Dog Collar Dangers

September 5, 2013

A couple of years ago, we nearly caused a disastrous accident for our dog, Gator.  He had recently undergone surgery to remove several unsightly tumors from his flank.  To keep him from chewing the stitches, Gator had to wear an Elizabethan collar, or cone, around his neck.

We removed the cone when he went outside to potty or to walk, because he wore a chain collar with his Rabies and other I.D. tags attached.  This chain collar came off when he returned to the house, and the cone went on.

One day we were rushing to get to a meeting and someone forgot to remove his chain collar when the cone was placed back around his neck.  When we returned home a couple hours later, Gator was sitting on his bed with his front paw caught in the metal chain collar.  This is a very large dog and if he had tried to move around on the tile floor in his struggle to release his foot, a serious accident could have occurred.  We learned a valuable lesson that day about the danger of dog collars.

Collars can get caught on many objects.  An article on addresses the dangers, suggesting 5 locations where strangulation accidents occur:

1.      Fence.  When dogs jump over or try to crawl under a fence, the collar can get caught.

2.      Play.  Dogs playing with other dogs mouth each other’s neck.  One dog’s lower teeth can get stuck on the other dog’s collar.  Trouble occurs when the dog realizes his tooth is caught.  In the ensuing panic, one dog can suffocate and the other dog can break a jaw trying to jerk or twist free.

3.      Crate.  A Rabies tag on a collar can get caught in the bars of the crate.

4.      Branch.  Dogs playing outside can get a collar caught on a tree branch.

5.      Heating/cooling vents.  A pet I.D. tag or Rabies tag could get caught in the air vent.

There are collars on the market that break away, or release, when pressure is put on the collar or it twists.  Other tips suggested on this site include:

*Don’t use dangling I.D. tags.  Instead, use a tag that slips onto the collar and lays flat.

*Never chain your dog outside.

*Never transport your dog loose in the back of a pick-up truck or other open vehicle.

*Consider using a harness instead of a collar.

For more information, go to



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