The Dangers of Collars

Have you ever considered the safety of your dog’s collar? We didn’t think twice about using a conventional clasp collar until we came across some very alarming statistics by veterinarians reporting collar related injuries and even deaths. How could something as simple as a collar endanger the lives of our babies?

There are only a few dogs I take care of that don’t wear collars; it’s such a common practice and is the first place people look for identification and rabies tags. But when we started to look into the horrifying stories behind these statistics, we made a change to the type of collars our dogs wear and to how we keep dogs in our care safe during play.

According to the data, up to 96% of veterinarians will see a collar related injury during the year. The most common cause of collar strangulation is from the teeth or lower jaw of one dog getting caught under the collar of the other during play. In an attempt to free himself from the collar, the dog pulls and twists, therefore cutting off the ability of the other dog to breath. For this reason, pups in multi-dog households are at higher risk of this occurring. The danger to the caught dog can run from a bloody mouth from the struggle to broken teeth to a fractured jaw. Even if someone is close enough to intervene, the collar can become so tight from the struggle that even your fingers can’t get at that buckle to free the dog in enough time. Worse yet, the buckle itself can end up being in the other dog’s mouth and therefore is much more difficult to reach.

Collars and tags can easily become caught on fences and crates. Identification tags can also become lodged in a floor vent – when the dog tries to get up, she’s caught and can’t move. She starts to panic, pull and twist, causing serious injuries and threatening her life.

Maybe we’re being paranoid, but with statistics such as this, why take the chance? We started using break-away collars for our pups and recommend that others do the same. These have the standard clasp for easy dressing and removal, but they have a second clasp that is designed to release under tension. The collars we use also have two D rings for attachment to a leash in case you’re dealing with a potty training puppy and don’t have time to put on his harness. We’ve never had use of them, but they’re handy for those just-in-case moments.

Or, if your pups are playing in a secured area, you can always remove their gear and let them play in their birthday suits!


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