A Pet Owner’s Guide to Choosing the Right Collar for a Dog

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A dog collar can be considered an essential pet accessory since it is one of the more obvious telltale signs that a dog has an owner; else, he could end up at the city pound when he gets lost.

If you haven’t purchased a dog collar yet for your furry pal, and are planning on getting him one, know that there are certain factors you should consider in choosing one. After all, your dog will be wearing it for a long period of time so might as well choose the best dog collar your pooch can comfortably wear.

When it comes to dog collars, you’re sure to come across many options. This guide will help you in choosing the perfect collar for your dog based on a couple of considerations:

1. Material

Collars come in a range of materials, and below are the common options you will find:

  • Nylon or polyester – These are less expensive, durable and are available in different sizes and colors. Moreover, these are easy to clean as they’re machine washable. Most nylon collars have a plastic quick-snap buckle that you can adjust to the right length which is quite handy if you have a puppy.
  • Leather – This is a classic and luxurious option for your pet. What’s more, the oils coming from your dog’s coat may soften the leather, making it a comfortable choice for your pooch. Leather is durable which makes it a suitable collar for large, sturdy canines.
  • Waterproof – If your dog loves water, this is a practical collar choice. It’s made out of neoprene, plastic and waxed cotton. Unlike other dog collars, a waterproof one doesn’t collect bacteria and odors when immersed in a wet environment.
  • Faux leather – This gives off a leather-like look but at a lower price. It also often comes with a buckle-style latch and embellished with various decorative items such as studs, spikes, or charms.

2. Size

When buying a collar, measure your dog’s neck first.

Make sure to pick an appropriate collar size as it will determine the surface area of pressure that your pooch will feel when put on a leash. The larger the width is, the larger the surface area that the pressure will be evenly distributed and be comfortable for your pooch. However, larger width can be more uncomfortable if your canine is trying to relax.

Choosing the size of the collar also depends greatly on the size of the dog.

Large breeds will need a collar with a wider width — about an inch or more. On the other hand, smaller breeds will require a lighter, thinner collar that won’t weigh them down.  

To take the correct neck measurement, follow these tips:

  • Measure the circumference of your canine’s neck in inches using a tape measure.
  • Make sure to take his measurement when your dog is in an upright position.
  • Take the measurement with a thought that the collar should be snug and not tight.
  • A collar with an appropriate fit will enable you to place your two fingers in between your dog’s neck and the collar.

3. Fur

You should also keep in mind the fur type of your dog when choosing a collar.

Collars fit differently on canines with thicker fur especially before and after they undergo a haircut. Take note of your dog’s fur type so that you can make appropriate adjustments once his coat grows.

  • For thicker fur, measure your dog’s neck only after he had a haircut and buy a collar according to that size.
  • Consider getting an adjustable collar to take into account your dog’s future hair growth.

4. Color

Color is another important consideration when choosing a collar if you want it to blend in with your pet’s coat.

You can also find a nice contrast to be just as attractive by considering the following:

  • Dark colored dog with warm tones – pick a light-colored collar that has cool tones.
  • Mostly white with apricot undertones – looks good in pink or aqua as the cool tones contrast with the coat’s warm undertones.
  • Cool-toned dog (blue merle, black, or a silvery-blue) – choose a collar in a warm tone like fuchsia pink, orange or red.
  • Dark-colored dog – choose a light-colored collar.
  • Light-colored dog – go with a darker-hued collar.

The collar that will work best for your pet depends on his size, fur, and the color of his coat.

But above all else, make sure to base your collar choice on the one that will give the most comfort to your beloved canine.

By investing in a good collar, you can make sure your pooch has a nice and functional accessory that, when used in tandem with a chain, will help keep him safe when you go for your neighborhood strolls together.

At home, however, the best way to keep your beloved pet dog safe is to ensure your home is secure so that there’s no way he can leave without your knowledge and end up being lost somewhere.


Farah Al-Khojai is the Managing Partner of Pet’s Delight. A passionate entrepreneur, Farah holds a Bsc in Government from the London School of Economics. She is always on the lookout for new opportunities to develop and grow the pet and equestrian retail and wholesale market in the UAE and beyond, and is proud to be at the helm of the first and the largest pet care provider in the market representing world-class brands including Orijen, Applaws, Hunter, Savic, Flamingo, Ruffwear and Rogz.

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