How to Fit a Dog Collar

A dog collar is one of the most important dog accessories. However, when buying a collar, you have to make sure that it is not too tight or too loose. But how do you know that the collar is comfortable for your furry friend? In this post, we are going to discuss how to fit a dog collar.

Functions and Features of a Dog Collar

A dog collar can help control, protect and manage your dog. A durable caller can serve the purpose of studs.

You can also write identification data on the dog collar. Many dog owners put a rabies vaccination sign on the dog collar. It can carry your phone number, address, and the name of your dog.

There are some other specific uses of a dog collar. It can be used for monitoring, to stop barking dogs, and to prevent fleas and ticks.

To be able to choose the right type of dog collar, you can learn about different types of collars. These days, many types of dog collars are available on the market.

How Tight Should It Be?

Many dog owners do not know the fact that there is a recommended space between a dog's neck and its collar. In order to determine the recommended space, you may need to measure your dog's neck.

The most applied rule is the two-finger rule (more on that later). If the collar is too loose, it can easily be dragged over the dog's head.

When determining the collar length, you have to take another important factor into consideration: the type of the dog's hair. Some dogs shed a lot of hair during the summer, and become fluffy during the winter. And this change in the density of hair significantly shrinks and enlarges the neck circumference.

If the collar is too narrow, it can cut your dog's neck. In extreme cases, it can damage your dog's larynx. Too narrow or too short a collar can make your dog feel stressed.

So, you see that the tightness depends on a host of factors. But the main thing is, you have to make sure that your dog is comfortable with the collar.

How to Fit a Dog Collar Properly

As we have already stated, there are several things to consider when fitting a dog collar. Below are some actionable steps:

Measure Up

Use a measuring tape to measure the circumference of your dog’s neck. Then add a couple of inches.

Now you have the exact measurement of the collar your dog needs. But if your dog is really small, do not apply this “two-inch rule”. In such a case, adding an inch may be enough. And if your dog is very big, you can add up to 3 inches.

Size It Right

To figure out how to fit a dog collar, you have to measure your dog’s neck. If the collar is too tight, it will cause discomfort. In extreme cases, it can even restrict breathing. If you can comfortably slip two fingers between your dog’s neck and the collar, it is fine. 

If not, adjust the size. However, it depends on the size of your dog, too. In the case of a very small dog, the size may be okay if you can slip just one finger.

Width Considerations

A wide collar is a good fit for a large and strong dog. Choose a relatively thin collar for a small breed. The standard width of a dog collar is 11/2 inches. A reputable pet shop can help you choose a dog collar of the right width.

Regular Collar Check

It is not enough to learn how to fit a dog collar, because choosing a dog collar is not a one-time project. Over time, your dog will grow in size, and you will have to replace the collar with a larger one. As an adolescent dog grows bigger and stronger, the collar will become somewhat uncomfortable over time. It can become too narrow or too tight.

In both cases, your dog will suffer. And in an extreme case, the collar can strangle your dog. The solution is easy: just get your furry friend a new collar.

To see if the size of the collar is okay, conduct a visual check. Notice if the collar looks irritating or over-hardening. Apart from conducting a visual check, always apply the two-finger rule.

Check the overall condition. If any collar fastenings or joints are loose, tighten them. Make sure that the construction is sufficiently firm. The collar should not break or loosen even in extreme conditions.

For special collars, carefully read the manufacturer’s recommendations. And if your dog has a GPS collar, regularly check the construction and batter status. And for anti-parasitic collars, carefully monitor replacement intervals.

An Alternative to Collars

Many dog owners get harnesses rather than collars for their furry friends. A harness can provide more security by wrapping around a dog’s body. Harnesses can be great for dogs with fatter necks, especially for heavy pullers.

You may choose a harness over a collar if you have a fluffy dog. Fluffier dogs, because of their extra fur, find collars tighter. Even perfectly fit collars can pose a risk for choking. Another great thing about a harness is that it will never strangle your dog.

Harnesses also put some pressure, but the pressure is on the chest of your dog. Your dog remains a lot safer partly because its body is wrapped with straps. With a harness, you have more control over your dog.

Harnesses also have to be fitted properly. But you do not have to worry too much about it, because a tight harness will not pose a significant threat.

Final Thoughts: How to Fit a Dog Collar

When it comes to choosing a dog collar, a proper fit is of utmost importance. By being a little bit careful, you can avoid a lot of issues: neck injuries, choking, leg injuries, and skin irritation. Now you know everything there is to know about dog collars, and hopefully, you will choose a collar that is comfortable for your dog.

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