Measure Twice, Buy Once
Buckle or quick-release?
Mesh or neoprene lining?
SALMON OR CORAL?
There’s no question that you have plenty of options when it comes to choosing a collar or harness for your dog. Spend some time picking one out; it’s lots of fun! Just promise me you’ll spend some time measuring your dog for a good fit, too. Because you may have found a reflective, mildew-free collar that doesn’t fade in the sun, but if it doesn’t fit your dog properly, than all that doesn’t really matter. A collar that fits well ensures your dog’s comfort and safety, and you can’t put a price on that.
Loose-fitting gear presents certain safety issues for your dog. If your pup enjoys roaming around outdoors, there are fences, tree branches and other obstacles on which collars and harnesses can catch. Even scratching or biting themselves can be detrimental with a collar or harness that is too big. They could get their leg or mouth caught in a loose strap and seriously hurt themselves. Safety aside, the biggest risk of a loose collar or harness is your dog slipping out ¾ especially if you’re far from home.
In a mild instance, a tight collar causes skin irritation. In a severe case, it can embed itself in the skin and cause serious issues; there is a bigger risk of this happening at a young age because your puppy grows so quickly. Remember, there should always be enough room between the collar and neck to fit one finger comfortably. If there’s not, it’s time for a bigger collar.
A harness that’s too tight will cause skin to bunch. Another indicator is indentations in the hair or skin when you take it off your dog. It’s a good idea to periodically check your dog’s armpits and chest for evidence of rubbing. A harness that fits properly won’t chafe the skin and won’t slide around on walks.
Human friends don’t let furry friends walk around in discomfort. Now that you know the signs and risks of ill-fitting gear, let’s get your friend measured for a great fit.
Christina Keim, Terrain D.O.G.® team member