In addition to identification and a leash, a collar is one of the most essential pieces of equipment you will need for your puppy or dog. Having the right fit is important for your dogs comfort and safety and shouldn’t be overlooked.
The “everyday” collar is normally made of soft nylon or cotton webbing and fastens with a simple metal or plastic buckle. This collar is used to hold identification and vaccination tags, as well as to attach the leash while training or going for a walk.
A collar that is too loose may fall off or your dog may pull out of it. This can spell disaster if you are not in a confined area! A collar that is too loose also runs the risk of getting caught on tree branches or the fence which can pose a risk of injury if your dog gets caught up.
A collar that fits too tightly can cause skin irritation as it rubs against the fur and skin, and in extreme cases it can cause breathing problems if fitted much to tightly around their neck.
To measure for the correct size of collar, use a soft fabric tape measure around your dogs neck close to his ears, take the measurement on the tape measure when it is snug under their neck and add 2-3 cm or about an inch. You can then take that measurement with you when going to the store if you cannot bring your dog with you.
If you are able to bring your dog, this is ideal. You can be sure you have the correct fit, colour and style all at the same time. Once fitted properly, the collar will have about two fingers width of wiggle room between the collar and fur. This will ensure it is not too tight or too loose.
REMEMBER: puppies can grow very quickly so be sure to check their collar fit and adjust as needed. For large and giant breed dogs at the height of their growth spurt, this can be done on almost a weekly basis! For dogs who require regular trips to the groomers for a haircut, their collars may need to be adjusted right after their groom and as their fur grows in again.
Jamie @ The Joyful Dog