How to properly fit your dog's collar
By Dr Jarrett Brown BVSc (Hons), Veterinarian
Selecting the correct collar size for your dog is important as it not only affects comfort, but also safety.
Loose fitting collars can easily slip off when walking, creating an immediate safety concern such as running onto a road or heading towards an unknown dog. They can also get caught on objects like furniture or tree branches, and if you are not around to assist, lead to panic resulting in neck trauma or suffocation.
Collars that are too tight will be uncomfortable to wear as they can restrict breathing, especially during exercise and rub on your pooch’s skin, creating a rash which can lead to an infection.
The most important step is to measure your dog’s neck circumference. If you have a flexible sewing tape measure – perfect, otherwise use a piece of string then measure against a ruler or rigid tape measure. It is best to measure midway along your dog’s neck as this is the optimal position for a collar to sit. Also ensure you are measuring flat against their coat.
THE PERFECT FIT
Once the tape is in position, adjust slightly to allow 1-2 of your fingers to sit underneath. This will give you a measurement that ensures their collar will sit comfortably, but securely. Also consider strap width with dogs that are larger or energetic suited to a wider collar.
USING SIZING GUIDES TO ASSIST
All brands will provide a sizing guide for their collars. These will show the range the corresponding collar size can be adjusted to. If you have a puppy, try to pick the size that fits their measurement at the smaller end of the range as to maximise growth and use. If you own a breed that has seasonal variation in hair length and thickness, opt for a size that allows some adjustment either way to accommodate for a thick Winter coat or a fresh Summer clip.