A dog collar is standard wear for dogs. But merely putting on a collar shouldn’t be the last though on the subject. There are many different types of collars, the most popular being nylon or leather. A well fitting collar is important. The collar should fit well enough that it it can’t be slipped off by the wearer, but not too tight. You should be able to easily slide your fingers between your dog’s neck and the collar. If you intend to keep the collar on your dog at all times (which is a good idea in order to keep ID tags on your dog in case he gets lost), make sure it is a safety collar that will break or release if the dog becomes snagged, to prevent strangulation. Likewise, if you are walking your dog, a collar with a metal buckle is preferable to a quick release or break away if your dog is prone to pulling or lunging.
For dogs who do pull or lunge, a harness is a better choice over a collar. The harness will prevent your dog from choking herself. There are many types of harnesses, but some of the best type of harnesses are the type that connect the leash at the dog’s chest, rather than back. A chest connecting harness such as the Walk Your Dog With Love – World’s Best Dog Harness*, doesn’t allow the dog to get the leverage to pull against the harness (think of how pulling dogs and sled dogs pull… they wear harnesses which connect at the back of the shoulders.)
A word about chain collars. Never use a choke collar or pinch collar as a regular collar. These are training collars and should only be worn during training sessions. Since they are chains and are designed to tighten, if the collar becomes caught or hooked onto something, it could cause strangulation.
Another danger with some collars is a rare but all too real danger of dogs getting a jaw entangled in another dog’s collar during play. The scene becomes a horrifying struggle for survival, with the entangled dog fighting in pain to free his jaw, while the other dog slowly strangles as the collar tightens during the struggle. Breakaway collars, or no collars at all, are safer for dogs during playtime.
In addition to a collar, it is also a good idea to look into microchipping your pet. A microchip is very tiny, about the size of a grain of rice, and implanted with a needle just under the skin. The microchip can be read by a device that a vet, animal control officer or animal shelter uses to reunite found pets with their owners. Many vets and clinics offer the service for a small fee, and it is a permanent way for your pet to be identified and returned to
you in the event they are lost.
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