If you love your favorite team as much as you love your dog, you’ll obviously want to include her in your gameday rituals.
Doing so may seem like a relatively frivolous thing, but it actually benefits you both.
You”ll be able to enjoy your canine’s company during the big game, and your pup will get to enjoy some extra time with mom or dad, as well as the excitement new toys or garments provide!
We’ll share some of the best ways to enjoy gameday with your pooch below.
And this not only includes some tips and tricks for ensuring your pooch actually enjoys the festivities, we’ll also identify some of the coolest canine sports gear around, including toys, clothes, and more that will show off your pup’s team allegiance!
Best Sports Gear For Dogs: Quick Picks
- NFL Pet Jersey [Best Sports Jersey for Dogs] — Well-made, available in several sizes, and officially licensed by the NFL, these are the perfect jerseys for sports-loving doggos!
- Pets First NFL Dog Collar [Best Daily-Use Team Gear] — A high-quality, adjustable collar that lets your pooch show off her favorite team 365 days a year!
- GoTags MLB/NBA ID Tag [Best Sports-Themed ID Tag for Dogs] — Boasting a high-quality paint job and the logo of your favorite baseball or basketball team, this ID tag will help keep your pooch safe while reppin’ the team logo.
- Midlee Referee Toy [Funniest Sports Toy for Dogs] — This pull apart referee toy gives your pooch a chance to chew through the stress watching sports can sometimes cause (plus, you can rip it apart yourself if need be).
There’s a Ton of Pet Sports Gear Available, But Be Careful What You Buy
One thing is for certain: Sports fans love buying stuff featuring their favorite team’s logo.
I know my closet is packed with stuff featuring the Atlanta Falcons logo (I thank you in advance for your condolences).
This has led manufacturers to flood the market with more sports-themed items than you can imagine. This includes lots of normal stuff, like jerseys, beer mugs, and flags, as well as some more unusual items, ranging from pacifiers to toasters.
I even saw an oral retainer with a team logo stamped on it one time.
This makes it easy to whip out the credit card and just start ordering stuff. But that’d be a mistake; many of these types of items are, to put it bluntly, not good.
And this is especially true of dog-related sports merchandise.
So, we’ve tried to skip right past the useless nonsense below and limit our product discussions to only the highest-quality products, which are likely to work well with your dog.
This includes the following basic categories:
- Coats, Pajamas, and Other Types of Clothing
- Bandanas, Leashes, and Collars
- Name Tags
We’ve found some of the best examples for each product category, and we’ll talk all about them below.
Sports Jerseys for Your Dog (NFL, NBA, MLB, NCAA, and NHL)
Whether you are a fan of football, baseball, hoops, or hockey, there’s likely a jersey sporting your favorite team’s logo made just for your pooch.
1. NFL Premium Pet Jerseys
NFL Pet Jersey
Officially Licensed NFL Jerseys for Dogs
Available in each of the 32 NFL teams and sizes ranging from extra-small to extra-large, this jersey will make your pooch the hit of the tailgate party!
Made from 100% polyester, designed to be easy to put on or take off, and tailored specifically for your pet’s body, this is one of the best NFL pet jerseys around.
And don’t worry – these jerseys are officially licensed by the NFL, so you don’t have to worry that it will arrive with typos or bootleg logos that don’t look quite right.
These jerseys are available for 27 of the 32 NFL teams, and they come in sizes ranging from extra-small to extra-large.
Note that many owners report that these jerseys run a little small, so if your dog is near the borderline of two sizes, pick the bigger one.
Most owners who picked up one of these jerseys appeared to love them. They look fantastic, they’re reportedly very well made, and they’re relatively easy to put on and off as well. In fact, many owners were pleasantly surprised with the overall craftsmanship put into these jerseys.
We think it’d be cooler if you could get a specific number printed on the jersey, but your doggo won’t care she’s sporting double zeros.
2. NBA Pet Jerseys
If your hound has hoop dreams, you’ll definitely want to pick up an officially licensed NBA jersey for her.
These premium-quality jerseys are available in several styles, including the original style and a tank-top version, and you can even get throwback jerseys for a few select teams.
These jerseys are available in sizes ranging from extra-small to extra-large, and they can be machine-washed with cold water. You will, however, need to hang them up to dry rather than tossing them in the clothes dryer.
Most owners loved these jerseys and reported that the quality was quite impressive. They appear to fit dogs pretty well, and they’re also easy to put on and take off. It’s also nice that you can just toss these jerseys in your washing machine.
