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Can Shock Collars Cause Heart Problems in Dogs?


Can shock collars cause heart problems in dogs?

Many companies are going to try to convince you that shock collars are safe and that they have no harmful effects on your dog. But what the studies say about that. Are they telling us the truth, or are shock collars an inhumane tool that could seriously affect your dog’s heart and health in general?

So, can shock collars cause heart problems in dogs?

Unfortunately, shock collars can actually cause your dog to have heart problems. Not only that, but shock collars can also create a variety of different types of physical pain. Thus, shock collars are inhumane tools that are capable of negatively affecting your beloved dog.

If you want to learn more about shock collars like what they are, what type of adverse effects they could have on your beloved pooch, and what are some better and safer alternatives to shock collars, then continue reading this post.

Can shock collars cause heart problems in dogs?

Although shock collars were once praised for their ability to control a dog’s unnecessary or what is considered to be disturbing barks, studies have shown that shock collars are actually physically painful.

Can shock collars cause heart problems in dogs? - A dog sitting down

And yes, that also includes causing heart problems in their dogs. There is a study that has been conducted where different groups of dogs who had issues that needed to be controlled.

The dogs were divided into a group where one group was trained with a combo of using shock collars as well as positive reinforcement, while the other two groups were trained with a non-activated collar.

Can you guess what the results turned out to be?

Using shock collars were not more effective than just using behavioral training.

Not only did it lack the extra efficiency that marketers have claimed for so long, but the dogs who were trained with shock collars were stressed despite the absence of any stressful situations happening around them.

Okay, but what is a shock collar?

What is a shock collar?

A shock collar is basically an electric collar where electric current is generated and passed through the metal points that are placed on the collar, making your dog get shocked and experience some sort of a tickling sensation.

It is actually more of a shock than a tickling sensation, so it is, of course, painful for your beloved pooch.

What are some adverse effects resulting from shock collars?

The most prominent adverse effect of shock collars on dogs is that it causes them to experience physical pain and even get serious injuries such as having heart problems such as cardiac fibrillation and getting burned.

Shock collars can also cause dogs different types of psychological stress, like displaces aggression and severe anxiety.

But, do not those who market shock collars claim that the electric shock generated is mild?

Can shock collars cause heart problems in dogs? - A sad dog

Well, here is the thing. You know how every one of us has are unique and different? How every one of us has different patience levels and pain thresholds? Guess what? It is the same thing when it comes to animals and dogs.

This means that the shock coming from the shock collar might be mild to one dog, but extremely severe and damaging to another.

One last thing that not many people who are pro shock collar discuss is the fact that these collars tend to malfunction, and they might end up zapping shocks non stop!

Okay, but how exactly can shock collars affect a dog’s heart?

When a dog has experienced repeated shocks from the shock collar, they tend to become confused and develop anxiety. These two things could actually change a dog’s heart rate.

Not only that, but these two things can also affect a dog’s respiration rate and lead to gastrointestinal disorders.

Why You Shouldn’t You Use a Shock Collar

After I have explained how shock collars work and what kind of adverse effects it could have on our beloved dogs, I believe it is pretty clear why dog owners should stop using shock collars.

However, in case you needed to hear statements form pet care businesses or humane societies, here you go:

The least humane and most controversial use of the shock collar is as a training device.” “There is a greater chance for abuse (delivery of shocks as punishment) or misuse (poor timing of shocks). “Your dog also may associate the painful shock with people or other experiences, leading to fearful or aggressive behavior.”- The Humane Society

“In our experience, shock collar systems, where a dog hears a beep followed by an electrical shock at their neck if they continue across the boundary line of your property, create a false sense of security for dog owners and often cause a dog to become fearful and anxious, especially towards other people.” – Green Acre Kennel Shop, which is a pet care business in Maine

“Our own experience in dealing with dogs that have behavioral issues, as well as scientific research by experts in the field, indicates that using tools that cause pain and fear can actually elicit or increase aggression and other behavioral problems.”- Green Acre Kennel Shop, which is a pet care business in Maine

Why are shock fences not a better alternative?

Some people were aware of the dangers of the shock collars, and thus they have decided to use shock fences instead because they have a yard. However, these invisible perimeters that jolt electric shocks are going to harm your beloved pooch severely.

