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6 Ways to Ensure a Proper Fit for Your Dog’s Collar

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Home » Blog » 6 Ways to Ensure a Proper Fit for Your Dog’s Collar

Measure neck size, check collar type, ensure adjustability, select proper width and weight, conduct regular checks, and consider special needs.

Measure Your Dog’s Neck

To make sure the collar fits correctly, it is the first step to measure your dog’s neck precisely. You will require a flexible tape measure. Put the tape in where the collar would usually sit, roughly in the middle of the neck, meaning not too high at the back of the ears, and not too low in the direction of the shoulders. When taking measurements, aim to credit around two inches of your actual dog’s neck circumference to ensure comfort. This extra space will enable the collar not to become too tight, which will ensure the dog can breathe and move without any difficulty.

Usually, when the dog’s neck measurements amount to be 10 inches, then the 12-inch collar is the best fit that will allow space to fit two fingers comfortably under the collar. It is a tested and commonly recommended system for detecting snugness you will need to check because if the collar gets too tight, the dog may be at serious risk of fainting or choking. A too loose collar may even slip off the neck of the dog when you do not notice it. Also, it is essential to take measurements at a time when your dog is calm so that it will stand still and not cause extra problems. Moreover, different breeds and ages may need different types of collars. For instance, if your puppy is too small, it will outgrow the collar quickly, thus leaving you the need to adjust or change the gear. Additionally, the correct choice of the material for the collar is critical because it is directly attributable to its quality and durability. Nylon is one of the best options because it is strong and hard-wearing, while also being light to walk with your dog over any distance. In contrast, leather is a classic solution with the same durability, though a more substantial type for larger and stronger breeds.


Check the Collar Type

Selecting the right type of collar for your dog involves considering the breed, behavior, and the specific needs of your dog. There are many types of collars, each of which is designed for a variety of purposes and breeds.

Flat collars are the most popular and are a good fit for dogs, who do not pull on the leash and stay well-behaved during walks. They are generally used for keeping identification and vaccination tags . A 1-inch width for medium dogs is appropriate because it is narrow enough so that the collar does not contrict the neck nor cause discomfort but it is not breakageprone because of the needed strength.

Martingale collar is a better fit if a dog tends to pull on the leash. This type doesn’t have a buckle and has a little loop that decreases in size when the dog pulls. Thus, the collar is only tight when the dog attempts to pull, and otherwise stays loose or snug against the neck . The martingale collar is an optimal choice for dogs with a small head and a wide neck, such as Greyhounds. It is likely to loosen around the neck at about 14 inches and tighten at about 10 when pulled.

Harnesses is a different type and is generally good for dogs with respiratory issues or problems with the neck. It is also easier to control larger dogs in a harness on a leash. It may be harmful for Pugs to wear collar due to the severity of the short nose due to chort nasal cavity and it is better for them to wear a harness instead. Puppies also benefit from the harness because it is safer to gain control and they are not experienced to pull. It is also harmful for dogs and may cause neck injuries due to high sensitivity in the trachea of force. The material of the collar must also be taken into account. Nylon is generally durable and can be used around water parts and for rough play. Leather is more durable but is more challenging to take of and may be damaged faster.


Collar adjustability is useful for finding a proper fit for a dog. For example, you can adjust the range to ensure it would not be too tight or too wide if your pet loses or gains extra pounds or if your puppy becomes an adult . Usually, adjustable collars come with a standard buckle and an adjustable slide so that you can increase the range of a dog’s neck. Most adjustable collars range between 10 and 18 inches.

You may have to trim the working part of a collar if your pet tries to remove it. Most come with a considerable extra strap, but few products have a comfortable end. During shedding, adjust the item to suit your dog’s fur thickness. Dogs tend to grow thicker furs in winter compared to summer.

A properly adjusted collar is especially useful if your pet is involved in any activities. If you are participating in hiking activities with your pet, you would have to tighten the strap to ensure it is tight and to prevent catching or falling off over the shelf. If not, a dog collar for dramatic activities is always better. Ideally, you would like to adjust the neck itself , and the nature of the strap itself is strong and easy to adjust. In some cases, adjustability is not needed because virtual mats or slip-proof gear are certain to keep the collar in place for a lifetime.

