Choosing a collar for your dog can be difficult since there are so many styles and sizes to choose from. However, it is important that every puppy and dog has a collar to house their name tags and additional tags such as proof of the rabies vaccine. In case your dog escapes, the collar can help you get your dog back quickly. A collar is also essential for walking your dog with a leash.
How to Choose the Best Dog Collars
A properly-fit collar is part of a care routine you should have with your pup. Use a flexible measuring tape to calculate the circumference of your dog’s neck. This will help you determine the best size collar for your dog. Once you have the measurement, you will want to add one inch for small dogs, two inches for medium-sized dogs and three inches for dogs that weigh over 80 pounds. This extra measurement will ensure that your dog’s neck remains comfortable, and the collar can move freely before and after your dog has been groomed.
A standard collar has a 1 ½ inch width. If you are unsure what width to go with, choose the standard width. However, if you have a small or toy breed, the standard width might be too heavy and bulky for your dog.
If your dog is an over achiever in the strength department, you will want to go with a wider width collar that can give you more support when using a leash and allow the dog more comfort when wearing the collar long term.
Measuring for the Best Dog Collars
Use a flexible measuring tape to calculate the measurement for your new dog collar by placing the measuring tape in a circle against your dog’s neck. If you do not have a flexible measuring tape, use a string and a ruler to find the number of inches you need. Once you have that measurement, add two inches. The added inches will give your dog room to grow and allow for fluctuation in seasons (more room in winter when your dog has longer fur and less room in summer when your dog is groomed to have shorter hair).
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There are a few types of dog collars that are commonly used. Depending on the activity level and needs of your pet, you can choose from the following options: standard (or flat), safety, martingale or chain.
Standard Dog Collars
Standard or flat collars are the most common dog collar and can be used for all breeds and sizes of dogs. Standard collars are often used for young puppies since they are affordable and can adjust to your growing pup. Standard collars come in a large range of colors and designs. Most are commonly made with leather or nylon and feature plastic or metal hardware. If you are on a budget, you will want to consider purchasing a standard collar.
Safety collars keep your pet from harm. If you like to walk your dog on busy streets or neighborhoods, safety collars can help your dog be visible in low light situations. Whether you are walking very early in the morning before work or after the sun goes down in the evening, safety collars are a must. Most safety collars have a reflective strip that shines brightly in the dark and is highly visible to nearby drivers.
Martingale collars are great for energetic pups, multiple dogs, or outdoor enthusiasts. When your active dog pulls while on a leash, a martingale collar can keep him in check. The collar gently pulls and allows for reinforced training and a better grip for the handler. Martingale collars are usually half chain and half nylon or leather. The chain part of the collar can provide a gentle reminder not to pull, while the nylon or leather creates a comfortable fit for your pet.
Martingale collars are preferred over choke chains or slip collars due to their focus on safety and comfort. The collar prevents damage to the dog's esophagus while training your dog how to walk on a leash. It is important to note when measuring for a martingale collar that you can place two fingers between the collar and the dog's neck when the chain has a slack.
Chain collars or slip collars are highly effective when training a dog to act or walk properly. However, slip collars should never be left on a dog for a long period of time or while you are not actively watching the dog. A slip collar can cause damage to the dog’s trachea and neck if left unattended.
Best Collars for Puppies
Puppies grow fast. Collars need to be adjusted frequently to prevent the collar from tightening around your puppy’s neck. If you can no longer buckle the collar, you will need to purchase the next size up. If you have chosen a larger breed, you may have to upsize the collar several times before your dog hits adulthood.
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If you dog has a heavier coat in the winter, you may need to loosen the collar and if your dog is groomed in the spring, you may need to tighten the collar after he loses his winter fur. You should always be able to fit two fingers in-between the collar and your dog’s neck. Make sure after determining there is enough room for the collar to be comfortable that the collar cannot slip off your dog’s neck. If your dog pulls while he is on a leash, the collar should remain firm to your dog’s neck and not be removed easily. Choose an adjustable collar that can be made longer or shorter so you can get a proper fit.
