Updated: October 14th, 2022
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Don’t get fooled into thinking these little pooches are just glorified cats. Yes, they are adorable and often times when out with one they are seen as decorative. But even as small as they are, they need the best harness for small dogs to keep them in check and safe.
Overview of the Best Harnesses For Small Dogs
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Why the best dog harness for small dogs? First, it’s because they don’t compromise on the important features just because the target pet is miniature in status. Second, as you’ll see later, they are designed to meet just about every unique and special need of this breed size.
You’ll run into a bunch of them and just to be on the safer side, you have to be sure that the harness you choose is the best style for your dog, of the correct size, and comfortable for her.
To get you started on this journey, here are what I found to be the best harnesses for your small dog. But here’s the catch. This list isn’t ordinary because of the interesting options I found out there. Let’s check it out.
Best Harness For Small Dogs – Reviews
1. Frisco Small Breed Soft Vest Dog Harness – Best Overall
Colors matter to small breeds and from the soft pink to the vibrant blue that this harness comes in, your dog is going to look really adorable. Also, the Frisco Small Breed Soft Vest Dog Harness is easy to use and clean as well.
- Breathable mesh material
- Vest design
- Two D-rings
- Four color variations
- Five size options
One of the things that make this harness special is that it provides a snug fit for your pooch without restricting movement or making her uncomfortable. Then there’s the material that is made to be comfortable and prevent issues like chaffing.
Another feature worth a mention would be the reflective bands. They have been fastened with stitches so as to keep her safe and sound as you take your evening/night-time walks.
You’ll also love that the breathable materials make it an ideal harness for an active dog because she will not be drenched in sweat, making her uncomfortable. And when it gets dirty, you can wash it without ruining the construction of the harness.
- Has Velcro closure to keep it extra secure
- The mesh fabric is excellent for wicking moisture and keeping the dog cool
- Has four reflective bands sewn into the design for excellent visibility in low light areas
- Can be washed in a machine
- Design features a low profile at the front, which prevents any pressure on the neck region
- Not chew resistant
- Lightweight material not durable
From the design to the materials used, you can be confident in the quality and functionality of this harness. And just like most pet owners, I’m in love with the beautiful color options as well. It is easily the best overall on this list. In fact, it comes highly rated by many small dog owners
Are you a road trip kind of doggie parent? If yes, then you know it is important to keep your baby safe during those car trips, and nothing guarantees that kind of safety like the Kurgo Tru-Fit Smart Harness with Steel Nesting Buckles Enhanced Strength. It is a crash-tested harness sure to keep your doggie safe at all times during your drive.
- Five size options
- Crash tested harness
- Ten-inch seat belt loop
- Five adjustment points
The ease of use with this harness is one of the things to love about it. You can easily slip it over her head and fasten it around her midsection regardless of the vehicle you are using. For added compatibility with any seatbelt, it comes with seat belt loop for ease of fastening.
In small dog harness reviews, users love that the buckles on this harness have been created based on the needs of harnesses used by linesmen and rock climbers. Kurgo Tru-Fit, the company that manufactures Kurgo Tru-Fit Smart Harness with Steel Nesting Buckles Enhanced Strength, prides itself in creating hard, sturdy, and safe products for all their clientele.
- Has a padded chest plate for comfort and protection
- Works as both an auto and walking harness
- It is compatible with any car seat belt system
- Can accommodate even small breed dogs comfortably
- You may need some time to learn and get used to using the buckle system
The construction of this harness enables it to distribute kinetic energy across the chest, sternum, and trachea in case of an accident. This reduces the chances of little doggies becoming casualties in an accident situation. Better still, this product has been tested using the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard for child safety restraint systems.
All these features combined make it one of the best dog harnesses on the market right now.
3. Four Paws Comfort Control Dog Harness – Best Value
If you have a feisty pet that has a mind of her own, then you know that walks result in her pulling one way and you commanding her to go another. But instead of getting frustrated by her explorative nature, how about investing in an affordable harness that gives you complete control over her movements? The Four Paws Comfort Control Dog Harness does exactly that.
