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Dog Collars: How to Make Your Dog Comfy with Them

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With dog collars and accompanying identification tags, you can keep your little pooch safe in a relatively economical way compared to microchipping. But a dog collar does little good if you can’t get your dog to keep it on. We know how tough it can be to add identification to your dog sometimes, but delaying it only makes it that much harder for your dog down the road. Here are a few tips to help both you and your pet to get the most of the dog-collar-wearing experience.

If your dog refuses to use the dog collar, try introducing your pooch gradually to it. This works with just about anything you’re trying to get your dog to become accustomed to. You can start by placing the collar, which should fit properly, on your dog for about 10 minutes to a few hours. Then, reward your dog with a treat along with playtime, and take the collar off. Keep replacing and removing the dog’s collar several times over the next few days until it is comfortable with it. You ultimately want your dog to associate collar wearing with something every dog wants: a fun time with its owner. Be sure not to leave your dog unsupervised with a collar until you are sure that the dog has accepted it. In addition, avoid putting jingling bells or tags on the collar until your dog has gotten used to the collar itself.

Once your dog has gotten accustomed to its collar, feel free to put tags on the collar, such as an identification tag, license tag, and rabies tag. If the constant tinkling of the tags drives you or your pet crazy, however, we suggest riveting a brass nameplate to your pet’s collar. You can also try putting a “tag silencer” around each tag; these products are made out of flexible, soft plastic. We also think laminating your dog’s tags on both sides using clear tape can be effective, although the tape will eventually wear off and will have to be replaced.

Sometimes pet owners worry about their pets getting hung up on their dog collars, which is a legitimate concern. However, if you have a collar that is well fitted, this will decrease the chance that something will slide beneath the collar. No more than two fingers should be able to fit side-by-side between the collar and your pet’s neck.

Keep in mind that if you have a puppy, it will outgrow its childhood collar at some point. In addition, an adult pet can easily lose or gain weight over time, which will change how its collar fits. Whether you are grooming or simply playing with your pet, always check to make sure that only two fingers can be placed between your pet’s neck and the collar to ensure that it is fitting properly. By taking the proper steps to introduce your pet to a collar and make sure that the collar’s tags aren’t a noisy distraction or nuisance, you will make your pooch a lot more comfortable with wearing a collar for years to come.