The 6 Best Chihuahua Harnesses Australia: Tested & Evaluated 2023
A good harness is an indispensable part of Chihuahua gear.
These gentle little dogs aren’t great candidates for being walked on a collar, so getting a harness is a must. But how do we find one that fits?
This guide will help you find the best harness available in Australia for your little Chihuahua. To sort out the best from the rest, we teamed up with veterinarians, canine behaviourists and Chihuahua parents to form a team of independent experts. We then researched and tested dozens and dozens of Chihuahua-sized harnesses to see which ones we and our dogs liked best. After several weeks, and plenty of discussion, we were finally able to agree to the contents of this review.
Quick Picks - The Top 3
Our Number 1 Pick -
Dog Nation Ultra Light No Pull Dog Harness
- Fully adjustable
- Available in small sizes
- Multiple lead attachment options
- Keeps the pressure away from the throat
Runner Up -
Voyager Step-in Plush Dog Harness
- Super easy to put on
- Soft and comfy
- No unnecessary hardware
- Available in variety of colours
- Small sizes
- Reflective bands for better visibility at night
Third Choice -
Dog Nation Breathable Mesh Dog Harness
- Very soft and comfortable
- Adjustable belly strap
- Good value for money
Australia's Best Chihuahua Harnesses Reviewed
Curious to see which harnesses our team of independent experts liked most for their beloved Chihuahuas? Here are our top tips for some great harnesses for your little canine companion.
The Dog Nation Ultra Light No Pull Dog Harness is one of our favourite harnesses overall. This harness is both cute and practical. Easy to put on, comfy, and fully adjustable, it’s great choice for quick potty breaks as well as long outings.
The main problem (when it comes to Chihuahuas) with harnesses like this one is that they usually don’t come in small enough sizes. Luckily, this harness is available in XXS which will fit dogs with a chest girth between 30 and 35 cm and a lower neck circumference between 22 and 30 cm. In other words, we found the XXS size will fit most Chihuahuas, and there are plenty of options if your pooch needs to size up.
The Dog Nation Ultra Light No Pull Dog Harness being tested by our independent expert team.
The harness is made from lightweight and weather resistant Cordura fabric with soft padding on the inside. All straps are adjustable, so you can easily achieve the perfect fit. Our team of independent experts think this is a great harness for Chihuahuas since the “no pull” part of the name refers to the lead attachment ring on the chest (great for leash training), but there is also a ring on the back just like on most regular harnesses.
The Voyager option is one of our all-time favourites small dog harnesses. This harness is so simple and easy to put on that it’s hard not to love it!
This is a vest-style step-in harness, meaning that I had to lay it on the ground, let my dog step into the two large holes with the front paws, lift the harness and strap it into place using the convenient Velcro strap. With small dogs, this is often much easier to do than using an overhead harness. However, if you have a little wriggler like some members of our panel of independent experts, this can still be a challenge!
The Voyager Step-in Plush Dog Harness being tested by our independent expert team.
As mentioned, the connection on the back uses a wide Velcro strap which gives you a bit of room to adjust the tightness of the harness. There are no adjustable straps, though, so getting the right size is important. The XS suits chests of 33 cm to 37cm (13 to 14.5 inches), slightly larger than our number one choice's XXS model.
The body of the harness is made from soft polyester with plush padding on the inside, resulting in a very comfortable experience. Overall, it’s a great product that comes at a very reasonable price too.
This option from Dog Nation is a soft and lightweight harness that fits like a glove. If you want your little guy to feel unencumbered while wearing a harness, everyone on our team of independent experts could agree that this is the right choice.
The body of the harness is made of soft polyester mesh. The wide neck straps gently wrap around the base of your dog’s neck, so that the pressure (if your dog pulls) is equally distributed and kept away from their sensitive throat.
The belly strap features adjustable webbing. For this reason, the chest girth doesn’t matter too much for this harness to fit. When looking at the sizing, focus on the neck circumference – that part isn’t adjustable, and it should be a close fit. For reference, the XS size should fit dogs with a neck circumference between 18 and 23 cm.
