Are Snap Collars Safe? (Solved & Explained!)

When used properly on a well trained dog, a snap collar is a perfectly safe collar to use. Snap collars have been used for decades for dogs and puppies, and are recommended for certain situations you may find yourself in with your dog. 

Continue reading on to learn more about snap collars, when to use them, and precautions you should take if you plan on using them full time. 

What is a Snap Collar? 

A snap collar is a type of dog collar that features a snapping buckle as the closing mechanism. Snap collars are a popular collar type for their ease of use, relative safety, and low cost to purchase. The snap on a snap collar is usually made of plastic, though higher end models of snap collars may feature metal closures.  

Are Snap Collars Safe to Use? 

In general, yes, snap collars are a perfectly safe option for a regular sized dog. There are times in which you may find that the snap collar is not adequate. For example, dogs who have a tendency to pull hard on their leash could open the collar if they pulled hard enough.  

One of the other common issues with snap collar safety is making sure there is enough room in between the collar and the dog so as to not pinch the dog’s skin when putting on the collar. A good rule of thumb is to make sure you are able to comfortably fit two fingers under the collar for an appropriate fit.  

Advantages of Using Snap Collars 

Snap collars are cheap, come in a wide variety of colors and patterns, and are made to fit every size dog. The biggest advantage of using a snap collar for your dog is the availability of the collar. You can find snap collars in just about any store that sells pet products. Even ones with the bare essentials for your pup.  

For dog owners who have working dogs in open spaces, snap collars provide the advantage of breaking away. This means that if your dog gets stuck under a fence or thick brush, the collar is designed to break away and free the dog. 

When Not to Use Snap Collars 

While it is true that in most circumstances using a snap collar is perfectly safe, there are other times in which you should choose a different style of collar to fit your needs. Large dogs tend to be very powerful in size and strength. Because snap collars are usually made of plastic, it does not take much effort for an extra large dog to break the collar. 

Very small dogs, especially ones with sensitive tracheas, also should not wear snap collars while attached to a leash. This is because small dogs that pull on their lead could injure themselves with the thin snap collar. If you have a small dog, opt for a harness that goes around its chest instead.  

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While some dogs should not wear snap collars while attached to their leads, this does not mean that they cannot wear them. Many dog owners choose to have a simple collar for their dog that displays their vaccine tags and identification. In these situations, the snap collar is used for fashion purposes.  

How to Fit a Snap Collar 

Puppies develop quickly, and dogs’ sizes alter throughout their lives. A developing puppy’s collar should be checked regularly to verify it is not overly tight. A dog’s collar that is overly tight could dig into and injure the skin, as well as induce choking or gagging. A collar that is excessively snug for too long can become buried in the skin. 

When a dog’s collar is too loose, it could slip over your dog’s head, fall too far down and risk hurting its throat, or become stuck on something, causing your pup to choke. Follow these simple steps to check the fit of your snap collar and ensure it is on correctly. 

A perfect fitting collar should be loose enough that you can move it around your dog’s next without having to force it. To check the fit, hold the collar by the d-ring where your leash clips and turn it around your dog’s neck. The collar should move with only the slightest resistance. 

Checking the Fit of a Snap Collar 

Remember the two finger rule. Put two fingers underneath your dog’s collar. If you can fit your two fingers comfortably under the dog’s collar, you have a properly fitting collar. To double check the fit of the collar, lift the collar upwards like you were trying to slide it off of your dog’s head. 

The collar should be snug around your dog’s ears. If it slides up and over the dog’s ears, the collar is too loose. If you cannot lift the collar to the dog’s ears without choking the dog, the collar is too tight. 

Choosing The Right Snap Collar 

Because snap collars come in many different colors, patterns, and fabrics, you may want to try out a few different types of snap collars before deciding on one. This is especially true for dogs that have sensitive skin. You may find that the common nylon, and other popular leather, that snap collars come in can cause skin irritation.  

When introducing a new collar to your dog, be sure to monitor around your pup’s neck for a few days after to ensure that the dog is tolerating the collar well. If you find that your dog’s neck is red or inflamed, you should remove the snap collar, call your local veterinarian, and follow their advice.  

It may be a good idea if you have a dog with skin sensitivities to purchase several different types of collars to check them. This way, if one does not work out, you will have a back up in case you need to take your dog out anywhere. Remember though, if one collar irritates your dog, avoid putting a new collar on until the infected area has resolved itself.  

VIDEO Reveals… Does Your Dog Have Bad Breath? If so they could be on the path to other problems. Find out if your dog has a problem and see a 5 second daily ritual you can do to stop it. Click to watch this FREE video NOW!