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From GPS trackers to collars and bandanas, dog accessories often become necessities since they can make it easier for you to keep your dog safe, healthy, and even clean. It's worth your while to see what kinds of items are available to help you care for your dog but the choices you have can also seem overwhelming. Depending on your specific dog's lifestyle and medical needs, some accessories may be more practical and beneficial to you than others.
Check out this list of the best dog accessories to see what you and your dog may benefit from.
Best GPS Pet Tracker: Whistle Go Explore Dog GPS Tracker
The Whistle GPS Pet Tracker is a must-have for dogs that like to make a break for it, or pet owners that just want some peace of mind. The tracker is less than two inches wide, weighs under an ounce, and is attached to a pet collar without causing irritation. The device can be tracked all around the world, though you do have to purchase a monthly service plan and WiFi for initial setup. It's available in three colors: green, grey, and magenta.
The device is incredibly accurate, stating that it’s helped reunite many runaway pups with their owners. If your dog is an escape artist in your backyard, or you’re worried he’ll run away from the dog sitter, the Whistle GPS tracker is worth the peace of mind.
Best Pet Wash: The Spruce Waterless Pet Wash in Fresh
The Spruce Pets has long been delivering advice on how to best care for your pet, so now, we’re thrilled to announce that we’ve released our own collection of pet care products! Whether you’re working with a 10-week-old Golden Retriever or a 15-year-old Pomeranian, The Spruce Waterless Pet Wash is our answer to quick and easy bath times. Just spray it on, let it sit for a minute, and wipe it off with a soft cloth.
Our plant-based, rinse-free formula is free of dyes, phthalates, and parabens, so you can rest assured knowing that your pup’s coat and skin will be cleansed, conditioned, and moisturized without the use of harsh chemicals. The Spruce Waterless Pet Wash is pH-balanced and available in three refreshing scents: Oatmeal (with fresh mango), Lavender (with clary sage), and Fresh (with neroli, apple, and orchid)—each which is derived from pet-safe natural essential oils and fragrances.
Best Bath Towel: THE SNUGGLY DOG Easy Wear Microfiber Dog Towel
It’s a fact of life that no matter where you bathe your dog, he somehow always runs to the couch while he’s still soaking wet. The Snuggly Dog Towel is for all those times your dog has flooded your house while running away from you after a dreaded bath. It’s made from microfiber and is similar to a robe, attaching at the dog’s chest so it can stay on while he dries. It’s great for at-home baths, soggy walks or driving home after a lake swim to keep your car dry. The Snuggly towel comes in blue and red and ranges from small to extra-large (the largest size is 32 inches long), so it’s guaranteed to fit a variety of dogs.
The towel stays in place even during motion, and can help save couches and rugs from getting drenched. The towel is a little pricy, but it comes with a money-back guarantee—so if it doesn’t make your life easier, the company will refund what you’ve paid. After your first mess-free dog bath, you’ll wish you always had this towel.
Best Coat: Kuoser Cozy Vest
The dog coat is an essential accessory for any stylish pup, but it’s not just attractive—for many dogs, it’s key to keeping them warm during cold months. Our pick for best cold-weather accessory is the Kuoser Cozy Vest. This vest is both useful and chic. It’s reversible: One side is a beautiful plaid while the other is a black puffer style, and it comes in XS to 3XL for any size dog. The vest attaches under the dog’s belly and owners say as long as you measure your dog for fit, it doesn’t cause any rubbing or irritation.
Owners say the fleece material doesn’t feel cheap, and keeps their dogs sufficiently warm. There’s no harm in wanting to keep your pup warm and trendy, and the Kuoser Cozy Vest does both for a great price.
Best Safety Collar: Pet Industries Metal Buckle LED Dog Collar
A long walk before bed is ideal for a good night’s sleep (for you and for your dog), but if you’re worried about dark streets and your dog’s safety, the Metal Buckle LED dog collar is a great solution. This USB-charged collar comes in seven colors, will stay lit for over a week of one-hour walks with a single charge and has three light settings for different flashes. It comes in sizes XS to L, ranging from 10 inches to 23.4 inches.
Owners especially love how brightly the light shines, stating that it’s easy to spot no matter how dark. It’s a great choice for night walks in areas with no streetlights, allowing passing drivers to spot the dog. While we wouldn’t recommend this as your dog’s primary collar, it’s a must-have for keeping your dog safe when sun goes down.
Best Bandana: FUNPET Dog Bandana Set
Not all dog accessories have to be useful, and no dog is fully dressed without a bandana. The Funpet bandana set comes with four different styles, each one reversible, so that there are eight options in all. The bandanas are 23 x 16 x 16 inches, which is a standard size, but may be too large for smaller dogs. They tie like a standard bandana, so there’s no Velcro for pet fur to get caught in.
It has reversible sides, and you can dress your dog in a different style every day of the week.
Best Cooling Vest: RUFFWEAR Swamp Cooler Evaporative Dog Cooling Vest
Overheating can be incredibly dangerous for your pet. And for dog owners who live in hot climates or those who spend long days in the summer sun, keeping man’s best friend cool is a necessity. The Ruffwear cooling vest is an amazing invention, designed to keep your dog cool during even the hottest of days. To use the Ruffwear, all you do is soak it in cold water before you take your dog out — and as the water evaporates, the vest lowers the dog’s temperature. The vest comes in six sizes and attaches at the belly and chest for a snug fit. It also has a reflective piece on top so that it can be used all hours of the day, and can even support an attached flashlight for an extra level of safety.
It's a must-have for hot climates and heat-sensitive dogs. Finding a perfect fit can be difficult, but if you measure before you purchase the options are true to size.
What to Look for in Dog Accessories
Whatever you choose to put on, in, or around your dog needs to be safe for them. Not all items are safe for dogs so you'll want to make sure it won't harm your dog before purchasing it. Items containing ingredients that are known to be toxic to dogs, clothing that cuts off circulation, and things that impede your dog's normal movement are not safe and should be avoided.
Not every accessory is necessary for every dog, so you should determine what items would benefit you and your pet the most before purchasing them all. Some pet owners like to put clothes and bandanas on their dogs but others do not. Some like having all the grooming supplies on hand while others would rather take their dog to a grooming salon. Your lifestyle may require different accessories for your dog than someone else's.
Ease of Use
If an accessory is difficult to use or put on your dog, then it is unlikely that you will actually make use of it on a regular basis. Choose items that are accessible, easy to clean or open, and don't take a lot of work to set up are ideal. Simplicity is especially nice if you need to clean up a mess or put something on your dog quickly.
What do I need to buy when I first get a dog?
Stick with the basics when you first get a dog until you really know what else you want and need. Food and water bowls, some toys, a crate, dog food, treats, a collar, leash, and a bed are ideal to have before bringing a dog home. Once you figure out your new routine and needs, you can add on accessories for grooming, cleaning, dressing up, and more.
Can dogs wear bandanas instead of collars?
A bandana is not a replacement for a collar. Collars are sturdy and secure and should be used to hang identication tags on and attach a leash and other accessories to. Bandana are decorative, help catch drool, or may be used to spray pheromones on.
Do dogs like to wear clothes?
If a dog is raised wearing clothing they may not mind it, but it is not natural for a dog to wear clothes. If you routinely dress your dog up before you take it somewhere fun like on a car ride or on a play date then it may associate the clothing with enjoyment. Most dogs, especially if they aren't used to it though, do not like wearing clothes.