Overall, this is a great lightweight harness perfect for warm weather, similar to our number one option by Dog Nation.
Puppia Ritefit is another soft mesh harness that fits smaller dogs perfectly. However, there is something that makes this harness different from other similar options - the adjustable neck strap.
The neck strap is extra wide and made from the same soft polyester fabric of the body. This is great for brachycephalic breeds because the harness never ends up putting pressure on the throat. In the case of Puppia Ritefit, there are additional adjusters made of webbing placed on the outside of this strap. This allows you to tighten the harness around the neck as needed.
The Puppia Ritefit Dog Harness being tested by our independent expert team.
This feature is especially helpful for Chihuahuas who have a small neck and a big chest. On the other hand, the additional hardware makes the harness bulkier around the neck than the other options on this list, so that’s something to keep in mind.
Overall, is it an easy to use, durable, and completely adjustable harness. There was very little for our team of independent experts to complain about when it comes to Puppia Ritefit.
The biggest challenge when looking for a harness for a Chihuahua puppy is finding a size that’s small enough. The Belvet Puppy Harness makes your life easier with their smaller-than-usual sizes.
The XS from this brand fits dogs with a chest girth between 22 and 25 cm. As our team of independent experts quickly discovered, that’s pretty darn small! An adult Chi, on the other hand, might even need an M from this brand, so make sure to measure your dog and check the sizing before purchase.
Related: The Best Puppy Harnesses.
I loved how this adorable vest-style harness features Corduroy on the outside and soft mesh padding on the inside. There are no sharp edges or anything that might irritate your puppy, making this the perfect first harness. It's bulkier than our number one and three options, however, so maybe not perfect for hot summer days.
If you want a harness that will do its job without putting extra weight on your Chihuahua, this option from Rogz is worth considering. This simple harness is made of interconnected webbing straps.
Unlike the other harnesses on this list, it features straps and only one buckle, without the extra padding or swaths of fabric. The minimalistic design seems to work, at least judging from the reviews from our panel of independent experts.
But the best part, in our opinion, is that you can adjust each and every strap on this harness. As Chihuahuas often have a non-standard body shape, this can help a lot. You don’t have to get exactly the right sizes, since the adjustability gives you lots of wiggle room and also allows the harness to grow with your pup.
The Rogz Utility Step-in Dog Harness being tested by our independent expert team.
I also appreciated how the harness also sits very low on the chest, thus keeping your Chi’s sensitive throat out of danger.
The main downside to the design of the Rogz Utility harness is that it’s fairly easy to wiggle out of and escape from. For this reason, it’s best used for trained dogs who are used to and comfortable wearing harnesses.
How I Choose a Harness for My Chihuahua
So how do you begin the search for the perfect harness for your Chihuahua? According to our team of independent experts, the basic things to consider before ordering a harness for your Chihuahua are:
When you start looking for a harness for your Chi, you’ll quickly realise that the main issue is: sizing. You find and fall in love with a cute harness that looks perfect for your pup, only to realise that it doesn’t come in a size small enough.
The solution? Luckily, some harness manufacturers do make sizes for tiny breeds – yay!
For reference, an average Chihuahua will have a chest girth between 27 and 38 cm and a neck circumference between 20 and 32 cm.
You can use these numbers as a guide when checking out the sizing of different harnesses, but we do recommend you measure your dog first to ensure you get a harness that fits their body shape as closely as possible (1).
But what about Chihuahua puppies? That’s a whole other can of worms! If you want to start getting your Chi used to a harness early, it will be quite difficult to find the right size among dog harnesses (but we do offer some in the list below!). If all else fails, consider cat harnesses for puppy Chihuahuas - they come in smaller sizes and seem to work just as well.
Comfort is key when it comes to getting a harness for any dog. A harness that is pleasant to wear will be one that will have your little guy trotting down the street. But with tiny dogs like Chihuahuas, there are also safety concerns regarding the comfort of their accessories.
