In a study completed in 2017, it was determined that approximately 89.7 million dogs were owned in the United States (https://www.statista.com/statistics/198100/dogs-in-the-united-states-since-2000/) Knowing this number is steadily increasing brings about the importance of knowing exactly what equipment you will need for your pet.
As the owner of a large breed dog, I understand how important quality equipment is, not only for the safety of your pet but for those around your pet as well. The proper equipment can help you to gain better control over your pet, which helps protect them from injury.
If you have ever walked into a pet store or completed an online search for dog collars and leashes, I don’t have to tell you how overwhelming it can be. There are collars and leashes for every size dog and every need they may have.
How Do I Choose a Proper Collar for My Dog?
When choosing a collar for your dog, there are several things to keep in mind and questions you need to ask yourself. Petful is a website with amazing tips and tricks when it comes to choosing the correct gear for your pooch. Here are the recommendations they give when choosing a collar.
- Think about the breed of dog you are shopping for. You will need to choose a collar that is either large enough or small enough to accommodate your dogs’ body. If a collar is too large, it will slip off. If it is too small, it will be uncomfortable for the dog and may even cause unnecessary injury.
- Take a measurement of your dog’s neck. To measure your dog’s neck, you will need to use a measuring tape (usually they are made of cloth or thin plastic). Be sure to measure their neck at the proper point, not too high or too low.
When you measure, you will need to add 1-3 inches to the final measurement. 1 inch for small dogs, 2 inches for medium dogs, and 3 inches for large dogs. This addition of inches will ensure the collar is appropriate for your dog.
- Be sure to think about the fur around your dog’s neck. If your dog gets haircuts, the circumference of the neck will slightly change. You want to measure right after a haircut to ensure proper fit. If you only get cuts in the summer, you may need two collars for your dog, a summer and winter collar if you will.
When you are choosing the collar, please remember it isn’t about having a fashion show with your dog. Yes, they are precious, and yes, they are a member of your family that you adore and want to show off, but in this case, safety trumps all those things. A safe collar is much more important than a pretty color.
What Are the Best Collars for Dogs?
The word best is tough to use when searching for any product, especially dog collars. What may be “best” for my dog may not be “best” for yours. Keep this in mind as you read about the collars I have chosen to highlight here. The term best is not all-inclusive.
When searching for collars, be sure to follow the size guidelines provided by the company. You don’t want a collar that is going to weigh your petite pup down or be too tight on your large pup. Not only would it be uncomfortable, but it could cause severe health issues. Here are some of the top-rated dog collars. The collars I am sharing come in sizes from extra small to extra-large.
This collar comes in 22 different colors and is one of the top-rated collars on Amazon. This collar does not contain any elastic components, so sizing is critical to your dog’s safety. The collar is made of nylon, which makes it easy to wash. A bonus is the ability to purchase a matching leash and harness.
This lightweight collar comes in four different colors (orange, red, blue, black) and is made with dual webbing mesh. This provides strength and stability to the collar. There is an attached D-ring to secure the leash as well as plastic connectors to help hold the leash in place.
This collar comes in several colors (lime green, hot pink, orange, blue, purple, red) and is even available in multipacks. If you worry about your dog being seen at night, during walks or playtime, this collar may be a good choice with its reflective strip. The company does recommend that you measure your dog’s neck based on its standards to ensure a proper fit.
If you prefer a metal buckle to plastic, this may be the collar for you. The Country Brook Petz collar is outfitted with a solid metal buckle and D ring for the safety of your pet. There are 25 color options so you can choose one or multiple to accessorize your pet. The collar is made with colorfast nylon, so you don’t have to worry about fading over time.
With 8 color options, you are certain to find a color for your pet. This collar is made with reflective and durable nylon webbing, so it will last for a long time. The nylon also allows for easy washing.
After looking at the top-rated dog collar options, you are sure to find something that will not only fit your pet but your budget and style as well.
How Do I Choose a Dog Leash?
When it comes to choosing a dog leash, there are many factors you need to take into consideration, just like you did for the collar. Typically, you purchase both together. Some come as sets, while others require mixing and matching of brands. Because this is an investment in the safety of you and your pet, it is important that you make a careful decision.
What Materials Are Leashes Made of?
Leashes are made with a variety of materials, some much more durable than others. Here is a list of some of the most common materials used for leashes.
The most common material leashes are made of is nylon. Nylon is typically lightweight, durable, and easy to keep clean. It is also available in many colors, lengths, and weights. This is easily a universal material for dog leashes.
If you have a strong dog or a larger dog, you may want to look at a chain leash. Chain leashes are not recommended because they can easily become tangled, which can cause injury to you or your pet. This can also cause frustration on walks.
Leather is probably one of the more durable materials you can use for a leash. They are easily gripped and come in a variety of styles. Some people prefer leather to nylon for the look and feel, but it is a personal preference.
These are typically used when your dog is around the water. Cotton handles water well so it is a safe option for your water-loving pooch.
Are There Different Styles of Leashes?
Leashes not only come in different materials, but they also come in different styles. Remember I said shopping for a leash or collar could be overwhelming? I bet you are beginning to see why. The styles of leashes are directly correlated to your purpose for using the leash as well as the strength of your dog.
