Are you looking to buy a harness for your mini dachshund? You are probably already aware of some of the advantages of using a harness rather than just a collar and leash for dogs, but how do you know what size you should buy? Mini dachshunds are so small, you might struggle with the sizes!
You are going to need one of the smallest harnesses you can find for your mini dachshund, but you will still need to measure the dog to ensure the best fit possible. Measure your dog’s neck and chest, and then use an online size chart to determine which harness will fit best. Remember, an overly large harness isn’t safe!
How Should I Measure My Mini Dachshund?
So, how do you actually measure a mini dachshund? What does “measure the neck and the chest” mean?
You can measure the dog’s chest by getting a soft measuring tape and wrapping it around the widest part of your dog’s rib cage. The harness may not actually end up sitting here, but you don’t want one that would be too small if it does happen to sit here, so this is the girth measurement that you need.
Next, you need to know how the harness will fit around the dog’s neck. To do this, gently wrap the measuring tape around the base of the dog’s neck. This should be done loosely – it doesn’t matter if it isn’t snug, and indeed, a little slack is better than a harness that will be too tight around the throat.
Once you have these two measurements, you can consult a size chart to find out how your dachshund’s neck and chest sizes relate, and what size harness you will need. Neck-straps aren’t always adjustable, but you may find that there is a bit of wriggle room.
Remember, a harness doesn’t need to be tight or even too close-fitting. It simply needs to secure your dog and be fitted enough so that it isn’t likely to get caught up and tangled in things. If your dog can fit its legs or head through, the harness is no good, but otherwise, it should be okay.
However, a close fit is best when you can achieve it, as this minimizes escape risks and is often more comfortable for the dog. It means that the harness’s buckles are higher up on the dog’s back, away from the dog’s elbows. As dachshunds have elbows that sit close to their bodies, this is preferable in terms of comfort.
Should I Buy Several Harnesses?
It is often a good idea to have more than one harness, yes. Having a range of options allows you to vary which harness you use from day to day, and this reduces the risk of rubbing and chafing in any one spot.
If you are struggling to find a harness that fits well, you will probably benefit from having several and changing them regularly. This lets you know that your dog is comfortable and also lets you observe different designs and how they work, making it easier to pick a good harness in the future.
Of course, you don’t have to buy multiple harnesses if you don’t want to or you don’t have the funds. However, you do need to be aware when your current harness is causing issues, and you will either need to stop using it or purchase a different kind if the straps are starting to chafe, or your dog will get uncomfortable.
Don’t use the harness except when you are out and about with your dog, as it isn’t needed in the home and may be uncomfortable for the dog to wear for long periods.
When selecting a harness, look for adjustability so that you can ensure the best possible fit. Most harnesses should have at least some scope for adjustment, so look for this when making your selection.
Do I Need To Use A Harness?
You might be wondering whether a harness is really a necessary piece of equipment. After all, collars work fine, right? Mini dachshunds are far from being strong dogs, so why do they need a harness?
1. Harnesses Reduce Injuries
Collars are a reasonable solution for many dogs, but dachshunds are particularly prone to neck and back injuries, and a collar can pull on the neck. This makes them more likely to suffer from an injury, especially if they pull hard or you accidentally jerk on their leash.
A harness spreads the pressure and is considerably safer because it does not yank on any one part of the body. Even if your dachshund is not a puller, you may find that over the years, a collar causes issues.
2. Harnesses Reduce Pulling
Harnesses also discourage pulling in many situations, so they can be a good way to stop your dachshund from yanking itself out of your hand. A well-fitted harness is secure and will encourage your dog to walk beside you, rather than trying to pull away.
3. Harnesses Are Safer
If your dachshund accidentally slips out of its collar, you are at great risk of losing your dog. A mini dachshund might panic, run into the road, get picked up by a stranger, or get into a fight with a larger dog if it gets lost. They are a vulnerable breed in many ways, and you don’t want to risk their safety by losing them.
It is very unlikely that your dog will get loose from a harness. Because they are secured around both the neck and the chest, using multiple straps, they can’t be wriggled out of, and they are therefore much safer.
If you lost your grip on the leash, it is also considerably easier to grab a dachshund if it is wearing a harness. In a crowded space or near a busy road, this could make all the difference to recovering your dachshund before it comes to harm.
It’s a good idea to use a harness for your mini dachshund, and you can get a good fit by measuring around the base of your dachshund’s neck and the widest part of its chest. This should ensure that the harness sits comfortably, although the actual size you need will depend on these measurements.