How to choose a dog collar - tips for making a crucial decision

Narrated from: Dog Collars

If you are choosing a collar for your first dog, then you might be unaware what an important decision that is. The dog collar is your most essential tool for communicating with your dog, and the best means for controlling a headstrong dog.

Furthermore, the wrong dog collar can kill your dog – that is a sad fact, since many dogs get choked by their own collars, especially if they are left without supervision.

First of all, you need to measure your dog’s neck. The measurement is made an inch or two below the head (depending on the dog’s size). For small dog breeds or puppies, you should add 1" (one inch) to the measurement; for medium and large dogs, you add 2" (two inches). The collar must not be too tight, or your dog might choke; on the other hand, the collar must not be loose, because the dog might shake it off. As a basic rule, you should be able to slip one or two fingers under the collar.

If you are choosing a collar for a growing puppy, you must be careful because the collar will eventually become too tight. Fortunately, most buckle collars are adjustable, and there are also a lot of dog collars designed specifically for puppies.

Dog collars are commonly made from leather, nylon or hemp.
Nylon collars are the most durable, and you should use such collars if your dog is an aggressive chewer. Also, Nylon is quite washable, and water-resistant, so if your dog likes to swim, you should stick to a nylon collar.
Leather collars are the most comfortable for your dog. They could last a life-time, and they are especially recommended for long-haired dogs. Leather collars are considered to be of higher quality than nylon ones.

Hemp collars are the eco-friendly solution, so if you want to go green – that is the choice for you. Hemp collars are also hypo-allergenic.

Basic types of dog collars
Buckle collars are the most common type of dog collars. They can be adjusted around your dog’s neck. However, there are different modifications to the basic design – for instance, you would want a metal buckle if your dog is too big and hard to control.
Also, you would want a collar that is safer for your dog. A break-away collar, for instance, allows the dog to pull free from the collar if it chokes – such collars should be used if you leave the dog alone for a long period of time. Safety stretch collars also allow the dog to escape strangulation, but when you attach a leash, the safety stretch collar acts like a traditional dog collar.

Other traditional types of dog collars include the stud collar. It has metal studs, which were supposed to protect your dog from bites. However, today this collar serves a decorative purpose.

There are different supplementary collars – a flea collar for instance, which has chemicals that repel fleas. However, choose wisely, since not all chemicals are safe for your dog.! There is also the so-called “Elizabethan collar”, which resembles a “cone of shame”. It is supposed to prevent your dog from scratching a neck- or face-wound.

Additional warnings
Keep it in mind that traditional dog collars have nothing to do with training collars.
Also, you should check if your dog has a special medical condition that prevents it from wearing a regular collar – for instance, a harness might be needed.!
And don’t forget – always put on the name-tag and address!

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