Searching for the best dog harness for your small dog, are you? First off, good on you for being specific in your search and not too general, as dog harnesses for small dogs differ than dog harnesses for regular sized dogs, given the difference in physical needs between the two.
Also, good on you for choosing to use a harness on your small dog instead of a collar, for as we'll be explaining later on in this article there are tons of benefits associated with going down this route.
Before we get into all of that, though, have a look at the following list that will let you in on our top recommendations when it comes to small dog harnesses for small sized dogs.
Our List Of The Best Dog Harnesses For Small Dogs - (Updated List For 2023)
Top Pick: Ruffwear Front Range All-Day Adventure Harness for Dogs
Pick #2: Kurgo Tru-Fit Easy Walk Dog Harness
Pick #3: Puppia Soft Dog Harness
Pick #4: PUPTECK Soft Mesh Dog Harness
Pick #5: The Original EcoBark Maximum Comfort & Control Dog Harness
*Note: The links in the table above, as well as several links in the remainder of the article below, will take you to over to Amazon.com or Chewy.com where you can find out more information about the products, such as current prices and customer reviews.
Why Should I Look For Dog Harnesses For Small Dogs?
Now, why exactly should you be looking for a dog harness for your small sized dog? What are the benefits of using this piece of equipment on your small furry buddy in comparison to other equipment such as leashes, for example?
The following shortlist will let you in on some of the most important benefits that come with putting a dog harness around your small dog.
Effectiveness: One of the most important reasons as to why you should be getting a harness for your small dog and not a collar is because small sized dogs that also have small heads find it incredibly easy to slip out of a collar they have around their neck.
You'll often find it hard enough to find a collar that has a size suitable for your small dog's measurements, and even then you're not guaranteed that they won't manage to slip out of it somehow.
Not to mention the fact that when small dogs do manage to slip out of their collars, it doesn't just end there, they manage to get tangled up and sometimes enter into panic mode.
Now I don't know about you, but when my dog enters into panic mode I tend to do the same because there's just so much barking and movement going on, not to mention their anxiety levels go through the roof, so I'd much rather avoid all of that and just use a harness on them.
No Physical Harm: Another crucial benefit that harnesses offer small sized dogs over collars is the minimizing of any possible physical harm.
When you have a collar wrapped around your small dog's neck area and they decide they want to go somewhere where you don't want them to, they push forward and you pull back in order to stop them, can you imagine what kind of impact that has on a small dog's neck?
The impact is bad on medium to large sized dogs as is, so you can only begin to imagine how amplified this negative impact is on a small dog's neck and how the risk of injury is multiple times higher.
So, in order to minimize all of that risk and make sure it's almost non existent, wrapping a harness around your small dog's body and controlling their movement that way is much safer.
If they decide they want to chase after something or someone and you decide against that, the effect of you pulling and stopping them is diffused across multiple points around their body and the risk of physical injury is minimized.
Can the same be said when your dog decides to chase after something or someone, you pull in order to stop them and the entire emphasis of the pull is focused on their neck area?
Of course not, and the risk of injury in this case is very high, especially when dealing with small dogs that are this fragile.
Proper Control: Another very important benefit to harnesses, especially when we're talking about small sized dogs, is the much added control you get over your pup - one you don't really feel you have if using a collar on them.
This added control comes in very handy especially with small dogs, many of which aren't exactly small breed dogs per se but are young and growing puppies that have this "discovery" instinct in them and want to chase after anything and everything they come across in the outdoors.
So, a proper harness attached on little Fido will ensure their safety by allowing you to prevent them from going anywhere they're not supposed to go, and anywhere they may get in harm's way.
Visibility: A very important benefit that harnesses offer your small sized dogs is added visibility, thanks to the material that smart manufacturers make use of nowadays.
Can you even begin to imagine the trouble your little fella/gal can get in when you're walking them around the neighborhood in a packed street and they're not really visible?
For all we know, they may get stepped on by someone who hadn't noticed they're there, they may get hit by a biker, they may even get hit by a car if they slightly wander off the sidewalk and onto the street, etc ..
All nightmare scenarios no small dog owner wants to ever imagine, let alone experience.
Breathing Problems: Many dog breeds out there experience breathing problems and difficulties, some because of physical deformities due to bad breeding practices or just good old genetics playing its part, and others because of health problems they grow to experience in their lifetimes.
If your dog has any breathing difficulties whatsoever, the last thing you'll want to do is have a collar wrapped around their neck so you can stay in control of their movements, as that will only make their breathing problem worse and may pose significant health risks as well.
Instead, a harness wrapped around their body poses no health risk to these dogs whatsoever, as it doesn't worsen their breathing problems at all.
Warmth: Not only do harnesses do a great job in helping you keep control over your small dog's movements at all times, they also help keep them warm, especially if the harness was made from high quality material.
So, if you live in an area where it tends to get cold most of the times, then making use of a harness instead of a collar is definitely going to help keep your small dog warm and cozy.
Even if only to some extent, it's still a more win-win situation than not benefiting from this advantage at all and just putting a collar around their neck.
What Criteria Sets Apart The Best Harness For Small Dogs From The Rest?
Now that we've covered the reasons you should consider using a harness on your small dog instead of something else such as a collar, let's have a look at some of the most important criteria you should be searching for in a harness that's perfectly compatible with small sized dogs.
Proper Fit: Possibly the most important criteria you should make sure of before you look into anything else is proper size and fit, in a way that's not too tight yet also not too loose.
The last thing you want to do is wrap a harness around your small dog that's too tight on their body because they'll immediately feel uncomfortable and it will harm them, and you definitely don't want to get a harness that's a bit too loose on them because then they'll be able to slip their way out of it the same way they're able to with a collar.
So, before you pick up any harness for your little furry buddy, always check if there's a proper fit for your dog by taking a look at the manufacturer's size chart and seeing if your dog's measurements match with those provided by the manufacturer in their chart for the different size options available.
Keep in mind that one manufacturer's size ranges may significantly differ from another manufacturer's size ranges, so always compare measurements you take for your small dog to whatever size chart the manufacturer of the harness you want to buy supplies you with.
This way, you'll greatly minimize chances of sizing conflicts, you having to return the product and any complications that may arise because of that.
Comfortable & High Quality Material: Another very important criteria that any harness for your small dog must meet is having been manufactured from high quality material that feels comfortable for them to wear, even if they still have it on for prolonged periods of time.
Many harnesses out there will begin to make your dog's skin itch and feel uncomfortable after barely any time passes, because of the low quality material they were made from.
The most comfortable harnesses for small dogs will almost always be made from soft material, as are most pet equipment that are designed for comfort.
Safety Features: Because we're talking about tiny dogs here, any harness you have them wear should have minimal safety features to it.
One of the most important safety features you should make sure is included in any harness you get for your small fella/gal is that they have reflective material as part of their design.
When we take our small dogs outside the house for something like a walk where tons and tons of people are around (be that pedestrians walking on the street, people riding their bikes or people driving their cars), small dogs can often be very hard to spot in crowded areas, and this poses a very high safety risk to them.