Whether you’ve just brought home a new dog or you want to treat the one you’ve had for years, choosing a collar is something you need to put a lot of thought into. But with so many options, it can be hard to decide what’s best for your dog.
The good news is, when you consider a few things ahead of time, making the right decision becomes a lot easier.
Keep reading to learn how to pick a collar both you and your dog will love. Use what you learn and you’ll find that other dog owners will be asking you how you managed to pick such an awesome dog collar. Let’s begin!
Size of the Collar
The first thing you need to get clear on is the collar size you need. You don’t want to end up finding the “perfect” collar, only to find it’s not the right size for your pup.
Luckily, a lot of dog collars have a feature which allows you to adjust the size. This is good, but even then, there will be limits to how big or small the collar will be.
In general, you can separate most dog collars into three different sizes — small, medium or large. You’ll need to pick a size that fits your dog now, with a little room for growth.
How Much Do You Want to Spend?
As with all items, there’s a wide range of collars you can select from. Some of the cheapest collars tend to be those made from nylon. Yet the ones that are more expensive are often made from leather.
There’s also the option of buying fancy or designer dog collars that have a special design. (If you’d like to see an example of such a collar, view here to learn more.)
Sturdiness Is Important
When you take your dog for a walk, the dog collar can experience a lot of stress. If you don’t have a collar that’s sturdy, it could lead to your dog getting hurt.
If you buy your collar from a reputable store, you’ll find that the quality should be good.
If your dog pulls a lot on the lead, you’ll want to think about purchasing a harness. This is important because if you have a harness, it means that there’s going to be less pressure on the collar. Many pet stores sell harnesses and you should be able to find one that’s relatively affordable.
If you’re going to buy a harness, be sure to measure your dog ahead of time. This ensures you pick a harness that’s going to fit your dog and doesn’t make them uncomfortable.
Should You Make Your Own Collar?
There are a lot of people now that enjoy making their own collar for their dog. This can sound like a good idea in practice, but if you’re going to do this, you need to be careful.
For one, you need to make sure that you’re not using “weak” materials. As mentioned, the dog collar can experience a lot of strain when you’re taking your dog for a walk. If the material is not strong enough, the collar could snap.
Even if it doesn’t snap, it could stretch. This can lead to the collar slipping off when you’re exercising your dog or taking them for a walk. It could even just come off when the dog is at home.
You also can’t be sure of how sturdy the “clasping” mechanism is going to be when you design your own collar. Most of the collars you buy from reputable stores have undergone rigorous testing.
This ensures that the collar mechanisms are going to withstand stress. But if you make your collar at home, it might not stick to the design processes followed by proven manufacturers.
Aside from that, a lot of people also like to add custom designs to the collars they design at home. Again, this can be a problem.
Things like sequins or beads can make the collar very uncomfortable for the dog. They can also represent a health hazard as the dog might eat them if these items fall off the collar.
When Should You Replace the Collar?
If you’ve just bought a brand new collar, you’re likely not worried about replacing it anytime soon. But it’s something you should keep in mind, so you when it’s time to make a change.
You can learn a lot just by looking at the collar. If you notice that it’s becoming ragged, it’s likely a good time to change it.
In general, leather collars last longer than nylon. But even these collars are prone to some wear and tear.
You should also take a look at the clasp mechanism. If it looks like it is slightly damaged, you should think about replacing the collar as soon as you can.
It also helps to pay attention to your dog. Sometimes your dog will look as though they’re scratching at the collar. When you see this happen, take the collar off and watch how they react.
If their state improves, it’s a sign the collar isn’t up to standard and it needs replacing. Of course, if you buy a new collar, make sure you watch how your dog reacts. You don’t want to end up buying a new collar only to find it causes the same problems.
Ready to Buy a New Dog Collar?
Buying a new dog collar is a big decision. But if you have little experience with buying dog collars, you may not know how to pick one that’s right for your dog.
You need to consider the size of your dog. You also want to think about which kind of design is best. It’s important you avoid designing your own collar as doing so can be dangerous for your dog.
Over time, you need to keep a close eye on the dog collar. You need to make sure it’s in good shape and that it isn’t going to break when you’re out taking your dog for a walk.
Interested in buying some dog accessories? Check out this post for some good ideas!
Photo credit: Andreas Fidler via unsplash.com