Over 10 million dogs and cats are lost or stolen each year in the U.S. One of the best ways to prevent losing your beloved dog is by ensuring they are wearing a collar, at all times, with your contact information on it.
While this is true, no collar will last forever. To help ensure your pet remains safe and can find its way home if it gets lost, you need to replace their collar occasionally.
Get to know some signs it is time to invest in a new collar for your four-legged friend here.
THE COLLAR SMELLS
If your dog’s collar smells, it’s time to invest in a new one. You may have tried everything – washing it, using Febreeze, scrubbing it with Lysol, but all to no avail. The stench is still here.
You aren’t alone. At this point, the best thing you can do is go ahead and replace the collar.
IT’S NOT CHRISTMAS (OR EASTER OR HALLOWEEN)
Look at your pup. Do they still have on their Christmas collar (or another holiday-themed collar) but the season has come and gone? If so, it’s time to invest in a new one.
It’s probably a good idea to move on to something more neutral – seasonally speaking.
You are doing a real disservice to your dog if they are wearing an ugly collar. How is your adorable pup supposed to find a girlfriend (or boyfriend) if they look more like a hot mess than the beauty-queen or stud they really are?
Even worse, how are you supposed to find this special someone? When your pup has a great-looking collar, you are both going to feel more confident to meet new people – and pups.
THE COLLAR IS TOO SMALL
Your puppy isn’t going to stay small forever. Pretty soon that six-pound puppy you brought home may be 60 pounds – or more. This also means the collar you bought them, in the beginning, isn’t going to fit properly.
Keep in mind, getting your dog a bigger collar isn’t only necessary for aesthetic purposes, but safety ones too.
THE COLLAR FALLS OFF
Does your dog’s collar fall off all the time? If so, it’s probably because of one of two issues.
- You have the dog-version of Houdini
- The collar is broken
In either case, you need to purchase a new collar. Remember, the collar you buy needs to fit snugly around your dog’s neck. Make sure only your fingers can fit behind it, not your entire hand.
THE IMPORTANCE OF CHOOSING THE RIGHT COLLAR
You may believe that all collars are created equal. This isn’t true. A standard flat collar could cause more harm for your pup than good.
A jerk from the leash, especially if the dog is running, may cause an injury to your dog’s shoulder or neck. Using a leash with a neck collar may also make existing health issues worse.
If your dog suffers from any of the following medical conditions, it is a good idea to choose a head collar or harness, rather than a neck collar. These conditions include:
- Canine Wobbler Syndrome
- Horner’s Syndrome
- Slipped disc, arthritis, other causes of neck pain
- Kennel cough
- Laryngeal Paralysis
Make sure to find out ahead of time if your dog suffers from any of these to ensure you get the right collar.
TYPES OF DOG COLLARS TO CONSIDER
There are several dog collar types to consider. Each one has pros and cons, so it’s a good idea to learn more about them to determine which one is right for your pup. Some of the most common are described here.
Standard Flat Neck Collars
This is the most common collar type, usually made of leather or nylon. If you choose this option, make sure to find a breakaway collar for younger puppies.
This is going to prevent the collar from getting caught and possibly choking them.
Similar in design to the flat neck collar, it includes an extra loop of material allowing the collar to tighten if the dog pulls on the leash, but not so much that it causes them to choke. These are commonly used for whippets and greyhounds, which have heads smaller than their necks.
No-Pull Head Collar
The head halter is compared to a horse bridle. It isn’t a muzzle, and the dog can still sniff and open its mouth. However, since the leash is attached to the dog’s head, it’s a deterrent to pulling on the leash and keeps the dog from being able to pick up trash or other items off the street.
This is a humane option and extremely effective at reducing leash pulling. If your dog has a neck injury, the head collar isn’t appropriate.
The harness fits around your dog’s chest, and the leach connects to it on their back. If you have a dog with a short snout, this is a smart option.
No-Pull Harness-Front Clip
Rather than on the back, this harness features a leash attachment in front of the dog’s chest. These are designed to help reduce cases of leash pulling by allowing you to redirect the dog.
BUYING A NEW COLLAR: IS IT TIME?
Is it time to buy your dog a new collar? This is an important consideration; after all, a collar helps to keep your dog safe.
Be sure to use the information here to know when it is time for a new collar and what type is right for your dog. To learn more about dog accessories and collars, be sure to check out our blog. We offer many resources to help you keep your pup safe and sound.