The importance of keeping identification on your dog can never be stressed enough. However, some pet owners might decide to take their dogs’ collars off because of a false sense of security at home.
No matter how you look at it, you can never fully prevent accidents from happening; that’s why they’re called accidents! Even though you may feel your pet is safe in your home, a door could accidentally be left open, a fence could blow over, or a gate might fail to close all the way. So think twice before removing that collar: it’s an ever-important safety barrier between your pet and the outside world.
Here are some of the common reasons people might remove collars from their pets, and what you can do to safely avoid these issues.
Reason #1: I *just* took it off to give my dog a bath.
This is the most common reason we hear from people who call to report their dog getting out without a collar. Simple solution: put your dog’s collar back on right after his bath. If it’s fancy and you don’t want it to get wet, keep a cheap nylon collar with a back-up tag on it for after-bath zoomies.
Reason #2: The collar is rubbing the fur off my dog’s neck, so I take it off when we’re at home.
We would suggest a tag collar with a soft lining. We’ve ordered them, and they make a huge difference. Your dog won’t even know it’s there! Need a recommendation? Try Spoiled Bratzwear Canine Couture, Cammie’s Collars or Susan Lanci Ultrasuede Collars (sold at Paws Around Town in Oklahoma City).
Reason #3: My dog is microchipped, so he doesn’t need ID tags.
Microchipping is an extremely valuable safety precaution for your pet. However, it should only be used as a backup method to identify your pet. Imagine this: it’s nighttime and your dog has escaped your yard; you are frantic! All of your friends and family are out searching the neighborhood for your missing best friend. You search all night and into the wee hours of the morning before you decide to go to sleep and try again tomorrow. What you don’t know is that a well-meaning family drove down your street 5 minutes after your pet escaped your yard, and they picked him up for fear he would be hit by a car. If he had an ID tag with your phone number, he’d have been home with you right away. But since he’s not identifiable to the regular person, and the vet is closed, this family took him to their home (either down the street or across the city) and might not think about taking him to the vet to be scanned for a chip right away. Some people won’t even stop for a dog running loose if they don’t see a collar, because it’s a lot of work to try to find where a dog lives if it’s not tagged.
Reason #4: I’m worried my dog will be strangled in his collar while I’m not home.
This could be a legitimate concern, especially if your dog is in a martingale collar. Always be sure the ID tags are connected to one of the side brackets and not the D-ring on the leash loop, so if the tags do get caught on something, the collar won’t tighten as your dog pulls free. This is also a best practice to avoid accidentally attaching a leash to a weak split ring rather than the D ring itself. If this is a concern for you, just get your dog a single diameter tag collar (see Solution #2) to be worn when your dog is at home, and you can slip a martingale on along with the tag collar when you take him out.
If you are still worried about your dog being in a tag collar at home, purchase a breakaway tag collar so that if your dog becomes tangled, the collar will break free. Note: these types of collars are NOT for walking your dog, so please do not attach a leash to it! We would recommend not even having a D-ring on the breakaway collar, to eliminate any confusion. Shop for a breakaway collar.
If we didn’t address your concerns with always having a tagged collar on your pet, leave us a comment and let us know your thoughts. We want to help your pet remain safe and comfortable in your home!