I now have something serious to talk about.

I just got notice that another dog has died from strangulation due to their collar. Sadly this is all too common; so I would like to pass this information, please do the same. Collars look cute and are essential tools when you live with dogs; but please take extra precaution and never leave your dog’s collar on while unattended. Collars or harnesses should only ever be worn when your dog is under your strict supervision. My dogs only wear collars when they go for a walk; as soon as we enter back into our home they come off. I had one of these accidents happen to my dogs and luckily I was there to stop a tragedy.

Many years ago now I had two male standard poodles who loved to rough house. One day while outside one of the boys got their mouth snagged up in the other ones collar. Both were extremely upset; thinking that the other was in some way attacking them, they struggled and screamed. I ran screaming myself; I thought they were indeed in a fight. Once I got close it was obvious what was happening and I was able to calm them long enough to untangle them. Unfortunately not all dogs are as lucky; and you don’t need two or more dogs to have an accident.

Many different scenarios can happen when a dog wears a collar unsupervised. There are many stories of dogs being strangled when they have attempted to jump a fence and didn’t make it. Dog tags can become caught on just about anything even in the safety of a crate. Once caught up a dog quickly goes into panic mode. It is often this fight or flight reaction that causes the damage. All collars can be dangerous; choke type collars are the worst because they tighten and don’t let up but even a regular flat buckle collar can take a dog’s life.

Most people keep identification tags on their dog’s collars; having a collar on gives the guardian a sense of security. Tags are fine on a collar for a walk; but if you want to identify your dog 24x7 have them micro-chipped. All veterinarian offices offer micro-chipping; and it is one of the best ways to ensure your dogs return should they ever become lost. Save your collar/harness use for what they were intended; walks. Take all collars and harnesses off when you are not supervising; it could save your dog’s life. Please tell your friends.