Dog collars aren't just for making a bold fashion statement or attaching a lead. It's imperative that every dog wear a collar to hold their identification information and for other reasons. But picking the right collar and knowing how to fit a dog collar can sometimes be confusing.
Dog collars are a small and cheap part of essential dog supplies, but they make it easy to identify your dog in case you lose him, or to restrain him in the event of an emergency. Without a dog collar you'd have to pull on his neck, causing pain and possibly injury.
There are thousands of dog collars to choose from, but which is right for your Fido? Honestly, the dog collar that you choose for your dog is mostly up to you and your preferences. Of course, you need to take your pet's comfort into consideration too.
- ease of adjustment and use
- ability to stay put when adjusted
You'll need to look for a dog collar that will stand up to your pet's daily activities. For example, if your pooch likes to swim, be sure to get a pet collar that is waterproof. A dog collar made of leather would not be a good choice for a canine that swims frequently.
You also need to find a collar that is easy to adjust and stays adjusted without slipping. You may think dog collars are all easy to use, but some of them can be a bit tricky to put on and take off your pet. Find one that fits well, stays adjusted and is easy to use.
Your dog's comfort should also be a top concern. A hard, rigid dog collar won't be nearly as comfortable for the dog as a soft, malleable one. Naturally, the appearance and price of pet collars are important too, but they shouldn't be your main concern.
Now that you know how to choose a good dog collar, let me explain how to fit a dog collar properly onto your dog and what not do.
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How to Fit a Dog Collar Properly
Essential tips for your pet's safety and comfort
Measure your dog's neck size
Before you can learn how to fit a dog collar properly, you need to make sure that you have one that will fit your Fido well. You'll need to know your dog's neck size when you go do some online shopping for a dog collar. The easiest way to find this information is by measuring his neck with a cloth tape measure.
As I demonstrate in my video guide above, all you have to do is wrap the tape measure around your dog's neck until it's snug against his fur but not too tight.
Now insert two fingers (as I show in the picture above) between the tape measure and your dog's neck. Your fingers should fit snugly in the space with the tape measure tightly pressed against them without choking your dog.
This is the circumference of your dog's neck, and you'll use this measurement to buy the appropriately sized dog collar. For example, my chocolate Labrador, Saddie, has a neck circumference of 18″. Let's say that there are three dog collar sizes available from the selection of pet collars that I want to buy for her:
The best choice for Saddie would be the 16″-20″ collar. The other two options do not leave much room for weight loss or gain, might be too tight or too loose.
How to properly fit a dog collar
You've chosen the right dog collar in the right size. Now, it's time to learn how to fit a dog collar properly that will be just right to ensure safety and comfort of your pet.
It's actually very simple. First, fit the dog collar on the dog as best you can. Depending on the pet collar that you chose, you may have to slide a buckle to the correct notch or tighten an adjustable strap.
Once you think you have the right adjustment, use the two-finger measuring method that I explained above. Slip two fingers between the collar and your dog's neck.
If you can't fit two fingers between them, the collar is too tight. If you can easily slide your fingers through and there is additional space, the collar is too loose.
Make the necessary adjustments until you can comfortably fit two fingers between the collar and your pup's neck. Remember that the collar may also loosen over time. Be sure to check it regularly using the two-finger rule. This is especially important for brand new collars that may stretch during the breaking in period.