How your pet’s collar could physically and emotionally be harmful, plus advice on choosing a collar that’s safe for your pet
There are various reasons why pet owners choose to buy collars for their dogs or cats. For dogs, collars make it possible to put them on a harness (or leash) and take them for safe and enjoyable walks. One of the other main reasons why pet owners put collars on their dogs is for identification purposes, where they attach a tag containing important contact information in case the dog gets lost. While it’s uncommon for pet owners to take their cat for walks, they use cat collars for identification purposes in the same way as dogs, or simply because cat collars are cute and fashionable!
Most people don’t realise that certain types of pet collars can be dangerous, both physically and emotionally, for dogs and cats! Don’t worry, there are various collars one can purchase that protect your pet from any sort of danger! If you like the idea of your dog or cat wearing a collar, it’s your responsibility, as a good pet owner, to ensure that you know which types of collars to avoid.
Find out how pet collars can be harmful to your fur baby, and how to choose one that’s safe!
The dangers of pet collars
Choke, prong and pinch collars
Choke collars, prong collars and pinch collars are unfortunately popular among many dog owners. These collars, which are made out of metal chain, are made to tighten around or dig into the dog’s neck when the handler pulls or jerks back on the leash. Choke, prong and pinch collars are often used by dog trainers to correct ‘poor performance’ or any type of ‘misbehaviour’.
It’s disturbing that these dog collars are so widely used, given the fact that the use of these collars on dogs comes with a serious list of potential injuries.
Here’s a list of potential injuries and dangers associated with the use of choke, prong and pinch collars on dogs:
- Pain and discomfort to a dog’s neck, head and spinal cord
- Damage to the dog’s thyroid gland (which may lead to hypothyroidism)
- Due to the force of choke collars, exerted pressure in the eyes may cause injury to the eyes and worsen conditions such as thin corneas, glaucoma or previous eye injuries
- Spinal cord injuries or paralysis
- Asphyxiation and fainting
- Punctured skin (which may lead to infection)
- Emotional distress, fear, aggression and trauma
Buckle and flea cat collars
Many cat owners choose to put a collar on their cats as an act of safety. The identification listed on the cat collars could mean the difference between being reunited with a lost feline friend, or sadly never seeing them again. What many cat owners don’t realise is that these seemingly harmless buckle collars can pose a danger to their beloved cats, to the point of the RSPCA (Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty Animals) issuing a warning to cat owners against buckle cat collars, and even flea collars!
Dangers of buckle or flea cat collars:
- Collar may get caught on a branch, leaving them stuck and unable to break free
- Getting caught in a branch or something similar could lead to strangulation due to the cat struggling to break free
- If a cat gets into a fight, the opponent’s teeth or claws may get stuck in their collar
- Cats may feel uncomfortable in their collar and try get it off by pulling their front leg through the opening, leading to the leg getting trapped and even injured
- Poor quality material may cause irritations to cat’s skin
One of the most common methods of taking dogs on walks or runs is to attach a leash to their collar. It prevents them from running away or getting into fights with other dogs. The problem lies not in the leash itself, but rather the collar that’s attached to the leash. When the dog handler yanks the leash to stop them from running away or to pull them away from other dogs, the force that’s put on the collar can lead to serious injury.
Here are the dangerous effects that using a leash can have on your dog:
- Yanking the leash can lead to whiplash
- Yanking the leash can lead to thyroid damage and eventually hypothyroidism
- Pulling on the leash may restrict blood flow to eyes and ears which could result in inflammation and permanent damage
- Dog may become confused by the yanking and could become anxious, aggressive or stress