As with the NFL jerseys, it’s kind of a bummer that jerseys for all 30 teams aren’t available. Also, as is common with these types of products, sizing issues were pretty common. So, be sure to measure your dog carefully before picking a size.
3. MLB Pet Jerseys
We’re calling these “jerseys” for simplicity’s sake, but some of these are actually team-themed T-shirts. These appear to be official MLB products, but we’d stop short of guaranteeing that this is the case. Regardless, they’re great-looking garments that’ll let your pooch show off her team pride!
These jerseys are available in sizes ranging from extra-small to extra-large, they’re made from micromesh polyester, and they feature a V-cut neck. Care instructions aren’t included, so we’d recommend hand-washing and air-drying them.
Most owners who picked up one of these jerseys loved them. They appear to be quite well made, and several owners mentioned that they have a nice cut, which prevents them from extending too far down your pet’s body. This will help ensure male dogs don’t tinkle on the fabric during the seventh inning stretch.
The available colors and teams are kind of haphazard, so some fans may not be able to find their preferred team or style. They’re also made in China, but this is pretty common in the pet-garment category, so it probably shouldn’t be a deal-breaker for most pet parents.
5. NCAA Football Jerseys
NCAA Football Pet Jersey
College Football Jerseys for Dogs
Whether your favorite school has a dog for a mascot or not, your pooch will love these high-quality jerseys with woven trim.
Are you more interested in college sports than the pros? Then set your pooch up with one of these NCAA Football Jerseys.
These officially licensed, satin-polyester garments are machine-washable and feature woven trim. They’re also available in a ton of sizes, ranging from extra-small to triple-extra-large, so you should have no problem finding one that fits your four-footer.
Note that these jerseys have a relatively realistic football jersey fit, so the arms are a bit blousy. We think this makes them even cuter than many of the other pet jerseys on the market.
Obviously, you won’t be able to find these for every college and university in the land, but most big time Division I schools appear to be represented.
Most owners loved these jerseys and reported that they not only fit well, but that they were easy to put on and take off too. They appear to be very well-made, and we love the fact that they’re machine washable.
A few owners lamented the lack of a harness/leash portal, but we haven’t found any pet jerseys that provide these. As with most other pet jerseys, sizing issues were common, so be sure to measure your doggo carefully.
4. NHL Hockey Jerseys
NHL Pet Jersey
Officially Licensed Canine Hockey Jerseys
Gotta puck-chasing pup at home? She’ll love this poly-cotton jersey bearing the logo of her favorite team!
There aren’t as many hockey-oriented products on the market for pets as there are for some other sports, but fortunately, jerseys are one of the things you can find.
Made from a poly-cotton blend and available in five sizes (extra-small through extra-large), these jerseys are easy to put on and look great.
The manufacturer doesn’t explicitly explain whether or not you can machine wash these jerseys, so we’d recommend hand washing it just to be safe.
By and large, owners were pleased with these NHL pet jerseys. Most found that they looked great, and several owners expressed surprise at how well-made the garments were.
As with most other sports jerseys for pets, sizing issues were common with these NHL jerseys. Just be sure to measure your dog carefully, and opt for the larger size if you have trouble deciding which one to get.
Sports-Themed Coats, Pajamas, and Other Types of Clothing
We’re pretty big fans of team-themed jerseys, but some dogs prefer more casual clothing. This includes things like pajamas and outer wear, among other things. We talk about a few of our favorites below.
1. Pets First Hoodie T-Shirt
Made from 100% polyester, these adorable T-shirts feature your favorite team’s colors and logo. These canine hoodies are easy to put on and take off, thanks to their Velcro closure, and they’re also easy to keep clean – just machine wash in cold water and hang dry.
These shirts come in four sizes, ranging from extra-small to large.
But most importantly, these T-shirts come with a little hood that is just ridiculously cute (check out the owner-submitted photos on the Amazon page).
Note that we have linked to hoodies on Amazon above, as they have a much better selection. But you can check out NFL.com too — they still have a few hoodies in stock when we updated this article.
Most owners raved about these shirts, reporting that they were not only easy to put on and take off, but also that they looked great in person. We also love the fact that you can machine wash them, which sets them apart from some lower-quality canine clothes on the market.
A few owners reported that these sizes run small, so be sure to measure your dog carefully. A small number of owners also complained that the shirt’s graphics differed slightly from what was pictured.
2. Littlearth Onesie
If you want to just throw down the cuteness gauntlet and ensure your doggo will be the hit of your tailgate party, you just have to check out these cute onesies. They provide full-body coverage for your canine and even come with an attached hood to keep Coco’s ears cozy.
