We get a lot of questions from pet owners about the best collars and leashes for dogs and cats. It can be confusing, because pet collars come in a wide variety of styles and materials. To simplify things, we summarized our recommendations:
- Smooth materials—such as leather—tend to be gentler on the coat and skin of short-haired pets. A collar without any jewelry or metal ornamentation is best for long-haired dogs. We never recommend prong collars as the prongs can be easily bent and get caught on things; these collars can also cause skin irritation and bleeding.
- The size of the pet dictates the width of the collar. Meaning, smaller breeds need thinner collars.
- A collar fits well when you are able to easily slide one to two fingers between the skin and the collar.
- We recommend removing your pet’s collar when he is safely indoors so that he does not catch his collar on anything.
- If your pet stays in the backyard or anywhere else unattended, we recommend a breakaway collar for your pet in the event that he somehow snags his collar on a fence or other hazard. We highly recommend microchipping your pet so that there is an additional means of identification if your pet gets loose when not wearing his collar and ID tags.
- Harnesses are a very good option for puppies and small breeds, especially when the neck area may be sensitive (eg, the pet pulls or strains against the leash). Specifically, the Gentle Leader and Easy Walk Harness are great options for pets that require additional control. These are both gentle, non-choking collars. Step-in harnesses are a good option for skittish pets, as they make it difficult for your pet to wiggle out.
- Break-away collars are ideal for those cats that need to wear a collar, especially because cats do a lot of jumping onto different surfaces.
If you have any other questions about collars or harnesses for your pet, feel free to give us a call at 212-257-6900.
Francisco DiPolo, DVM CVA