This is our review of the best harness for small dogs in 2021.
Small dogs can be just as hard to handle as larger ones when walking, which is why a harness is a great option. Not only does it protect your pooch from potential neck injuries, but it also gives you more control and is safer.
In this article, we will be reviewing which is the best small dog harness from these brands:
We will also cover:
- Do small dogs really need a harness
- Is a dog harness better than a collar?
- What to look for when choosing a harness for a little dog
- Types of small dog harness
- Fitting a harness
Our Best Harnesses for Small Dogs
We have compiled a choice of the best dog harnesses available online right now from a variety of pet brands, so after reading the reviews, you can make an informed decision on which is the right one for your pooch.
Julius K9 began by producing dog harnesses for military police and service dogs and their Powerharness is one of the most popular used by dog owners in the UK.
We love how tough it is; the one-click system means it can be popped on in seconds and it doesn’t restrict your dog’s movement.
There is a sturdy handle atop the harness for extra control; the interchangeable patches mean you can swap the Julius K9 logo for either your dog’s name or let people know your dog’s temperament. This small dog harness is available in no less than eight sizes and several colours, so you are sure to find the perfect one for your little dog.
- There is no front clip; however, you can buy the chest strap with front dog leash attachment separately.
There is a common misconception that only large dogs need no-pull harnesses, but the truth is that a little dog is just as susceptible to collar related injuries when pulling; this harness spreads the pressure across the dog’s body, reducing the chance of damage to the trachea.
Made of durable nylon and padded for comfort, the breathable air mesh ensures your pup stays cool whatever the weather and the four adjustable straps ensure a secure and comfortable fit. The quick snap adjustable buckles make it really easy to use.
- Some reviews mention it’s fiddly to adjust
The PetSafe Easy Walk Dog Harness is ideal for small dog owners who have a puller. It fits across the chest, keeping pressure away from the neck area, the quick release buckles make it easy to put on and take off and there is even a contrasting strap, so you know you have it the right way.
The front lead attachment and martingale loop mean your pup is steered sideways as they forge ahead, which reduces pulling and teaches your furry friend to walk nicely whilst the neoprene padding prevents chafing. It comes with a 2-year manufacturers warranty and is well priced for most budgets.
- Some customers have mentioned it’s a bit bulky for toy dogs.
This is one of our favourite harnesses for small dogs, ideal for colder months. It’s not only a harness but a cosy winter jacket too. The stylish coat is comfortable with a soft fleece lining which keeps the chill out, there is a zip on the back, making it easy to put on and the fabric flap means your pup’s hair or skin won’t get caught. The adjustable built-in harness is a great feature and is well made.
It can be popped in the washing machine, so muddy walks are no problem; sizes are on the small side, though, so you will need to measure your pup before ordering and go for the larger size if your furbaby is in between sizes.
- Not a no-pull harness
The Puppia Harness for small breeds gets amazing reviews and is a bestseller for a reason. The lightweight mesh is extremely comfortable and it won’t chafe or irritate the skin of a tiny pup. It’s also easy to clean, so it is ideal for muddy winter walks.
The design distributes pulling pressure across the chest area instead of the neck and its four adjustable straps result in a snug and comfortable fit. This is one of the best harnesses for small pups and comes in a host of colours to suit every taste, so next time you visit the dog park, your furbaby fashionista will be stepping out in style.
- It doesn’t address pulling
Lots of harnesses for small dogs can be used in a car, but this one is crash-tested for dogs up to 34kg following child car seat standards, as well as functioning as an in-car safety system it can be used as a regular harness for everyday walks too. There is a front clip for if your dog pulls.
It is fully adjustable, it can be customised for all shapes and sizes of dog and it comes with a dog seat belt tether that is compatible with just about any vehicle. Like all Kurgo harnesses, it comes with a lifetime warranty against defects.
The X-small size is suitable for dogs from 2.2 – 4.5 kg with a chest circumference of 11.5 to 17.5 inches.
- May be a little pricey for some budgets
Looking for both function and fashion in a pet harness? This stylish option is just the thing and it also comes with a matching lead. Made from soft padded machine washable fabric, it has a lightweight mesh lining and a robust metal D-ring loop which you can attach the lead to for safety.
The chest plate doesn’t put any pressure on your dog’s neck and the velcro at the girth and neck guarantees a perfect fit. It comes in several colours and is such a good price you could pop a couple in your basket for a bit of variety.
- Not a well-known brand
Do Small Breeds Need Dog Harnesses?
Although some owners of tiny dogs still use a collar and lead for walkies many are now choosing dog harnesses instead. Why?
They are a fantastic training tool for young puppies. Harnesses provide you with much more control over pups that get overexcited and get tangled around your legs, jump up or start biting the lead!
Another benefit to using a harness is that many have a handle on the back. This allows you to lift your pooch in dangerous situations or help them over stiles and fences when dog walking in the countryside. If you have an older dog, a handle is ideal for helping them get in and out of the car or up steps.
Why is a Harness Better than a Standard Dog Collar?
It isn’t only big dogs that pull and a small dog can suffer serious injury or chronic health issues from the pressure placed on their throat, especially their trachea which connects the throat to the lungs. A harness puts no pressure on the delicate area reduces strain and stress for your dog. They also support the chest, shoulders and neck area.