These onesies are made from a cotton-poly blend, they feature a Velcro closure, and they can be machine washed (just use cold water and hang to dry). They’re available in all 32 NFL team colors, and they come in five sizes, ranging from extra-small to extra-large.
The Littlearth Onesie comes in all 32 NFL team colors, but it is unfortunately not available for baseball or basketball teams.
Simply put, these things are just too cute for words. Most owners loved the colors, praised the quality of the materials, and reported that their dog seems to find it comfortable. We also think it’s pretty reasonably priced, given how good it looks.
Unfortunately, several owners reported that the sizes run really small. So, it is probably not a great choice for owners with medium to large dogs.
3. Littlearth NFL Puffer Vest
Need something to help keep your pooch warm while you’re tailgating with friends and family? Check out this puffer vest from Littlearth.
Available in five sizes ranging from extra-small to extra-large, this 100% polyester vest features our favorite team’s colors and logo to show off your canine’s allegiances in style.
These vests feature a water-repellent shell to help keep Coco dry when it rains on gameday, and they each feature a reflective stripe, to help keep your dog safe when walking near traffic.
The Littlearth Puffer Vest is only available for NFL teams, but all 32 are represented.
The majority of owners who tried this vest liked it, explaining that it was easy to put on their dog, and that it helped keep their pooch warm too. We just think it is a great way to solve a problem (a cold canine), while simultaneously supporting your favorite team.
A not-so-insignificant number of owners complained that the graphics pictured in the ad weren’t exactly like those on the vest (though several still found it adorable). Also, a few owners were disappointed in the amount of stuffing present.
Sports-Themed Bandanas, Leashes, and Collars for Dogs
Face it: Some dogs simply don’t like wearing clothing, which can make it challenging to show off their team spirit.
However, there are plenty of sports-themed accessories – including bandanas, collars, and leashes – on the market, which are perfect for garment-averse doggos.
1. Reversible NFL Bandana
NFL Pet Bandana
NFL Team Bandanas for Dogs
Sometimes a jersey or jacket is more than you need to show off your favorite team, and this bandana will do so perfectly.
Bandanas are fantastic clothing items for dogs, and they make especially good choices for sports-loving owners. Bandanas are quick and easy to put on your pooch, and they don’t present quite as many sizing challenges as jerseys or other garments do.
These pull-through-style bandanas are designed to slip on your dog’s collar, which not only makes dress-up time easy, it means you won’t have to worry about it falling off while your dog is endzone dancing.
The bandana comes in four sizes, ranging from small/medium to large/extra-large, you can get it with the colors and logos of all 32 NFL teams (you can also get all 31 NHL teams on Amazon, if you’re a hockey fan). Best of all, this bandana is reversible, and features home and away colors!
This is actually one of the best-rated sports products we encountered. Most owners raved about the bandana’s quality, mentioning that it looks like it’ll hold up for multiple seasons worth of use. Owners also found that it was easy to put on, and that the logo and colors looked great.
There weren’t many complaints about these bandanas, but a few owners were disappointed that it wouldn’t fit over a wide collar.
2. NFL Team Pet Leash
NFL Team Pet Leash
5-Foot NFL Dog Leash
Jerseys and jackets are great for gameday, but this NFL-licensed pet leash works 365 days a year!
You have to have a leash for your pet, so you may as well pick up one that features your favorite NFL team. These team-themed leashes are made from polyester webbing and feature a metal clip and loop-style handle.
You can get any of the 32 NFL team logos on this leash, and it comes in three widths: 0.375 inches, 0.75 inches, and 1 inch. All three versions are 5 feet long.
In a nutshell, this appears to be a high-quality leash that looks great and gets the job done. Most owners felt that it looked great, and several reported that it was very well made.
A few owners complained about the width of these leashes and characterized them as a bit bulky. So, you may want to opt for the thinnest size if you have a small dog.
3. NFL Dog Collar
Nylon NFL Dog Collar
NFL Team Collar for Dogs
It’s true, we’ve seen some human fans wear dog collars at games, but we promise this will look better on your dog.
Like a leash, a collar is one of those things all dogs need. So, skip the plain Jane models and pick up one that advertises your allegiance to your favorite team.
Made from 100% nylon and featuring a plastic easy-open buckle and metal D-ring, this collar is durable, good-looking, and easy to put on your pooch.
You can get this collar in your choice of the 32 NFL teams, and it comes in four sizes: small, medium, large, and extra-large. Be sure to measure your dog’s neck carefully and consult the sizing chart before ordering.
Most owners were pretty pleased with this collar. Most were very happy with the way it looked, and found that it was well-made. For our two-cents, we think the graphics on this particular product are top-notch.