Best Dog Collars for Active Dogs
If you have an active dog, a standard collar might not be durable enough for day to day wear. Active dogs often get their collars dirty and wet. Choose a waterproof or water-resistant collar so you can easily wipe off the collar to keep it fresh and clean. An active dog also benefits from an odor-free collar. All that time outside can cause a buildup of bacteria. A stink-free collar can prevent the outdoors from making its way inside.
You will also want to purchase a collar that is built for an active chewer. Dogs who can chew on their collar can easily rip it making it ineffective. Plus, if your dog chews his collar, small pieces can release from the collar causing a choking hazard.
If your dog spends a lot of time outside or in areas with wooded trails, you will also want to take into consideration that the dog could become entangled in small tree branches or shrubs. If your dog is constantly bringing home unwanted debris or his collar is ripped or scratched, you may want to consider purchasing a quick release collar, so your dog won’t strangle himself when engaging in outdoor activities.
Best Dog Collars for Stylish Pets
Once you have chosen the best function and materials for your dog’s collar, you can focus on the fun part, the color and pattern. There are several style options available from flowers to geometric, to stripes and dots. Choose a color and pattern that really pops against your dog’s fur. If you have a girl dog, consider a color with charms or glitter. A boy dog looks great in a classic plaid or even an added bow tie.
Whatever design you choose, make sure your pet will be comfortable wearing the collar daily. Even if you pet looks amazing in his new collar, if the collar is scratchy or has too many accessories, it may be uncomfortable for your pet.
If the collar is noticeable to your dog, there is a greater chance that the dog will try to chew or destroy it. This can be frustrating for pet parents and dangerous for dogs who could choke or have their neck restricted.
Best Dog Collar Options
Dog collars come in different types depending on what you will be using the collar for. Styles include a traditional buckle collar, quick release buckle collar, center ring collar, and martingale collar. Dog collars are also made with different materials including real leather and synthetic fibers such as nylon. You may choose to have your collar personalized with your dog’s name or your contact information. Collars can be extremely useful for identifying your pet if your dog escapes from your home or yard.
There are also collars specifically designed for training your dog. These collars are for training purposes only and should not be used when your pet is left unattended.
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If you are still unsure about which size collar to purchase for your dog, consider consulting your veterinarian. They can give you advice about which collar to choose by assessing the breed and overall size of your dog.
When you are ready to purchase a new dog collar for your pet, consider the following options. We have chosen a variety of collars that provide for different sizes and breeds of dogs. The collars are also durable, affordable, and come in many styles. You are sure to find a collar that meets your dog’s needs.
1. Blueberry Pet Classic Solid Color Dog Collar Collection - Regular Collars, Seatbelts, Personalized Collars and Bandana
The Blueberry Pet Classic Solid Color Dog Collar is available in multiple sizes. This collar does not stretch, so take this into consideration when measuring your dog’s neck to purchase the correct size. Collar size should allow for two fingers between the dog’s neck and the collar. Purchasing the right size will prevent your dog from chewing and damaging the collar.
This collar is not rated for an outside tie out. It is available as a single product but you can purchase a leash and harness separately. The Blueberry Pet Classic collar is made of durable nylon fabric with high density webbing. The buckles are made from renewable plastic. The metal D ring is finished with a chrome coating for longevity.
This collar is available in six colors: royal blue, dark orchid, neon green, Florence orange, medium turquoise, and French pink. These colors will go great with any breed or style you are trying to achieve. The durable color will last for years to come.
It’s a great all-around basic collar. The collar washes well and adjusts with ease. Purchasers like the quality for the price and the color choices that provide a pop of color. Available in extra small through large.
Size: Regular Collar - Medium | Color: Medium Turquoise
The Blueberry Pet Soft & Comfy Scottish Plaid Pattern Dog Collar is both stylish and functional. It is made with durable canvas fabric, neoprene webbing, and silver colored hardware. The collar is lightweight and soft to the touch. The buckles are made of renewable plastic.
A special loop has been attached to the logo. This loop is for attaching a dog tag, accessories, etc. Do not use this loop to attach a dog leash.
If you like plaid style for your pup, you will love the Blueberry Pet Soft & Comfy dog collar. It comes in a variety of sizes to fit your pet. This collar comes in fun color combinations such as navy blue, iris blue, phthalo green, and jungle green.