- Five size options
- Back hook
- Adjustable strap
- Neoprene mesh material
For extra durability, this harness has double stitching for a sturdy construction so that when she pulls, she goes nowhere! But don’t worry, the construction is not uncomfortable for her because the neoprene material is soft and moves naturally on her body as she moves.
In addition, the material is breathable and lightweight, so she is comfortable even when it is hot. The nylon straps are adjustable so that the harness fits perfectly around your dog. A snug fit is important, especially when dealing with a little one that loves to pull away.
Combine the long-lasting neoprene material on the body of the harness and the nylon on the strap and you have an excellent control tool for your doggie.
- The sizing chart from the manufacturer is very effective for regular small dogs
- Has a back hook to give you even better control over your doggie
- Easy to clean with just a wipe or a quick wash
- Affordable price point
- Oddly shaped dogs may be a challenge with the neck measurements
If you are looking for a functional, affordable, and practical harness, this is the best option for you. It can also work as her seatbelt when paired with the seat belt leash. The quality is great and so is the ease of use.
4. Best Pet Supplies Voyager Black Base Mesh Dog Harness – Best Step In Harness For Small Dogs
A vest-designed harness for small dogs is usually effective because it distributes pressure evenly on the dog’s body. Best Pet Supplies Voyager Black Base Mesh Dog Harness not only boasts of that but also the softness of the material used that can help keep her comfortable whenever she has the harness on.
- Mesh fabric
- Two D-rings
- Several color variations
- Five size options
With this harness, you have the option of several colors to pick from. This can come in handy, especially if you have more than one dog.
Its construction features velcro closures that keep your dog securely attached to her harness. Combined with the metal D-rings, you can confidently walk your dog without fear that she will get loose and run off.
Also interesting to note is that the vest design is easy to step into, making this the ideal vest for little ones that don’t like wearing the harness over their head. It’s also much faster to put this little number on. The best part is that this harness can be used in all types of weather.
- Ease of use is excellent because of step-in design
- Has five size options to cater to small dogs of all proportions, including oddly shaped doggies
- Easily attaches to the leash using two sturdy D-rings
- The manufacturer offers an accurate measurement guide for the perfect fit
- It dries fast in a wet climate and is made from a breathable material that’s ideal for warm weather
- Some users are concerned about the longevity of the Velcro straps
This is a great option for dogs that have been rescued and are still afraid of wearing a collar over the head. Remember, there is no force used to get the dog into this harness. Plus, the 16 color options are super adorable!
5. Puppia Soft Dog Harness – Best Harness For Small Dogs That Escape
With this Puppia Soft Dog Harness, she could be pretty in pink or super cool in blue. And how about earthy in green? If none of the above colors work for you, there is the option of neutral grey or black. Bottom line: Your baby will look great no matter which version of this harness from Puppia she wears.
- Five size variations
- Padded design
- Single D-ring
- Polyester and cotton material
The mix of polyester and cotton ensures that this little harness is able to wick moisture effectively. Also, the harness has been made lightweight so that your little active friend that likes to escape can run and play without feeling overwhelmed.
What’s more, the construction is durable and can handle the wear and tear that comes with being worn and washed constantly. This is a harness that works as excellently for beefy bulldogs as it does for an adult Chihuahua.
- Comes in many color variations to cater to a wide range of little dogs
- Features soft padding on the inside of the vest for additional comfort
- Materials used are breathable
- It is machine washable
- Has excellent adjustability on the chest belt
- The sizing can be tricky because of the significant variation in sizes
- Comes with only one D-ring
This company is very customer friendly and accommodates the parents of small dogs by addressing their concerns. If your harness doesn’t fit, their customer care will work with you to ensure you find the correct fit for your baby.
6. EcoBark Maximum Comfort Dog Harness – Best For Dogs With Chest & Breathing Problems
This harness offers perfect support and stability as you walk your small dog. Even better, it comes highly recommended for dogs with medical conditions like a collapsing trachea. A collapsing trachea reduces the amount of air that passes through, resulting in your dog having debilitating coughing fits. This harness offers that much-needed support to your dog.
- Eco-friendly material
- Polyester mesh
- Eight color variations
- Six size options
The innovative no-choke design on this harness gives extra support to the throat and sternum of a small breed dog. That is one of the primary reasons it works well in supporting doggies suffering from a fragile trachea.
