published Monday, September 5th, 2011

Chattapets: Find your dog a collar that fits

  • photo
    This Staffordshire-mix dog wears an Up Country honeycomb-design collar with matching leash. Photo from Donna Bodell

Dogs wear collars for two basic reasons: to carry their tags and to walk on their leashes, said Donna Bodell, director of marketing at Up Country, a pet accessory company based in Rhode Island.

Today's collars are manufactured to be comfortable enough for a dog to wear around the clock, she said.

"Dogs can safely wear standard buckle collars all the time," Bodell said. "Some owners may take them off if the jangling tags are annoying."

It's important, though, to make the collar and lead comfortable, she said.

"They should be sized properly. At Up Country, we offer size 10 for teacup breeds under 10 pounds through XXL for dogs over 110 pounds. The teacup collars and leads are made with a soft, lightweight webbing 1/2-inch wide and properly proportioned hardware. The regular dog collars have a stronger webbing for high pull weight and come in two widths, 5/8-inch and 1-inch, depending on the size of the collar."

The most important collar qualities are high-tensile-strength webbing, so collars won't snap when dogs pull on a leash, she said.

Also look for solid hardware when shopping for a leash, Bodell said. "Welded D-rings that hold the leashes can break on a welded seam," she said.

Bodell suggested getting a washable leash that has a soft webbing that will not chafe or mat a dog's fur at the neck, she said. "Leashes need to be strong, have a comfortable handle and have high-quality hardware."

For the fashion-forward dog owner, leashes come in many colors and patterns.

"We develop new designs for our catalog introduction in January with all the seasonal styles for the year and are working on next year's designs right now," Bodell said.

Up Country collars are sold locally at Four Paws and a Tail, The Ark, Bone Appetit Bakery and Bruce Baird & Co.

about Karen Nazor Hill...

Feature writer Karen Nazor Hill covers fashion, design, home and gardening, pets, entertainment, human interest features and more. She also is an occasional news reporter and the Town Talk columnist. She previously worked for the Catholic newspaper Tennessee Register and was a reporter at the Chattanooga Free Press from 1985 to 1999, when the newspaper merged with the Chattanooga Times. She won a Society of Professional Journalists Golden Press third-place award in feature writing for ...

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