Doggy jewelry or jewelry specifically for dogs is actually not a new concept. There are many historical paintings of dogs in royal courts and with royal families wearing gems around their necks on gold or silver chains, definitely ornamental and not typical collars. These paintings, often seen in English and French courts, often featured the dog prominently in the picture.
Typically in most cases the dogs that were wearing the royal jewels were small dogs, what would now be called lapdogs. In the 16th century a good number of these smaller sized dogs were Papillons, however Poodles, Pekingese and other Spaniel types of breeds were also very popular as lapdogs of the time.
Modern dogs of any breed can be seen with jewelry that is both fashionable as well as practical in nature. Many of the newer types of dog jewelry include functional collars, although some jewelry items are strictly for show. The price for the various types of dog jewelry ranges from under a hundred dollars to several thousand, depending on just how real you want the jewels to be.
The demand for very high end, authentic dog jewelry in silver, gold and platinum is relatively small, however there are pet owners out there that are spending thousands of dollars for necklaces and matching pendants for their pampered pooches. Often these designer dog necklaces and designer tags are custom designed and encrusted with diamond chips, ruby or emerald chips or other types of semi-precious stones. These necklaces and pendants can be seen on dogs owned by stars and are also commonly seen in fashion shows and exhibits, but rarely around in the off leash area of a local dog park. However, many companies and small doggy boutiques are selling replicas and original dog jewelry items. These specially designed necklaces are elegant on short haired dog breeds and most sell for a very tiny fraction of what the real item may bring. Faux pearls and small beads make up an interesting necklace that can be of any combination of colors and bead or pearl sizes. Generally these necklaces are strung on stainless steel beading cable that is nylon coated, very strong but also safe for the dog.
Unlike a traditional collar these dog necklaces close using a bar and ring toggle, just like some of the necklaces and bracelets use for human jewelry. The clasp or closure itself is very decorative and is typically either a gold or silver finish, adding to the beauty of the necklace. Many of these types and styles of necklaces come in standard sizing of up to ten or eleven inches for a set price, often under forty dollars, with additional lengths costing just a bit more. Keep in mind these necklaces are not the same as a collar and there is no option to fasten a leash to these purely decorative additions.
Other options for doggy jewelry include woven necklaces. These are actually woven with multiple strands of beads or crystals, making a dazzling presentation in what would be a choker style for a woman. These necklaces are best suited to the shorter coated dogs for maximum visibility and glamour. This style is also very glamorous for evening types of events and special occasions when perhaps the whole family is dressed up for the event.
There are several options for necklaces that include various pendants or charms to be added to the actual necklace itself. These can be added in a fashion similar to Italian charms where the decorative tile can be snapped onto a necklace, allowing for various patterns and designs. Other options may include permanently attaching various types of charms or pendants to the necklace using rings or solder, depending on the type of chain or necklace.
As with anything that is going to be on your dog's neck, safety is a huge concern. Avoid using any type of necklace that won't break with moderate pressure as this can pose a very serious choking hazard. Small dogs may hook the necklace on a branch, protruding piece of furniture or an object and literally strangle if the necklace won't break. Keeping the jewelry on the dog only when you are providing direct supervision is also essential for safety.
Avoid necklaces that dangle to a level where the dog can bite at or lick at the necklace or the pendants. A dog will keep worrying at the beads, tags, pendants or necklace until they are able to get it off, often swallowing many of the smaller components of the necklace. They can either cause a choking problem or they can also become lodged in the digestive tract, leading to very serious and life threatening health problems sometime in the future.
Occasionally irresponsible dog owners make the decision to pierce their dog's ears, or even just one ear. Not only is this practice potentially dangerous for the dog, the chances of the piercing being torn out in play or simply by scratching is almost 100% at some time in the dog's life. This then leads to the very real possibly that the dog will swallow the earring, leading to a greater chance of life threatening conditions in the digestive tract. Torn ears and the risk of ongoing infection from the tear in the tissue is also very real. To top that off there is a huge risk of infection at the location of the piercing and even nerve damage to the ear depending on where the piercing is located. While some shops and piercing professionals will perform this type of piercing it is really putting the dog at great risk.
Since most dog owners that want their pooches to have a bit a bling are very responsible and go for a flashy necklace or collar, there is very little concern about safety. Just be sure to buy the correct size and also ensure that the material the necklace is made of will break with moderate pressure. By gradually getting your dog used to wearing a necklace he or she will soon be proudly displaying their trendy new style all over town.