Weight and Width

The main purpose of the adjustability of a dog collar is that it provides a perfect fit throughout the dog’s life and during different activities . In other words, such a collar can vary in size enabling pet owner to make various manipulations based on the size of their pet. First, it is necessary to mention that adjustable collars are created to match a dog’s size and can cope with all changes. They are designed with a buckle or a sliding adjuster to increase or decrease the collar length . As a rule, a standard adjustable collar can vary from 10 inches to 18 inches, fitting the neck size . What is more, adjustability can be of a great benefit for puppies since they grow fast, and adjusting the collar , it is possible to widen or tighten the material. This is important not only because a puppy needs a proper and constant fit. Collars which are too tight can hurt a pet, and those which are too loose can endanger a dog. Furthermore, adjustable collars can also help to diff the fittest based on the dog’s fur thickening. It is a known fact that pets have thicker fur during winter and lighter coats during summer. Thus, adjustable length can cope with varying fur to tighten after shedding .

Second, adjustability is important in cases when a dog frequently needs a loosening or tightening mechanism to ensure that a collar is not too uncomfortable. This can be the case for dogs participating in different activities such as swimming or hiking. In the first scenario, the collar should stay loose to enable rapid movements in water, whereas the hiking collar should be tighter to prevent the piece of material from getting stuck in branches or slipping off. Finally, adjustable length can guarantee a proper fit enabling pet owners to choose collars with a strong yet easy to adjust mechanism. For instance, the buckle should be made of reinforced nylon, whereas the adjuster and slider should be of a robust plastic that does not wear off soon.


Regular Checks

It is essential to perform regular checks of your dog’s collar to make sure it fits properly and is in good condition. These checks will help avoid such issues as skin irritations, escape and potential injuries sometimes caused by a collar being too tight, too loose, or worn out. The conducted inspection does not have to be elaborate: just check the fit and condition of your dog’s collar every month.

So, one of the first things to check is proper collar fit. To do this, you need to make sure that you can slide two fingers between the collar and your dog’s neck. This space is required to ensure maximum comfort for your pet and ensure the collar is not tight enough to hinder breathing or the movement of the throat and neck muscles.

It is also important to ensure that the collar is safe. So, signs to consider are fraying, signs of rust on metal parts, and cracks in the leather or plastic. Since any collar may be about to break or is worn out and potentially no longer safe to use if any of the above signs appear, you may have to replace it or mend it. Another important matter depends on the age of the pet. Thus, for a young dog that can quickly develop — for instance, a puppy – the checks may have to be performed more often. Even if the conditions are the same, an item that fit well last month may not fit this month. The dog’s collar has to be loosened or changed to a bigger size if the pet continues to grow. Last but not least, the environmental conditions matter as well. Hence, a dog that swims a lot may need more frequent adjustments to its collar, as too much water can make certain materials stretch. Similarly, any dog that is particularly active and spends much time running outdoors may also need more regular collar checks than a less active pet.

Special Considerations

When it comes to choosing the right collar for your dog, special considerations are paramount, particularly for dogs with unique needs. Addressing these specific aspects will ensure that the collar fits well and serves its purpose without causing discomfort or other issues.

If your dog has allergies or sensitive skin, choose a hypoallergenic material such as silicone or a soft fabric collar. While standard nylon or metal collars can cause allergic reactions or chafe the skin, hypoallergenic materials will provide a safe and hypoallergenic alternative, minimizing the risk of skin problems.

If your dog is a puller, choose a collar that shows the least deterring effect. A head collar is very useful to this effect, as is a no-pull harness. They prevent pulling behavior by redirecting the dog’s head toward you – in doing so, they reduce dogs’ speed naturally, without choking them, as some older choke chains may do.

If your dog has long or uniquely soft fur, a collar of a particular smooth flat design will ensure that its fur does not get tangled and matted. However, a rolled leather collar may be a good option in this case as well – while it is more liable to dirt than its flat counterpart, its round design tends to slide more easily through long fur, which prevents instances of painful snags that may upset your dog.

An illuminated or reflective collar is a must if your dog walks or runs outside during low-light hours. In addition to a reflective collar, you may also consider one that can be illuminated – this will ensure your dog’s superior visibility to drivers and pedestrians, which will substantially boost the safety of early morning or late evening walks. If your dog is a senior or has neck issues, opt for a harness rather than a collar – a harness distributes pressure across a greater area of your dog’s body, which relieves pressure on the dog’s neck and spine, leading to no discomfiture or choking sensation.

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