For many dog owners, the question of “when should I replace my dog’s collar?” is likely to be a familiar one. This may seem fairly obvious, particularly if the collar is very worn or damaged. But there are other things to consider too. Below we discuss some of the key reasons you should consider when it's time to change your dog’s collar.

What to think about when looking to replace your dog’s collar

1. Consider the training needs of your dog

The type of activities you do with your dog will determine what style of collar or lead is required. Short strolls along Park Lane may warrant a more decorative collar and lead. But if your walks are longer and more arduous, then you definitely want a collar and lead that provide comfort (for both dog and owner)! You may find some cheaper nylon or leather collars/leads cut into your hand. So it’s worth remembering that this could be what your dog feels around its neck. If your collar starts to wear easily after longer use, then it is time to change.

The type of dog and their behaviour may also signal that it's time to replace their collar. For instance, if you need more control and flexibility while walking, then a training lead may be the perfect choice. A training lead gives you the opportunity to shorten or lengthen the lead alongside extra clips. They also offer the option of hands-free walking.

2. Has your dog grown or lost weight?

As well as thinking about what activities your dog takes part in, it’s also important to consider your dog’s age. During the first two years of their life, this is especially important. As your dog matures from a puppy to an adult, their size and possibly even their shape will change. A simple rule of thumb is to see if you can get two fingers under the dog’s collar. If you can’t, then it is probably too small. If you can comfortably get more than two fingers under it, then it's probably too big, and there is a risk that it may come off.

This doesn’t just apply to puppies in their early years. It also applies to fully grown dogs that, like us, put on and also lose weight! A quick check is much better than finding out when a collar comes off.

3. Signs of wear and tear

You should always check your dog’s collar for any signs of wear and tear. Fabric and nylon collars may become frayed over time. Any fraying is a sure sign that the dog collar may need changing. Never wait for the moment the collar breaks, as this could be life-threatening.

Be aware of the material your dog collar is made of. For example, leather collars are not very water friendly. If they get constantly wet, you may start to see structural changes that could be weakening the leather.

Checking the hardware on the collar is also very important. If you see any signs of rusting, make sure the metal work still holds. Buying collars from reputable retailers and brands should ensure you have a quality product. Check out other customers reviews to see what people say about their products. You can find our Trustpilot reviews here.

Is a harness better than a collar for a puppy?

Alternatively, if you are changing your dog's collar, consider whether a harness would be a good investment as well. A harness is great for avoiding too much strain on the neck if your dog is a puller.

We hope these tips have been useful! For more dog-related facts and tips, subscribe to our social links below and feel free to share or comment.

Collars, harnesses and more available at Oscar & Hooch

You can choose between a range of luxury dog collars here at Oscar & Hooch, including our neon range and martingale range. We also offer leads, treat bags and dog beds! All of our products are lovingly handmade in Somerset from ultra-soft fabrics. 

Replacing a dog collar FAQs

How long do dog collars last?

This can vary depending on the product, as some dog collars are made better than others. Therefore, a low-quality collar might only last your dog a few weeks, whereas a high-quality one could last them years.

When should a dog wear a collar?

The Control of Dogs Order 1992 states that dogs must wear collars while in public spaces. The collar must contain the owner's information, either inscribed on the collar itself, or written on a plate or badge attached to the collar.

When should a puppy start wearing a collar?

Typically, your puppy can begin wearing a collar at around 8 weeks old.