Buyer’s Guide

Top 5 Best Harnesses For Small Dogs

best small dog harness

Our dogs are more than pets, they are beloved members of our families. Keeping them as safe as possible is a priority. The standard dog collars of the past are not the best solutions for our pets, as many of us know.

Not only do you run the risk of choking your pet, but collars are also notoriously easy for many dogs to slip out of.

For the safety and comfort of our pets, harnesses are the best idea. So here it is, the Top Five Best Harnesses for our beloved four-legged family members!

The Top Five Picks For Harnesses

Here is a list of the Best Rated dog harnesses available.

  • RUFFWEAR Web Master Harness
  •  Gooby Choke Free Harness
  • Comfort Fit Pet Harness
  • Chai’s Choice Outdoor Adventure Harness
  • Kurgo Tru-Fit Harness

These five harnesses all have excellent reviews, and you should Always consult customer reviews before choosing a harness for your pet. Many times you will find information in reviews that you would not otherwise have.

What Makes These Five So Great?

RUFFWEAR Web Master Harness

The top pick, the RUFFWEAR WebMaster, is particularly well suited to most breeds and sizes of dog. These harnesses are designed for support and feature a built-in “handle” to ensure ease of lifting your smaller pets without causing them injury or discomfort.

They are made with lightweight but durable foam that provides support without compromising your dog’s range of movement while providing superior comfort.

This harness also features five points of adjustment to make a secure fit for your dog a reality. Available in five convenient sizes, this harness will be a perfect fit for any of your beloved pets.

Ruffwear Web Master Harness

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Pros

  • Versatility: Two leash attachments
  • Size Range: Available in size XX-Small to X-Large
  • Style: Padded, dog-friendly design

Cons

  • Car Safety: There is no attachment for car riding

Gooby Choke Free Harness

The runner-up, the Gooby, is similar in looks to many other brands, but the differences in other ways are significant. Many harnesses claim to be “choke-free”, but few actually live up to this claim. The Gooby brand truly does.

Made from 100% Polyester mesh with super soft, synthetic lambskin straps, this harness is machine washable and retains its shape and durability after repeated washings.

The padding for the chest and belly also make it more comfortable for your pet. This harness is available in a variety of bright colors as well as five convenient sizes. It retains a four out of five-star rating with consumers.

Gooby Choke Free Harness

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Pros

  • Versatility: Patent-pending O-ring functionality
  • Comfort: Soft, synthetic lambskin strap
  • Size Range: X-small to X-large

Cons

  • Control: Straps may loosen
  • Grooming: May cause matting in the fur

Comfort Fit Pet Harness

Next, we come to the Comfort Fit Pet Harness with rave reviews across the board from small pet owners. The sturdy vest-style design of this harness keeps even the smallest escape artists from slipping free.

Lightweight and machine washable, this harness is available in three vibrant colors and four sizes, including xx-small, and weighs just 2 ounces.

The special padding makes it a comfortable fit, no matter the size of your pet. This harness has adjustable velcro straps and a quick-release clip and is backed by a Lifetime Guarantee. Your four-legged friends will strut in style in this versatile and highly rated harness.

Comfort Fit Pet Harness

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Pros

  • Versatility: Two leash attachments
  • Size Range: Available in size XX-Small to Medium
  • Lightweight: Only weighs 2oz

Cons

  • Construction: Possible stitch instability

Chai’s Choice Outdoor Adventure

Chai’s Choice Outdoor Adventure harness is a vest style harness that features reflective material, ideal for those nighttime trips outside. The Duraflex buckle and ergonomic design combine beautifully with the zinc-alloy “O” and “D” rings for handy leash attachment.

The nylon mesh webbing is padded across the chest and belly with soft sponge material to help prevent chafing on even the most sensitive skin.

It is also scratch-resistant to keep it looking good no matter how many times they roll around in it. This harness is available in several beautiful colors and five convenient sizes, from x-small to x-large.

It is ideal for training as it limits your pet’s ability to lunge ahead of or fall behind you while you enjoy your walks. Judging by the extremely favorable customer reviews, this harness is a great choice.

Chai's Choice Outdoor Adventure 

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Pros

  • Security: Lightweight Duraflex buckle improves strength
  • Safety: Reflective material for extra safety
  • Size Range: X-Small to X-Large

Cons

  • Maintenance: May need re-adjustment over time

Kurgo Tru-Fit Harness

For everyday use, the Kurgo Tru-Fit equals ease of use and a secure fit. Featuring two leash attachments, this harness is ideal for training or just a relaxing walk anywhere.

The No-pull design actually trains dogs not to pull against the leash by turning them around when they do try to pull.

This harness comes with a “dog seat belt”, making car rides less hazardous for everyone. You will love the stylish design in jet black and the convenience of five size choices from x-small to x-large.

