Some dogs might like running around naked without a collar but it really is beneficial. The main purpose of a dog collar is to have something to attach the leash to when you walk your dog.
It’s also the perfect place to attach an identification tag, vaccination tag, license, and rabies tag.
The pet industry understands the importance of a dog collar and has gone above and beyond to design a variety of styles and colors to make things fun.
Now, you can spice up your dog’s neck with collar fashion that matches their personality.
For example, if you have a dog that is playful and fun, choose a vibrant color or pattern that exudes their personality. However, if your dog is calm and quiet, choose a classic leather collar or a classic color.
Pet parents who have more than one dog can choose a different style and color for each pet.
Dog collars are also designed for a variety of uses such as daily walks and training purposes. The most important part about a collar is the fit. You need to find the right size and fit for your specific dog.
Your goal is to make sure your dog doesn’t get loose from the collar while at the same time preventing the collar from becoming too tight around the neck. So, how tight should a dog collar be? Let’s find out now!
How to Fit a Dog Collar Correctly
Types of Dog Collars
First, let’s explore the different types of collars to become more familiar with the variety of options.
- Standard collar – A standard collar is made from durable material that lies flat against your dog’s neck. It features a quick-release closure, a ring to attach identification tags and it comes in a variety of colors and patterns.
- Head collar – This type of collar resembles a horse’s halter because one strap sits high on the head while the other fits around the neck. There’s a strap that also goes around your dog’s muzzle. It features a ring located at the bottom of the loop where you can attach a leash.
- Martingale collar – A martingale collar is also called a limited-slip collar. It’s ideal for dogs that usually slip out of their collar and for those with narrow heads like Greyhounds.
- Choke Chain collar – There is a running debate among pet parents about choke chain collars. Some find it useful while others prefer not to use this type of collar because they think it’s inhumane. As a pet parent, it’s up to you to decide whether it’s beneficial for your dog or not. The choke chain collar is designed to tighten around your dog’s neck during use. There’s no way to control the tightness around your dog’s neck which leads to choking, damaging the esophagus, neck sprains, fainting, and sometimes death.
- Shock collar – This collar is also often debated among dog owners. It’s specially designed to prevent your dog from barking excessively. It uses an electric current to alert and surprise your dog which helps deter their barking. The sensation your dog experiences range from mild to high. However, most bark collars allow you to adjust the severity of the sensation to suit your specific dog. Some also give you alternative options such as using vibration and citronella spray or air puffs to catch your dog’s attention and deter their barking.
- Flea and Tick collar – This popular collar is often used on dogs that are exposed to fleas and ticks on a regular basis. It’s usually worn as a standard collar but needs to be replaced periodically.
- GPS collar – These helpful dog collars use global positioning satellite technology that helps you find your dog if they get lost.
- Harnesses – A harness fits over your dog’s body instead of around their neck. Harnesses come in a variety of colors, sizes, and types with a variety of functions.
How to Choose the Right Collar for Your Dog
Every dog is special and has their own needs for a collar such as daily walks for exercise and obedience training. As a pet parent, you need to determine the use of the collar and how it best fits into your dog’s daily life.
Once you identify the need for the collar it will help you narrow down your options. Sometimes you might need more than one type of dog collar. For example, you might need a standard collar for daily walks and a bark collar to help control your dog’s barking at night.
How to Fit the Collar Correctly
The most important part of using a collar on your dog is the fit. The general rule is that you need to be able to fit two fingers between your dog’s neck and the interior part of the collar.
You are looking for your fingers to easily slide between the collar and your dog’s neck while at the same time providing a snug fit. Always adjust the collar and check it from time to time especially if your dog gains weight.
Signs Your Dog’s Collar is Too Tight
- Your dog is coughing and choking
- Skin irritation appears underneath the collar due to constant rubbing
- Injury to the trachea due to your dog twisting and straining their head from attempting to relieve the pressure from the collar
Signs Your Dog’s Collar is Too Loose
- Your dog gets out of their collar easily
- The collar slips off during walks
- The jaw gets caught in the collar
- Skin irritation due to the collar rubbing against the skin in various areas
How to Measure for a Dog Collar
- Use a flexible soft measuring tape
- Measure the circumference of your dog’s neck
- Use the measurement to choose the right size collar for your dog
The tightness of the collar needs to be snug but allows breathing room while at the same time not giving too much space to make it too loose. Your goal is to keep your dog comfortable and safe while wearing a collar.
You can have fun with the collar by choosing festive colors and styles that boost your mood when your dog wears it. Typically, a dog collar should be worn at all times to make it easier to find your dog if they get lost.
A common mistake many pet parents make is taking the collar off while their dog is indoors. Many dogs love to run outside as soon as the front door is open.
Most dogs end up running down the street thinking it’s fun but they can’t find their way back home and end up lost without their identification tags.
Are you a pet parent that enjoys taking their dog hiking? If so, the GPS collar is an excellent choice. It allows you to give your dog freedom to roam around during the hike without causing you to worry about them getting lost.
Now that you know the size of the collar that suits your dog, the style you will like to get, and how to fit your dog perfectly for their collar, it’s time to make your choice.
Don’t forget your active dog might need a few collars such as a GPS collar for hiking, a standard collar for daily walks, and a bark collar to prevent them from barking. It’s up to you to decide the best collar for your pet. Just make sure it fits correctly.
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