Guide to Selecting Safe Dog Collars: Ensuring Your Pet’s Well-being

Selective Focus Photo of Pitbull // Healthier Pets Today

Are you on the hunt for dog collars or looking to learn about them? Look no further! There are many dog collars, small dog collars, heavy duty collars, etc. Choosing the best one is a more significant challenge for new pet owners. Identification is one of a collar’s primary functions. While all dogs should be microchipped to ensure the best possibility of you being reunited if they become lost, dog collars are a simple method for others to see your dog’s name and contact data. This is also important for emergency planning. Your dog might be returned to you sooner if they have an identification tag on their collar than if they are taken to the vet to read their microchip. Collars are also frequently utilized to teach dogs or puppies to walk on leashes.

Making Sure Your Dog Is Comfortable And Safe

Two Adult Black-and-tan German Shepherds Running on Ground // Healthier Pets Today

Any collar you choose would need to be secure and fit comfortably. The finest choice is a traditional flat collar with a quick-release buckle and a metal ring to attach your dog’s leash and identification tag. It is best to wear single-layer collars because research indicates that collars with padding on both layers may put more strain on the neck. 

Since puppies’ necks increase, ensure their dog collars fit them properly every week. As they age, a larger size can be necessary to prevent skin injuries from an excessively tight collar digging into their neck. A tight collar can strangle your dog, and a loose collar can slip off. The golden rule? Your dog’s neck should easily accommodate two fingers between the collar and body. 

The Right Fit

Black and Brown Doberman Pinscher Standing on Soil // Healthier Pets Today

Getting the collar fit perfectly from the start will keep your dog comfortable, as opposed to wearing a collar that is the wrong size or made of hard material. Wearing a collar should never impair a dog’s mobility, nor should it cause them to seem unhappy or scratch their collar out of displeasure. Even more concerning, collars can hurt dogs if not correctly fitted, so proper fitting and supervision are required. Dogs left outside who try to run away can die from strangulation if their collar is caught on something, such as a fence post.

A dog may sustain severe injuries if its tongue, jaws, or limbs become trapped by a loose collar. On the other hand, tight collars can chafe, irritate, and even cause illness by digging into your dog’s skin. Taking off collars at night is also a good idea to allow skin to breathe.

Dog Collars and Neck Injuries

Dog Collars can also cause neck injuries if your dog pulls on the leash or is tugged along, even if they fit correctly. The pressure of the collar on the neck caused by pulling or tugging can cause injury through whiplash or nerve damage to the thyroid gland, lymph nodes, trachea, and esophagus, as well as worsen respiratory symptoms in brachycephalic (short-nosed) breeds or cause abnormal eye pressure. A new study employing a simulated neck model found that no collar type can avoid pressure injury in dogs who tug on their leashes. This is one of the reasons why loose-leash walking” with a front-attaching harness is recommended.

Training your dog to walk on a leash without tugging is most effective with a front-attaching harness and a double-ended leash that attaches to the back and front. These harnesses are highly recommended as a training aid, surpassing previously used head collars, which enclose the snout and might cause discomfort and harm.

Front-attaching harnesses are safer than collars because when the dog pulls, the pressure is absorbed by their chest or back rather than their neck, lowering the risk of damage and preventing coughing and choking. Unlike collars, they also keep dogs from falling out and fleeing. Back-fitting harnesses may be appropriate for well-trained dogs not pulling on the leash. Like other equipment, a harness must be correctly fitted for your dog’s comfort and ability to move normally. It should be removed during play or when they are safe on their owner’s property, indoors or outside.

Provide Reward-Based Training

Photo of Golden Retriever Sitting on Grass, Dog Collars // Healthier Pets Today

Training your dog or puppy is crucial to your care; therefore, always use reward-based methods. Some collars should never be used since they destroy dogs’ well-being and rely on punishment for training. You should not use:

  • Some trainers continue to use check collars, believing that yanking a dog’s head would rectify undesired behaviors. This causes considerable pain and misery.
  • Prong collars are made of metal and have prongs that, when tightened, press into a dog’s neck, causing pain, discomfort, and possible damage to the trachea, nerves, and other tissues. This is another instance of ineffective punishment-based education that causes anger and could lead to violent behavior. The purpose of prong collars is to inflict pain or discomfort on the animal to discourage or eliminate pulling on the lead. Their foundation lies in doing something unpleasant or terrifying to stop undesirable behavior.
  • When dogs bark, anti-barking collars give them electric shocks or another aversive stimulus (such as a scent or a loud sound). These collars cause pain and misery and do not address the root reason for excessive barking.

What Are The Safest Dog Collars To Use?

The martingale, often known as a “limited slip” collar, features a loop that allows the collar to tighten slightly but is not designed to choke or provide “corrections.” The primary role of this collar is to keep your dog from backing out of the collar, as some dogs learn to do with a flat collar.

Everything Dog Collars

Adult Black and Brown German Shepherd Lying on Floor // Healthier Pets Today

Collars are more than just an accessory for your dog, and aside from their purpose in identification and training, they may also create a fashion statement! Thanks to studies in this field, we know much more about what makes a collar safe, which collars to avoid, and how to train our dogs to walk on a leash.