There’s something exciting about picking out a collar and coordinating leash for your pet. Not only is the ensemble a fashion statement for you and your pooch or kitty, but collars and leashes ensure pet health and safety. Depending upon where you live, it’s likely required by law to keep your pet leashed while you’re out and about. Often times, pet owners don’t realize the importance of picking these essentials. In this article, we’ll give you seven insightful tips that will help you find the right leash and collar for your pet.
1. Select a collar and leash that is the correct size for your pet
Smaller dogs require thinner leashes and collars with smaller clasps, while larger dogs require thicker and stronger materials. To measure if a collar correctly fits your pet, you should be able to slide two fingers between the collar and the pet’s neck. If the fit is too tight, it can cause your pet neck pain and you might notice a loss of fur beneath the collar. If the fit is too loose, your pet might be able to break free from the collar when you attempt to steer them in a different direction than the weight of their body.
2. Be careful to never pull, drag, or abruptly tug on your dog’s leash
Jerking the leash can injure your pet’s trachea and neck. If your dog is reluctant to come to you or takes off in another direction, call him to you in a calm, happy voice. If your dog routinely ignores your commands while on a leash, talk to your veterinarian about trying a safe pinch or prong collar for training instead of a traditional fabric or nylon collar.
3. Full-body harnesses are a safe option
This will reduce impacts and harm to his neck. Out of instinct, owners with small dogs often yank their dogs away from dangerous situations. If this is done repeatedly, a normal neck collar will cause severe damage to your pet, whereas a harness won’t be problematic if you need to quickly scoop up little Rover. Harnesses also work well for cats that require some freedom while being safely restrained in places like airports or veterinarian clinics.
4. A head halter, also known as a gentle leader, is favored by some dog owners
The halter has a strap that wraps around the dog’s muzzle. It works on the premise that where the dog’s nose goes the body will follow. In most cases it will take a period of time for your dog to acclimate to the strap being around their muzzle. If used effectively, a head halter can give a dog owner greater control of their dog. The downside of using one is if you pull hard on the halter you can easily injure your dog’s neck. Head halters differ from collars and harnesses in that they should only be on your dog when you are walking or training.
5. Choose retractable leashes with caution
Retractable leashes are popular with many dog owners because they allow pets the freedom to explore a larger area. That said, this piece of equipment should be used with extreme caution. The same cord that provides convenience for a pet owner and their pet can cause severe injuries if either gets caught up in the cord. With some retractable leashes retracting as far as 26 feet, it’s important to remember that the further away you are from your dog, the less control you have. There are many instances when dog owners need to reign in their pets immediately and this is far more difficult with a retractable leash.
6. Check your pet’s collar and leash often
Your pet can easily get away if the collar or leash is weak. Inspect for tears, thread-unraveling, and broken or rusted hardware. In addition, over time the fit of collars and harnesses tend to loosen. Without periodic adjustments, a pet can pull away from their leash and get free.
7. Never leave the house with a pet that has an outdated ID tag or microchip
Every time you move, be sure to change your pet’s ID tag and alert the company associated with its microchip. Pet tags and microchips become crucial in the event that your pet gets lost and they help to ensure a quick and safe resolution to a potentially tragic situation.
Once you purchase a leash and collar, they often become an afterthought. This doesn’t change the crucial role they play in keeping your pet safe. Check them from time to time to make sure they are still doing the job you purchased them to perform. The available options for leashes, collars, and harnesses are always expanding, so talk to other pet owners to see what’s working well for their four-legged friend.
Even with the proper leash and collar, a pet can come across danger. A simple walk can lead to an encounter with an unfriendly dog, and traffic can pose a threat if you walk your pet around busy streets. It’s for these reasons and more that smart pet owners get pet insurance.