“Dogs are a man’s best friend” isn’t just some clichéd saying; our canine friends really are some of the best companions we could ever ask for. They’re extremely loyal, smart, empathetic, selfless, and devoted. With their perceptiveness to human emotions and keen senses, dogs are also protecting and saving lives as guide dogs and rescue dogs—just two of their other noble and adorable roles in society.
Suffice it to say that dogs have no shortage of love and affection for their humans. As such, it’s only right for dog owners to provide the best life possible for their furred friends, and that includes the simple act of getting them a collar. Here are a few compelling reasons why you should do so.
Simply put, a collar is the easiest way to know whether or not a dog is a stray. Your dog’s collar is where you can conveniently place important identification information like your dog’s name, medical history, allergies, conditions, and vaccination history.
You can also attach a card with your name and contact information onto the collar, which will make it easier for other people to return your beloved pet in the event that they get lost. If your dog is microchipped, you should also list the microchip company’s name and phone number on the tag, just in case the tech malfunctions. If you are wary about placing too much information on the tag (e.g. your home address), anyone who finds your missing dog will have the option to call the microchip company to verify with them as well.
Each dog has their own unique character, and a collar is a simple yet creative way to show off that personality. From different colors to different materials, your dog’s collar can make for a subtle but striking fashion statement. Nothing, for example, says “diva” better like a bright, eye-catching pink collar on a poodle, or “bad-ass” like a studded collar on a rottweiler. Try custom dog collars from If It Barks for a wide array of choices, including reflective collars, hemp collars, and even adorable bow tie collars.
State Laws and Pet Rules
While only two U.S. states—Michigan and Pennsylvania—specifically declare that a dog must be under the control of their owner when not in the owner’s property, most states do require dogs to wear collars in public. Collar and leash laws also differ per state, although most owners are expected to have their pets collared or leashed in areas like parks, wildlife areas, and other public places where dogs and other pets are allowed. This is for the protection of pet owners, their pets, and other people’s pets as well.
Some people prefer harnesses for dog training, but collars are also a good way to start teaching your dog basic manners at home and around other people, like when you are taking them for a walk. Martingale collars, or simply martingales, are especially ideal for dogs that are still in the early stages of training.
The martingale is designed with two loops. The first one looks like a traditional, adjustable collar, which hangs around the dog’s neck, while the second one is used for control when a leash is attached. When in tension—for example, the dog pulls or you slightly tug the leash back—the collar tightens into a snug fit without putting pressure on the front of the your dog’s neck. Once the tension is released, the collar will return to its original form.
If you have a dog with a small, narrow head—like shelties and greyhounds—a martingale is also a good choice, since these dog breeds can easily slip their heads out of regular collars.
It’s not uncommon for dogs to get annoyed, confused, or sidetracked by something new, including a collar (no matter how soft and comfortable it might be). To allow your dog to get used to it, start with the simplest model—without bells or hanging tags that might make distracting sounds or sensations. Make sure to reward your dog with a treat and some playtime after each milestone—for example, when your pet has worn the collar after a certain period of time.
Your dog is more likely to be more comfortable wearing a collar if you introduce it in a positive way. If the tags cause a distraction or annoyance, for example, consider getting a nameplate that’s riveted on the collar. You can also choose to have your pet’s name, your name, and your contact information embroidered onto the collar.
It may seem like a lot of work for such a simple accessory, but you must remember that a collar is more than just an ornament. Not only can it make your life as a pet owner more convenient, it’s also a small way to show your bond with your pet and your dedication to providing them with a better, safer life.