Should My Dog Wear a Collar All of the Time?

Some dogs are not fans of dog collars. In fact, they hate having them around their neck. Some dogs will never get used to it. This often has owners asking whether there is a reason their dog should be wearing the collar all of the time.

Now, in most cases, you should be able to get your dog used to wearing the collar and, if you can, then they can have it on all the time. There will be a few downsides to that, though.

On this page, we are going to run you through the reasons for collars and the reasons why you may want to avoid them. You can weigh up both points to determine the right course of action for you and your dog.

Should my dog wear a collar all of the time
Should dogs wear collars 24/7?

Best Reasons for a Dog to Wear a Collar All of the Time

Let’s start with the reasons why your dog should probably be rocking that collar. After all, a dog wearing a collar will probably be the default position for many people.

Your dog will probably need to wear a collar.

As you go through this list, you will realize that your dog should always have access to a collar. There are a lot of benefits to it.

As we said at the start, there will be some dogs that really, really do not like wearing collars. If your dog hates collars and you start getting them to wear it all the time, they may be a little bit peeved at the start, but they will eventually start to get used to it. This is precisely what you want. 

Easier to walk your dog

a mini goldendoodle
A miniature Goldendoodle

Dogs should wear collars so that you can attach a leash to them. Simple as that. In our opinion, it is just too dangerous to walk a dog without the ability to leash them up at some point.

Remember, a leash allows you to control your dog. Imagine out there, taking your dog for a walkie. Another dog turns up, and your dog starts to suffer from anxiety or tries to fight. What would be better for you:

  • Holding your dog and hoping that they do not overpower you
  • Just put the leash on and be on your merry way

Now, obviously, they do not have to be wearing the collar all the time to enjoy these benefits. However, you will be surprised at how many people will just leave the collar at home. At least this way you never forget it.

ID for Your Dog

There are several benefits here!

Your dog needs ID. 

Imagine if your dog somehow managed to escape your home or run away when you were outside. What would happen? If they are wearing a collar, the dog will likely be returned to you, and there would be absolutely no issues.

cocker spaniel wearing collar
A Cocker Spaniel outdoors wearing a vibrant orange collar

This would have your dog whisked away to the pound, and you really don’t want to know what happens to unclaimed dogs at the pound.

If your dog did have a collar, it would probably be returned to you. Well, at the very minimum, somebody would try to contact you.

It is worth noting that many people that see dogs without collars will just see them as stray.

In some cases, this means that people will take the dog into their own home and raise them, utterly unaware that the dog likely has an owner out there that cares about them. 

If you get sick while walking the dog

Now, this is rare, so you do not have to worry about it that much. However, it could still happen.

Imagine if you were walking your dog and you got seriously injured or sick. If your dog has a collar, people will know who you are and who the dog is. If they don’t, your dog will likely end up in the pound.

If you do not claim them quickly (and this can be hard if you are seriously sick), something terrible may happen to the dog in that pound.

We don¨’t mean to scare you, but you do have to weigh up every eventuality, no matter how little of a chance there is of it happening. Think carefully about whether it is worth putting a collar on the dog or not.

Easily tether the dog while out walking

dog wearing collar in farmland
A dog wearing a leather collar sits next to a wire fence

If you have errands to run and bring your dog along for the ride, it will probably be better to have your dog wearing a collar. It means that they do not have to just stand around outside while you do whatever you need to know, which is dangerous enough as it is.

No matter how well-trained your dog is, they are still going to be unpredictable at times.

Safety by wearing a collar

As we said before, it is good to leash up your dog at a moment’s notice should they come into conflict with another dog. However, this isn’t the only safety issue here.

Imagine if you were walking down a crowded street or if you wanted your dog to cross the road. What would be better? Letting them just do it, and run the risk of your dog or getting injured or injuring somebody else, or just putting their leash on? We know which option we would choose every single time!

