Many small dogs wear harnesses because they can be safer than traditional collars. Small dogs can slip out of collars easily, and they can injure their necks if they pull or lunge.
There’s a wide selection of harnesses, and different harnesses work best for different kinds of dogs. So, we have reviews of different kinds of popular harnesses to help you find a good fit for your unique dog. We’ll also go over the varieties of harnesses so that you can determine which one your dog needs.
A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites in 2023
|Best Overall||Best Pet Supplies Mesh Dog Harness||
|Best Value||Frisco Small Breed Soft Vest Harness||
|Premium Choice||2 Hounds No Pull Nylon Dog Harness||
|Best for Puppies||SlowTon Dog Harness with Seat Belt||
|Ultra Paws One Pulling Dog Harness||
The 10 Best Harnesses for Small Dogs
1. Best Pet Supplies Voyager Black Trim Harness – Best Overall
The Best Pet Supplies Voyager Black Trim Mesh Dog Harness is an extremely comfortable harness for small dogs, and it’s very easy for dog owners to use. It has a breathable mesh chest piece that keeps dogs cool, even in warmer summer months.
The sides of the vest are wide and soft to prevent chafing and digging into the skin. It also has two D-rings on the back for extra security if your dog happens to pull or lunge. Since this harness is a step-in harness, using it is very straightforward, and you don’t have to worry about complicated straps to put around a particularly wriggly pup.
This harness is best for adult dogs because it doesn’t have any adjustable straps, so it won’t grow with a puppy. We still consider this harness to be the best overall harness for small dogs because it’s super comfortable, convenient to use, and has a very safe design.
2. Frisco Small Breed Soft Vest Clip Dog Harness – Best Value
|Harness Type:||Back clip|
This harness is specifically designed for small dog breeds. It’s also one of the most affordable options you can find, making it the best harness for small dogs for the money you pay.
The step-in design, fast-release buckle, and Velcro strap make the harness very easy to put on and take off. It also uses breathable mesh and has padding all around, so it’s very comfy for dogs to wear.
Overall, this is a great harness, but we do wish to see some improvements. First, the D-rings are rather thick, so attaching a leash with a small clip to both rings can be difficult. The Velcro strap also doesn’t last as long as other vest harnesses, so you might have to switch it out sooner than anticipated.
3. 2 Hounds Design Freedom No Pull Harness – Premium Choice
|Harness Type:||Front clip, back clip, no pull|
This premium harness is worth its price because it’s durable and long-lasting. It’s an especially great option for dogs that get overheated easily and have a tendency to pull. It has one ring located on the back and another on the front. The back ring is positioned to help dogs walk in a straight line, and the front ring can help redirect your dog whenever it pulls or lunges.
Since the harness has thin straps, it doesn’t trap any heat. The strap that wraps around dogs has a soft velvet lining to prevent chafing. However, if it isn’t sized correctly, the front straps can dig into your dog’s skin and cause irritation. Fortunately, it has adjustable straps for the front and girth of the chest so that it can grow with your puppy. Therefore, it’s an excellent option for puppies receiving leash training.
To put on the harness, you have to guide your dog’s head through the front loop. Some dogs and puppies are uncomfortable and resistant to this, so it can take extra time and training to get them used to it.
4. SlowTon Car Safety Harness with Seat Belt– Best for Puppies
|Harness Type:||Car safety|
Puppies can be bundles of energy, so safety is especially important when walking with them on a leash. The SlowTon Car Safety Dog Harness with Seat Belt is a very safe option for puppies. It has a lightweight mesh chest piece and two adjustable straps so that it can expand as your puppy grows.
The harness has two D-rings spaced out on the back so you can get extra control over the walk by using a two-point leash to clip onto both rings.
It also comes with a seatbelt attachment, so your puppy can enjoy safe car rides without sliding around and trying to roam inside the car. The seatbelt uses durable elastic to keep puppies secure when the vehicle makes a sharp turn or bounces on bumpy roads.
If you like to travel or are frequently on the road, this harness can help immensely with having your puppy accompany you without compromising safety. However, the harness isn’t designed for lunging and chronic pulling, so it’s not the best option for dog owners primarily looking for harnesses for leash training.
5. Ultra Paws One Adjustable Pulling Dog Harness
|Harness Type:||Back clip, no pull|
This harness is one of the best options for customized fitting around dogs. The neck, back, chest, girth, and belly areas are all adjustable so that it perfectly fits around your dog’s unique body shape. The belly strap also prevents dogs from backing out of the harness, so it’s extra secure for escape artists.
The floating O-ring on the back of the harness lessens stress when dogs pull. The straps also have a fleece lining for added comfort. However, the harness has a unique design and has a lot of straps, so it can be a bit of a challenge learning how to put it on dogs.
6. Frisco Monochromatic Dog Harness
The Frisco Monochromatic Dog Harness is a very comfortable and cozy harness. It has a mesh chest piece that’s also padded. The harness also has adjustable straps for a snug feel. The back of the harness has a handle, so you can easily redirect your dog and prevent further lunging.
This harness also has a patch on the inside where dog owners can fill out contact information in case their dog runs away or gets lost. It’s also easy to put on and doesn’t use any Velcro, so it lasts for a relatively long time.
