Collars are important tools to keep our dogs safe. They hold your pup’s vaccine information and contact details in case they get lost, and can help you stop door dashers or anxious dogs from running away. However, in some cases, your dog’s collar can be dangerous. Today, we’re talking about when and why your dog’s collar may put their health at risk.
If It’s Too Tight
A tight collar is uncomfortable and in extreme cases, can cut off your dog’s airway. However, even moderately tight collars can cause health issues. If your dog’s collar is too snug, it could irritate the skin, cause infections, or lead to hair loss. Make sure your dog’s collar is the right size. If you have a puppy, check her collar often to make sure it’s not getting too small.
If Your Dog Pulls
If your pup is a strong puller and you attach their leash to their collar, you could be putting your dog at risk. Over time, all that jerking and pulling can put stress on your dog’s neck and lead to serious medical issues. If you have a puller on your hands, try out a dog harness instead. A harness will teach your dog not to pull, and if they do, any resistance will be evenly and safely distributed across the chest.
If Your Dog Is In Their Crate
Collars can get snagged and lead to suffocation, which is why it’s a good idea to remove the collar before crating your dog. However, other items, like fences, can also get stuck in your dog’s collar. If your dog likes to jump over fences, be sure to supervise them while they’re outside to prevent the risk of the collar getting snagged and cutting off your dog’s airway.
If They Roughhouse With Other Dogs
When dogs get a little too excited playing with their friends, they may accidentally get their jaw stuck under their friend’s collar. This can harm both dogs, especially if they aren’t being supervised. If your dog loves to play with others, keep a close eye on her so you can step in if necessary.
If You Use Aggressive Collars
Aggressive collars, like those that shock or choke your dog, can be dangerous. They both rely on physical discomfort to tell your dog what not to do, but they don’t tell your dog what they should do. Beyond that, there are physical safety issues with these types of collars. As the name suggests, choke collars can become too tight, increasing the possibility of accidentally strangling your dog. Shock collars can lead your dog to associate the shock with people or specific situations, which can cause them to become fearful or aggressive. Instead of using aggressive collars, buy an animal-friendly collar and use positive training methods to teach your dog what you expect.
While wearing a collar 24/7 can pose some risks, it’s important that your dog is easily identifiable. When outside in unfenced areas, your dog should always wear their identification so that if they pull a Houdini, they can be more easily returned to you.