Sizing Your Dog’s Collar

The collar you decide to purchase for your dog needs to fit him properly for his safety and comfort. The following tips will help you determine just the right size for your BEST friend.

It is best to use a cloth tape measure to measure the neck of your dog, however a piece of string will also do if you do not have a cloth tape measure. If you are using a string to measure, just lay it down on a flat ruler to obtain your measurement.

You will obtain the best measurement if you measure around the neck just behind the ears. Another option is to find the shoulder bones, move up the back of the neck a couple of finger widths, and measure at that point. Circle the neck of your dog and add two inches to your figure to give you the correct length of collar you will need. Of course, if you just need to replace an old worn collar, the simplest way to measure is to just measure the old collar.

Do not pull the tape too tightly since you do not want your dog to be choking most of the time. Leave a little bit of slack, but not too much since you do not want your dog to pull out of his collar either. Your dog should be standing at attention with his head up to obtain an accurate measurement. For a new twist on an old adage, “measure twice and cut once”, measure twice and choose once. As a final step, it is a very good idea to write down your results.

Adjustable collars are offered in length ranges such as 8-12 inches, 10-14 inches, and so on. If you are buying a pet collar for a puppy, you will need to check the fit of the collar weekly. An adjustable collar will suit your pup just right through his growth spurts his first year. The same is true for an older pet. Older pets tend to put on weight and an adjustable collar will expand as they expand.

The width of the pet collar will be a factor also. Smaller dogs should wear a narrower pet collar. Standard width sizes of pet collars are 3/8 inch, 5/8 inch, or 1 inch. Some owners think that if they outfit their friend with a big, wide collar, it will make him more impressive. For the comfort of your pet, make sure the collar does not chafe or pinch any part of the neck. The “choker” look may look “cool”, however it is not worth your dogs discomfort to achieve that look.

Once you place the collar on your dog, you should be able to easily slide two fingers between the collar and his neck. This ensures you chose the right collar for your dogs safety and comfort.

As with almost any purchase you make, you will need to check and maintain that purchase. Depending upon the material, the dog collar may shrink or expand when it becomes wet. Just everyday romping or playing can produce rips or tears in the fabric. Check your dogs throat and neck area for any chafing, sores, or loss of hair around the collar. A good neck scratch under the pet collar will be very much appreciated by your friend. Not only will you be able to check his neck area with the scratching, you will increase that loving bond you have with your BEST friend!