More than just fashion, dog accessories are invaluable for training, walking, and pet control. Confused about what accessories to purchase and the right kind to use? Read on!
More than just fashion, dog accessories are invaluable for training, walking, and pet control.
They can be life-changing or life-saving.
Dog accessories are more than style boosters.
For guide dogs and police dogs, certain accessories are essential. For injured dogs, a dog wheelchair may be a suitable accessory.
They are generally designed to protect dogs and make pet parenting easier. They also work great for fashionable pet parents/kids that want to 'twin' with their favorite furry friends.
Confused about what accessories to purchase and the right kind to use? Read on!
What to know for starters
There's no need to spend a fortune. Check out the prices and try to compare them.
There’s no need to waste precious money that you would have spent on dog food to buy unnecessary and expensive gadgets/accessories.
The basic rule is to work with a budget and stick to it. Some pet owners go overboard with picking stuff they will rarely ever use.
Redundant items are a no-no.
It may be better to choose safety and functionality over a fancy appearance. Don't forget that you can have the best of both worlds.
Switch things up a bit by fashionable accessorizing.
Categories of dog accessories
There are tons of dog accessories in different categories. Some are must-haves while others are optional luxuries.
They can be categorized into accessories for:
Ø Household living
Ø Walking /exercise
Ø Outdoor activities
Ø Dog identification
Ø Dog safety
Ø Aging dogs
Ø Dog proofing
Ø Dog feeding
Ø Hair and clothing
Let’s quickly describe a few common accessories.
Dog car/travel accessories
1. A dog ramp
This would work for a long trip with less energetic dogs. A long trip by road may require the use of a ramp so that you can easily get them in and out.
2. Doggie car seat covers
Your furry friend can leave you some unwanted souvenirs after a long trip.
These protect the interior of your car and are resistant to water, dirt, dog pee and all sorts of stains.
Many are washing machine safe; pop into the washing machine and dryer for an easy clean.
3. Sleeping bags
Sleeping bags come in handy when you are traveling with your pet friend. If your pet is comfortable at their new location, they are less likely to be stressed during the trip.
For older dogs
4. Lift harnesses
These work great as aging dogs may have injuries or a bad back that makes support/ equal distribution of weight difficult.
Lift harnesses help you to lift some of their body weight for easy mobility and less discomfort.
For the outdoors
5. A dog life jacket
Especially needed for an outdoor adventure. It may be difficult to control an excited canine and keep them out of the water. A good life jacket may be the difference between a dog that’s safe and an emergency.
Even if dogs know how to swim, a strong underwater current can be enough to pull them under. 
Crate/living space accessories
6. Dog crate covers
Use these to protect from the elements and ensure the crate is a comfortable, eye-pleasing, and safe space. Choose a nice pattern.
7. A dog harness
A device attached to the dog's neck and trunk that is used for walking dogs and leash attachment.
If you're traveling with dogs by road, you can also strap the harness to the car seat belt. They're safer than collars and less likely to choke or get caught on something.
Designs and styles abound. However, basic styles are the step-in harness and over-the-head harness.
The clip may be located in the front or back of the dog and it is used in conjunction with a leash for walks and exercise.
Dog harnesses contribute to the proper distribution of your dog's body weight. Some kinds discourage pulling and are less likely to hurt your dog's neck.
Getting used to the harness requires some kind of training for the dog. Dog owners need to get used to the harness too.
8. Dog collars
The dog collars are used for walking, though they are less safe than harnesses.
They help in dog identification with the attachment of a tag. There are lots of additional accessories that will display you and your dog's sense of style.
Collars come in a variety of materials and may even be custom-made.
Leashes can be quite uniquely designed are attached to harnesses or collars. They are must-haves for guide dogs, companion dogs, and police dogs.
They should be of the appropriate length to prevent discomfort to your dog.
What to Bear in Mind When Buying Dog Accessories
1. Consider costs
Owning pets can be quite expensive, from food to healthcare to accessories. Purchase what can reasonably fit into your budget.
Your dog cannot tell if their leash is by a designer brand.
2. Choose practical, fuss-free designs
The more cumbersome an accessory is, the higher the risk of discomfort and the less likely you are to use it.
3. The right fit
Ill-fitting harnesses can harm your dog: a loose harness can let your dog can slip out and run to danger, but if it’s too small, the dog harness can hurt the ribcage and alter mobility.
A snug fit is great! You should be able to fit two fingers comfortably under the straps.
4. Skin Type
Be aware of your doggie’s skin type, allergies, and sensitivities. Avoid this if possible.
5. Ease of cleaning
Look for detachable and breathable materials. Wash with mild soaps when necessary.
Dirty accessories can cause infections and discomfort to both pet and owner.
If possible, choose accessories with reflective material. These work well for night trips especially.
Ensure that your dog accessories are choke-free.
7. The right leash
The ideal is 4 to 6 feet long depending on how much you want to be curled on your hands as you walk the dog. 
As you walk with your dog, let the leash should not be too heavy and discomforting.
Dog accessory fashion
Your choices here can be very personalized. They should be reflective of you and your pet's personalities. Spice up your fashion interests with a range of designs and colors.
Don’t break the bank. Start with the basics and purchase more as necessary.