How Do I Know What Size Collar to Get My Dog? (Solved!)

When it comes to that first collar for your dog, there are some good general estimates that you can use if you haven’t had time to measure but want to pick up a collar that you’ve seen at the store for your dog.

Dogs that are up to 10 pounds in body weight will likely need a collar measuring around 12 inches or a little less. For dogs that are 11 up to 25 pounds, then you’ll want a collar that measures 11 to 15 inches in length.

Mid-sized dogs between 25 and 55 pounds will need 13 to 18 inch collars, and the large ‘56 pounds and up’ dogs will need 16 to 24 inches of collar length to accommodate their bigger necks.

Today we’re going to answer some dog collar questions for readers out there looking to get their dog their first collar. We’ll tell you things like how you should measure for a collar, if it’s okay to take the collar off at night, and more – read on for important information that you need before you purchase that collar!

How do you measure a dog collar?

The easiest way to measure your dog for a collar is to take a piece of string or a tape measure, placing it on the middle of your dog’s neck just a few inches below their head. Pull the tape measure or strong around so that it is snug, but not to tight, and note the measurement or mark and cut the string.

You can measure the string to get the exact measurement or simply bring it with you to the pet store to compare to the available collars and find one with a nice, perfect fit.

What is the average size of a dog’s neck?

That’s going to vary wildly by breed, but we can certainly give you some general measurements. For dogs around 7 to 14 pounds, you are looking at a 12 to 18 inch collar range, while larger dogs in the 35 to 60 pound range will need around a 16 to 22 inch collar.

It’s best to measure your dog directly, of course, and to always be sure that the collar you select has a little grow room and is easily adjustable to accommodate this necessity.

How big is a puppy’s neck?

Puppies are definitely a different story and some are going to be much bigger (and still as adorably clumsy) as other dogs. That said, most dogs under 10 pound a collar that is 12 inches or less, while heavier pups of 26 to 55 pounds will need an 11 to 15 inch collar.

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That should get you started for your puppy but when in doubt, don’t be afraid to ask at your local pet store with measurements that you have taken on your own.

How do I know if a collar is too tight?

To check tightness on your dog’s collar, try the ‘two fingers’ test by pressing your index and middle fingers together and then pushing them in between the space dividing the collar from your dog’s neck. If you have to struggle to push them, then the collar is too tight and needs to be adjusted.

A collar that is too tight is dangerous, as aside from making it hard to breathe it can also cause nerve damage in your dog’s legs, so be sure to check that the collar is snug, but not actually TIGHT.

How do you know if a dog’s collar is too loose?

Testing to see if a collar is too loose is a piece of cage. Simply tug at the collar to make sure that it is snug enough that it won’t go over their head easily and tighten as needed, one notch at a time.

You should be able to fit two fingers comfortably in between the collar and your dog’s neck, but anything more than this is going to be too tight and can potentially harm your dog down the line!

Which dog collar is best?

A standard, flat nylon collar is a great choice, but if you are looking to purchase something special, then we have a few examples of some bestsellers that are definitely quality collars. For leather collars, for instance, the ‘Perri’s padded’ leather collar is a great choice that is durable, stylish, and padded for extra comfort.

The Lupine Pet Eco collar is also once of the best overall collars if you are looking for a non-leather option and if you like Nylon collars, the Blueberry Pet Classic nylon is one of the best that you will find!

Should dogs wear collars 24 – 7?

That is up to you, but many owners like to take off their dog’s collars at night, just to give their dog’s skin a little relief from the daily pressure inevitable with a collar.

This gives your dog’s skin a little breathing room and helps to keep the fur around their neck from getting thinned out from the constant pressure and rubbing.

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That said, it’s still up to you, but consider this – every morning when it’s time for a walk, your dog will be absolutely adorable as they try to nose their way into their own collar so that you’ll take them outside!

Are padded collars better for dogs?

Yes, padded collars rub a little less than standard ones, making them much more comfortable for your dog. While nylon and leather do chafe a little, however, they aren’t particularly abrasive, so additional padding is really up to you.

Dogs definitely seem to like padded collars, however, so it’s something to consider if you’d like to spoil your furry friend a little with a super-comfy collar just for them!

Should you take your dog’s collar off at night?

Taking your dog’s collar off at night is a great way to give their skin a break and your dog will certainly appreciate it, just be sure to only do this at night. During the day, your dog is at their most active, so you want to be sure that their collar is always on during this time.

Even the best behaved of dogs may spot a squirrel outside and you want to make sure they have their collar and tags if this happens. So, take the collar off at night to give your dog a little relief, but keep it on during the day as this is most practical.

How often should you replace dog collar?

That’s up to you, but generally every 2 years is fine for replacing a collar, and most will last much longer if you wash them frequently. Get a spare collar to have on hand for when you are washing their primary collar and this means that when you do need to replace their collar, you’ve already got a fairly new one handy!