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Dog collar tags – how to keep your pet safe

Did you know your dog’s ID tag on their collar can become caught in radiators or crates?

I only realised this when my dog Daisy started climbing on top of the radiator.
She loves keeping warm and whenever you get off the sofa, she’s always straight in your spot.
So I didn’t really think anything of it when she started lying on top of the warm radiator next to the kitchen table.
Then one day I nipped upstairs and came down to find the name tag stuck in the grills.
The collar was hanging off it and Daisy was sitting collarless in the living room.
I was just so relieved she was ok.
But after doing some research online I learned that some dogs have died this way.
Had Daisy’s collar not slipped off, she could have choked or broken her neck.

Vet Ashley Gray from Vetsure Pet Insurance has this advice on collar safety.

He said: “Owners should make sure their animals have a correctly fitted collar with a safety release if they are concerned.
“I have seen dogs after becoming caught up on a fence post who have had lots of injuries due to thrashing around.
“The trouble is with those sort of cases is that the animal is often found collapsed after choking rather than still attached to the object.
“It should be emphasised that generally a well fitted collar is pretty safe.
“There are collars with a safety mechanism that will snap open under pressure if people are concerned.”

Since then, I’ve stuck to collars with safety release fasteners and I always keep it a little loose.

Although this has led to her pulling her head out of it and running back home rather than walk in the cold or rain!
Ashley says cats can also get caught up by their collars.
“With cats, it is worthwhile asking whether a collar is necessary,” said Ashley.
“Some cats need a collar for operating an automated cat flap.
“But for many, micro chipping can be sufficient for identification purposes.”

One of Daisy’s collars – we prefer the quick release clip to a buckle

Having a collar that is too loose can be just as dangerous as the animal can get their legs trapped in them.

Ashley said: “The main problem I feel is that if too loose the pet can get their leg through the collar.
“This can get missed by the owner over a period and the pressure of the collar on the underarm or armpit area can cause a huge tear.
“These are probably amongst the nastiest injuries I have seen in both dogs and cats.
“A loose collar can get hooked on household objects or things like fences or gates.
“I think the key message for owners is to use common sense.
“Try to work out any potential hazards at home and keep a close eye on their pets.”

As responsible dog owners here in the UK, we know wearing a collar and a name tag is a legal requirement in a public place and has been since 1992.

Having them on at home isn’t though.
So if you use one on your dog, make sure it’s safe and easy to remove in case of emergency.
Breakaway collars offering a quick release are safest for pets at home or unsupervised in yards or gardens.
If you’d like to learn more about what to do with your pet in an emergency, read our post on First Aid for Dog Owners.

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