How Long Do Dog Collars Last? 3 Signs You Need to Replace Your Dog’s Collar

how long do dog collars last

In this article, we’ll answer the common pet owner question, how long do dog collars last, based on three common signs rather than assigning any arbitrary numbers.

Some adult dog collars will last for the rest of your dog’s life, while others will break within days. You can expect a decent collar to last for at least a few years, but it really depends on how well-made the collar is and how much wear and tear it gets. 

The collar on a lap dog might last forever, while the collar on a dog that’s constantly swimming and playing in the sun may only last a few months.

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Regal Dog Products Waterproof Camo Hunting Dog Collar with Black Hardware | for Small, Medium, Large, or XL Dogs (Medium)
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1. How Long do Dog Collars Last? – The Collar Doesn’t Fit Properly 

If you have a puppy, you’ll need to check their collar every week to make sure it hasn’t gotten too tight. There should be enough space to fit two fingers between the dog’s collar and your pup’s neck.

Puppies grow quickly! And if you got your dog when they were very young, no collar that fits them as a two-month-old puppy will fit them as a fully grown dog

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You can extend the life of your collar by choosing an adjustable dog collar. Pick the largest possible size that will fit your pup at the smallest setting. 

Even if you’re buying a collar for an adult dog, we recommend choosing an adjustable collar that gives them plenty of room to grow. Some dogs will continue growing into their second or third year of life. Other dogs will gain weight as they transition into their golden years.

You may also find that a collar is too loose. If you bought a collar that’s too big for your puppy, you’ll need to find a smaller one to use until they’ve grown a bit. If your dog was overweight and is now lean, you may need to buy a new collar if the old one is too big.

2. How Long do Dog Collars Last? – The Tags Are Difficult To Read

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Regal Dog Products Medium Blue/Gray Stripe Pet Collar with Metal Buckle and D Ring | Durable Adjustable Dog Collar with Reinforced Metal Clasp & Nylon Webbing| Other Sizes for Small & Large Dogs
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If the dog ID tags on your dog’s collar are getting hard to read, it’s time to replace them. Imagine if Fido got out and a good Samaritan found them, only to find that they can’t call you because they can’t make out the number on the tag. 

Dog tags are the main reason that dogs need to wear collars – and even have dog leashes too! They make it easy for neighbors to see your dog safely home. Even if your dog is microchipped, it’s a rare person who will take a strange dog to the vet to get that microchip read — and even if they do, you’ll be stuck with the bill. 

Keeping your dog’s tags up to date helps to ensure that they won’t end up in a local shelter. 

Replace tags before they become illegible to keep your pup out of the pound. 

Invest in high-quality laser-engraved tags to ensure that they are easy to read for years to come. Ensure that the tags are securely attached. Hanging tags attached by a flimsy metal ring often fall off. 

If your tags simply hang from the collar and the collar is still in good condition, you can simply replace the tags. If you bought a custom-made collar with built-in tags, you may need to replace the whole collar

Dog tags should include their name, your home address, and at least one phone number.

3. How Long Dog Collars for Adults Last? – The Collar is Showing Wear and Tear

Some signs of wear and tear are obvious. If your collar has a broken buckle, it’s time to buy a new one. Other signs are more subtle.

Check your collar periodically for signs of wear and tear. Plastic buckles may show a crack or begin to bend. Metal buckles may rust. If you see this happening, it’s time to replace the collar.

Keep an eye on the material of the collar as well. You don’t want your dog’s collar to snap if they try to bolt! Leather collars may begin to crack. Nylon collars eventually fray. These are also signs that you should replace the collar as soon as possible. 

Frequent water exposure can ruin some collars. If your dog loves to swim or just loves to play in the rain, consider purchasing a waterproof collar. These collars may last longer. As an added bonus, they’re less likely to take on that wet dog smell!

If you find yourself replacing a cheap collar, consider investing in a high-quality collar next time around. Some come with a lifetime guarantee. 

How Long do Dog Collars Last? – Frequently Asked Questions

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Looking for more information? Here are the answers to a few frequently asked questions surrounding dog collars

How Long Do Dog Collars Last?

Like we said to begin with, it depends on the collar. If you want your collar to last for years, we recommend investing in a sturdy nylon collar

This collar is guaranteed to last for the rest of your dog’s life, and the price is comparable to what you’ll pay in a pet store! 

How Can I Prolong the Life of my Dog’s Collar?

The most important thing to do is to choose a durable collar to begin with. We’ve linked to some of our favorite options above. Consider whether or not the collar will be exposed to the elements. Nylon is a better choice for dogs who like to swim. 

If your dog swims nearly every day, you may want to choose a waterproof collar. Their buckles are specially designed to hold up to tough weather, and can even go in and out of saltwater without rusting.

If you choose a leather collar, you will need to wash it on occasion and treat it with leather conditioner as it dries. This will help prevent the leather from cracking and breaking. With proper care, leather collars can last for decades.

Why is My Dog’s Collar Hurting Her?

First, check to make sure that the collar is fitted properly. This is particularly true to martingale collars. You don’t want your dog strangled by collar. You should be able to fit two fingers between the martingale collar (or any other collar) and your dog’s neck without having to strain.

If fit isn’t the issue, ask yourself whether the collar is chafing your dog. Does it have rough edges? Leather collars will often irritate a dog’s skin if they’re not properly maintained. Metal collars will also irritate most dogs’ skin if they wear them all day long.

Some dogs are allergic to nylon! If you’ve addressed other potential issues and your dog is still constantly scratching at her collar, try switching to a collar made of a different material. 

Does My Dog Have to Wear a Collar?

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While the tags on a collar can be a lifesaver, they can also be a danger in certain situations. There’s a reason farm dogs don’t wear collars. Sticks can get stuck beneath the collar. The sticks can then get stuck on something or twisted. Dogs have strangled on tree branches before.

If you live on a large, securely fenced property where your dog often runs out of sight, they may be safer without a collar. You’ll still need to purchase a collar for when you need to take your dog into town, even if it’s just for a rare trip to the vet. 

If your dog decides to bolt in a strange place, it’s safer to have a collar and tags than not to have them.

Dogs that live in cities or suburban areas will be safer with dog ID tags. Some people choose to attach them directly to their dog’s harness, so that they don’t have to wear a harness and collar when out on a walk

If there’s any chance of your dogs getting lost, they should have a collar and tags.

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