Those who use shock fences often notice some of the following behaviors in their dogs:

  • Your dog might start to hesitate when it comes to walking far away from the house.
  • Your dog might start running away from anyone who passes by the house, and that includes the neighbors.
  • You might see your dog pacing back and forth so often along your property’s lines.
  • You will begin to notice your dog returning to their old bad potty habits.
  • You might notice that your dog has become wary, and they now refuse to go to and play in some areas of your yard.
  • Your dog might start refusing to leave your house’s yard for walks that they used to enjoy.
  • They might refuse to leave the house at all.
  • Your four-legged best friend might start lying down behind or under vehicles or just in the driveway whenever people want to leave or enter your property. 
  • They will start becoming scared of getting into the car. Even if they end up doing it, they will be terrified when the car begins leaving the property. 
  • Some dogs might start barking hysterically and jumping anyone, including pets, whenever these people or pet leave or enter your property.

That is just pure torture, but the adverse effects do not stop here. Other dangerous behaviors may take more time to appear than others.

Can shock collars cause heart problems in dogs? - An angry dog

Some even take over a year from the initial training and use of these shock fences. Some of these dangerous behaviors include the following:

  • Your dog might become aggressive whenever they see any vehicle, neighbor, or passenger pass by.
  • Your dog might start biting the kids.
  • Their aggressiveness might become more prominent, and they might start actually attacking people as well as other pets who get near them.
  • Your dog might even begin attacking anyone and any pet when they get outside of the yard. They might also attack any animal or any person who walks into your yard.

So as you can see, and sort of shock based behavioral adjustment tool has a lot of dire consequences, so please consider ditching these harmful and unethical tools and start seeking safer and more ethical alternatives to shock collars and shock fences.

So, let us talk about two great alternatives to shock collars.

What are some alternatives to shock collars

From what I have discussed in this post so far, you might have noticed that there are other safer and more ethical alternatives to using shock collars. Two popular shock collar alternatives are:

  1. Behavioral training
  2. Using Citronella collars

Behavioral training

Implementing behavioral training techniques involve the use of positive reinforcement.

But, what is positive reinforcement?

Positive reinforcement is basically a conditioning technique that is often used as an ethical method of bridging the communication gap between our four-legged best friends and us.

Because we don’t speak our dog’s native language, we had to figure out a way that enables us to teach our dogs what is not considered to be acceptable behavior and what is considered to be acceptable.

This is great because positive reinforcement is a humane and ethical, unlike shock collars. This is a very safe training technique that can be used on our beloved dogs who have to be at least eight weeks old.

Citronella collars

Unlike shock collars, citronella collars do not physically hurt dogs. Basically, dogs do not like the smell of citronella oil. Let us say a dog displays some bad behavior; the collar is going to release some citronella oil, the dog might get annoyed.

With repetition, the dog will associate the bad smell with their bad behaviors and eventually stop displaying that particular bad behavior. Of course, also practice positive reinforcement by rewarding them with treats when they stop their bad behaviors.

These collars are typically used when behavioral training on its own does not seem to be working.

Other questions related to can shock collars cause heart problems in Dogs

Are shock collars harmful to dogs?

Yes. Unfortunately, shock collars can actually cause your dog to have heart problems. Not only that, but shock collars can also create a variety of different types of physical pain. 

Can prong collars cause damage to dogs?

Yes, here is a list of what the use of prong collars on dogs could damage:

  • Prong collars could bruise and damage the skin and tissues on your beloved dog’s neck.
  • Prong collars could bruise your dog’s esophagus.
  • It could also make your pooch faint.
  • Prong collars can also crush a dog’s trachea.
  • They also tend to fracture or even crush the bones in the larynx.
  • Prong collars can also lead to an increase in the pressure inside of your dog’s head, which results in them having an eye or brain damage.

Is a shock collar good for training?

Using shock collars is not more effective than just using ethical behavioral training. Not only did it lack the extra efficiency that marketers have claimed for so long, but the dogs who were trained with shock collars become physically stressed.

That’s it for today’s post. You should now know that shock collars can cause a lot of health issues to your four-legged best friend, and that includes heart problems.

Luckily, there are better, safer, and more effective ways to reduce your dog’s unnecessary barking, like implementing behavioral training or using citronella collars.

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