And for additional protection to the neck-related organs, it is fitted with quick-release clasps to make the putting on and taking off process easy and smooth. You will also love that the materials used guarantee a long life for this harness regardless of the weather and use you subject it to.
With this harness, the measurement is based mainly on the width of the chest, unlike other harnesses that also require height measurements for a perfect fit.
- Uses eco-friendly, non-toxic materials, which appeal to doggie parents who are environment conscious
- Easy to wear and take off
- Comfortable materials that accommodate a snug fit, unlike a collar
- Offers excellent support for dogs with collapsed tracheas
- It has limited adjustability
I love the money-back guarantee that comes with this harness. It also mitigates a health condition that can result in a poor quality of life for an adorable little fella. For that reason among many others mentioned above, I highly recommend this harness for small doggies.
7. Sporn Non-Pull Mesh Dog Harness – Best No-Pull Harness For Small Dogs
Meet the harness that will discourage pulling behavior in your little one. Granted, she cannot pull your arm out of its socket but still, it can get frustrating to get her to go in the direction you want to go. Using the Sporn Non-Pull Mesh Dog Harness, you don’t need to have a battle every time you go out for a walk.
- Veterinarian approved
- Padded straps
- One-piece design
- Nylon material
This patented system has the approval of vets because it accommodates the fluid motions of your dog’s movements. Having said that, it is effective in deterring your dog from pulling on the harness. It remains comfortable throughout because of the padding in the construction.
Another special thing about this harness is that it concentrates pressure underneath the armpits of the dog when she begins to pull away, bringing her to a safe stop. Basically, this is the ideal dog harness for small breed dogs because of the delicate nature of their sternum and neck region. Doggies, as well their parents, get used to using this harness very quickly.
- Very easy to use for the dog and her owner
- Quick fix for walks even as you train your dog in the long term
- Durable because of the high quality materials used in construction
- Additional padding to make it comfortable
- Some dog owners have reported chafing under the armpits of the dog
The effectiveness of this leash makes it a favorite with most pet owners as evidenced in small dog harness reviews. It is a great fit for little dogs and even works on stubborn doggies without choking them. It’s also a great training tool for strong pullers.
Why You Need A Harness For Small Dogs
Small dogs can seem easy to control compared to the larger breeds. However, how controllable your doggie is depends on her temperament more than her size. You can have a gentle giant or a small tyrant.
If you have a feisty pup with lots of spirit, then a dog harness for small dogs is a necessity for her. She needs the harness not just to be controlled but also to ensure that she is safe.
Here are the five main reasons why you need a harness for your small furry friend:
Training a dog requires a lot of patience and a reliable way to bring her under control when she steps out of line. A harness allows you to have better control of your pooch as you teach her the right behavior and correct her on the wrong ones.
The type of behavior you may want to correct include:
- Chasing after cars or small animals
- Getting into dog fights
- Barking at other people
- Pulling during walks
During training, a harness is much more difficult to slip off compared to a collar. This is an important consideration, especially for dogs that fight off any type of restraint.
If your pooch pulls away during walks, a harness and you constantly having to control her movements are much safer than a collar. When using a harness with your small dog, the pressure from the harness is distributed equally across her chest area, preventing injuries or painful points.
Strong pullers that are controlled from the neck are at risk of neck and jaw-related injuries. On the other hand, strong pullers controlled using back and chest harnesses do not run that risk.
Also, because of the tangling that comes with leashes, a harness is a much safer option. Tangled leashes are a safety hazard to your dog; they can choke on the leash or tangle you in it, cutting you severely. It is harder for the leash to tangle around either of you when you have a harness attached to it.
The harness can provide partial or full-body support to your dog in case of an injury. If your baby hurts a leg but still needs to exercise to regain muscle strength, using a harness is an excellent way to relieve too much pressure on the injured limb.
These are standard harnesses fitted with a handle on the back so that you are able to help your injured doggie when needed. The handle allows you to gently give her a slight lift that takes the pressure off the injured limb without completely lifting her off the ground.
Medical situations that call for the need for a harness include:
- Hip dysplasia
- Trauma and injuries
- Recovery from surgery
Old dogs may also benefit from using a harness to help them during their walks.
