit harness is the perfect everyday harness! Its attractive design includes a quick-release system that makes it easy to place the harness on and off of your dog! The D-ring front-leash attachment teaches your dog not to pull. If your pup tries to pull, the harness simply turns your dog in a circle.
A comfortable chest plate eases pressure on your dog’s chest and throat. It provides optimal comfort and sturdiness to make this a great all-around harness.
- Trains dogs not to pull
- Chest plate eases pressure on your dog’s chest and throat
- Includes a tether that acts as a seatbelt
- Back strap slides around
- Quick release buckles might fail
- Harness tends to run small
Dog harnesses can be very useful if you’re trying to train your dog to not pull, lag, and to walk at your side. They also offer some benefits for smaller dogs – since collars can choke dogs or place pressure on their throats or chests, harnesses might be a better option. They’re often well-constructed with soft and supportive materials.
Dog harnesses also sometimes feature reflective materials for enhanced visibility, tethers to function as seatbelts, or adjustable straps to ensure the proper fit for your dog.
When buying a harness, the primary factors are your dog’s measurements. No two harnesses are created equal, and there’s no standardization in sizes. We recommend measuring your dog prior to researching and purchasing a harness.
We hope you found this guide useful! We’ve tried to include a number of harnesses with a variety of features to serve a wide range of purposes. You’re sure to find something that will fit your needs!