Updated November 2021
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Buying guide for Best personalized dog collars

Every dog needs a properly fitting collar in order to stay safe on walks as well as hold important identification information. While many collars serve these utilitarian functions, others can also be a form of creative expression. Personalized dog collars feature words, phrases, pictures, and other fun characters as a way to show off your dog’s personality.

These novelty collars still serve important functions, but they stand out for their colors and designs. Personalized dog collars can be showy or subtle. They can colorfully showcase your dog’s unique style or express a special bond or affinity.

Choosing the right personalized dog collar is like choosing a standard collar, including finding the right size and materials, with the addition of deciding how you want to decorate the collar.

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Some personalized dog collars have reflective materials. However, for the best visibility when walking at night, opt for a collar with LEDs or a reflective harness.

Key considerations

Personalization

When choosing a personalized dog collar, you should have an idea of what you want to put on it. Some designs are purely aesthetic while others include important information in lieu of identification tags. 

Text: Most personalized dog collars accommodate words and phrases along the length of the collar. Common options include the dog’s name and your phone number, but if that information is already on a tag, you might want to get more creative with a fun slogan. These collars can only hold a limited number of characters, so take the time to plan out what you want it to say.

Images: Some manufacturers offer a selection of pictures or characters that can be added to the collars. These tend to be pretty straightforward, such as a bone, dog, star, or sun. Some characters are more informative, such as symbols that indicate your pet is microchipped or has a visual or hearing impairment.

Decorations: Some owners might prefer something sparkly or shiny on their dog’s collar. You have the option of choosing collars with beads, rhinestones, and other decorations that offer texture and an eye-catching look. These options are better used for casual walks or outings and are not ideal for use on long hikes, where a backpack would be a better fit.

Manufacture

It’s important to note how the personalized items are applied to the collar. Those that are simply pressed or glued on may not hold up well over time. On low-quality collars, in particular, the decorations that are glued on can soon start to fall off, especially if the collar is worn on active outings.

If you’re looking for a collar with substantial charms or letters, look for those collars that have a slide track that holds the items in place. For simple lettering and numbering on the collar, look for quality stitching or embroidery that won’t unravel.

Material

Personalized dog collars are made of a variety of materials. 

Nylon: This is the most popular material for these collars. It’s comfortable, breathable, and relatively lightweight. Nylon is fairly durable, but it can start to wear out over time, especially with active dogs. It also doesn’t stand up well to being submerged, and it can absorb odors and bacteria.

Polyester: While it tends to cost slightly more than nylon, polyester lasts longer and holds up to being submerged. Polyester is also easier to wash. However, it tends to be less breathable, which is something to consider if your dog has a thick coat and the weather is hot.

Leather: Another popular option is leather. It costs more, but leather provides a certain sophisticated aesthetic. Leather collars can last a long time with proper care, but they shouldn’t be submerged or subjected to extreme temperatures. Leather also doesn’t breathe the way nylon does, and it can be heavy, especially if the collar is adorned with beads or stones.

Size

In order to find the right size collar for your dog, measure the circumstance of its neck under the ears. This can be done with a flexible tape measure or a piece of string that you then measure with a ruler. Most collars are adjustable. A properly fitting collar enables you to put two fingers between the collar and your dog’s neck. The collar should be comfortable but not so loose that your dog can escape.

personalized dog collars
Did You Know?
While many owners like personalized dog collars because they’re fun and colorful, many like the extra security provided by the included contact information should the ID tag fall off or be damaged.
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Features

Design

Personalized dog collars come in a variety of colors and designs to add a unique style to the final product. In some cases, you can choose the color of the text as well as the background color. Make sure there is enough contrast between the text color and the background color so the text is easy to read. Personalized collars also come in unique patterns or designs, such as stripes, plaid, polka dots, or pop culture characters like Scooby Doo or Mickey Mouse.

Fastener

The way the personalized collar fastens is one indication of its quality. Most basic nylon or polyester collars have a durable plastic clip that connects and disconnects easily. These are popular choices and, despite the plastic construction, hold up well over time. Owners tend to prefer the quick-release mechanism, which is useful in case of an emergency.

Other personalized collars have a metal buckle, similar to those found on belts. These are typically found on leather collars, and while they offer a secure connection, they take longer to fasten and unfasten.

Ring

Most personalized dog collars have a metal D ring where you attach the leash or identification tags. Check to make sure the straight side of the D is fused together for the most durability. 

Not every personalized dog collar makes an ideal donation if your dog grows out of it, but it can serve as a special keepsake when your dog passes on.

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Accessories

Personalized dog ID tags: GoTags Dog Tags
Consider supplementing your personalized collar with personalized ID tags. This stainless steel option from GoTags is durable and comes in a few different shapes.

Dog harness: Kurgo TruFit Smart Harness
For regular walks and travel, a dog harness is an essential accessory. This comfortable and high-quality option by Kurgo has a front clip and includes a car seat buckle as well.

Pricing

Inexpensive: Most nylon and polyester collars with a small area for personalization cost no more than $12

Mid-range: Most personalized dog collars that come in a range of color, text, and design options cost between $12 and $25.

Expensive: For over $25, you can find large personalized dog collars as well as those made from high-quality materials that will last a long time.

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Did You Know?
The width of the collar determines the size of the lettering. If you have a small dog, the text might not be easy to read from a distance.
Staff
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Tips

  • Get a basic dog collar too. A personalized dog collar may not be suitable for all situations and can wear out over time. Invest in a sturdy basic dog collar as a backup for certain occasions.
  • Remove the collar when you leave your dog unattended. Most owners remove their dog’s collar when they’re at home for better comfort and freedom. It’s also advised that you remove the collar when your dog is left alone in the house or in a crate to avoid potential problems.
  • Check the collar regularly. Quickly inspect the collar before each outing to make sure there are no breaks or tears that could compromise its functionality.
  • Monitor your dog for allergic reactions. Some dogs may be allergic or sensitive to the materials used in collars. When you put a new collar on your dog, watch for any adverse reactions in the first few days and weeks.
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Personalized dog collars aren’t the only way to show off your dog’s style. Consider a matching leash, colorful bandana, or stylish coat when heading out for a walk.

FAQ

Q. Are personalized dog collars safe?

A. That depends on your dog and the decoration on the personalized dog collar. These collars may not be suited to dogs that like to chew, especially if the collar is adorned with beads, charms, or other items that can be torn off and swallowed.

Personalized dog collars may also not be suitable for active dogs that like to hike on trails or swim in the water. The collar can be damaged, lose pieces, or bleed color, dye, or glue into the dog’s skin. Your dog shouldn’t wear a collar when crated or left alone in the house because the collar can get caught on something and potentially choke your pet.

Q. Should I walk my dog with a leash attached to the personalized dog collar?

A. Calm, well-trained dogs can walk with a leash attached to a personalized collar, but many owners prefer the control offered by a harness. Because it cradles the dog around the chest, a harness better distributes the pressure, eliminating potential stress on the dog’s neck. Owners are better able to hold back and guide a dog in a harness, and some harnesses have a handle on the back to help lift your dog.

Dogs that pull or react when on a walk can hurt themselves in a collar, particularly small dogs whose throats are more fragile. Some dogs can easily back out of a collar too. Be objective about how well your dog behaves on walks to determine which option is best.

Q. Are personalized dog collars good for training?

A. Most personalized dog collars are not strong enough to be suitable for training dogs. Some martingale collars, which limit pulling and escaping, allow for some personalization and can be used when walking a young dog. However, a gentle leader or front-clip harness is the best accessory to train a dog to listen, resist pulling, and stay focused on walks.

 

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