When it comes to taking care of your pet, it is important to choose the correct types of collars and leashes. Even if you have an indoor pet, it is a good idea to keep a collar on your pet that displays an emergency contact as well as other important rabies tags. A small breed should not have the same type of collar as a large breed. Cat collars are also very different from dog collars. There is also a wide variety of choices that are on the market including harnesses, leashes, and more. However, the number one thing to remember when choosing the correct fit for your pet is safety.
When choosing a collar, you want to make sure that it is not too tight but also not too loose. You will most likely need to purchase more than one collar during your pet’s lifetime. It is no different than purchasing clothes for a child, they will eventually grow out of them. A good rule of thumb when fitting your dog and/or cat for a collar is to make sure two of your fingers fit comfortably between the collar and the neck.
The most common collar is typically made of nylon or leather and comes with plastic or metal buckles. Standard collars are best for dogs who don’t pull, can be off leash, or just need something to hold their ID tags. If you have a cat, it is a good idea to purchase a breakaway collar so that they don’t harm themselves if they get snagged on something.
Some dog trainers argue that choke chains are effective for teaching stubborn dogs to walk well on a lead, but there are safer options out there, like the martingale collar. Martingale collars are half nylon and half chain, allowing the collar to cinch up only a certain amount if your dog pulls. This prevents any possible damage to your dog’s esophagus. You can also find Martingale collars that are completely made out of fabric. Many trainers have focused on force-free training techniques that eliminates the need for choke chains, pinch collars, and remote or shock collars.
If your pet goes outside regularly, be certain to choose a collar that has reflective stripes or patches sewn into the collar. These collars will reflect off car lights, keeping your pet more visible. You can never be too careful! LED collars are great too if you like to walk your dog at night or early before sunrise. You may also want to consider a waterproof collar if you live in a wetter climate or have a pet who overindulges in water.
Materials such as neoprine and biothane are great for pets who spend a lot of time in water. Other common materials include nylon and leather, both of which last a longer amount of time than faux leather options.
Dog harnesses are also a very effective tool for walking, transporting, and handling your pet. With reduced stress on your dog’s neck and increased control, harnesses provide better functionality than collars in many situations. They can be helpful for training and essential for dogs with slim necks and brachycephalic dogs. Collars are still more comfortable for pets to wear 24/7 and are recommended for almost all pets to wear with their ID tag at all times. Harnesses should be on hand for more controlled walks, easy trips to the vet, training, and more. Choosing the right harness depends on your purpose for using it, how your dog walks, and the size and type of dog you are fitting the harness for.