Watch Tip: Loose Collars

Posted on May 8th, 2010 by Anna Nirva

Put break-away collars on your dogs and cats, and don’t let leashed dogs run loose unattended. Remove collars from playing dogs to prevent strangulation. Loose collars and leashes can catch on all kinds of things around the house, homestead, and woodlands to hang and strangle an animal to death. No more than two fingers should fit between the collar and the neck.

Check your dogs’ and cats’ collars today to help keep them safe.

A Wisconsin teenager was doing dishes a few weeks ago when she heard the family puppy make a funny noise out on the deck. She decided to investigate. She found the puppy dangling from the deck, hung by her leash, unconscious. The leash had gotten lodged beneath a gas grill wheel, and while struggling to free herself, the puppy went over the edge of the deck. Luckily the teenager was able to give canine CPR with coaching from her mom on the phone, and the puppy was revived.

A Wisconsin hunting hound was not so lucky. After the hunt, he came up missing, and his owner searched the woods. Then he went from door to door that night visiting every neighbor up and down the country road where they had hunted that day, leaving his phone number. He loved his dog and was distraught.  Two weeks later, one neighbor found the dog’s carcass hanging by his loose collar from a broken stubby limb of a tree on a wooded hillside. The dog probably had been running fast downhill and was snagged. He would have been unable to bark his distress while being strangled by his collar.

It was a very sad phone call to the dog’s owner, the neighbor recalled. The dog had suffered. Scrapes in the tree bark and scuffled leaf duff beneath the poor dog revealed the struggle. It was a freak accident that may not have happened if the collar had been snug, the owner lamented.

Properly fitting collars on dogs and cats help keep them safe. They shouldn’t be too loose or too tight. Many collar types are available for different uses; become familiar with them. Read about collars and harnesses here:

Robin’s Pet Tips: Dog Collars

Vet Info: Cat Collars

Remember to look closely at dogs and cats in your neighborhood and speak to the owners if you see potential problems.

One Response to “Watch Tip: Loose Collars”

  1. Ace says:

    Since it’s hard to find a dog that runs into the brush on a hunt anyway — there are radio beacon/GPS-type locators that fit on these dogs’ collars so the hunter(s) can find em fast. That might have saved this dog’s life – loose collar or not.

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