Dog owners want to ensure that their dogs have the best of the best. Unfortunately, tons of unnecessary and stupid dog accessories are on the market. Don’t fall victim to marketing tactics and only buy the essentials for your canine friend. This list tells you the top unnecessary dog accessories you do not need.
1. Retractable Leashes
Retractable leashes may seem like a good idea, but they’re entirely unnecessary. In fact, they can make it harder to leash train your dogs. Ideally, your dog should be on a four- to six-foot leash so they learn that they need to stay near you while walking.
Additionally, retractable leashes can break easily. Large dogs have been known to snap their thin leashes when they unexpectedly run towards something. The locking mechanism on the handle can break easily. If you need to retract the leash quickly, it can be hard to quickly lock or unlock the leash.
2. Designer Items
Even the poshest pooches don’t actually need designer accessories, like the Gucci pet collection. Dogs enjoy playing outside and sometimes roughhousing. That means that those expensive accessories are guaranteed to get dirty and possibly even broken.
Instead of spending money on the designer upcharge, use that money for things your pet will actually enjoy. Buy top-quality food, treats, and toys for your furry friend.
3. Lavish Dog Beds
Of course, you should provide dog beds for your canine to sleep in. Some dog owners like to place multiple dog beds throughout the house, so their dog always has a comfortable place to sleep. However, there is no reason to spend an excessive amount of money on a dog bed.
Large orthopedic beds, like this one, can cost hundreds of dollars. Unless your veterinarian recommends a specific bed because your dog is suffering from arthritis or other musculoskeletal issues, any bed is good enough. You can find affordable foam and pillow beds in all sizes for your dog.
4. Non-Essential Dog Clothes
Other than a few helpful clothing items, most dog clothes are useless. They are for the enjoyment of the owner and not necessarily the dog. Plus, dog clothes can be expensive. Owners have been known to spend way too much on this unnecessary dog accessory.
If you want to get your dog some essential clothing items, consider the weather in your area and the type of dog that you have. For example, huskies don’t need a winter coat. Some clothes you might want to invest in for your dog include:
- Protective shoes
- Rain gear
- Warm coat
5. Pet Camera
Pet cameras, like the Furbo, are marketed for dog owners who want to check in on their pets while they are out of the house. While the Furbo has lots of features, the high price tag is not worth it. There are plenty of affordable camera options that allow you to check in on your dogs.
Just remember, that there is always a risk associated with wi-fi connected cameras. Hackers have the capability to access your network and see everything that the camera sees. You may not be worried about a random person seeing your dog, but this means they will also be able to see inside your home.
6. Nail Polish
One of the most stupid dog accessories is nail polish. You’ll often see nail polish on toy dogs that are treated like children by their owners. Some groomers even offer nail polish as an add-on service.
As long as you are using non-toxic polish, it is not unsafe to paint your dog’s nails. It is completely unnecessary though. Many dogs have furry feet that hide their nails anyways. Save your money for something useful for your dog.
7. Dog Movies and TV Shows
Some owners will leave the TV on for their dogs when they leave so the house isn’t too quiet. There is no evidence that the dogs appreciate this, but it is harmless to do. In some cases, the owners will take things a step further and purchase specific dog movies and TV shows for their pup to “watch”.
The idea is that movies or shows with prominent dog characters will keep a canine’s attention. They might even enjoy hearing the barking or squeaky toys. Since dogs communicate through their barks, the sound on the movie or show could actually be aggressive or threatening to your pet.
If you think your dog needs a little noise, just put on any channel for them to listen to. Chances are they won’t pay any attention to the TV anyways.
8. Dog Stroller
Most likely, your dog does not need a stroller. Dogs enjoy sniffing and exploring their surroundings on a walk. If you need a stroller to contain your dog because they poorly behave, then maybe it is best to just leave them at home.
If you need to bring your dog out for an appointment and they have mobility issues, a stroller can come in handy. Talk with your vet before you purchase one because they might recommend walking your dog to keep them healthy.
9. Dog Umbrella
A dog umbrella is just another useless dog accessory. This leash/umbrella combo is really only effective for keeping small dogs dry in a storm. However, they will still be walking through wet grass or the sidewalk and potentially splashing in puddles. The device can also scare the dog.
If you want to keep your pet dry during a rainy potty break, buy them a rain jacket and some booties. It may take a little training for them to feel comfortable in the clothes. You and your dog will enjoy stormy bathroom breaks much more.
10. Dog Treadmill
Is your dog planning on running a marathon? Probably not, so don’t waste your money on a pet treadmill. Just take your dog on a walk outside. If you have made the choice to bring a dog into your family, it is your responsibility to make sure they get adequate exercise. This might mean waking up early to avoid the hottest part of the day or driving to a dog park to let your dog run freely.
