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Which is better for Your Dog? The Collar or The Harness

Have you ever wonder if the dog collar or harness is better for your pet?

As dog owners in Singapore, we are constantly bombarded with online shopping, Facebook ads Qoo10 and Lazada, product after product recommended for walking our dogs. I cringe when I see dogs choking, coughing, and essentially strangling themselves on walks as a result of their collars. While prong and choke collars are the most obvious offenders, even a flat collar can be damaging to a dog’s neck if the dog hasn’t been properly taught to walk on a loose leash.

Keeping a regular collar (also known as a flat collar) on your dog is must for any dog owner. In addition to a microchip, your dog should be wearing a collar and ID tags at all times. Even the most responsible pet owners might have to face the devastating situation of a lost dog, and your four-legged friend is much more likely to get home to you quickly if he is wearing a collar.

However, a flat collar may not be the ideal choice for everyday walks with your dog. Just one incident of pulling or being jerked back on a collar can cause extensive injuries to a dog’s neck, including a crushed trachea or a fractured vertebrae. Even in more minor cases, the dog can still experience bruising and headaches. One study showed that over 90 percent of dogs in the study that presented with neck injuries were subjected to an owner that pulled or jerked on the lead.

  • Even a dog that pulls lightly can be at risk of neck injuries and other health issues due to damage from a collar.
  • Scared or panicked dogs can quite easily slip out of flat collars.
  • Prong and choke collars carry the highest likelihood of injury and damage to your dog, but even a flat collar can be harmful if you jerk the leash too hard.

Studies have shown that there are many health issues that can be caused from walking your dog on a collar, including:

  • Hypothyroidism, which can be caused from trauma to the thyroid gland in the neck
  • Ear and eye issues as a result of extensive pressure on the neck
  • Behavior problems caused by pain or other physical injuries from the use of a collar

While it is important to keep a flat collar on your dog for identification purposes, it is a good idea to attach the leash to a back-led or chest-led harness rather than the collar.


How Should You Choose the Right Collar or Harness?
You may be overwhelmed with options when it comes to collars and harnesses for your dog. Check out the links below to figure out the best (and worst) options for you and your dog:

  • Head Collars and No-Pull Harnesses
  • Choke and Prong Collars
  • Shock Collars
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