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  • Writer's pictureKim Nigro

Collar Strangulation Awareness

Updated: Jan 8, 2022

Recently one of our fosters had a harrowing experience with her personal dog and our Lexus. She was still in bed when her daughter let the pups out to play in the yard. A few minutes later she heard screaming from one of the dogs and rushed downstairs and what she encountered when she got outside was Marley's mouth wrapped tightly in Lexus's collar and Lexi about 30 seconds or less from death. She couldn't breath and her eyes were already bulging. She shoved her hand into the collar to try to relieve the pressure as she was unable to get the collar off immediately. It was nothing short of a miracle that she happened to stay home from work that day. The pictures show Lexi's eyes as they looked for the next week, the whites had turned purple from all of the blood vessels popping while she lost oxygen and the swelling took days to go down. This is only one of the many stories I hear daily, many end in tragedy. Some dogs have hung themselves on crates, fences, trees, heating vents and anything their collars can get caught on. The main culprit is usually when two dogs are playing and they always like to go for the neck and the collar gets caught in the jaw very quickly.

Luckily there are a few preventative measures that can be taken.

  1. Our first choice would be a, but there are others that are great too. This gives you the ability to not worry whether your dog has their tag on while they're outside but the comfort of knowing that any pressure put on the collar will cause it to release.

  2. Use a harness instead of a collar.

  3. Go "naked." If this is an option, let them go collarless, especially when crating and playing in the yard. No dangling tags from collars, use plated tags for collar.

  4. Don't chain your dog outside, but if you have to, use a harness and make sure there are no obstacles for your dog to get tangled on.

  5. Do not ever tie your dog out to a raised deck or in the back of a pickup truck.

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