A vet may recommend a treadmill for overweight or injured dogs who need to walk in a controlled environment. At the expensive price point, a treadmill just isn’t reasonable for most people. Some pet rehabilitation centers at veterinary offices will have treadmills for your dog to use.
11. Canine Perfume and Cologne
Some pet dogs get a bad rap for always smelling bad. This usually comes from dogs that enjoy rolling around in the dirt or spend a lot of time licking their fur. Some owners turn to pet perfume or cologne to mask the smell.
There are a couple of reasons not to use dog cologne. Some of these products include chemicals that you don’t need to expose your dog to. Plus, the essential oils in natural perfumes can be toxic for your furry pets. Finally, the scent usually fades quickly.
Just bathe and brush your dog regularly to keep them smelling fresh. Try to prevent them from rolling in dirt or smelly things in the yard. If you insist on buying a perfume for your dog, choose one with animal-safe ingredients.
12. Pet Carrier Sweatshirt
It is not unusual to see dog owners who treat their furry friend as their baby. Some people take it too far by wearing their dog in a carrier sweatshirt. This hoodie has a large “kangaroo pouch” where you can carry your dog or cat.
Unless your dog is pretty small, the pouch is not going to be a comfortable place for them to sit. Plus, the weight of the dog is going to pull the wearer down and forward. Overall, this novelty product is just not worth it for either party.
13. Treat Launcher
Put a treat launcher on the list of completely unnecessary dog accessories that are a waste of your money. You can load up this launcher with a few treats and press a button to throw one out. The treats can launch as far as 10 feet… which is probably just as far as you could toss it on your own.
Instead, just keep treats in a bag or your pocket. You can hand them directly to your dog or toss them around for playtime.
14. Dog Carrier
You’ve probably seen baby carriers that parents strap to the front of their bodies. Now imagine the same product for your dog. These dog carriers put your dog in an unnatural position. This also takes it way too far for owners who consider their dog to be their “baby”.
There are backpack carriers and slings that allow your dog to rest in a more comfortable position. None of these carriers will work for large dogs though.
15. Wearable Blanket
After the Snuggie craze, people love to use wearable blankets when relaxing. There are even wearable blankets with large pouches for your pet. This may seem fun and snuggly, but any old blanket will do. If your dog enjoys cuddling under a blanket, it won’t need a special pouch to get comfortable.
16. Dog Beer
If you’re enjoying a six-pack while watching sports, you may think that your pet wants some dog beer also. This kitschy treat might be a fun present for a dog parent, but it is unnecessary. The “beer” can be given as a treat or a food topper.
You can give your dog a beer can toy to play with instead. That way he can still “crack one open” with you.
Dog costumes are solely for the enjoyment of dog owners and other people. They don’t do anything for the dog themselves. There is nothing wrong with wanting to dress up your dog for Halloween or a costume party, but you don’t need to buy tons of costumes. Dogs are not like children and will not be playing dress up.
Remember that many pet costumes can be made with hot and uncomfortable material. If you are going to get your pet a costume, find one that is breathable and uses minimal fabric.
18. Pet Paint
You’ve probably seen dogs leave the groomers with some colorful highlights on their tails or ears. This pet paint can also be purchased for at-home use. You may think it is fun or quirky to add a little color to your dog’s coat, but it is pointless for your dog.
Instead of spraying your dog with colors to add some flare, use colorful hair clips or a bandana to spruce up your dog’s look. These non-permanent accessories can be easily removed if your dog is uncomfortable.
19. Dog Vitamins
Like so many other items marketed for dogs, vitamins are almost always useless. Dog food companies are required to include necessary vitamins and minerals in their products. If you are using high-quality food, your dog is already getting everything they need.
In some cases, your veterinarian will recommend a specific vitamin or supplement for your dog’s health condition. Oftentimes, these products are purchased directly through your vet’s office, so you know that they are safe and effective.
20. Overpriced Treats
Dog treats should not make up a large part of your dog’s diet. Their food should be the main source of nutrition. Therefore, you should be spending your money on high-quality food instead of stocking up on pricy treats.
Most treats are made of a little bit of flavor and a lot of filler, meaning they don’t have a lot of nutritional value. You can even use your dog’s kibble as training treats instead of buying something special.
When buying treats, look for nutritional ingredients like fish or beef liver. They may not smell good, but freeze-dried organ meats are cost-effective and healthy for your pets.
21. Dog Goggles
Is there ever a situation where your dog needs goggles? Only in an open-air vehicle or motorcycle. Dogs’ eyelashes and eyelids are made to protect their eyes. 99% of the time, they do not need to wear additional goggles.
This is the classic case of a company using marketing to try to convince dog owners that they need a product. Save your money.