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Dogs wearing human clothing is certainly not a new thing. Why should bandanas be any different? There is just a few things to consider when working out if your favourite human bandana will work on your doggo.

Dogs can wear human bandanas but not always. There is a few things to check such as the fabric type, thickness, etc. Most importantly check the size is big enough! Because you would need to tie it up behind the dogs neck you need at least an extra 10cm to the size of the dogs neck. 

Lets dive in to the things to consider such as the fabric, thickness, height and size of the bandana to make it work for you and your dog!

The Fabric

Be mindful of what fabrics you are wanting to put on the dog. Some might cause a reaction!

It’s unlikely to come across them in human bandanas but you want to steer clear of fabrics that use harsh chemicals such as flame retardants in their manufacturing process. These are known to be allergenic. Some dogs will have reactions to it especially dogs with sensitive skin.

Also some fabrics can allow the accumulation of dust mites, mold and bacteria.

The most common fabrics that bandanas are made out of is Polyester which is synthetic and Cotton which is a natural fabric. Both of these will be ok for dogs provided they don’t have harsh chemicals. If in doubt play it safe and just keep it away from the dog.


When selecting a human bandana to put on the dog be mindful of how thick it is. If you are using it to keep the dog warm it may not do much to help if it’s too thin. Also be sure not to put a thick and wooly bandana on the dog if it’s super hot as the less they have on the bandana. 


This can definitely be an issue for smaller dogs. When you use a human bandana that was made for humans it can often be a sizing problem for smaller dogs. Because the human bandana is made to go over the top of the head and tie together at the back it’s not designed to sit on the dogs chest. In small dogs this often means it dangles too low and touches the floor. Unfortunately because the rest of the bandana is tied behind the dogs neck there is nothing else to tie it off to.

To make the bandana higher the only 2 solutions-

Cut It

To cut the bandana lay it flat on the ground completely open. Fold it in half to make a triangle then wrap it around the dogs neck. Then where you see it is too low either try mark the bandana with a pen or cut a small slice with scissors in to the side. Then take it back off the dog and cut a straight line across.

The down side to this is the bottom of the bandana will be flat not pointed

Roll It

To roll is nicer because the very bottom will still be pointed when on the dog.

Follow the same steps as cutting it but once the bandana is folded in to a triangle you want to roll it over.

Tuck it under itself in a rolling action. Each time you do this the top of the bandana will get thicker and the bottom corner will get lifted higher. Simply keep doing this until you reach the height you need it to sit on the dog.

Is it big enough?

More than likely the biggest issue you will face is the width of the bandana being too short for the dog. Most human bandanas are big enough to wrap around small to medium size dogs but once you get to bigger dogs it won’t work. With no way to make the bandana bigger the width of the bandana from corner to corner needs to be bigger than the dogs neck. Based off what we know about dog bandanas the length needs to be at least 10cm longer than the dogs neck. Without this there is no room to tie it off.
To work out if your bandana is big enough first you are going to want to measure the dogs neck. Once you have that measurement you want to check the human bandana. Lay it on the ground flat and measure from one corner to the opposite corner. If this number is at least 10cm longer than the dogs neck you are good to go!

If you do have a dog too big to fit the bandana made for human but you still want them to wear something. It’s time to buy a bandana made for dogs! There is heaps of places you can get them from including markets, Etsy, etc but for expert advice and dog bandanas to fit any breed from Chihuahua’s to Great Dane’s be sure to check out the Swanky Paws range.

Dogs Are Dogs

A point often over looked is that dogs can be very silly. Be sure to keep your dog safe and never leave a bandana on the dog unattended. Best to put the bandana on for a short while and take it off straight after use. Dogs are known to chew and play with their accessories and you don’t want them chocking. They can even swallow it whole and clog up their insides. The last thing anyone wants is a trip to the vet so be safe and always watch your dog when wearing the bandana.


In most cases you shouldn’t have any problems at all using your human bandana for your dog! Just always be mindful of your dogs health as not all fabrics go well with dogs. If you have small or medium size dogs you should be good to go but unfortunately for you big dog owners they don’t make human bandanas big enough for the necks of big dogs.
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