There weren’t many problems shared by owners except that sizing problems seemed pretty common. At least one owner reported that the leash would loosen over time, but most owners seemed to think it worked perfectly.
Can’t find one for the team you support? You can always make your own sports-themed dog DIY bandana or DIY collar to create some custom fan gear for pooch!
Sports-Themed Dog ID Tags
Dog ID tags aren’t as flamboyant as some of the other sports gear on the market, but they’re one of the easiest and most affordable ways to ensure your doggo is always reppin’ the team colors.
Besides, you have to buy your dog an ID tag, so you may as well buy one with your favorite team’s logo on it.
Just be sure that you buy a high-quality tag. These are obviously helpful for showing your doggo’s team pride, but ID tags also serve a vital safety function. We like the following two the best:
1. GoTags Bone-Shaped Personalized ID Tags
GoTags Bone-Shaped ID Tags
NFL-Licensed Dog ID Tag
This high-quality ID tag is built to last and should identify your pooch (and her favorite NFL team) for years.
These bone-shaped ID tags measure about 1 inch tall and 1.5 inches wide, and they’re built to last. The tags themselves are made from solid brass and the finish is UV-cured to provide durability and keep the tag looking great for years.
The manufacturer makes it easy to add your dog’s name and your contact info to the tag: Simply select your team, then click the “customize now” button to add up to four lines of text.
You can get the GoTags Personalized ID Tag for all 32 NFL teams and most major Division I NCAA teams.
The majority of owners who tried this tag felt that it looked great and was well made. Several also mentioned that the tag shipped very quickly, which helps for getting it before gameday.
A few owners complained that this tag was a little smaller than they’d hoped. Also, while most owners felt it was really well made, a few complained of chipping paint.
2. GoTags Circular Personalized ID Tags
GoTags also makes ID tags for NBA and MLB fans. These tags are about 1.25 inches in diameter, and they’re also made of solid brass and UV-cured to ensure they hold up to daily wear and tear.
You can also add four lines of text to these tags by first selecting your team, and then clicking on the “customize now” button.
Instead of being bone-shaped, these tags are designed to resemble a basketball or a baseball.
Unfortunately, there aren’t a ton of user reviews for these tags. But, those who did share their experiences enthusiastically praised these tags.
The only thing that worries us about these tags is the space available for text, given the round shape. But this is probably only a problem for owners with a lot of contact info to include.
Sports-Themed Dog Toys
If we’re being honest, your dog is unlikely to feel fulfilled by sitting on the couch with you for three hours while you watch the game. She’ll likely need some cool toys to play with and keep her occupied while you’re focusing on your coach’s latest bone-headed decision.
Fortunately, there are plenty of options available. A few of our favorites are discussed below.
1. Pets First Ball Toy
A perfect toy for baseball- or basketball-loving pooches, the Pets First Ball Toy is a machine-washable squeaker toy, featuring a ball-shaped middle section and two short knotted ropes sticking out of each side, so Coco can get a great grip.
Measuring about 11 inches in total length (from one end of the rope to the other), this toy is probably best-suited for medium-sized pups – it may be a bit small for big ‘ol doggos.
The majority of owners who purchased the Pets First Ball Toy loved it, as did their canines. Most reported that it looked great in person, and that it was surprisingly durable.
Despite the fact that many owners explained that this ball held up well to their dog’s teeth, quite a few owners had the opposite experience. Ultimately, you’ll just have to consider your dog’s chewing tendencies, if you’re contemplating buying this toy.
2. Midlee Pull Apart Referee Toy
This is the only non-team-oriented pet product we’re including here, but we know that most sports fans will agree: It’s a really appropriate item for diehard sports fans and their dogs.
A soft fabric toy with an internal squeaker to keep your pet’s attention, this toy comes apart in six pieces. So, whenever the ref makes a bad call (I mean, is he even watching the game?), you and Coco can exercise your frustrations voodoo-doll style.
Once your pooch is done ripping the zebra limb-from-limb, you can stick the appendages back on via Velcro patches.
The manufacturer claims that the toy is suitable for dogs of all sizes. For safety’s sake, we would caution owners to supervise playtime closely, so that your dog doesn’t run off and swallow an arm or leg.
Most owners liked this pull apart toy and found it exceptionally cute. Plus, we won’t discount the therapeutic value it provides owners during game day (as well as our poor dogs, who have to put up with our bad mood when the home team loses).
Despite the manufacturer’s claim that this toy is suitable for dogs of all sizes, many owners complained that it is a bit on the small side. A handful of owners also complained that the Velcro wore out pretty quickly.
