How Tight Should A Dog Collar Be

by Farmer Jack
Updated on

A dog collar is an essential dog accessory meant to serve different purposes, the main one being restraining your dog. It comes in various designs and sizes so that you can find the perfect match for your canine.

However, not every pet owner has an easy time knowing how tight the accessory ought to be. It may either be too tight such that it chokes the dog and limits its head movement. Alternatively, you may put it too loose, and the canine would easily slip out of it.

This begs the question: how tight should a dog collar be? Well, take your time and read this piece as we shall attempt to answer this question in addition to addressing other issues concerning the accessory.

What to Look for In a Dog Collar

As you search for the perfect collar for your furry friend, there are several factors that you have to put into consideration. They include:

  • The price
  • Durability
  • Ease of adjustment
  • Comfort
  • Aesthetics
  • Effectiveness in restraining the dog

If you find a unit that fulfils the above criteria, you can rest assured that you have the right item. The next step involves knowing how tight the collar ought to be.

How Tight Should a Dog Collar Be?

Here, we shall make use of the two-finger test whereby after finding the ideal unit, put it on your pet and attempt to slide two fingers under the collar. Should your fingers slide under the collar and close to the neck comfortably, you are close to attaining the right fit.

However, if you find yourself using some effort to push your fingers under the unit, the collar is probably too tight.

Ensure that the collar is a snug fit, i.e. not too tight or too loose. Further, if your dog is still growing, it would be wise to examine the collar’s fitness regularly after a certain period.

Measuring a Dog Collar

Unlike finding the perfect fitting collar for your dog, measuring your dog for a collar can be a bit technical. Nevertheless, we shall guide you in getting the right measurements so that your dog never suffers due to collar related issues.

The steps are as follows:

I) Have a Measuring Tape

The first step involves having a soft measuring tape close by, with cloth tape being your best bet to attaining accurate results. If you do not have this device, you should get creative and use a cloth string which you should measure against a standard ruler.

II) Measure the Dog’s Lower Neck

Next, identify the location where the collar is likely to sit. We insist on measuring the dog’s lower neck because gravity will always push the collar to sit closer to the pet’s shoulders.

Further, you should always remember the two-finger rule to get a comfortable fit that isn’t too tight or loose for the pet.

III) Refer to The Manufacturer’s Sizing Chart

Once you get the measurements after using the tape, you should now head over to the sizing chart so that you get a clearer picture of the kind of collar you ought to be looking for.

And if you feel that this method cannot give the accuracy you are looking for, make a point of contacting the closest certified pet store around you to help you out.

Signs That the Collar is Too Loose

The main sign that the collar isn’t tight enough is that it will easily slip off either entirely or partially. This is dangerous since the pet can easily wander off and cause a lot of damage around the area you had gone for a walk.

Then since a loose collar is always moving around, it is likely to cause skin irritations to the canine.

Signs That the Collar is Too Tight

Look out for the following signs that would show you the collar on your canine is probably too tight and uncomfortable for him.

I) Coughing

An overly tight collar will exert a lot of pressure on the dog’s throat, and the canine may try to find some relief by coughing. You may easily confuse this coughing for a cold, but check the collar to be of the right fit if you do not see other symptoms.

II) Chafing and Loss of Fur

If you notice any chafing and loss of fur around the dog’s neck, then the collar is probably too tight for him. Note that chaffing can lead to skin irritations if not attended to in due time.

III) Shortness of Breath

Lastly, since a tight collar restricts the airways, this would interfere with the oxygen supply, leading to your canine acting lethargic. In addition to that, some dogs vomit when they do not get a sufficient oxygen supply.

If you notice the factors that we have just discussed, you should make a point of checking the dog’s collar and make any adjustment that may be necessary.

Closing Remark

Finding the perfect collar for restraining your dog is not enough, as you should be sure that your canine is safe and comfortable with the accessory on. So, the unit should not be too tight to choke him or too loose to slip off repeatedly. If you have paid attention to all the pointers that we have provided in this article, then you are on the right track towards finding a collar that would offer the perfect tightness for your furry friend.

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Farmer Jack


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