In many ways, our canine friends are more diverse than we are. Dog’s come in a wide range of sizes, shapes, breeds, and personalities. One thing that all dogs have in common, though, is the need for a top-quality dog collar.
A dog’s collar is far more than just a cute necklace for your pup. A dog collar is necessary for securing your dog during walks, as well as displaying identification tags in the event they get lost. You can even get collars that are designed for high visibility for safe nightly walking. There is a long list of reasons why you would want to make sure that you are choosing the perfect collar for your dog.
Choosing the right collar for your dog can feel like a chore, however. One trip to your local big-box retail store will reveal that there is an entire aisle dedicated to hundreds or even thousands of dog collar options. Each one was trying to advertise some new technology, appearance, or design. You can find yourself overwhelmed with all the possibilities rather quickly. That’s why we wanted to take the time to put together this comprehensive buyer’s guide to finding the right dog collar. Let’s look!
In order to answer the question, “What are the best dog collars on the market?” our researchers are currently going through the best of the best and we will publish our reviews shortly!
Buyer’s Guide for Dog Collars
If you went through our top twenty and you’re still not sure which one you like, perhaps these buying tips can help you choose.
The Different Types of Dog Collars
While we were working on our top 10 dog collars review article, our testing team learned a lot about what makes a dog collar great. They learned a lot of useful tips, tricks, and general information that we thought we would pass along to you!
Just like dogs themselves, collars come in a wide range of types and features. Let’s take a look at the different varieties of dog collars you are sure to find on the market so you can best decide for yourself!
There isn’t much to say about the traditional dog collar. They are the basic model that comes in various materials and will simply buckle like a belt or slide on around the neck of the dog. With this type of collar, simplicity is the main appeal.
High Visibility Collars
High Visibility Collars are a godsend for those of us who like to take their dogs on evening walks when it’s dark out. They come in several varieties as well, such as Reflective and LED. Reflective collars will shine brightly whenever light from a vehicle shines on them. LED will operate on batteries and come with different colored lights that will shine brightly for cars to see. A high visibility collar can be the difference between a pleasant evening stroll and a horrible accident.
Outdoor collars are designed with the active canine in mind. They are often made from heavy waterproof materials that can withstand a lot of abuse. They are perfect for families who love to take their dog on a boat, hiking, or out for sports often.
I figured I would include these, despite them not being very common. Elizabethan collars are commonly referred to as ‘the cone of shame.’ They are cone-shaped collars designed to protect your pup from scratching or reinjuring themselves after surgery. They can also be used to keep your dog from licking themselves after applying medicines to wounds.
After deciding what type of collar to get your dog, you should also consider the material. Often what it is made of can be just as important as the type of collar itself. Let’s look at the most common materials used for dog collars.
Leather is perhaps the most traditional and long-lasting when it comes to dog collar materials. They are durable and tear-resistant as well as fashionable. However, they can be quite pricey when comparing them to other materials. It’s best to wait until your pup has fully matured before buying an expensive leather collar that they might outgrow.
Nylon and Synthetic
Nylon and other synthetic materials are often the cheapest and most convenient option for dog collars. They are more flexible than leather and typically come in more color and pattern varieties. You should note that some dogs are allergic to synthetic material, so they may not be the right option for your puppy. You should take care to exercise caution when buying synthetic collars to ensure that your dog has no allergies.
What Type of Buckling Hardware is the Best?
You will have a few options for buckling hardware when shopping for a collar. This is essentially the method of connection and fastening the collar to your dog. Let’s examine some of the different types available to you.
Quick-release buckles are designed to come apart when pulled on firmly. They are typically flat and made of plastic. These are ideal for puppies or extremely energetic dogs that tend to get caught on things.
Slip-On collars slide over your dog’s head and tighten with metal ring pulley systems. These are most often used for outdoor or working dogs.
Buckle closures are typically made of metal or plastic and operate in the same way as a belt buckle. These are a prevalent option for collars.
Choosing the right size for your dog collar is the most crucial part of selecting a collar. If it does not fit properly, it can easily slide off or even cause extreme discomfort to your pup. There are a couple of ways that you can measure your dog’s neck to get the right-sized collar.
Soft Measuring Tape
Using a soft, flexible measuring tape, like the ones used in sewing, is a very widely used method. Wrap the tape snuggly, but not tightly, around the neck of your dog, and note the length. You can use that measurement when choosing a collar.
Using Ribbon or String
This method works much the same as the measuring tape method. Take a piece of ribbon or string and wrap it snugly around the neck of your dog. Mark the spot that it meets at for optimal comfort and lay it flat on a table so you can accurately measure it.
Make sure that you accurately measure your dog’s neck, as well. You will want to be able to fit two fingers comfortably under the collar. If you cannot slip two fingers under the collar, then the collar is too tight. You should remember to measure