These are the most common leashes used. They have a clip on one end and a handle loop on the other. They aren’t fancy and are simple. These are best for daily walks and jogs.
These are also commonly used and are quite neat in appearance (That’s just my opinion). These leashes can extend quite a distance, but you control how much freedom you want your pet to have.
If you want to read more details about each of the leash types here is a site with a brief description of each.
What Are the Best Leashes?
When looking for the “best” leashes, it is important to understand the vast difference between leashes. Again, leashes are used for a variety of purposes. If you are taking your dog on leisurely strolls, you will need one type of leash. If you have a super active dog that likes to pull and investigate everything, then you will need a more heavy-duty leash. I am going to highlight leashes that would be appropriate for an active dog.
This is a 6-foot leash that is available in a variety of colors. There are two handles on the leash which allows you greater control over your rambunctious pup. This will help ensure their safety as well as yours. The clip-on this leash is made of a more durable material that prevents breakage.
This 6-foot-long leash is available in multiple colors and is also made with reflective nylon, which adds a layer of safety when taking evening walks. The leash is constructed with dual handles to provide added control over your four-legged friend. It is made with a thick nylon material.
This rope is made with heavy-duty ½ inch climbing rope and is outfitted with a foam handle cover to help prevent rope burn. The material is also reflective, which adds a layer of protection when taking nightly walks. This leash is available in 6 bright colors. The dual handles provide added control for the owner as well.
This nylon braided, heavy-duty dog leash is available in multiple sizes and colors. It is made with heavy-duty mountain climbing rope, so it is sure to withstand the antics of your active pup. Not only is it made with strong materials, but it is also weatherproof. The handle of the leash is padded which provides added comfort on those long walks. To ensure the safety of both you and your pet, this leash also has a safety lock feature that prevents your dog from slipping out of the leash.
This heavy-duty nylon leash is made of standard climbing rope. With a padded handle and multiple color options this is sure to be a hit with both you and your pet. The heavy-duty clip on the leash is also able to rotate 360 degrees for added walk comfort. Because the leash is only 6 feet long, there is added control when walking.
Where Can I Get a Collar and Leash?
This may seem like a pretty straightforward question, but there are many places you can get a leash and collar. Remember, not all leashes and collars are made the same. Your goal is to offer protection and safety to both yourself and your dog. This is not an area that you want to skimp on. Now it isn’t necessary to spend a small fortune on the equipment either. It is a time to be thoughtful and well researched.
You can easily find a department store that carries leashes and collars, but be sure they are going to fit your needs. If you plan on taking Fido for weekly hikes on rugged terrain, you will probably want to go to a more specialized pet store.
Currently, you can find anything your heart desires online. If you go to Amazon or Google and type in dog leash or dog collar, you will get millions of options to choose from. Keep in mind, they are not all the same! Do your research.
If you are a fan of online purchasing (which I am), take time to read reviews, not just the first few you come to, but take time to scroll and read. Pick them apart. Do you see any trends with the reviews? Is everyone complaining about the same thing? Does the company have a responsive nature? What is the warranty?
When you order the product, make sure there is a clear return policy. If you receive something that you know you can’t use, you want to be able to get your money back.
This seems like a great option to purchase a collar and leash. In all honesty, it may be the best place for you to go. A benefit to shopping for equipment in person is, you get to touch the product. I know, I know that sounds a bit strange. But think about it. You are getting ready to purchase a piece of equipment that needs to ensure your safety and your pets. Don’t you think there is value in being able to hold the equipment to see the durability and quality of construction?
When going into the store, you can not only price compares, but you are going to have a firsthand view of the quality you are getting. Sure, you don’t have reviews in front of you (unless you’re like me and pull your phone out to search for the product online just to see reviews). Getting your own gauge on the quality of the product is much more important than any review you read.
Another good thing about purchasing at a store is the return policy. If you get the collar and leash home only to find that you mis-measured or the product isn’t going to work for your dog, you just take it back. No trips to the post office, customer service calls or printing of labels. You walk in, return it, and get the right item.
What if I Don’t Know What Kind of Leash and Collar I Need?
This is probably one of the most common dilemmas, and it can cause people to end up with a crate full of leashes and collars that just don’t work. If you are in doubt, ask an expert. If you go to your vet’s office, he/she will be able to offer some guidance when it comes to purchasing the correct equipment for your pet.
If the vet isn’t quite sure of the type of leash and collar you need, you can also reach out to a dog trainer or training facility. They are going to be able to provide a wealth of information related to collars and leashes as well as the type and purpose of each.
How Much Should I Spend on a Collar and Leash?
This question is going to have a different answer for every person and every dog. If you are getting an ultra-durable collar and leash with all the bells and whistles, you are going to pay exponentially more than if you go with a simple general collar and leash.
I would say the midline price for an average size and quality collar is going to be anywhere between $13 and $30, while a leash is going to be anywhere between $15 and $35.
Again, these prices are just loose estimates. If you are looking at rock climbing gear, the cost will go up. If you are purchasing a collar and leash for a small dog, the cost will go down.
No matter what collar or leash you choose for your pet, make sure it is the proper fit. The color doesn’t matter, and the design on the collar and leash doesn’t matter. Those are not the things that will keep your pet safe. The above highlighted leashes and collars will keep your pet safe and be durable for long term use.