While a human bandana can be repurposed, finding the right dog bandana for your dog has more utility than you might expect, offering variable sizing specific to dogs. Dog bandanas can help keep off the sun during your next long walk, or communicate when it's a special event, such as your dog’s birthday or a holiday.
We looked for dog bandanas with high quality materials, useful sizes, beautiful patterns, and even selections with closures you don't have to knot.
Our favorite dog bandana comes from The Foggy Dog, which offers a wide range of charming patterns from a variety of designers and design studios. For a more outdoorsy look, check out the earth tone patterns, available in canvas and wool, from Native Instinct Co.—perfect for the trail.
Here are the best dog bandanas.
Best Overall: The Foggy Dog
Many unique patterns
Website features real dogs modeling the bandanas
Foggy Dog bandanas are available in dozens of patterns from designers and design studios like Rifle Paper Co. and Slovenian illustrator Alja Horvat. It's easy to shop for a bandana based on specific holidays or aesthetics, like birthdays, florals, and "preppy" patterns. Many have fine details, such as an accent-color hem.
While most Foggy Dog bandanas are 100% cotton, there are also selections made from flannel and upcycled denim. We're partial to the Peaches and Cream, Meadow Floral, and Harbor Plaid Flannel versions. Rather than a big square piece of fabric, each Foggy Dog bandana comes in a triangle-tie shape, which is easy to tie around your dog's neck.
Foggy Dog bandanas come in three different sizes, with a detailed size guide available for a variety of dog breeds. They're easy to clean too: simply machine wash cold and air dry.
Price at time of publish: $26
Best Budget: Gofshy Dog Bandanas
Great variety of colors
Too big for very small dogs
This six pack of bandanas with classic plaid prints offers so many options, you’ll have choices year-round. Plus, they’re such a great price that you might end up buying more than one six pack. They're made from breathable cotton, and come in two sizes. The small is best for dogs with neck circumferences of 16 inches or less, and the medium is best for dogs with measuring 21 inches or less around the neck.
Price at time of publish: $13
Best for Outdoors: Native Instinct Co.
Wide variety of patterns
Thick and durable materials
Carabiner hooks may be too heavy for very small dogs
Native Instinct not only offers a wide variety of unique bandanas for your dog, but they make dog owner sized scarfs too. These unique patterns are inspired by the outdoors, which means you can easily find one that's perfect for your next hiking or camping trip. Each dog bandana is connected to carabiner hooks so you can quickly clip it around your dog in seconds instead of having to tie (and re-tie) the bandana.
Price at time of publish: $32
Best For Insta-Dogs: Canoodle Company
Cute designs with matching bows and accessories
More fashionable than functional
Canoodle Company bandanas are way too cute. Each bandana is photo-worthy and comes in a number of fun and playful patterns. Some styles even come with decorative tassels or decorative linings to really create a unique look. These bandanas also feature an easy snap in the back of the bandana to hold it in place, so while it may look hand-tied, it’s less likely to come undone thanks to the snap.
Price at time of publish: $16
Best for Birthdays: Frisco Birthday Bandana + Confetti Dog Hat
Is there any better way to celebrate your tail-wagging best friend than to throw them a birthday party? With just a few decorations, dog treats, and this birthday bandana and hat bundle, you can throw your puppy an Insta-worthy birthday party in no time. This fun bundle comes with an adjustable party hat and colorful bandana to let everyone know it’s their special day.
Price at time of publish: $14
Best for Sports Fans: Pet First MLB Reversible Dog Bandana
Brand sells bandanas for other sports too
It’s game day: You’re wearing your favorite jersey, the snacks and drinks are ready, and you have the TV set to the right channel. Everyone seems ready to watch the game...except one: your dog. This line of bandanas are very affordable and allow your dog to show their support for your favorite team, too. The bandanas are also reversible with the team logo and name on both sides, so no matter which team you cheer for, there’s a dog bandana just for you (I mean, your dog).
Price at time of publish: $13
Best Personalized: Emelivor Personalized Dog Bandana
Ability to personalize and see how it looks like online
Bandana only comes in one size
If you want a bandana that’s very unique to your doggo, this personalized bandana is perfect for telling the world how much you love your puppy. Plus, you may never have to answer the question, “What’s your dog’s name?” ever again. This plaid bandana has a cute pattern and clearly shows off your dog’s name. It also comes with a clip so you can easily put it on and take it off your dog. It also comes with an attached metal ring so you can put their tags or ID badges on it, too.
