AAs a new dog parent, one of the first things you buy is a dog collar. All you have to do is grab a collar in your favorite color that looks to be the right size, right? Well, not really. There are many different types of dog collars and selecting the best one for your pet requires a bit more brainwork.
“The main purpose of any collar is to carry identification,” says Irith Bloom, a certified professional dog trainer and certified dog behavior consultant based in Los Angeles, California. “As long as the collar is on your dog, then you know the ID is on the dog.” (Although she adds you should still have your dog microchipped).
But if you choose right, the collar could last your pup for years, help them feel more comfortable, and make walks more enjoyable for both of you. We’ve rounded up the best dog collars across a variety of categories to help you find the right one for your pet.
What to Consider Before Buying a Dog Collar
You know your dog best. Ask yourself the following questions before you shop for a dog collar. This will help you narrow down what you’re looking for.
- How big is your dog? It’s important that your dog’s collar is properly fitted. If it’s too tight, it will be uncomfortable, and if it’s too roomy, your canine is at risk of getting loose without their ID. Not all dog collar brands have consistent sizing, so be sure to double-check the sizing chart against your dog’s neck size and weight. Additionally, Bloom says, “Generally, the proper fitting for a dog collar is that you can fit two flat fingers between the collar and the dog’s neck.”
- What’s your dog’s neck and head structure? If your doggo has a smaller head with a muscular neck or a lot of loose skin, you’ll want to choose a collar that won’t slip off easily, like a martingale collar.
- What activities do you like to do with your dog? If this collar will primarily be used for walks around your neighborhood, the best dog collar for your dog will be totally different than if you enjoy hiking or swimming together. Speaking of dog walks, Bloom notes that leash pulling can happen with any collar, so if that’s an issue when walking your dog, she recommends pairing your dog collar with a dog harness.
With these considerations in mind, you’re all set to look for the type of collar that will work best for you and your dog.
Dog Collar Types
Standard Dog Collars
Leather Dog Collars
Waterproof Dog Collars
Lighted Dog Collars
Dog Collars with Patterns
Personalized Dog Collars
Martingale Dog Collars
Dog Head Collars
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