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How Tight Should A Dog Collar Be?

How Tight Should A Dog Collar Be?
9 min read

Dog collars vary greatly, from the materials that they’re made from, their colors, to their uses. With the world evolving so fast, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that dog collars are actually more than just an accessory. 

But there is one question that people should ask no matter what kind of collar they’re considering to purchase, and that is “ How tight should a dog collar be?”.

How tight should a dog collar be?

Well, it should neither be too loose nor too tight. It should sit high on their neck and have a snug fit. To do so, you’ll have to use the finger rule. But the answer is more complicated; let me explain more.

Without any further ado, let’s start by talking about the importance of having the perfect dog collar size.

How tight should a dog collar be- Why the perfect dog s collar fit is so important?

Would you be surprised if I said that a properly fitted dog collar is crucial because it aids in keeping your dog safe, healthy, and comfortable?

It is true. Here are three different scenarios that are going to support each reason I have just mentioned.

How tight should a dog collar be: Scenario number one

What if you were so scared of a loose collar for your dog’s safety that you end up making it even tighter? You might think that you’re sacrificing your dog’s comfort in exchange with keeping them safe and healthy, but you’re not.

How tight should a dog collar be

A super tight collar can irritate your four-legged best friend’s neck. A collar that is too tight can lead to hair loss, leaving the skin around and on the neck area more prone to infection. That’s not even the most extreme case!

Sometimes, such a tight collar fit could actually cut into your dog’s neck. This usually occurs when a dog’s collar isn’t replaced when the dog outgrows it. A common example is when someone continues to use a collar that designed to fit thence of a puppy is still used on a growing dog.

In both of these examples, the tight fit is neither safe nor healthy.

How tight should a dog collar be: Scenario number two

Imagine if a wider collar was wrapped around your dog s neck. Let us say you were worried about feeling uncomfortable in a super tight collar, so you opted for a collar that is a bit bigger than your dog’s neck circumference. 

It kind of makes sense; unlike what you did in scenario number one, you are now giving your dog a more comfortable, safer, and a healthier option. However, is it the safest option? It definitely isn’t, and here is why. 

Your dog now has there loose collar on, and they can’t wait to go on a walk with you. You attach your leash to the collar and take them on a walk.

Your dog gets super excited when they see a squirrel, a cat, or even a car and they start chasing it. You might attempt to pull on the leash to stop them; however, this just makes things worse.

You see, since the collar is too wide for your dog’s neck, your dog’s head will be slipping out of their collar.

They’ll be free to go chase and do whatever they want, which might lead to them getting hurt, especially if they go chasing after a moving car. This way, your attempt of bringing them comfort, safety, and maintaining their health could end up in them getting hurt and in pain.

But what if they’re only wearing the loose collar without any leash attached to it? They’re just wearing the collar inside the house for training purposes or any other reason. Would that be considered to be a hazard as well?

How tight should a dog collar be

It might seem a bit farfetched, but it isn’t! If your dog starts scratching their ears, and one of their hands or legs gets stuck inside the loose collar, they might break on of their limps.

How tight should a dog collar be- Scenario number three

Your dog’s collar shouldn’t be too tight or too loose. I will till you soon how to ensure your dog s collar fit s properly. For now, though, I want you to know that an accurate measurement with a measuring tape is crucial to get your dog’s collar in the proper size.

A perfectly sized collar should make your dog feel snug and keep them safe and healthy. If they’re wearing at home and they scratch their ears, the limbs shouldn’t get stuck inside the collar and thus no limbs will be broken.

It should also not lead to skin infections or suffocate your dog. If you pull lightly ( though it is not recommended to do so if the leash is attached to a collar; a better solution to reduce pulling is to use a chest clip harness), your dog shouldn’t have any cuts on their necks. 

If you want to learn more about Harnesses, then check out our Dog Training Harness: Ultimate Guide blog post.

Now that we know what the perfect fit is let’s talk about how you can figure it out from the comfort of your house.

 How tight should a dog collar be- Answering the question!

Although the repercussions of not using a collar that fits your dog perfectly are incredibly dire, it is not hard at all to get the measurement done correctly. You’re only going to need three things to measure your dog’s neck. They are:

  • Your Dog
  • Your hands
  • A cloth tape measure

Call your dog and measure the circumference their neck while they’re standing with a cloth tape measure. Use the finger rule to get the perfect fit. The finger rule basically answers the “ What’s the recommended space between dog collar and neck?” question.

If you can fit precisely two fingers of your hands in the space between dog collar and neck, then congratulations on finding your dog their perfect fit!

Go to a pet store or shop online for a collar that has the same circumference. If your shopping at a pet store, then take your dog with you so you could try the collar on them before purchasing it. Don’t forget to apply the finger test, If you’re able to insert two of your fingers between the collar and your dog’s neck, that’s awesome.

 P.S: The collar should also sit high on their neck and have a snug fit.

How tight should a dog collar be

If your four-legged best friend has a heavy coat, then you must give them a trim before you measure the circumference of their necks. If your dog belongs to one of the smaller breeds, don’t worry about the sizes.

There are collars that are created specifically for them. You can ask the people who work in the pet store for assistance if you’re hesitating on what you should get.

If you’re super worried about your dog getting strangled or getting hurt while they’re at home, you can get them a dog safety collar. A safety collar allows dogs to escape it if the collar gets snagged. 

Now that you know “How tight should a dog collar be?”, let us discuss other factors as well.

How tight should a dog collar be- Other collar factors to consider

Because it is super important to get your dog the perfect collar, here are some tips on how to do that.

One major thing that you should keep in mind is the collar’s weight. Get your four-legged best friend a collar that doesn’t just fit them well, but that is also lightweight. You should stay away from heavy collars because they will put so much stress on your dog’s neck and irritate their neck.

If you’re getting your dog their first collar, then consider getting them a flat collar. They’re great because they are suitable for the majority for dogs, and dogs can get used to wearing them very quickly and easily. 

What’s the best collar material, though?

Well, two of the most comfortable and best collar materials are leather and nylon. Of course, nylon is much cheaper and easier to find in store than leather is. Nylon is a comfy material, making the nylon collar the perfect choice for pet owners who want to get their dogs used to wearing a collar.

Collars aren’t just made of different materials, though! They’re also created for different purposes as well. Here are a few collar examples that perform and fulfill various tasks.

1)Quick-release clasps collars

These are the safety collar that we’ve previously talked about. A safety collar allows dogs to escape it if the collar gets snagged. 

2 )Bark control collars

If you can’t stop your dog from barking, then check out our NOBARKCOLLAR™: Citronella Dog Bark Collar | Anti Bark Spray Collar that is currently on sale.

3) Flea and Tick collars

If your dog has fleas or ticks, then check out our Flea And Tick Collar For Dogs | Shield Pet Pro Collar that is currently on sale for only 22.99 dollars.

If you want to learn how to collar train your dog and teach them to walk next to you while you’re taking them on a walk, then read our 3 Tips About Collar Training That Will Impress Your Friends blog post.

That’s it for today’s post. You should now the answer to the “ How tight should a dog collar dog be?” question. Not only that, but you’re now capable of accurately measuring your dog’s neck and getting them a collar that perfectly fits them.

You are also aware of the different types of collars that are available and know a bit about the materials that your dog’s collar should be.

If you have any questions regarding today’s topic, then please feel free to leave them in the comments down below. If you want to share with us your personal experiences, then please share them in comments as well.

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