The harness helps you keep the dog safe when driving or in a large crowd. With the harness, you can control your dog’s behavior, like keeping it off the road or along the footpath, where it can’t interfere with other people using the route. The harness is secure, especially for dogs that love to lunge at people or other pets.
5. How To Choose The Best Harnesses For Small Dogs
Choosing the best harness should be done with your baby’s needs in mind. When it comes to style, there are three options: front, back, and hybrid clip harnesses.
- Back Clip
This is the most popular style and it is attached to the dog’s back. It is preferred by many doggie parents because it offers the best comfort and has no effect on the neck area.
This collar is excellent for training a dog that fights against any kind of restraints or has the habit of removing her collar. However, it is not ideal for training a strong puller because of its sled dog design.
- Front Clip
The front clip harness is suited to training strong pullers to stop specific behaviors. The harness is attached to the chest area of the dog, so when you pull on the leash, the dog will be forced to turn her head towards the side, stopping her in her tracks.
III. Hybrid Clip
This is a harness that has both the back and front clip option, making it ideal for all purposes.
Having decided on the design, it is now time to check out the factors to consider when looking for the best harness for your baby.
The material used should be soft and comfortable to prevent chafing and other related complications. A good option should also have adequate padding on the straps that go around the chest and stomach to provide a comfortable and snug fit.
To ensure it is comfortable enough, the straps must be adjustable to accommodate the width and height of the dog. If you like to go on hikes with her, make sure the harness is made from quick-dry materials to prevent discomfort in case she gets wet.
Also, ensure the harness is made from sturdy materials that can keep your dog in check at all times. Clips and buckles that are rust proof are ideal, especially if you like to go on adventures with your baby. They should also open and close easily to enable her to wear and remove the harness with ease.
Other additions like waterproofing on the material and machine washing capabilities are also essential.
According to outsidelivingtoday.com, you should not compromise on safety features like reflective strips or a built-in handle. These come in handy when you are out with your poochie at night or if your dog has a pre-existing injury to help her move along comfortably. For even better visibility of your doggie, you can opt for a harness with an LED dog collar.
Measuring your baby is the best way to ensure she ends up with the best harness for her size. The measurements should show her dimensions around the stomach and neck and then using a size chart you can find the correct harness for her.
How To Measure Your Dog For The Best Harness
The biggest mistake doggie parents with small babies make is assuming all small dogs are built alike and their dimensions mirror each other. She may be small but is built like a brick! There are only two measurements to take, so here is how to get them right.
Place the soft tape measure on the base of her neck right where the neck and shoulders meet. Run the tape measure around the neck leaving just enough space to fit two fingers between the tape and the fur of your pooch. That is a snug fit without being too tight to pose a choking hazard.
You need to measure the broadest part of the chest, which is the area right behind her armpits. Wrap the tape around the chest and over the back for an accurate measurement. Use the two-finger rule used above to ensure the fit is snug but not too tight.
Once the measurement bit is done, you need to measure her weight as well. For the correct fit, the sizing chart will use both the dimensions of the chest and neck plus her overall weight to provide you with the right harness.
In the sizing chart, find a harness that measures two inches more than your measurements and checks the weight range of the harness. If the dog’s weight falls within the range, then that is a good fit for your baby.
Here’s a video to help you understand this better:
XX small harnesses fit dogs within the five-pound measurement and with a neck and chest girth of nine inches and 12 inches respectively. The X small size harness fits a dog with a neck girth of nine to 13 inches and chest of 12 to 18 inches. Lastly, the small size harness fits a dog with a neck measuring 12 to 20 inches and a chest measuring 16 to 22 inches.
Never underestimate the fight in a small dog. She needs just as much training as the larger breeds and maybe even keener care because of her small size. The array of harnesses in this review will ensure your pooch is safe, secure, and well-behaved regardless of whichever you choose for her.
For a start, you could start with Frisco Small Breed Soft Vest Dog Harness, which is the best overall on the list, thanks to its unique design, excellent functionality, and aesthetics. As for the rest of the options, it’s up to you to figure out which one suits your needs best because they are special in their own way as well.