Many people think of dog fashion as frilly dresses and little coats for dogs but dogs need many functional items of apparel. Just because your dog needs to wear something everyday doesn’t mean it can’t be stylish.

Some of the most basic dog accessories include collars, leashes, and harnesses. Today all of these items come in a myriad of colors, patterns, and styles.

Collars

Whether you have a tiny Chihuahua or the biggest Mastiff, your dog will need a collar. Collars range from sturdy nylon in solid colors to fancy fabric collars with designs, jewels, glitter, and other beautiful touches. You can choose the perfect collar to suit your dog’s personality or keep a selection of collars to wear on different occasions. In many cases you can purchase collars that match specific costumes or outfits. Some collars are made with cotton or other fabric inlaid over a nylon collar so the collar is both functional and pretty. You’ll find a wide range of these collars available for moderate prices.

You can also find many collars made of fine leather. These collars are usually comfortable for a dog and they are long-lasting. They typically come with plain or squared edges or rolled edges. Better quality leather usually costs more. You can also find braided leather collars and collars that feature elaborate designs sewn into the leather or stamped on the leather.

When choosing a collar for your dog you should buy one that allows you to fit two fingers comfortably between the collar and your dog’s neck. It’s usually a good idea to buy less expensive collars for puppies because they will outgrow them quickly. Wait until your puppy is fully grown before buying expensive collars.

Leashes

You can usually find leashes to match collars, if this is important to you – and if you want your dog to be fashionable, it probably is important. Like collars, leashes range from sturdy nylon in basic colors to fancier designs inlaid in fabric over the leash. They also come in various kinds of leather.

Most leashes are either 4 feet long or 6 feet long. If you intend to do any kind of obedience training then a 6 foot long leash is desirable. If you live in the city and you wish to keep your dog closer to you, a 4 foot long leash might be a good choice for walking on city streets.

Harnesses

The same leash that matches your dog’s collar can also match a harness. There are many harnesses that are made to match collars and leashes. Harnesses are often recommended for dogs that pull on the leash or for very small dogs whose throats might be injured by a collar.

Harnesses can be made with fabric across the dog’s chest. The leash attaches to a ring on the back of the harness, along the dog’s back. In many cases the fabric across the dog’s chest is made of a breathable mesh material so it stretches. The harness buckles around the dog’s waist to stay in place. Harnesses can range from the most basic, functional equipment to attractive items of apparel for your dog.

These are just a few pieces of dog outerwear that virtually every dog needs but there are some other kinds of outerwear for special occasions such as rain gear and doggy boots. We’ll cover those items in the next article.