Is Your Dog’s Collar Actually Safe?


So many people use collars for dogs that it’s not something we think twice about. However, if you researched more into the different kinds of collars and the risks they pose, you would probably give a lot more thought into what you choose to purchase for your dog! Here’s a run through of the different kinds of dog collars and the potential harm they could bring to your dog.

Flat Collars

Flat collars are usually the most common collars out there. These are the ones that have different designs that go around your dog’s neck with a buckle or snap closure. While this kind of collar is what you’d normally see and can even offer a variety of fashionable choices, it does not automatically mean they are safe. As a matter of fact, they can harm your dog because they can put pressure on the neck area. Where it could really endanger your dog is when it pulls on its leash. This kind of collar can bruise or damage your dog’s neck, throat, and spine. Furthermore, your dog can also easily slip out of them which can be dangerous if you are taking them for a walk in a busy area.

Choke Collars

You may think that the key to correcting your dog’s misbehavior lies in using choke collars, but you’re wrong. While you can keep your dog at bay with a sudden choke through a tug of their leash, choke collars do not do any further behavior correction other than that. On the contrary, dogs that experience this kind of trauma can turn more aggressive. Not only are you physically hurting your dog, you are also possibly harming them psychologically. Using choke collars can have serious consequences, as they can bruise, damage, and even crush your dog’s neck, throat, and neck.

Prong Collar

Prong collars function the same way as a choke collar, except they have tiny spikes or prongs that deliver a pinching sensation to your dog’s neck when they pull on their leash. Similarly, prong collars are not advisable as they can do the same damage as choke collars. In the same way that choking your dog does very little to actually correct the source of their pulling and misbehavior, pinching and choking your dog has little to no effect either. If you value your pet’s safety and well-being, then you may want to stay away from these kinds of collars that only bring them harm.

Shock Collars

Just as choking does your dog more harm than good, shock collars are on the same level in terms of safety and humaneness. These collars are designed to give your dogs a little jolt of shock to keep them from pulling or misbehaving, but it’s not exactly the most humane way to correct your dog’s behavior. What’s worse is that your dog can develop a heart condition from getting electrically shocked, apart from any physical injuries that a shock collar can put them through. Shock collars also have the potential danger of malfunctioning and may not stop administering shocks to your dog, which can be fatal for them.

The Alternatives: Dog Harness

What I would recommend is either a martingale collar or better still, a dog harness. The dog harness is an often neglected option compared to the very common dog collar/leash yet it is actually a lot safer and certainly more effective in helping you train your dog or keep your dog safe when venturing outside. The main difference between a dog harness and collar is the different point of pressure. A dog harness restricts your dog around the chest and under the legs instead of at the neck. It is also not as easy to slip out of. There are actually so many types of dog harnesses but the best dog harness you would want to get is simply one which is easy to put on, snug enough yet allows your dog to move comfortably and freely.

Or The Martingale Collar

If you’re looking for a collar that is safe and humane, then you might want to consider getting a martingale collar. While they look similar to flat collars, they are designed to be less constricting and do not pose the same physical threats as choke and prong collars. They are also made so that your dog cannot escape from them, as they tighten around the neck of your dog when the more that they try to pull away. Martingale collars have also been dubbed as “humane” collars because they provide more control with less choking.

As dog owners, we want to keep our dogs safe and happy. You might have unknowingly been using one of the less recommended options above but now that you know the dangers and risks they can pose, you might want to look into switching that dog collar for something else. A dog harness or martingale collar can certainly serve the same needs while being much safer.

Leigh Norton
Leigh is a writer and animal lover who founded popular pet blog, Over on Petsho, she covers pet related topics, tips for pet care/health and is known for her in depth reviews on pet products and supplies. As a mom to 3 children (and 2 fur kids), Leigh is passionate about topics on pets, family, children and motherhood.