Pomeranians are active, spunky little dogs who love accompanying their owner on adventures, so having control of your dog is essential for both a happy dog and the owner. The right type of walking equipment can help with that. As a caring Pom parent, you may wonder, can your furry friend wear a harness for walks?
Pomeranians can benefit from wearing a harness instead of a collar for walks, runs, and other outdoor activities. There are a few reasons for this as Pomeranians have relatively weak neck muscles and they are prone to tracheal collapse. Wearing a harness puts the leash on their back instead of their neck, which takes the pressure off of their throat and helps prevent tracheal collapse.
This blog will discuss the reasons why Poms should wear harnesses, as well as different types of harnesses and how to pick the right one for your pup.
Can a Pomeranian Wear a Harness and Why Should They?
Many people think that harnesses are only for big dogs, but that isn’t the case. Wearing a harness instead of only a collar while walking, running, or engaging in other outdoor activities can be beneficial for small breeds like Pomeranians. There are several reasons behind this:
Weak neck muscles: Pomeranians have relatively weak neck muscles. Putting any leash on their necks can put undue strain on their throat and windpipe.
Tracheal Collapse: Pomeranians are prone to a condition called tracheal collapse. It is when the cartilage in their windpipe weakens and collapses inward, making it difficult to breathe. Wearing a harness puts the leash on the back instead of the dog’s neck, which takes the pressure off their throat and helps prevent tracheal collapse.
Pros of Pomeranian Harness
Pom harnesses provide many benefits for both you and your dog.
More Secure on Your Pom’s Body
Using a harness having adjustable straps increases your Pom’s safety as it makes it much harder for your dog to get loose or escape the harness.
A harness (such as a front-clip harness) can help stop pulling by automatically turning your dog back towards you when pulling on the leash. This movement is cumbersome for your dog and will likely discourage them from pulling altogether. You can use a no-pull dog harness to reduce pulling even further.
Even the Distribution of Pressure
Harnesses are designed to distribute pressure over a larger surface area, covering the dog’s chest, shoulders, and upper back.
Provide Better Control
A harness can provide better control when walking a skittish or easily spooked Pom instead of using a collar.
Cons of Pomeranian Harness
You should be aware of some potential drawbacks to using a Pomeranian harness before making a purchase.
Harnesses typically take more time to put on than collars do, as the former requires you to buckle multiple straps.
Can Be Uncomfortable
Harnesses are often bulkier and more uncomfortable than collars for Pomeranians. Additionally, some dogs downright dislike harnesses therefore, getting them used to walking with one may take time.
Can Restrict Movement
If a harness doesn’t fit properly, it can chafe the skin, restrict movement, and make breathing difficult; all of which are dangerous.
Often Lack Id/Tag Holder
People don’t usually use harnesses because not all models have a place to hold a tag. Look for a version with a ring to keep your dog’s tags.
How Do I Choose the Best Pomeranian Harness?
Though Pomeranians are friendly and cuddly and make great family pets, their small size might be a problem when you go to look for a harness – one that is both comfortable and stylish. Before considering how to put on a harness, let’s explore a few popular harness types and materials available and key qualities to look for in harnesses.
Popular Types of Pom Harnesses
You have many options when it comes to Pomeranian harnesses. To help you make an informed decision, I’ve put together descriptions of a few best dog harness types below.
Vest harness is a cinch to put on your furry friend, and they’re typically made of flexible mesh material so your pup can wear them all day. The vest style also allows for better breathability and ventilation, making them ideal for warm-weather walks.
If you own a Pomeranian, you know how tiny they are. A vest with reflective materials can help keep your dog safe when walking in areas with lots of foot or vehicle traffic, especially if it’s low light outside.
Strap-style walking harnesses are easy to use because you can clip them onto your dog with plastic buckles. They’re also usually lightweight and have little padding, which makes them good for short walks around the block but not long hikes or other adventures.
Step-in harnesses take a bit more effort to put on your dog, but they’re nearly impossible for dogs to escape from when tied correctly. They also provide a snugger fit than other types of harnesses, so they are often chosen as no-pull harnesses.
By strapping your Pomeranian into a car harness, you promote its safety and reduce distractions while driving. In the event of an accident – even a small fender bender – this type of restraint can mean the difference between serious injuries and walking away unharmed.
If your Pomeranian requires it, you may want to buy more than one harness. For instance, having a harness for walks and one for the car gives you greater flexibility than buying just one harness.
Different Pom Harness Materials
When shopping for a Pomeranian dog harness, look for products that use one or more of these materials.
Leather: Though leather is strong and sturdy, it’s also quite hefty and pricey. You’ll see a lot of large-breed dogs sporting harnesses made from this material, but some small-dog breed options are also available.