You should make sure you measure your dog’s chest size as the neck-straps are not adjustable, although there are five adjustment points, and you will love the quick-release buckles.

Kurgo Tru-Fit Harness

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Pros

  • Ease: Quick release, sturdy buckles
  • Size Range: X-Small to X-Large
  • Car Rides: Features seat belt attachment for car riding safety

Cons

  • Design: Possible re-adjustment required
  • Style: Some reports of stitching issues

What Are The Benefits Of A Dog Harness?

The benefits of a harness, as opposed to a collar, are fairly obvious. Many dogs are easily able to slip out of collars, with surprisingly little effort.

Also, it is harder to keep a dog in check with a collar, as pulling the leash can choke your dog. No one wants that! Collars are dangerous for our beloved pets and can actually expose them to various hazards. This is not true of harnesses.

Harnesses are specifically designed to fasten and hold around your pet’s midsection and across their chests. The most standard of harness designs generally has a Y-shaped chest piece with straps that wrap around the forelegs, up the sides, and down the back.

The benefits of this style cannot be disregarded. Not only are they designed to be comfortable for your pet, but the design also prevents choking with the arrangement of the straps.

Many are equipped with two fastening points for leashes; mainly one on the “top” or the strip down the back of your dog, but also on the chest piece to prevent excessive pulling by your pet. Harnesses are ideal for virtually any size dog, you simply have to ensure you find one that fits snugly.

How To Shop For A Harness For Your Small Dog

The best way to shop for a harness for your small dog is to do some research first. Do a search to see what kind of harnesses are available. That way you can get ideas of brand names, sizes, and styles, as well as other specs.

Doing research will tell you what materials you can expect to see and how easy or hard they are to put on your dog.

Whether you plan to actually buy one online or at your local pet store, the more information you have, the better off you are.

It will also help you to get an idea of pricing, and enable you to compare prices across many venues from the comfort of your home.

Make sure you measure your dog across the chest and belly before you begin your comparison shopping so you know exactly what size you are looking for. The different sizes will likely have slightly different prices.

Remember, do not get overwhelmed by all the different options, that is another reason for you to search and research.

Once you have some ideas of what material you want and the brand that best suits your needs, you can then do a search for the particular brand you have chosen. This information is invaluable when you actually begin shopping.

If you do not have access to the internet from your home or personal cell phone, you can simply ask at your local pet store. However, you will likely get somewhat biased information from many “storefront” pet shops.

Naturally, they will want you to buy the brands or styles that they have available because that makes them money, which is fine, but it may not be what is best for your pet. Remember, your goal is to find the best possible harness for your small dog, and not all dogs are the same.

Things To Consider

When shopping for a harness for your small dog there are many things to consider that are all very important. For instance, if your dog is very small, you want to make sure that the harness you buy will fit snugly, so they cannot slip out of it.

However, you do not want to buy one that will chafe or otherwise be uncomfortable, or that will impede their movement. For very small dogs mesh, with soft padding, is an ideal choice as they are sufficiently secure and easier to adjust.

You also need to consider the buckles and straps when buying a harness. Generally, very small dogs will not be able to “break out” of their harness, no matter what type of buckles and straps it features.

However, for medium dogs, securing the harness may be more difficult. Soft, adjustable straps with plastic buckles are usually a great choice for smaller breeds, whereas for medium breeds you will want somewhat sturdier straps and buckles.

Another thing to consider is how many leash attachment rings the harness features and where they are located. Your smaller breeds will not pull and tug as much as a larger breed will, so a leash attachment on the chest piece will not be as necessary or as useful.

Even if they do pull and tug quite a bit, it won’t be as hard to control them as it would with a larger breed. So having the extra “O” or “D” ring on the chest is an addition you may not need. Bear in mind that smaller dogs tire more quickly and are less able to handle the extra weight.

Why Should You Look For Dog Harnesses For Small Dogs?

Naturally, if your dog is a smaller breed, you will want to find a harness that will fit snugly without a lot of slack material.

A smaller dog harness, one specifically made for smaller breeds, will ensure that you have less excess material that may chafe your dog’s skin or impede its movements.

While you may be able to adjust a larger breed harness to fit your small breed dog, it will likely still have a lot of slack. You want the harness to fit snugly so that your dog cannot just slip out of it.

Also, many harness brands claim that they are “choke proof”, but that claim may not hold true if the harness is made to fit a much larger breed.

If the harness you buy and use is made for a larger breed than what you have, the chest piece or straps may ride up on your dog and cause them distress. This defeats the whole purpose of buying a choke free harness.

You do not want the harness to slip around on your dog, so buying the right size harness for your dog is extremely important.

Putting an extra-large harness on your very small dog would be like you wearing pants that are too big for your waist.

It will make it more difficult for your dog to walk comfortably and may make them obstinate about walking with the harness on.

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