Reasons to Avoid Dog Collars

Now that we have discussed that, what are some reasons for dogs to not wear collars?

Uncomfortable – Some dogs HATE collars

A lot of dogs do find collars uncomfortable. They may get used to them at some point, but some dogs never do so. However, to be honest with you, a lot of that discomfort will probably be caused by poorly fitting dog collars.

Skin irritation around collar – especially for short hair dogs

mini goldendoodle sitting on a bench
A Mini Goldendoodle sitting on a bench

Some lower quality dog collars have been known to cause skin irritation. The thing is that this can cause significant problems.

If you are never removing your dog’s collar, then you will never see the skin irritation. Your dog will also not be able to deal with irritated skin either. They won’t be able to reach it. It just causes a lot of discomfort for no reason at all.

If you have your dog wearing a collar all the time, then the least you can do is check every few days to ensure no skin problems underneath it.

Fur Matting caused by collar for non shedding and long hair breeds

The fur under the collar can end up becoming matted. This is uncomfortable for the dog and can cause significant problems if the fur gets pinched. If your dog is wearing a collar all of the time, you must regularly check for matted fur. Once fur becomes matted properly, it becomes very tough to deal with.

Fleas and Ticks under Collar

Because underneath the collar will be a somewhat sheltered area, it tends to be a preferable place for fleas and ticks to hide.

In fact, you may not see a single tick or flea on your dog, but if you check under a collar that is worn regularly, there may end up being a lot of them.

This, once again, will cause skin irritation, and it isn’t healthy for the dog. It can cause them severe sickness in some cases.

Unnecessary if wearing a harness

A collar is redundant if your dog is wearing a harness

If your dog is wearing a harness, too, they will probably not need to wear a collar. It is overkill.

You are loading up your dog with all sorts of equipment, and this is just going to be incredibly uncomfortable for them.

While we are sure that no dog is ever going to turn down a good walk, we can say that they will not be happy if they have to wear a harness and a collar at the same time.

In any case, you can always put an ID on the harness, which eliminates one of the significant benefits of having a collar in the first place.

Choking risk of a collar for an active dog

happy cockapoo puppy running
A joyous leaping Cockapoo with plenty of energy
Photo by Ray Larabie /CC BY

A collar presents a real choking risk.

Many moons ago, I had one of my first dogs. One day, she decided that she wanted to have a  good bark at a dog on the other side of a hedge. now, this is to be expected. Dogs like to stand their ground.

However, something happened which I was not expecting. Something she did before, and something she never did again.

The other dog started to bark back at her, so she stuck her head through the hedge. The collar got stuck on the hedge, and it began to choke her. It was impossible to remove her from the hedge with the collar on, so it had to be cut off.

If she wasn’t wearing a collar, this would not have happened. This is an extreme situation, but as long as a dog has something around its neck, there is a small choking risk.

We are not advocating that you give up a collar completely to alleviate this issue. However, we encourage you to at least spend a bit of time choosing a collar that fits better and is easy to remove.

This way, if your dog does start to choke, you can deal with the problem outside of having to cut the collar off.

A potential traumatic experience for the dog

If you get a dog from a rescue center, then you have no idea what happened in their previous life.

Many rescue dogs are actually averse to collars, and you may find that getting them to wear a collar can cause an adverse reaction. They may get angry. They may get aggressive.

They will be able to wear a collar eventually, but many people will find that it takes months, sometimes years, to get to that point. Dealing with PTSD isn’t going to be easy for a dog, after all.

Conclusion – So Should My Dog Wear a Collar All of the Time?

should my dog wear a collar all of the time
Should my dog wear a collar all of the time?

Now that you know the pros and cons, it is up to you to work out whether wearing a collar will be right for your dog.

In our opinion, the dog should always wear a collar if they are outside. However, unless you need them to train to use a collar, they may not have to wear it inside the home.

In fact, they will probably be a whole lot more comfortable like that.