Mesh: Pomeranians require a comfortable and lightweight harness, which is why soft Mesh harnesses are ideal. They’re made of nylon or polyester material that’s stretchy & highly breathable. However, because Mesh isn’t always strong enough to withstand tough pullers, it’s more common in small-breed harnesses.
Cotton: Cotton is not chosen as often as nylon or polyester because it does not hold up to wear and tear or weather conditions as well, but some manufacturers use cotton in their harnesses.
Neoprene: Neoprene is a soft, man-made rubber that’s often used in harnesses and back/chest pads. It adds extra padding for comfort, reduces the risk of skin irritation, and distributes weight more evenly along the dog’s body.
Nylon: Nylon is a synthetic fabric that’s water-resistant and easy to clean, durable, strong, and usually soft--all qualities that make it great for Pom harnesses. Nylon is so widespread for this reason.
Polyester: Polyester is a synthetic fabric similar to nylon but is not as strong. It is often used in harnesses because it resists abrasion and usually costs less than other fabrics.
Key Attributes of a Harness for a Pom
With all that in mind, what should you be looking for when finding a Pomeranian harness? Here are some pointers:
- Small Size: 3-9lbs barely establishes the weight limit for Pomeranians – one of the smallest dog breeds. Oftentimes, harnesses even meant for other small dogs are too large to fit these furry friends comfortably. To prevent discomfort and ensure safety, it’s best to buy a well-fitting harness specifically designed for your pint-sized pup.
- Breathability: If you own a Pomeranian, you know that its thick double coat can make them susceptible to overheating. In order to keep your pup comfortable in hot weather, look for Mesh or strap harnesses with ventilated padding.
- Adjustability: Poms have small body frames, but their chests are relatively broad in comparison. Therefore, it is recommended that you get an adjustable harness (having an adjustable chest strap) to ensure your dog’s comfort.
- Supports Use As Car Tether: Poms, though small, are very active – meaning they can sometimes fidget a lot while in the car. To keep your dog safe and prevent distracted driving, we recommend buying a harness with a handle or dedicated strap that can be used as a tether in the car.
- Minimizes Stress on Neck: In contrast to larger breeds, Poms have less muscle surrounding their necks. Search for a harness that puts the majority of pressure on your Pomeranian’s broad chest instead of its neck.
Why Dog Collars for Pomeranians Are Not a Good Choice?
Pomeranians have a thick, full coat that a collar can easily damage. Additionally, collars are a safety hazard for Pomeranians. A comparison between harnesses and collars will help you understand better why it is best to avoid using a collar on a Pomeranian. Here are the main reasons.
Mouth or Limb Injuries
Dogs who wear collars are also at risk for mouth and limb injuries. A Pomeranian’s teeth can be broken or dislodged if he catches his collar on something and is yanked hard. His legs can be fractured if he tries to jump over a fence with a collar on and gets hung up.
A Pom’s neck is a very sensitive area. Traditional collars can harm the neck if there is too much tension on the leash or if the collar is used to tug the dog around. The stress from this can Cause long-term medical issues like damaging thyroid glands and tissues around the neck area or salivary glands.
Pomeranians are prone to several skin disorders, including eczema, hot spots, and seborrhea. Collars can irritate the skin and make these problems worse. In some cases, a dog may even develop an allergy to the materials in his collar.
Strangulation is the leading cause of death in dogs who wear collars, and Pomeranians are especially vulnerable to this type of injury. A dog collar that is too tight can easily cut off the air supply to a Pomeranian’s lungs, causing suffocation. The tags can catch on something and choke the dog, or he may try to chew on the tags and choke himself.
Many Pomeranians are uncomfortable wearing a collar, especially if it is tight. It can lead to behavioral problems such as biting, chewing, and scratching. If a dog is constantly trying to remove his collar, he may also develop an aversion to being touched or handled.
Leaving Your Dog’s Harness on All Day: Is It a Good Idea?
No, you should not leave a dog’s harness on all day. Dog harnesses are also not designed for continuous pressure, so they may cause sores under the armpits if worn all day. Even with padding, it can still rub and irritate the skin! If you only put your Pom dog’s harness on when you walk him, his fur won’t suffer any damage.
However, if it stays on for too long (more than 24 hours), the fur can flatten and cause issues with the coat and/or skin. So make sure to remove it as soon as you’re both safely home again.
Pomeranians are active dogs and, as such, need a good harness to keep them safe. A traditional collar can cause neck damage, while a harness distributes the pressure equally across the dog’s chest. It is best to put it on when taking your pup for a walk.