Enjoying Sports with Your Dog: Gameday Tips & Tricks
Depending on your level of fanaticism, you may simply kick back in your favorite recliner when the game is on the tube, or you may go all out, invite friends over, and throw a party in anticipation of a big win. But no matter how you enjoy supporting your favorite sports team, you’ll want to make sure you do a few things that’ll help your doggo enjoy it too.
- Tucker your terrier out before game time. As the saying goes, “a tired dog is a well-behaved dog.” If you’re worried that your pet will be bouncing off the walls during the game (thereby preventing you from properly focusing during those critical end-of-game free throws), take her for a long walk or play a vigorous game of fetch beforehand to tire her out. I often try to take my pooch swimming prior to kickoff, so she’ll just sleep for most of the game.
- Warn guests ahead of time that your four-footer will be partaking in the festivities. As strange as this may sound, some people don’t feel comfortable around dogs. For that matter, some people have allergies to dogs, which will leave them feeling miserable after hanging around your pooch. So, be sure to give your friends and family a heads up before the big day – you don’t want to spring your spaniel on them without any warning.
- Let your dog get to know visitors before things get serious. This won’t be necessary for outgoing dogs who’re social butterflies, but shy or reactive dogs will generally fare better if you let them get to know your guests before everyone starts jumping around and cheering. Use good judgement too; if Coco can’t handle all of the new people and commotion, allow her to wait out the game somewhere quiet, in which she feels safe.
- Give your dog the chance to retreat somewhere safe and quiet. Even if your dog is delighted by all of the guests and chaos of gameday, you’ll want to give her somewhere safe she can retreat if the commotion gets to be too much for her. A covered crate is ideal for this purpose. As a bonus, you can hide in the crate if your team loses, so no one will see you crying.
- Discuss people foods with your guests. Some of your friends and family may be tempted to share some of the gameday goodies with your floof. That’s not always a problem (most healthy dogs can enjoy the odd unsalted pretzel or cheese cube without issue), but some gameday foods can be dangerous for dogs. This would include grapes, some nuts, and anything chocolate among other things. Just be sure to explain the rules about feeding your dog before they’re staring at your begging pooch’s puppy dog eyes.
- Be careful about open doors. If you’re having a number of guests over, chances are, one or more of the doors to your home will be opened and closed repeatedly. So, just make sure that everyone is aware of your pooch and the rules about her access to the outdoors. If need be, just use a dog gate to block her path to the door.
- Desensitize your doggo to shouting, dancing, crying, and other outbursts. While your friends will understand why you’re jumping around, screaming and shouting following a homerun, your dog will have no clue why you just became so animated. Often, she’ll think that there is something wrong. So, try to desensitize your dog to gameday outbursts, while also providing plenty of reassurance and scritches as necessary. You can even include your dog in your celebration or grieving. When my pooch experienced her first football season, she’d become quite frightened by my touchdown celebrations. So, I started including her in the festivities, and encouraging her to run through the house like a lunatic with me whenever circumstances dictated. Now, she takes outbursts in stride.
- Know when to throw in the towel. Not all dogs are cut out for watching sports or partaking in the associated festivities. That’s OK – some people aren’t even interested in sports (at least, that’s what I hear, but I remain skeptical). If your dog doesn’t appear to be enjoying the big game with you, just provide an alternative place for her to hang out and feel safe while you’re cheering on your favorite team.
Gameday Feast: Feeding Your Dog While Watching the Game
You don’t have to tell me; I know half the fun of gameday is stuffing your face with delicious finger food. And canine comradery code dictates that you’ll want to let your pooch get in on the feast.
But you obviously don’t want to share most tailgating-style foods with your pooch. Very few of them are good for your doggo, and a few of them are downright dangerous.
Anything that includes chocolate, grapes, or alcohol is strictly verboten, and most of the foods that may originally be safe for dogs – like chicken fingers or hotdogs – is probably doused in so much delicious fat and salt that it no longer becomes fit for Fido.
The answer? Custom make a snack for your pup. She’ll appreciate getting to enjoy a special treat, and many are super-easy to slap together.
But here are some perfect gameday treats for your pooch (be warned that these take a bit of time to dry out, but your dog will love them):
True sports fans understand the importance of indoctrinating the doggo to the family’s favorite team. After all, you don’t want anyone to question your team allegiance – especially not if you live in a location with several local (and often rival) teams.
Let us know what kind of sports gear you like to put on your pooch. We’d love to hear about your experiences with specific products too. And most of all, we’d love to see photos of your pupper in all her gameday glory! Just head over to our photo uploader and send us a few pics!