Whether your four-legged family member is a fashionista or an avid outdoor explorer, moves at a slow pace or constantly pulls on the reigns, we have just the right dog collar to meet their needs. Looking for a new dog collar can be confusing, especially with such a plethora of different sizes, styles, materials and more to choose from! This is why we’ve compiled some tips to help guide you towards the right collar. To get started, we like to consider a few features including size, durability, safety and ability to clean.
Unfortunately there is not a set of standard sizes for pets like there are for humans, so it’s very important to always look closely at the sizing for each collar you are considering. For the ideal fit, you will want to allow for one to three fingers to fit between the collar and your dog’s neck, depending on your dog’s size.So, when you measure your pup’s neck, be sure to place the appropriate number of fingers underneath the measuring tape to find the true size.Below is a breakdown of how many fingers we advise according the size of the dog.
Small Size Dog (20 pounds or less) – 1 finger’s width
Medium / Average Sized Dog – 2 finger’s width
Extra Large Dog - 3 finger’s width
Durability comes from both the fabric used to construct a collar as well as the closure. Quality nylon webbing is a sure bet when it comes to strength and durability! But leather collars can also provide the strength your pup needs, and quality leather softens with wear for a very comfortable fit. One thing to watch out for if you choose leather is potential wear around the buckle, so stay mindful of that.
Most nylon collars have plastic buckle closures. If you are purchasing your pup’s new collar in a store, be sure to open and close the buckle a few times and give the collar a good tug when closed to ensure it doesn’t pop open with force. If you choose a collar that has a traditional metal buckle and loops, you don’t have to worry about the risk of the collar popping open per say, but make sure that the hardware is quality and solidly secured on the collar.
Safety correlates quite a bit with durability, so be sure to cross-check the quality of the material and closures, but there are a few other things to be mindful of as well. Many pups need collars specific to training. These collars are often referred to as “slip,” “choke” or “martingale” collars, and are made with mostly leather or nylon with additional nylon or a chain link. This design is used to reduce tugging with a swift, clean correction. We don’t recommend using training collars everyday, just went necessary or until the behavior is corrected.
Another safety concern that many small dog owners face is pressure on a pup’s neck. For smaller breeds, placing pressure on the neck, specifically the tracheal area, can cause coughing, gagging or choking. Harnesses are a great option for pups that have trouble with pulling, as they control the dog without placing pressure on their neck or back, but instead around the chest and breastbone.
It’s important to also be mindful of visibility when it is dark out. Check out our Night Safety Tips to learn the importance of outfitting your pups in the appropriate gear to ensure they are seen when it is dark out. We carry a collection of lighted and reflective collars to help keep your pup safe.
Is your pup extra active, often getting messy or playing in the water? If so, then a waterproof collar might be the perfect solution. Specially made to not absorb moisture, retain dirt and harbor bacteria, waterproof collars generally stay clean as is. And if your pup does manage to get them dirty, all you need to do is rinse the collar under warm water.
For those pups that aren’t quite as active or messy, but still need their collar to be freshened up from time to time, there are many nylon and fabric collar options that are easy to hand wash, or are machine washable. But pay special attention to the instructions on each collar, as many cannot be machine dried.
Once you’ve considered these key collar features, it’s time to search out the style that best fits you and your pup’s personality. Colors, patterns, embellishments and more! Our astute buying team has made Muttropolis the best place to shop for the latest, design-driven and functional collars. Our selection is one of the widest in the pet products marketplace, so take a look for yourself, as we’d love to outfit your pup with their next new collar!
Muttropolis collar categories include Fabric + Nylon Collars, Stripes, Plaids + Solid Fabric Collars, Leather Collars, Sparkle Collars, Training Collars, Teacup Collars, Lighted or Reflective Collars, and Holiday Collars, all of which can be found in stores or online.