Congratulations! You have just brought home the new furbaby addition to your family. A little ball of love and devotion. Of course, you want the best for your new pet…food with natural ingredients, safe toys, a good vet, a fenced yard, and needed accessories. Here are some pointers on how to select the right collar for your new pet.
Don’t be overwhelmed by all the choices hanging in front of you at the pet supply store. You can also ask a store associate for help, talk to fellow dog owners, or your vet. If you plan on taking your new pet in for some basic training, it may be a good idea to speak with the trainer as some types of training require certain types of collars. Let’s take a look at some collars and the best choice for your furbaby:
- No matter the type of collar, fit is very important. You want to be sure it is not so loose your pet can wiggle out of the collar. A collar serves more than just something to clip a leash onto. It keeps your pet safe and with you on the other end of the leash, the collar assists you in keeping control of your pet. Keep in mind if you have a puppy, they grow quickly and the collar must adjust to the growth. A good rule of thumb is being able to easily slip two fingers between the collar and neck. Some collars adjust, while others may have to go in the memory box and another trip to the pet supply store may be in your future.
- Nylon Collars – These collars are colorful, durable, and you can have your contact information embroidered right on the collar. For a water loving dog, these collars can get wet and then dry quickly. Nylon collars are not recommended for chewers as your pet can chew through a nylon collar.
- Leather Collars – These collars are a more heavy duty collar and have a more subtle appearance in color. The downside of a leather collar is if the collar gets wet, it can take a long time to dry and after time, the collar can get smelly. A leather collar may also stretch if it gets wet repeatedly.
- Martingale Collars – These collars have no quick release and slip directly over the dog’s head. Many trainers prefer Martingale collars for basic training. These collars also work well with dogs that have a slender neck or a narrow head. These collars will slide up and down the neck and do not restrict the trachea.
- Chain-slip Collars – These collars are also known as a “choke collar”. Only experienced dog owners should use a chain-slip collar because if the leash is pulled too tight, the collar then tightens and restricts the trachea causing coughing and even choking. Always work with a trainer if you choose this type of collar.
- Prong Collars – These collars are a great training/working tool. Although some eyebrows raise when a prong collar is placed on a training dog, these collars cause no harm to your animal. The prongs are blunt, not sharp. When applied correctly–high on the neck just under the ears, the collar applies pressure and the dog responds to your commands. These collars work well with dogs that tend to pull or do not respond to commands. A prong collar should be used ONLY while training. Use your daily collar after the training session.
- Halters – A halter gives the owner good control, especially with pulling. There are many types of halters on the market. One being a halter with head gear that pulls the head down when your dog begins to pull. Cats seem to respond more positively to halters as opposed to a collar.
When you bring home your new pet, it may take a bit of time to get to know your pet and choose the best collar for comfort, control and safety. Remember to always get a tag made to put on the collar with your contact information just in case your pet loses his way.