Collars are a vital part of dog ownership. They allow us to walk our dogs on a leash and they provide a place to hang ID dog tags. However, if used in the wrong way, collars can lead to serious or even fatal injury. Here are a few ways collars can potentially harm your dog, along with some tips for safe and responsible collar use to keep your furry friend harm free!

Limb or Mouth Injuries

Apart from strangulation hazards, a collar can present other serious physical risks, especially if it’s too loose. For example, if a pet is “scratching its ear and the collar is loose, their back leg or their front leg could get stuck inside the collar, looped through which can lead to a limb breaking. Dogs have also been known get their teeth or tongue stuck in a too-loose collar while grooming themselves, which can lead to broken teeth and other mouth injuries.

To avoid both physical injury and strangulation please ensure the collar is the correct size for your dog and isn’t fitted too loosely. The collar should be tight enough that you can just fit your thumb underneath.


Skin Problems

A collar that is too tight can also be harmful to a dog, and even a “moderately tight” collar can lead to skin irritation. Collars that are too tight can cause hair loss, and the skin in those areas can be more prone to infection. In extreme cases, a very tight collar can cut into a dog’s neck. This can happen in cases of neglect when a puppy-sized collar is left on a growing dog. – We strongly advice to continually check the fitment of your dogs collar to ensure it’s still the correct size for your dog.

We recommend letting your dog sleep at night without a collar on occasion to give your pet’s skin a chance to air out.


Neck Damage

Traditional collars can harm a dog’s neck if it pulls hard on the leash or if a pet owner uses the collar to pull the dog around. Please remember the neck is a very, very sensitive area.

Repeated stress on the neck can even lead to long-term medical issues—including damaging the thyroid glands and tissues around the neck area and salivary glands, she says. A chest harness can be a safer alternative to neck collars that put a lot of strain on a dog’s neck.

We always recommend using a collar with a wide surface area to reduce the strain on your dogs neck such as our tactical nylon collars.


General Discomfort

Even if a collar does not lead to any serious injuries, the wrong collar can simply be irritating for a dog. Pet owners should use common sense when collar shopping. If you have a really stiff collar on a dog such as a wide spiked collar, It’s going to impede their mobility and they’re not going to be a happy camper.

If you are wondering why your dog is constantly scratching their head or neck. It could be due to a number of factors not related to their collar, but it can also be due to low-grade irritation from a collar. Our Stainless Steel Cuban Dog Chains are allergy free and are a great choice if your dog struggles with allergic reactions to other materials


Collar Safety Tips

  • When sizing a collar, make sure you can fit your thumb between the collar and the dog’s neck.
  • If you can get your whole hand in there, it’s too loose, and if I can’t even wedge a finger in there, it’s too tight!
  • Keep in mind that a collar can fit differently depending on the position of the dog.
  • If the dog sits down or rolls over, their skin and body fat is redistributed – ensure the collar you choose sits perfectly when it’s standing but also allows enough space so it’s not too tight when the dog reclines.
  • Finally, while collars are vital for holding ID tags, make sure your dog is also microchipped so that if you ever remove your dog’s collar they can still be identified in an emergency.