Blueberry Pet provides a wide array of pet apparel and accessories: sturdy, durable, and comfortable pet collars, leashes and harnesses, cute pet toys, and heavy-duty pet beds.
This model works great for dogs who need quick release collars (releases when dogs get their collars caught when playing together or from obstacles). Collar is also padded for extra comfort.
3. Mile High Life Night Reflective Double Bands Nylon Dog Collar (3 Sizes 4 Colors and Multi-Pack Available)
Walk your dog with confidence when he is wearing the Mile High Life Night Reflective Double Bands Nylon Dog Collar. This collar has maximum visibility when walking your dog in dusk and evening hours, and comes in small, medium, and large sizes. Choose from lime green, hot pink, orange, or blue. The Mile High Life Night Reflective collar features premium 3M reflective materials, durable nylon webbing, and lightweight buckles. Gunmetal D-ring will hold all of the necessary dog tags. Collar is adjustable. Add one inch to your dog’s neck when consulting the size chart to get a comfortable fit.
Reflective strip is woven into this collar for maximum durability. It will fit most breeds; it’s lightweight and does not irritate sensitive skin.
4. Blueberry Pet Classic Solid Color Safety Training Martingale Dog Collar, No Buckle, with Personalization Options
The Blueberry Pet Classic Solid Color Safety Training Martingale Dog Collar is perfect for sight hounds and additional breeds that are prone to escape. This martingale collar is made with high density nylon webbing for added durability. This collar does not have buckles. If you are choosing this collar for a non-sight hound, make sure the collar can fit comfortably over the dog’s head.
This collar is for intended use only and not to be used as a tie out. This collar should be used in combination with a leash for outdoor use. The martingale collar provides a firm grip on dogs without the choking effect a slip collar can create. If proper size is chosen, the dog will remain comfortable even when pulling against the collar.
Does your dog slip out of collars easily? The martingale collar is the perfect solution. It is made with the same durable materials you have come to love from our flat colors.
The Country Brook Petz collar is made in the U.S.A. with super soft nylon for a comfortable fit. The hardware is all metal, improving the longevity of the collar.
The collar is colored with colorfast dye to prevent damage to the collar design when it gets wet. The collar is box stitched with heavy duty B69 nylon thread on main stress points to prevent fraying. Threads do not come loose like other, lower quality collars.
The Country Brook Petz collar is for supervised use only; do not use for tie out.
This collar is specifically designed for an active dog. It is reflective, waterproof, and keeps the stink out. Your dog can get this collar dirty over and over again, and you simply need to wash it with soap and water and hang to dry. The collar will retain its color and durability wash after wash. If you have an active dog that likes to play in the water and mud, this collar is an excellent choice. Other collars may stink over time and be hard to clean.
This collar will also keep your dog visible in low light conditions with it his visibility reflective strip. It’s super lightweight and pairs well with coordinating waterproof gel leash. Order with confidence, this collar has a two-year warranty.
This model comes in four colors: neon pink, neon blue, neon orange, and neon green. The collar comes in four sizes: Extra Small 8"-12", Small 10"-16", Medium 14"-20", and Large 18"-26", so you can find the perfect fit for your furry friend.
Fans of this brand love the two-year warranty. However, most purchasers complain that the reflective strip is prone to wearing off if you use the collar in water or if your dog is fairly active and rubs the surface of the collar frequently.
7. Kurgo Muck Collar Waterproof Dog Collar - Blue, Red, Orange, Grey, Multi Color, Patriotic, Union Jack and Maple Leaf
Is your dog active outdoors? The Kurgo Muck Collar is not only waterproof but repels dirt and odors. It is no stink, meaning you will never have to worry about not being able to wash out the dirt and odor from this collar. It’s super easy to clean. Just run the collar under clean water and it will look brand new.
The collar comes with a lifetime warranty against manufacturer defects when purchased direct. What do you have to lose?
The Kurgo Muck Collar is free from PVC and made from a comfortable and durable webbing. It features a steel buckle for added strength and also includes a unique dog collar bottle opener leash and dog tag attachment that will remain rust free. The collar comes in a variety of colors and patterns for the stylish, modern dog lover.