Chihuahuas can be prone to various orthopaedic problems (like most toy breeds) as well as the issues connected with brachycephalic breeds, such as tracheal collapse (2). While often nothing can be done to prevent such health problems, using the right gear can make a huge difference for your little dog.
“Dogs with brachycephalic airway syndrome should be fitted with a harness that does not tug at the neck area. It is not advisable to use a regular neck collar for these dogs since a collar can put undue pressure on the neck.” - VCA Animal Hospitals veterinarians (3)
Therefore, harnesses are a must, and it’s important to get one that fits just right. Look for harnesses that sit low on the neck area (below the throat). Wide, padded straps are also gentler than webbing straps with sharp edges.
It’s always a good idea to get a weather-proof harness made of a durable material. On the other hand, it can also be tempting to lean towards a harness with lots of padding or even fake fur inside for your Chi, since those appear to be the more comfortable option.
However, Aussie Chihuahua parents should always keep the weather in mind – if you aren’t going outside padded up or layered in fur, chances are your dog won’t want to either!
“Because of the unique shape of their faces and airways, brachycephalic dogs sometimes need help with regulating their temperatures during hot and humid weather. Brachycephalic breeds have uniquely structured heads and can struggle to pant enough to cool off, which means they can easily overheat” - Sassafras Lowerey, CTDI, AKC (4)
For this reason, vest-type harnesses that cover a big part of the body surface and have lots of warm padding might not be the best idea all year round.
Best Chi harness? As always, it depends on you and your canine companion’s lifestyle and preferences. If you are not sure what you are looking for, everyone on our team of independent experts agreed that the Dog Nation Ultra Light No Pull Dog Harness is a good place to start.
This harness is very lightweight, but still offers every feature you might need. If that’s not up your line, check out the Voyager Step-in Plush Dog Harness for a comfier, vest-style harness. Ultimately, your Chihuahua is the boss and will let you know quickly which style they prefer.
When in doubt, go with a harness. This is true for almost all dogs, but Chihuahuas can benefit from switching out the collar for a harness. Their throats are very sensitive and you don’t want to put additional pressure with a collar. Harnesses are comfier & healthier.
Chihuahuas typically wear the smallest size available. However, don’t just go with S or XS without checking the measurements first, otherwise there is a good chance the harness won’t fit. Some manufacturers don’t even make harnesses small enough for Chihuahuas - so an S doesn’t always mean it will fit. On the other hand, with harnesses labelled “for small dogs” or “for puppies” the sizing might run small so a Chi might even get to wear an M! In any case, make sure to check out the sizing guide and compare that with your dog’s measurements. That’s the only surefire way to know if the size is right.
It’s important for a harness to fit your dog very closely (having an adjustable harness makes this task even easier). If the harness isn’t snug, it leaves more space for your dog to escape or even get injured. However, the harness should never be too tight either. If you can’t insert two fingers between the harness straps and your dog’s skin, it is definitely too tight.
- PetMD Editorial. January 21, 2019. “Guide for Finding Dog Measurements for All Your Dog Supplies”. Retrieved March 1, 2023. https://www.petmd.com/dog/infographic/guide-finding-dog-measurements-all-your-dog-supplies
- Pasols, A. February 21, 2023. “Here’s What You Need To Know About Chihuahua Common Health Issues”. Forbes Advisor. Retrieved March 1, 2023. https://www.forbes.com/advisor/pet-insurance/chihuahua-common-health-issues/
- Weir, M., Williams, K., Yuill, C. “Brachycephalic Airway Syndrome in Dogs”. VCA Animal Hospitals. Retrieved March 1, 2023. https://vcahospitals.com/know-your-pet/brachycephalic-airway-syndrome-in-dogs
- Lowrey, S. October 22, 2021. “Brachycephalic Dog Breeds: A Guide to Flat-Faced Dogs”. AKC. Retrieved March 1, 2023. https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/dog-breeds/brachycephalic-dog-breeds/