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Tips for Buying a Pet Collar

by Andrea Sparks

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Small dog wearing a red pet collar

Pet collars can add a dash of fashion to Fido's daily walk, but remember that pet collars need first and foremost to be functional. Pet collars are a necessity for dogs, and a good idea for other pets, such as cats, rabbits and ferrets. Pet collars are the easiest place to attach identification and vaccination tags for your pet. If your pet strays or gets lost, a collar with tags can allow people to identify and return your pet to you. Finding the right collar for your pet is more than just picking up whatever looks good. It's important to pick the right collars, harnesses and leashes for the type of pet you have, as well as the size of your pet. The following tips can help you find the right collar for your furry friend.

Buying a Pet Collar:

  1. Dog collars: When you shop for a pet collar for your dog, you'll want to make sure to get the right size. When considering size, remember that a narrow pet collar will cut into a big dog's neck and a wide pet collar will be unwieldy for a small dog. When the pet collar is around your dog's neck, you should be able to fit two fingers in between the collar and her neck. Any less and it could be choking or irritating her; any more and she could wriggle out of it. If you want to use the collar for walking your dog, you'll want to make sure the collar has an attachment for a leash.

  2. Cat collars: While not all cat owners choose to put a collar on their cat, having a collar is a good idea. Cat collars are different than dog collars in one very important way: They must have a bit of elastic or a breakaway clasp. If kitty gets stuck in a tree with the wrong kind of pet collar, she could choke. Spiked dog collars may look cute on her, but dog collars are very dangerous to cats. Cat collars are also often affixed with a small bell to keep your cat from catching birds and to help you keep track of her.

  3. Small animal collars: Pet collars aren't just for dogs and cats; other small animals, such as rabbits and ferrets, can benefit from pet collars, too. Just as with cats and dogs, pet collars for small pets are for identification purposes first and foremost. Collars for small animals can also be attached to harnesses and leashes, allowing you to take your bunny or ferret out for some fresh air. Since most small animals spend a lot of time in cages, it's important to purchase a collar that is loose enough, or has elastic like a cat collar, to avoid choking in case the collar gets caught on cage bars or accessories.

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