Pet Collars and Leashes: Fitting and Safety Tips

By: Chewy EditorialPublished:

Pet Collars and Leashes: Fitting and Safety Tips

When choosing a dog collar or dog leash, there’s more to it than picking a fun pattern or design. Ensuring the collar fits correctly is essential to keeping your pet safe and secure. An ill-fitting collar means your pet could slip out or choke. Likewise, a good dog leash can give your pet freedom of movement while keeping him safely attached to you.

Choosing a Collar

When selecting a dog collar, consider the following:

Type of Collar

When purchasing a new collar, think about which type will work best for your pet. The traditional collar that just goes around the neck is the most popular, but for strong dogs with a tendency to pull, a martingale style might make more sense.


When fitting your pet for a collar, keep in mind that you should only be able to fit two fingers between the collar and the animal’s neck. If it’s too tight, your pet can choke or strangle himself pulling against it. Any looser and your pet can easily slip out. Breeds with thick coats, such as Pomeranians or Samoyeds, can make the fit seem tighter than it really is. When sizing breeds with long hair, push down the hair as much as possible to ensure the collar is the right size.

Collar Size

To size a traditional dog collar, measure around your pet’s neck. Using a tape measure, wrap it gently around your dog’s neck, then add two inches to account for the amount needed to get two fingers underneath it. For a martingale collar, measure your pet’s neck, but then also calculate the size of his head by measuring it from the jaw, over the ears and around to the other side of the jaw.

Shop the best-selling and top-rated dog collars tested and approved by Chewy dog parents.

Selecting a Leash

There’s a wide range of dog leashes available to meet the needs of you and your pet. Keeping several different varieties on hand gives you options for different activities:

Standard Leash

A six-foot leash is the most common variety and is perfect for everyday use. It keeps your dog close to you on walks and prevents him from moving far away or running after people or other dogs.


A retractable leash is a good option for owners who want to give their dog more freedom and want to alternate between keeping their pet close and letting them explore.

Training Lead

If you enjoy hiking, swimming or training with your dog, a longer lead, or training lead, is an excellent investment. There are 10-, 15- and even 30-foot versions available, so you can allow your dog to wander on the trails or work on recall or enforcing commands from a distance.


If you do a lot of nighttime or early morning walks, a reflective leash can be a great way to keep you and your dog safe. As cars go by, their headlights will bounce off the reflective material, helping drivers see you in the dark.

When shopping for new dog collars and leashes, there are many options available to meet your needs. Consider your routine and your pet’s habits to choose the best version for you and your pet.


By: Chewy EditorialPublished: