When it comes to getting a dog collar there are many options. You could spend hours at your local pet store, staring at hundreds of different types of collars, trying to figure out which one is best for your pet. When selecting a collar, you may want to consider what you want and what you need out of the collar. Some dogs need a collar that can handle lots of elements because they are hiking with their owners every weekend. Others may not need a collar that is so versatile and would rather have something more unique and chic.
ANALYSIS & AWARD WINNERS:
Best overall dog collar: Lupine ¾” Adjustable Collar
Lupine ¾” Adjustable collar is the most versatile collar that can handle anything you and your dog throw at it. The width itself is comfortable for a wide range of dogs without being too bulky or too thin, and it is also adjustable for growing dogs. The collar’s pattern is woven into high-quality jacquard nylon in order to withstand the rigors of the elements, time, and even your washing machine. Alongside the great material, there is also a wide selection of design choices to pick from in order for your dog to look their best. As an added bonus the company also has matching leashes and harnesses. Lastly, what makes the Lupine ¾” dog collar the overall best dog collar is the outstanding guarantee the company provides. Their products are 100% guaranteed even if your dog chews through them. They have a “no receipt, no questions asked” policy, in which you can return your damaged collar (or other Lupine product), and have it returned 2 business days after the return request is received.
Best leather collar: Soft touch collars – luxury real leather padded collar
With all of the leather collars available for your dog, the soft touch luxury leather padded collar was deemed the best collar based on its overall quality and aesthetic looks. This specific collar is the most versatile in the leather collar category and had the greatest amount of options to fit a wider range of dogs. That being said, the collar is a little large and may be slightly too heavy or wide for smaller breeds. The collar features a second loop for your dog’s tags in order to prevent accidental attachment of the dog leash. Overall the beautiful two-tone color and the comfortability of the collar won out over all the rest. In addition, soft touch luxury real padded collars come with a lifetime guarantee and if a collar ever fails due to materials or workmanship a replacement collar will be sent.
Best collar for dogs that pull: PetSafe gentle leader head collar
The PetSafe gentle leader head collar was chosen as the best collar for dogs that pull due to its effectiveness to divert pulling behavior and ability to command immediate gentle control. All of the head collars for pulling dogs are very similar and have all the same features. The reason the PetSafe gentle leader was chosen as the best collar for pulling dogs was due to the variety of colors offered and the instructional video that is included with your purchase. Using a head collar for pulling dogs takes time, first getting your dog used to wearing something on their face and secondly how the collar itself corrects pulling. If your dog is a puller and a head collar just doesn’t work for them, consider trying out a harness.
Best of the rest:
The waterproof Muck collar ranked high on this list due to its uniqueness and toughness against all elements. It is made of 100% waterproof PVC free material that prevents it from absorbing moisture, dirt, bacteria, or odor. This collar is not made of traditional material, instead, it has a flexible coating for easy cleaning. There is also a lifetime warranty associated with this product.
Lastly, there is the Ruffwear Hoopie Dog collar, a wonderful collar to use for those day to day activities, but it can also handle those weekend adventures. The collar is created with soft durable webbing with unique outdoor designs. Though the collar can hold up to the elements it needs to be hand washed to maintain its durability and vibrant color. Ruffwear collars match a host of other products such as harnesses and leashes.
Characteristics of a good collar:
The collars in this ranking were chosen based on their ability to handle the day to day activities of you and your dog, but also be able to handle a magnitude of weekend adventures. Not only was the individual collar itself considered but the company as a whole. Almost every collar on our list has some sort of guarantee associated with it. This is important to consider not only because it shows the quality of the product, but it also shows the time and commitment put into the collar which helps keep your dog safe. A dog collar is not just a fashionable accessory to show off your dog’s chic style, but it helps keep them safe from running into trouble, holds on to their identification, and also notifies the world that they are loved. At the end of the day choosing a collar just comes down to personal preference.
Here are some ideas to consider when selecting what collar is best for your dog:
- What kind of dog do you have? If you have a mellow well-behaved dog that spends most of their time inside and only adventures out on the occasional walk or trip to the veterinarian, well, the sky’s the limit for whatever collar you prefer and whatever collar fits your dog. If your dog has any respiratory issues or is brachiocephalic, or a ‘squished face’because a wider set collar or a harness might be a better fit. Other dogs such as sight hounds have specific collars made for them to protect their long necks. If you have concerns picking a collar, talk to your veterinarian about what may be best for your dog’s needs.
- Is your dog a chewer? If your dog tends to chew on things consider looking for collars with warranties or more durable collars. There isn’t a collar on the market that is 100% chew proof, if your dog’s collar is at risk of being chewed, consider keeping it off unless they leave the house but make sure they are microchipped just in case.
- What does your dog like to do? If your dog is a magnet for water look for collars that dry quickly, are easy to remove when wet, don’t shrink, and don’t fade with multiple exposures to water. Consider where your dog’s collar may end up, if you hike with your dog and they roll in ‘goodness only knows what’, look for a collar that is either easy to clean or can withstand a few rounds in the washing machine.
- Do you care if everything matches? This may seem like a silly consideration but a lot of people like to have all their dog’s accessories match. When shopping for a collar consider looking at the company that produces the collar you like and see if they have matching leashes and/or harnesses so your dog can look their best. Some companies even make key chains from the same material so you can even match your dog’s style.
- Is your dog a puller? If your dog is a puller look into trying a head collar but also select a regular collar in which to attach the safety clip to. This is to make sure you are still attached to your dog no matter what happens, including them scratching the head collar off. It is good to try to desensitize your pulling dog to the head collar to protect their neck from injury. If this absolutely does not work consider looking into getting a harness for dogs that pull.
How to fit a dog collar:
Collars should be worn high on your dog’s neck, they should be snug, but also have enough room to fit two fingers between your their neck and the collar. If your dog’s collar is properly fitted it will not be able to slip over your dog’s head. The collar should also not be so tight that it causes coughing or restricts breathing. When selecting a collar, use a flexible tape measure to measure your dog’s neck. For growing puppies or dogs that fluctuate in weight, check their collars often and adjust the length as needed. In general, dog’s collars should be checked often to make sure they continue to properly fit and there isn’t any damage or wear that could weaken the functionality of the collar.
Include identification on your dog’s collar:
The most important part of a dog’s collar is the identification you attach to it. There are different ways in which to do this, but most commonly used are tags. The bare minimum that should be included on your dog’s tab is your phone number. Many people put their dog’s name on there too as well as a ‘reward’. If your dog is medication dependent consider including a line that states “takes medication”. In addition, some people like to write the word “microchipped” so if your dog is found the individual can take them to a veterinary clinic to get scanned and you can be reunited faster. A secondary option to the identification tag is to get a collar that has a plate or custom stitching on the actual collar itself. Some people choose this option over the identification tag so they don’t have to hear the noise of their dog tags clinking.
Beyond having an identification tag a lot of areas require a rabies tag to be on your dog’s collar in order to notify the public of their rabies vaccine status. Check in with your local county to see what regulations they have. Every time your dog receives a new rabies vaccine and tag, replace the old tag on their collar with the new tag.