How to Choose Harness for Small Dogs


As a small dog owner, one of the most important decisions you’ll make is selecting the right harness. A harness is not just a tool for walking your dog; it’s a crucial component for their safety and comfort. With so many options on the market, it can be overwhelming to choose the perfect one. Here’s a simple guide to help you pick the best harness for your small dog.

1. Understand the Importance of a Harness

Firstly, let’s talk about why choosing the right harness is vital. For small dogs, a harness is often a better choice than a collar. It distributes pressure more evenly across their body, reducing the risk of injury to their delicate necks. The harness should provide control during walks while ensuring your dog is comfortable.

2. Know Your Dog’s Size

Before you start shopping, you need to know your dog’s size. Measure your dog’s chest and neck. For small dogs, even a slight difference in size can mean a different harness size. Make sure your measurements are accurate to ensure a snug fit.

3. Choose the Right Type

There are various types of harnesses, including back-clip, front-clip, and step-in harnesses. Back-clip harnesses are suitable for well-behaved walkers, while front-clip harnesses offer more control for dogs that tend to pull. Step-in harnesses are great for dogs who dislike having harnesses pulled over their head.

4. Consider the Material

The material of the harness is crucial for your dog’s comfort. Look for lightweight, breathable fabrics, especially if you live in a warmer climate. For cooler climates, a slightly heavier material might provide some warmth. Additionally, the material should be durable and easy to clean.

5. Check for Adjustability

Adjustability is key for a growing dog or to ensure a perfect fit. A good harness should have adjustable straps to customize the fit around your dog’s body. This is especially important for small dogs, as a too-loose harness can mean they could wriggle free.

6. Look for Comfort Features

Comfort is paramount. Look for harnesses with padding to prevent rubbing and chafing, especially around the chest and back areas. A comfortable dog is a happy dog, especially during long walks.

7. Reflective Elements for Safety

If you walk your dog early in the morning or late at

night, reflective elements are a must. A harness with reflective strips or stitching can make your dog more visible to motorists, providing an extra layer of safety during walks.

8. Easy to Put On and Take Off

You don’t want to struggle every time you’re getting your dog ready for a walk. Choose a harness that is easy to put on and take off. This is particularly important for small dogs, who can be squirmy or sensitive to being handled.

9. Check the Reviews

Before making a purchase, check the reviews. Other pet owners’ experiences can be invaluable in determining the durability, fit, and overall quality of the harness. Look for reviews from owners of dogs similar in size to yours.

10. Think About Style

While functionality is key, there’s no harm in choosing a harness that looks good! Harnesses come in various colors and patterns, so you can pick one that suits your dog’s personality.

11. Test It Out

After purchasing, it’s important to test out the harness. Put the harness on your dog and observe their reaction. Ensure it’s comfortable, doesn’t restrict their movement, and they cannot escape from it.

12. Observe and Adjust

Finally, observe how your dog behaves while wearing the harness and make any necessary adjustments. The harness shouldn’t be too tight or too loose. You should be able to fit two fingers under the straps.


Choosing the right harness for your small dog is crucial for their safety, comfort, and your peace of mind. By understanding the importance of a good harness, knowing your dog’s size, and considering factors like material, comfort, safety, and ease of use, you can find the perfect harness for your furry friend. Remember, every dog is unique, and what works for one may not work for another. Take your time, do your research, and your dog will thank you for it!

Do you have tips or experiences to share about choosing a harness for small dogs? We’d love to hear from you in the comments below! Your insights could help other pet owners make informed decisions for their beloved companions.


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