Kurgo was founded in 2003 by two brothers, Kitter and Gordie Spater. The brothers grew up in Vermont and loved to spend time exploring with their dogs. All of their experience comes from watching their parents build businesses in apparel manufacturing, retail, and business.
Kurgo’s product line includes a wide range of dog products including car seat covers and car harnesses for travel, leashes and collars for walking, dog backpacks, and coats and booties for outdoor adventures. Kurgo’s founders Kitter and Gordie spend their days sketching new products and figuring out ways to improve quality and logistics.
Purchasers of the Kurgo collar love the quality and customer service the company provides. However, some people disliked how much the bottle opener on the collar stuck out from the collar’s surface. They were worried that the collar may catch on a surface or that a child could get hurt from the bottle opener if they got too close.
The Remington Waterproof Dog Collar is fully adjustable and includes a unique center ring which allows the collar to release if the dog’s neck should it get stuck on debris. The center ring also doubles as a place to connect a leash. All of the hardware is durable metal. The collar is intended for supervised use only; do not use for outdoor tie outs.
The collar is water resistant and features a bright, safety orange color. This allows the collar to be easily seen. It also is able to resist oil, sweat, and everyday odors.
Pet owners like the waterproof qualities of this collar. The collar dries quickly and does not have an odor. Some owners suggested sizing up if you are unsure of what size to get. It’s perfect for dogs that like to spend a lot of time in the water. The collar is easy to clean and easy to spot in the field.
9. Waterproof Dog Collar, Orange Dog Collar for Large Dog in Outdoor, Soft and Comfortable for Dog Neck, Smell Resistant, Easy Clean for Dog Good Health
This dog collar is waterproof and great for larger-sized dogs. It is fully adjustable (with 37 holes), and it has a soft feel on your dog’s neck. The collar is made of a combination of nylon and poly and resists everyday odors and stains: a great choice for active dogs and super easy to clean. Just wipe with soap and water and hang to dry. The collar works for dogs up to 50 pounds.
10. Sparky PetCo 3/4" Roller Buckle Reflective High Flex Waterproof E-Collar Replacement Strap (for Garmin, Dogtra, PetSafe, SportDog)
The last option is perfect for use with your dog’s fence. It keeps pets safe and stress free, great for outdoor loving dogs that like to hunt and play in the water. Collar is universal, ¾ inch nylon, reflective, and repels water and odor.
The Sparky collar is super adjustable for cats or dogs. The reflective strip is easy to see in dim lighting. It is a super long collar that makes it easy to get a custom fit. Just trim to the desired length. Recommended over the standard strap that often comes with electronic training collars.
What Materials Should I Choose?
Dog collars are made out of many materials. Some materials wear longer while others are water or odor proof. Collars made of nylon come in many colors and can be box stitched for increased durability.
Some collars are made with leather. Leather collars are great for dogs who can easily destroy nylon. Genuine leather (do not buy bonded) will weather over time and remain durable throughout your pet’s life span. Other materials include faux leather, neoprene, and those decorated with patterned ribbons.
The foundation of the collar is the hardware. Without quality hardware, the collar will not last. Some collars have plastic hardware, while others have metal hardware.
Once you have a collar, you can purchase coordinating accessories such as a dog leash or harness.
When purchasing a collar for your dog, the options can be overwhelming. Armed with the correct information, you can easily narrow down the best dog collars that are right for your pet.
Before style and function, the size of the collar is key. If you do not measure your dog’s neck correctly and allow for the space of two fingers in between the dog’s neck and the collar, it will not be comfortable for your dog. It can either constrict your dog’s movement if it is too small or pop off your dog’s head if the collar is too large.
Going by your dog’s breed is not enough. Even though there are guidelines for each breed, your dog may be larger or smaller than its average breed size.If you do a bit of research and cater the size to your dog’s unique body size, you will not have a problem ordering the right collar. If you rush the process or impulsively buy a collar because it is cute, you risk the collar not fitting properly. Purchasing the wrong size can be a strain on your wallet and uncomfortable for your furry friend. Take a few minutes to properly fit your dog’s collar and your dog will able to use the collar for years to come.