Price at time of publish: $12
Best for the Holidays: Lucy & Co. The Santa Land Bandana
Comes in two sizes
Matching harness, leash, poop bag carrier, and jacket available
A festive bandana is the perfect piece of clothing to don upon a pup of any size. Our favorite is the Santa Land Bandana from Lucy & Co. It's made of soft polyester in a fir-inspired shade of green, covered in Christmas Trees, and trimmed with Santa's signature shade of red. It comes in two sizes. Lucy & Co has a wide selection of bandanas all year round, but for the winter season, we also like the Kris Kringle Bandana with sparkly trim and the At First Frost Bandana which makes us long for snowfall. Plus Lucy & Co makes harnesses, leashes, pouches to carry poop bags, and jackets that coordinate with the bandanas. You can even mix and match a full yuletide set. Once you tie this bandana around your dog, they'll be barking "happy howlidays to all!"
Price at time of publish: $20
When it comes to choosing a dog bandana, there is no substitute for quality. Thankfully, due to the smaller size of these bandanas, paying just a few dollars more can really improve the overall value of the bandana. If your dog is generally an inside dog who doesn’t go out much, our overall best choice, The Foggy Dog, is the best way to go because it has many styles that really pop. But if you’re planning to spend a lot of time hiking and exploring the great outdoors, the green and earth toned bandanas from Native Instinct Co. will fit in perfectly as you both wander down the trail.
What to Look for in a Dog Bandana
First off, you will want to measure your dog’s neck so that you can get the perfect fit for their bandana. There isn’t a set standard or range on bandana sizes, so a “medium” from one brand can be a completely different size for another. If you know the exact measurements for your dog, you can pick the correct bandana length regardless of the listed size.
It’s important to pick the right material for your dog’s bandana. Is it a breathable material? How easily does it clean and is it too heavy for your dog to wear it everyday? Many of the bandanas available are “spot clean only” because they are made of more delicate materials or have logos or prints that can come off in the washing machine. You will absolutely need to wash your dog’s bandana at some point, so make sure you know how to properly care for it.
How It Is Secured
Dogs are incredibly active and rambunctious pets and will always be getting themselves into messes as they go out exploring. Because of this, you should always consider how the bandana is attached. Is it hand tied, have carabiners you hook together, or is it secured with a snap button? The last thing you’ll want is to lose your brand-new dog bandana because it fell off somewhere.
How do you tie a bandana on a dog?
There are a few different ways to tie your dog's bandana, but a lot of it will rely on the type of bandana you bought. Many are sewn into a triangle shape, but if your bandana arrives as a square, the first step is to fold it in half diagonally to make a triangle. Your triangle bandana may already have a thicker collar across the long side of the triangle (which is important for tying) but if it doesn't, you will want to roll the long side of the triangle over on itself a few times to create a firmer edge of the triangle.
Next, you will want to decide if you want the bandana to hang in the front, under your dog’s mouth or up around their back like a cape. Then wrap the bandana gently around their neck and cross the ends over each other, tighten to the right size and tie the ends around themselves again and pull to tighten. This double knot will help ensure it doesn’t come undone. Finally, make sure you can fit at least two fingers between the bandana and your dog’s neck to make sure there is enough room to breathe.
How often should you wash a dog bandana?
The short answer is when it starts to stink, but of course full the answer is more complicated than that. How much wear and tear does it experience on a daily basis? Does your dog like to roll in the mud and get dirty or do they spend a lot of time on the couch? If your dog is very active and prone to getting messy, it may be best to wash or swap out for another bandana every two weeks or whenever it appears soiled. If your dog isn’t as active and prefers to take it easy, you really only need to change it once a month. Another good rule of thumb: If you feel it is time for your doggie to take a bath, it’s a great time to also swap out bandanas.
What does it mean when a dog wears a bandana?
Generally, owners dress their dogs in bandanas just for fun and whimsy. However, some people use color-coded bandanas to indicate aspects or warnings about their dog's temperament. Often, a solid red bandana means the dog shouldn't be bothered, as it isn't fond of strangers. An orange bandana indicates a dog that likes people, but isn't good with other dogs. Green means the dog is friendly and open to petting or other attention, while a yellow bandana can mean the dog is nervous and shouldn't be approached.
Why Trust The Spruce Pets?
Steven Rowe has been a dad to two wonderful rescue beagles. Between him and his wife, they have tried out countless dog bandanas for almost every holiday or special occasion. In addition to researching what other types of dog bandanas are available, he has included some of his personal favorite brands to help you narrow your search.