Everyone wants the best for their pet but what many loving owners don’t realise is that putting traditional buckle collars on their furry friends means putting their lives at risk, as strangulation via collar is a fatal reality for more than 26,000 pets in Australia each year.
While collars provide necessary identification for pets they also cause roughly 70 injuries to Australian animals daily, causing animal experts to urge owners never to leave their pets unattended with traditional buckle collars.
Collar related injuries can occur in a number of different ways. The most common collar related injuries come from play fighting with other animals, collars getting stuck while jumping up by fences, and teeth becoming caught while chewing on a collar.
Founder of Pet Angel Funerals Tom Jorgensen says: “We often have owners of dogs who jump up and get stuck on fences or dogs who get their collars hooked while playing and they panic and pull and pull.”
Here are some tips, tricks and alternatives to keep your furry family safe and secure:
If you’re leaving your pet home alone: If your home is completely locked and secured and your pet is at home unsupervised, consider a more relaxed approach by letting them roam collar-free.
Alternatively, if you’re pets are roaming the house or yard unattended and you want them to have some form of ID should they get out somehow, a breakaway collar is a good way to give you peace of mind knowing they have ID but they won’t get fatally hurt by a traditional collar.
Breakaway or quick-release collars have a buckle that releases quickly when pressure is applied allowing quick intervention should the need arise. While breakaway collars an excellent alternative to traditional collars when pets are in an enclosed environment, they are less ideal for outdoor outings with your furry family.
If you’re walking your pets: Both traditional and breakaway collars can be problematic when walking pets, especially for dogs that pull hard during walks, a collar can increase the risk of neck injury and cause respiratory problems. When in open outdoor spaces, halters or harnesses are less likely to cause strangulation while also being sturdier and providing more control.
Harnesses can either be front-attaching or back-attaching. Front-attaching harnesses are effective for bigger breeds as they lead from the front, allowing more control for the walker. Back-attaching harnesses, on the other hand, are ideal for small breeds as they are more sensitive to pressure and a front-attaching harness can be painful for them.
For more information about the best way to identify your pet and avoid collar issues, speak to your vet.