Since both the front and back of the harnesses are mesh, your dog can feel a little stifled with the amount of fabric wrapped around it. It can also trap some heat, so it may not be the best for brachycephalic dog breeds, like Pugs, that can experience significant breathing issues if overheated.
7. PetSafe Easy Walk Dog Harness
|Harness Type:||No pull, front clip|
This harness is a particularly great option for dogs that pull. It has a front loop that redirects your dog whenever it tries to pull to get ahead. It also has a martingale loop that prevents twisting and four different areas where you can adjust the size in order to create a secure fit for your dog.
The harness has a simple design, so putting it on your dog is a very straightforward process. However, since the straps don’t have a lot of padding, they can dig into your dog’s skin if it’s not fitted properly.
Another added benefit is that the straps are waterproof, so your dog can technically go swimming while wearing the harness. However, many dog owners have reported that it wears down pretty quickly, so the best way to make this harness last is only to use it for leash training and leisurely walks.
8. Puppia Vest Polyester Step-In Back Clip Dog Harness
|Harness Type:||Back clip|
The Puppia Vest Polyester Step In Back Clip Dog Harness is one of the easiest harnesses to put on your dog. It has a step-in design with a Velcro strap. It’s further reinforced with a buckle and two D-rings that evenly distribute pressure if a dog pulls.
The vest is made of high-quality soft fabric and mesh to make it very breathable and comfortable for dogs to wear. This choice in material prevents chafing and allows dogs to wear it without overheating in hot weather.
Since this mesh vest isn’t very adjustable, it’s best for adult dogs that have stopped growing. Although it provides a secure fit for puppies, it’ll probably not grow with them.
9. Frisco Outdoor Lightweight Ripstop Nylon Dog Harness
This harness is a great option for outdoor use. It’s very durable and has a breathable mesh fabric that’s comfortable for long walks and nature hikes. The outer layer of the straps has reflective material on it so that your dog will be visible in low-light and dark conditions.
The straps are also padded for extra comfort. They’re adjustable around the chest and stomach, so it easily fits most dogs. There’s a ring on the front and back, so it can also be used as a no-pull harness.
Despite being marketed as an outdoor harness, it’s not the best option for swimming. The padding absorbs water, so your dog can’t continue to wear it if it gets soaked or submerged in water.
10. EzyDog Quick Fit Dog Harness
This harness has a simple design with a single buckle that makes it easy to put on and take off of dogs. It also has a loop to hold ID tags, so it can completely replace collars.
The material also prevents pinching and chafing. It’s reflective, so your dog is easily visible during nighttime walks. The metal ring is attached to a loop that distributes weight throughout the entire harness to reduce neck straining.
If you have a teething puppy or heavy chewer, this harness may not be the best option for your dog. It’s easily chewable and won’t last very long against dogs chomping down on them.
Buyer’s Guide: Selecting the Best Small Dog Harness
Back clip harnesses are the most common and popular type of harness. You attach the leash to the back of this type of harness. Some harnesses have one ring, while others have two D-rings for added security.
Front-Clip/No Pull Harness
A front-clip harness is often used to train dogs not to pull on the leash. The leash attaches to the front chest, and when dogs pull, it’ll automatically redirect their positioning to face the walker.
It’s essential to make sure that a front-clip harness fits properly. If the harness is too loose, it won’t effectively turn the dog’s position to face the walker whenever it pulls. If the harness is too tight, it’ll cause chafing and a lot of discomfort.
A dual-clip harness has a ring on both the back and front. Dog owners can switch from clipping the leash to the front to the back as the dog learns to stop pulling on a leash. You can also clip a leash on both rings for added control. However, this option is often reserved for particularly aggressive pullers and lungers.
A step-in harness is one of the easiest harnesses to put on a dog. They usually have two very obvious holes that your dog’s legs have to step into. Once the dog steps into the leg holes, you secure the harness by either using Velcro straps or snapping the buckles.
Harnesses are either designed with straps or as a vest. There are also some hybrid options where the main part of the harness is a vest, and it’s secured with adjustable straps.
Straps are a very lightweight and minimal option. Dogs may enjoy straps over vests because vests can feel like restrictive dog clothing. However, it can also cause pinching and chafing. So, make sure to adjust the harness to the right fit. You should be able to slip two fingers under the straps while your dog is wearing the harness. If you can’t, it’s too tight. If there’s too much room, then it’s too loose.
Vests are often more comfortable because they’re padded and won’t cause chafing. Most vest harnesses use breathable mesh for hot weather, and the same vests can also provide insulation for colder months.
Most vest harnesses stay secure with Velcro. Velcro can wear down relatively quickly, so you might be switching out vest harnesses more frequently than you’d like. Although you can make minimal adjustments to the size of the harness by repositioning the Velcro, it’s not as adjustable as strap harnesses. This can also cause irritation if the rough part of the Velcro scraps across the skin.
Out of all our reviews, we believe that the best harness is the Best Pet Supplies Voyager Black Trim Mesh Dog Harness because it’s very comfortable and safely distributes any leash tension throughout the whole harness. We also like the 2 Hounds Design Freedom No Pull Nylon Harness. It may be more expensive, but it’s great for leash training and helps prevent pulling.
Finding a good harness may take some time, but it’s worth it because a good fit will ensure many safe and fun walks for you and your tiny companion.
Featured Image Credit: Pixabay