A lot of people have questions about when, how, and how long they should leave their dog’s collar on; when they should leave it on, in what situations should it come off, and so forth. Unfortunately, there is no one size fits all answer to these questions. The answer will depend on your dog’s size, body type, breed, personality, environment, and so on. To cover all of the bases, we could start by asking the question, ‘Can I leave my dog’s collar on all the time?’
This is a good place to start. Now we can throw in stipulations such as; are you potty training your dog, and are you potty training them as an indoor or outdoor pet? Housebreaking may not be the best time to introduce your puppy to something like a collar, especially if they are exhibiting any resistance to it.
So, there are probably several dozen situations in which a dog might normally wear a collar- but would temporarily go without one. The questions you should probably ask yourself are;
Does the collar pose a threat to the animal’s safety?
To answer the first question, you would look at your dog’s environment and the ways he or she intersects with it. If your animal spends a lot of time outside on their own, there is a chance of getting hung up on things like branches and fences. Most of the time, this is only a concern for indoor/outdoor cats who do a lot of climbing and running through bushes. The most dangerous situation for roaming outdoor dogs with collars is jumping over fences. If your dog does a lot of that, you might want to fit them with a harness instead of a collar. Harnesses are less dangerous when they get caught on things and you can still attach identification to them.
Is my dog allergic to the material the collar is made from?
The second question can be dealt with most of the time by just purchasing a high-quality collar that’s made out of hypoallergenic material. If your pup has been wearing the collar for a while and you notice irritation, take it off long enough for the condition to subside, and then fit them with a hypoallergenic collar. If the irritation returns, your doggo might be a little too delicate to wear a collar.
Does the collar interfere with my pup’s sleep?
If the collar interferes with your dog’s sleep, it might not fit comfortably. Consider choosing a collar with a narrower band, using a harness, or foregoing the collar altogether.
Is the collar necessary?
If you’re having a hard time getting your dog to accept the collar, you might consider whether or not it is really necessary. If there’s a high probability that your dog will escape or get lost, you probably need a collar so that they can have an ID. But if your dog is an indoor dog who uses pee pads or DoggieLawn pet potty grass instead of going out to do their duty- then the question of whether or not they really need a collar is a good one.
Have I chosen the right collar for my puppy?
Finally, if you are set on keeping your best friend in a collar all of the time then you will need to figure out whether or not you have chosen the best collar for them. Is it comfortable, is the dog allergic to it or not, does the dog’s personality suit constant collar wearing? – and so on. If you’ve tried a lot of collars, then you’re starting to get to a point where you have to ask whether or not you’re infringing on the dog’s quality of life by trying to make them wear one.
Having come this far, we should address situations where the animal may need to wear a collar for a prolonged period of time. A situation like this might be when going on a camping trip. Another such possibility would be staying in a kennel while you are on vacation. If you anticipate events like these and for whatever reason, your dog must be collared non-stop, then collar habituation training may be necessary.
Whatever the situation is with your dog’s willingness to accept to accept wearing a collar, you can always use the collar to indicate to your pup that it’s time to go for a walk. This is pretty easy, and especially when they are young- they will not back out of a collar since they will be so eager to move in a forward direction while with you’re outdoors.
If you feel the need to keep your dog in a collar all of the time, there are a number of different products that can make doing so safe for your animal. There are many cog collars on the market that will break away if caught on a fence, branch, gate or other such objects to prevent your dog from choking. If wandering is a problem, electronic fences are another option.
Finally, it’s probably a good idea to make sure that if you are wanting to keep your dog in a collar overnight- or all of the time generally- are your intentions to make your dog look cute in a fancy collar, or is it for the benefit of the dog? In other words, who is the collar for – is it for the dog, or is it for you?
Deciding whether or not to collar your dog and when is a decision that is going to depend on you, your dog, and your lifestyle together. Taking the dog’s preference into consideration as much as possible is important if you care about his or her quality of life. Just keep in mind that happy dogs are the cutest and most loving dogs.