What to Look for in the Best Dog Harnesses for Tiny Pups
It’s not easy to choose the best dog harness; let’s be honest, there are so many small dog harnesses it’s enough to make your head spin. In this section, we take a look at some of the things to consider when picking the perfect one for your bite-sized pooch.
Something to bear in mind is that there isn’t a one size fits all option for dog harnesses and reading the reviews online, fit is one of the main negative feedback issues. Always take precise measurements before ordering online, as you need a harness correctly sized to fit comfortably without restricting your dog’s movement.
You need to decide how much you are willing to spend as there is a huge range of prices when it comes to pet supplies and harnesses are no different, especially if you go for a designer brand. There’s no point spending a fortune on a puppy harness as it’s at risk of being chewed and they will soon outgrow it. A harness for an adult dog will last longer and here investing more initially may save you money in the long run.
An adjustable harness is a must; you need the harnesses to be tight enough so Fido can’t escape or get caught up in branches etc. but not so tight that it rubs or causes discomfort, be aware that some of the smaller harnesses don’t have as many adjustment points like the ones for bigger dogs, so if you have a pooch who is a bit portly or has a thick neck get the tape measure out before you buy.
Many small dogs have delicate skin, so a soft padding material for a harness is an absolute must, especially if they are going to be wearing the harness for long periods, for example, if you have an active dog that enjoys hiking. Padding around the chest and belly straps will provide extra comfort whilst preventing chafing and sores, which can occur with some basic harnesses.
A Front Clip
This isn’t essential, but if your pooch pulls like a freight train, it might be a good idea. They offer improved steering and can help with pulling and to be honest, a lot of the harnesses available these days are dual clip, so you might as well choose one with this feature in case you ever need it.
Petite dogs can be difficult to see even during the daytime, so for dog walkers who go out in the early winter mornings or evenings, a reflective harness is a must; not only will Fido be more visible to road users it will help you find them should the worse happen and they run off for some reason.
Different Types of Harnesses for Small Dogs
Step-in Dog Harnesses
These are the easiest type of small dog harnesses to fit; as the name implies, your furry friend just needs to step into them. Once fastened, you can adjust the straps to fit correctly, this may take a while initially, but you won’t need to do it again, as you can then take it off and on without the need to alter the fit.
Unsurprisingly, an over-head harness is placed over the dog’s head, which some dogs are not keen on. These harnesses usually have more cushioning than the step-in versions. Take a treat and place it in your hand and pass your hand through the hole and hopefully your pet will follow.
No Pull Harnesses
Even smaller dogs can sometimes be hard to handle on walks which is where a no pulling dog harness can help; these have a leash attachment on the front of the harness, which works by steering the dog towards you. If your dog suddenly pulls, it could seriously damage its neck in a standard collar.
Wrap or Vest Harnesses
These are very popular with small animal parents. You can find them in a huge range of designs and colours and maybe even pick up a matching dog lead. They keep your dog comfortable and work well for really tiny dogs who may feel more secure in a vest harness.
Fitting Your Puppy for a Harness – Size Matters!
So, let’s have a look at how to fit a dog harness? The size will depend on the breed and shape of your pup. If you own a teeny tiny pup such as a Pomeranian or Chihuahua, you’ll need an Extra small size, similar to a puppy harnesses, for Larger small breeds such as Shih Tzu or Boston Terrier will probably need the next size up.
Most manufacturers have their own sizing guides, but going by the reviews, these aren’t always correct, so it’s important to measure your dog before ordering a harness online!
- Measure around your dog’s chest at the widest part; this is usually just behind the front legs.
- Bring the tape measure up and over your dog’s back; this is the chest circumference.
- Next, measure the dog’s neck; this isn’t always needed, but if it’s an overhead harness, it’s a good idea to make sure it will go over easily.
- If you are choosing a 2-in-1 harness and jacket, measure the length of the back too.
This video by Ezydog shows how to measure a dog for a harness.
Some manufacturers use the dog’s weight as a sizing guide, but we don’t recommend using this as an accurate sizing tool; some dogs have deep chests, some are heavy but have a thin neck, others are long and lean. If you do want to weigh your pup, just stand on the bathroom scales to gauge your own weight, then do it again with your pup in your arms and subtract the difference.
Do I measure my dog’s chest or neck for a harness?
The chest is the main measurement; however, if it’s an overhead harness, it’s a good idea to measure the neck too.
What’s the best harness for little dogs?
It depends on what you need; the rabbitgoo and Julius K9 harnesses are popular with owners of little dogs.
How do I stop my Frenchie Pulling?
You will need to go back to the basics of leash training to teach them to walk nicely, but an anti-pulling harness may help curb the urge to pull you off your feet.
Are harnesses good for small dogs?
Harnesses are a lot better for small dogs than collars which have been proven to cause neck injuries and eye issues in smaller breeds.
Final Thoughts and Top Pick
Hopefully, this guide and top tips to the best small dog harnesses has helped when it comes to shopping for the best pet harness for your canine companion, with such a vast range of options to choose from, whether you have nervous dogs an active dog or one that pulls you are guaranteed to find one that suits your requirements.
We love the Julius K9 Powerharness and going by the reviews, many dog walkers agree; it’s easy to use, protects your dog’s neck and is by far one of the best dog harnesses for small dogs.
What did you think of our small dog harness choices? Are there any we’ve missed? We love hearing from our readers, so feel free to connect on our social media channels and show us what small harness you have.