You can buy a cheap collar at the pet store, but it isn’t going to last. That doesn’t mean you want to spend a bunch of money on a collar that ends up in the garbage long before it should either!
You can’t just clasp a new collar around your dog’s neck and forget all about it, especially if you have a large breed that is hard on his collar. No matter what kind of collar you get for your pet, if you want it to last, you have to do these five things to maintain it.
Choose the Right Collar for Your Dog
The very first thing you should do is take your time choosing a collar for your dog. There are quite a few things to consider. A trusted pet review website recommends starting with “a collar that won’t irritate, but will keep him confined and safe on his leash.”
For large breeds, that usually means choosing a thicker collar that is made out of a sturdy material that won’t wear easily. That’s especially the case if your pet likes to pull on the leash, as it can put a lot of strain on his collar.
Your dog is also more likely to wear a collar for a long time that has features he will use. For example, dogs that go on walks at night would do well to have a collar that is made with reflective material, while country dogs would do well to wear a breakaway collar.
Make Sure It Fits Properly Over Time
Buying the wrong collar for your dog can be harmful to his health. Don’t assume that just because you purchased a collar that fit perfectly years ago that it still fits perfectly today.
It’s important to check the fit on your dog’s collar regularly. Puppies may need to transition to a larger collar as they get bigger, and a dog that has gained weight may need his collar loosened.
Not only does checking for fit ensure your dog is comfortable, it ensures no additional strain is put on the collar, enabling it to last longer.
Inspect It Regularly
Not only should you pay attention to how your dog’s collar fits around his neck, you should also take his collar off from time to time to inspect it up close.
It’s normal for collars to become worn over time, but by addressing small issues as they arise, you can keep your dog’s collar a lot longer. For example, stitching can easily become frayed. By learning a few basic stitches, you can replace the stitches that were lost and reinforce the collar at the same time.
Even if you aren’t much of a seamstress, you should trim loose strings, cut frayed edges, and use a small, sharp pair of scissors to clip away pills that are common on collars that are constructed out of fabric and other soft material.
Keep It Clean
Dogs get dirty, and so do their collars! You will be tempted to throw that collar away sooner than you should if it gets so dirty that it’s barely recognizable. Take the time to clean the collar every once in a while and it will look like new for years to come. Some collars are machine washable, while others may need to be washed by hand in the sink.
Don’t forget to condition your dog’s leather collar! Removing stains and using conditioner on a leather couch works just as well on your dog’s leather collar. By taking care of it, you can prevent it from cracking and ending up in the garbage.
Consider Different Collars for Different Purposes
You will replace your dog’s collar more often if he wears the same one day-in and day-out, regardless of the day’s activities. If you want your pet’s collar to last, consider using different dog collars for different reasons.
For example, use a…
— Reflective collar when walking your dog at night
— Waterproof collar for a day on the lake
— Breakaway collar when hiking with your dog in the woods
— Harness when teaching your dog how to walk on a leash
— Cloth collar or bandana when hanging around the house
It’s true that you will have to replace your dog’s collar eventually, but that doesn’t mean you want to toss it out earlier than you have to! The tips on this list will help you save money by making your pet’s collar last as long as possible.