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How to Choose the Best Dog Harness for a Puppy

Finding the best dog harness or collar for a puppy can be a considerable challenge, but it’s also a critical part of getting off on the right foot with your new pet. A good puppy harness will ensure that your dog stays safe and healthy. It should be comfortable enough to not annoy or distract your puppy from learning new commands or tricks. 

But how do you know which is the best dog harness for puppies? Instead of grabbing the first puppy harness you find, it’s essential to educate yourself on what to look for - and we’ve got you covered right here. In this article, we’ll let you in on all the details and features to look for our search for the best dog harness for puppies

What Kind of Harness Should You Use for a Puppy?

Selecting the right harness design is the first thing you should pay attention to when choosing a puppy harness. There are several different styles to choose from, like step-in harnesses, front-, back-, and dual-clip harnesses, and harnesses designed for sports and agility training. Because your new puppy is learning how to wear a harness, pay special attention to the leash clip location: 

  • Front-clip dog harnesses, also called no-pull harnesses, are a great option, especially if your pup is leash reactive. 
  • Back-clip dog harnesses are the conventional style you can find anywhere. This style is suitable for puppies and adult dogs that are leash trained and are comfortable walking with you. 
  • Dual-clip dog harnesses are the best option for your puppy’s first harness. It has a front-clip option for leash training and a back-clip for when your dog is more accustomed to walking with you. 

Features to Look for in a Good Puppy Harness

The style of dog harness for a growing puppy isn’t the only thing you need to pay attention to while hunting for the perfect harness. There are several features that you should keep an eye out for if you want to get the best puppy harness possible. Here’s what to look for: 

  • Adjustability. Getting the right size is the first step to getting a safe and comfortable harness, but there should also be several ways to adjust it. This will ensure that you get the best fit for your puppy. Plus, an adjustable puppy harness will grow with your pup until it’s time to get a larger size. 
  • Breathability. Breathable materials will be much more comfortable for your puppy and will prevent sweating, overheating, and fur tangling. 
  • Convenience. The best dog harness for puppy training will be convenient to put on and take off your dog. It shouldn’t take much time, and it should be comfortable once put on. 
  • Softness. While your puppy is still growing, she may need a bit of extra padding on the harness. This will protect her delicate body and provide extra comfort for your daily walks and training sessions. 
  • Safety. Look for safety features like reflective strips and secure leash clips to ensure your puppy is safe, even on nighttime walks. 
  • Handle. Many small puppy harnesses feature an easy-to-use handle at the top, giving you more control over your dog’s movements. Additionally, it allows you to lift your dog as needed in case of emergency (like an unfriendly dog approaching) or for more mobility, like helping your puppy on stairs or getting into your car. 

Measure Your Puppy Correctly

No matter what type of harness you select or its features, the first thing to do is buy a puppy harness in the correct size. An incorrectly sized harness won’t be as safe, secure, or comfortable for your furry friend. Instead of just relying on breed or previous sizes, you should take accurate measurements of different areas of your dog’s body. Here’s how to do it: 

  • Measure your puppy’s neck. Take a flexible measuring tape and measure the circumference of the lowest and widest part of the neck. The harness will sit lower than a traditional collar. 
  • Measure your puppy’s chest. Wrap your measuring tape around the widest part of your dog’s body, just behind the dog’s front legs, in the “armpit” area. 
  • Measure your puppy’s length. Take your measuring tape along your dog’s back, from just behind the front legs to just behind the rear legs. 

Once all three measurements are written down, compare those numbers to those in the harness’s size chart and select the best size. This is the best way to get the most accurate size for your puppy dog harness

Here are a few extra tips to make sure you measure accurately and choose the best size: 

  1. Use a soft, flexible measuring tape. If you don’t have one, you can use a piece of yarn, string, or ribbon and a ruler instead. 
  2. Use the “two-finger” method to check the harness size. Slip two fingers underneath the harness at different points. If it is too tight on your fingers, loosen the straps a bit. If it is too loose, tighten them. 
  3. To double-check the length of your dog, take a towel and wrap it around your dog’s body the way a harness would fit. Then, measure the towel or piece of cloth to double-check the length. 
  4. If your puppy’s measurements fall between two harness sizes, choose the larger size. 

Get the Perfect Puppy Harness from Pet & Cuddle!

Finding the ideal collar or harness for a puppy can be challenging, but if you follow the above tips, you’ll be able to get the right accessory for your little pup. As long as you pay attention to features that emphasize safety and comfort, as well as the correct sizing, you shouldn’t have any problem getting the best puppy harness for small dogs

For the best collection of good puppy harnesses, Pet & Cuddle has you covered. Each of our pet accessories is designed by dog experts, so there’s always a focus on keeping you and your puppy safe and comfortable on your daily walks together. Our puppy harnesses for small dogs have soft, breathable fabrics, heavy-duty leash clips, and several ways to adjust so you get that perfect fit. These features ensure that you get the most out of your puppy harness, so you and Fido can enjoy walking, running, and training together! 

Ready to experience the Pet & Cuddle difference? Check out our high-quality puppy harnesses!

Common Questions About Using a Dog Harness for a Puppy

Have a few questions about finding and using the perfect puppy dog harness? Keep reading below for some of the most frequently asked questions about puppy harnesses from new pet parents like you! 

When should you use a puppy harness?

Harnesses are an excellent tool for new puppies learning to navigate the world. A puppy harness should be used when walking in high-traffic areas or places where you need extra control over your pup. A good harness for puppies will also help your dog learn how not to pull on its leash and can help train leash-reactive puppies.

At what age can puppies start wearing a harness?

You can start training your puppy to wear a harness around eight weeks old. 

Should puppies walk in a harness or collar?

Collars are great for all-day wear at home, but they’re not the best option for leash training or walking. If your puppy pulls on its leash while wearing just a collar, pressure is isolated on the neck and throat, which could lead to severe damage. However, a correctly adjusted dog harness will spread that pressure around a larger portion of the dog’s body and won’t cause any injury. Plus, it’s more difficult for four-legged escape artists to slip out of a harness than a collar.  

Are collars bad for puppies?

Collars are not harmful to puppies as a daily accessory that holds their ID tag, but they’re not appropriate for walking, running, or leash training. They’re much easier to slip out of and can put your puppy at risk. They can also lead to injury of the back or throat. A high-quality harness for puppies that is adjusted correctly will be much safer. 

Can you leave the puppy’s harness on all the time?

It’s not a good idea to leave your puppy’s harness on at all times, even if it’s good quality and comfortable. Harnesses should really only be worn when needed, like for walks, runs, or training. You should remove it as soon as the activity is over to prevent fur tangling, skin infections, and injury. 

Can puppies sleep with a harness on?

If you must leave the harness on your puppy for a night, this probably won’t be a problem. However, leaving your puppy’s harness on overnight should not become a habit. Your pup needs rest from wearing a harness, so it’s advisable to remove the harness when not in use. 

How do I put a harness on a puppy?

If you’re not sure how to put a harness on a puppy just yet, take your time. The more patience you have, the easier it will be on you and your puppy. Before attempting to put on the harness, let your puppy sniff it and familiarize herself with the new accessory. Depending on the style of harness you have, you may need to help your puppy step into it, or you may need to place the straps on yourself. Read more about how to correctly put on a harness here