Collars - and choosing the right accessory

The collar is an essential accessory for every pet and a fashion highlight for some too. However you should choose carefully as a poorly selected and fitted collar may cause unnecessary injury. Unfortunately from time to time we see pets who have come to grief with their collar. The most common injuries are underarm lacerations caused by a collar being caught under a front leg and choking relating injuries.

Dogs

  • As a rule you should be able to slip two to three fingers between the collar and your dog's neck without it slipping over the head
  • Puppies grow quickly, check your pup's collar once a week to ensure they can breathe and move comfortably
  • Adult dog collars should be checked monthly for size and maintenance
  • Martingale collars are useful if your dog tends to back out and slip their collar when walking on a lead. They hang loose when walking and will tighten if your dog attempts to back away but not enough to cut off their air supply. As a general rule, martingale collars should only be worn under supervision such as when they are walking on the lead. They can get caught on other objects and cause injury if your pet attempts to escape
  • Choke, prong or shock collars - we do not endorse the use of these collars. Punishment is not effective in the prevention of behavioural problems and is more likely to exacerbate an undesirable behaviour. If you are considering any of these options please speak to an animal behaviouralist, qualified dog trainer. We also welcome you to contact our pet healthcare team for more proactive ways to manage your pet's condition. Dogs should never be left unattended with any of these devices on as they can cause devastating injuries.

Cats

Cat collars should always have a safety feature, such as an elastic strap or buckle that pulls apart under a pulling force. This allows the collar to stretch and be slipped off or the collar to undo if the cat gets caught in a fence or tree.

Identification

For easy identification, attach an identification tag to your pet's collar so they can be easily returned should they become lost. Microchipping is also advisable as it is a a permanent form of identification should your pet slip out of their collar.

We encourage you to ask one of our friendly healthcare team to assist you in selecting the best collar for your pet. They can also provide advice on other behavioural training tools such as harnesses and head halters to assist you in training your pet.