An Essential Guide to Pet Collars, Leashes and Harness
A pet collar is a band put around the neck of an animal, usually a dog. Pet collars are often used in conjunction with a leash (also called a lead or tether). A pet harness is a common alternative to a collar/leash combination.
Pet collars, leashes and harness serve the following purposes:
Training and restraining: Most breeds of dogs are restless animals. Claiming ancestry from wolf, they have not entirely forsaken their ‘wild’ legacy. Given the slight opportunity, they will try to run away to do some ‘exploration’. Dogs therefore need to be restrained, especially when taken for an outing. Moreover, several US state and cities have strict to flexible leash laws requiring owners to keep their pet dogs and cats on restraint with leash or harness.
Safety: dogs on the loose may get lost or bite/frighten other animals and people. They may also urinate and defecate at inappropriate places, damage lawns or get involved in car accidents.
Identification: most dog collars will have identification and medical record tags, which helps in case the dog the animal gets lost.
Fashion: although cats, lap dogs and smaller dogs of docile temperament generally do not require collars, owners find it convenient to put them on for fashion.
Medicinal: medicated dog collars are impregnated with chemicals that repel fleas; these are worn in addition to the conventional collars. Other types of medicated collars include Dog Appeasing Pheromone or DAP Collars for calming puppies and adult dogs in stressful situations and Kiltix Tick Collar for Dogs for controlling ticks and fleas.
Dog collars come in hundreds of varieties of materials, style and design. Materials used include leather, leather, nylon webbing, polyester, metal and other composite materials. Basic collars include buckle collars, quick snap collars, stud collars, spiked collars, slip collars, prong collars, shock collars and bark control collars.
The use of some types of dog training collars, for example, prong collars (metal chains) shock collars (gives electrical shock of varying intensity) and bark control collars (produces a spray or a high-pitched sound to deter a dog from barking) may be controversial. Use these on your own discretion or by seeking advice from a veterinarian.