- strong, that it does not independently or accidentally come off under any circumstances,
- comfortable, it must be made of a material which is suitable for extended contact with the skin of the pet
- light, too heavy collars could strain the pet and even cause health problems. Please, consider also that not all dogs are identical and that not all breeds have the same dimensions and characteristics.
How to choose the right product
Pet market offers a wide range of products of any kind; therefore, when we talk about a collar, we should have already a clear idea of what we are looking for. A rushed choice could damage our dog.
Some important elements to consider:
- Knowing the breed of the dog is a good start.
A quick search will allow you to see which products are recommended for that type of dog. Some collar manufacturers put on the label some additional information, such as the breed they suggest for that kind of collar. However, this method is not often correct, because every dog is different and you can run the risk to buy something that would not be suitable for your 4-legged friend, and that would exclude all crossbred dogs.
- The size of the neck is the first important element to consider. The circumference of the animal's neck must be measured to establish its size. Please, consider that the collar should not be too tight, because it could cause breathing problems, fur loss in that area, irritation and dermatitis. Obviously it isn't a good idea to leave it too wide, because the pet could accidentally take it off. The right size is that in which there is a two-finger space between the collar and the dog's neck.
- The pet's fur should not be underestimated. We must make a distinction between the different types of fur: thick, short, long ... Not only the size of the neck is important, but also the extra centimeters due to the fur.
- The age of the dog. If you have a puppy, please consider the speed of his growth; the most suitable accessory in this case is a collar adaptable to the dimensions of the neck as it grows. However, please remember that you may need to buy several collars before your dog grows up. It is advisable to check the space between the collar and the puppy's neck every week to prevent it from causing him problems.
- Regular activities are an important element when choosing this accessory. A dynamic and strong dog used to playing outdoors will need a strong collar that does not limit his free movements but can withstand any shock. A dog used to taking a bath often will need a collar that will not easily get damaged in contact with water.
Remember not to let your dog wear a still wet collar, as it could irritate his skin and help the proliferation of some germs responsible for infections.
The width of the collar is another important element to consider as well as its length. The wider a collar is, the more it will offer steadiness and reduce the pressure on the neck, especially as regards big dogs.
Various types of collars on the market
There are several types of collars on the market today and are mainly divided into training collars and collars for daily use. Some training collars need a steady and skilled hand and should be avoided if you do not have the right skills and experience. They will therefore not be reported in this list as this is a guide for new dog's owners.
Band collar: it is the most common collar, made of a very strong and long-lasting band. The most commonly used materials for manufacturing are leather and nylon. The first material will be more durable; at the beginning it will be a bit stiff, but will become softer over time . This material is suitable for dogs with short or medium coat, while a model with some padding is recommended for dogs with long fur. Nylon, on the other hand, allows the collar to be used in all kinds of outdoor activities: it will be resistant to rain, dirt and easily washable!
Detachable collars: they are similar to band collars, but unlike them, they are equipped with a safety that can be opened only with a high effort. These collars are useful but pay attention to the situations in which the non-immediate removal of the collar could be dangerous for the pet. They are very suitable for puppies who have still to get used to wearing this accessory and that could pull to get rid of it for fear, by getting hurt.
Martingale collar: this collar consists of a main arch and a small cord that closes the arch with a circuit. This is a safe way to prevent the dog from taking it off even when it stays on the free neck during rest. They are particularly suitable for dogs with a long or thick neck and a small head.
Throttle collar: it consists of a simple chain or of different materials (leather, nylon, metal) with two rings on each end. This collar tightens according to the strength with which the dog pulls and it is impossible that he can take it off by himself. Attention must however be paid, as this collar is suitable for adult dogs who are already trained and unused to pull, since puppies or lively dogs could fidget by feeling the pressure on the neck, pull more and more because of fear, up to hurt themselves.
I hope this guide has been helpful. In case you are not sure yet of which model to choose for your dog, ask your vet of or your trusted shopkeeper. This way you will have a solution from a skilled person who can clarify all your doubts.
Dr. in Veterinary Medicine