4:16 am   

Collar Safety

November 5, 2000

Hi Everyone,

The following are collar safety tips offered by volunteer/adopters Karen Sindall and Maria Ruth as well as other dog lovers. (If you have a tip, email Robin at tierneydog@yahoo.com)

Collar Safety

* Make sure ID and other tags are attached to the flat buckle collar, which stays on the dog.

* Make sure this collar is well-fitted; two-fingers snug is a good general rule. A dog can slip his head out of a loose collar when you need it most -- such as when catching a dog trying to bolt out of a door or lunge aggressively at another dog, cat or person. Also, a dog can get a paw stuck in a loose collar, then panic, which can lead to injury or strangulation.

* Check collar fit every few days. Some collars can stretch and thus need readjusting. Or the dog's neck might grow a bit, requiring readjustment.

* Don't attach tags to training collars such as choker/metal link or slip collars. Also, these collars should not be left on dogs; they are to be used only during training sessions or walks. Otherwise, they can get caught on a fence or drawer handle or other protruding object, causing injury to the dog. Training collars can also slip off when not in use.

* For people who have two or more dogs -- adjustable collars can be problem because one dog might yank on the other's adjustable collar, tightening it to the point of danger.

* There have been instances of dogs getting a tag or collar caught in the wires of a crate; if the dog panics or gets caught up by the neck, injury and strangulation can result. The risk of such a situation occurring is reduced if the collar is fitted snugly (see above).

A slight majority of trainers and dog handlers interviewed for this article noted that they always have collars/ID on their dogs except when bathing them, because the risk of a dog getting loose without ID and winding up in a pound is greater than a dog being strangled by a collar. However, strangulation is a tragedy no matter what the frequency, so some people remove the collar when crating their dogs. Place the collar in a handy location right by the crate, but don't lay it on the crate or the dog might pull it into the crate.

Important: if removing a collar during crating, immediately put the collar back on as soon as the dog is removed from the crate.

* Two trainer/handlers use rolled collars when crating their dogs unsupervised. They explained that if the collars get caught on something, the dog can break-away. (The part where the buckle attaches is weaker and can be broken.)

* Use a pan and/or thick pad to fully cover the floor of a wire crate so that the dog can't catch collar or toes in the bottom grids.

* Make sure that a dog always has on a collar and ID whenever she has freedom inside the home. Anything can happen, from the wind blowing open a door to a house guest holding a door open to a new dog getting out a window. If the dog has ID on the collar, there is an immensely greater chance that a neighbor or shelter will be able to locate the owner. Microchipping is highly recommended, but it is not a substitute for standard ID, because most people and some shelters don't check for chips. Tattooing the inner thigh is another good ID strategy. Another alternative is the kind of collar with the address/phone number stamped right on the collar.

Last Updated: April 26, 2018 (LET) PawSupport