Don’t Wait! Prevent Collar Accidents
I’m not a type of canine homeowners who has her canine wrapped in cotton wool, continuously seeking to defend them from any and all doable hazards. I stroll my canine off-leash in rattlesnake habitats. I generally feed them uncooked eggs. I enable them to swim with out sporting life jackets, and so forth.
Some of my willingness to show them to potential well being dangers is perhaps as a result of my technology. As the youngest of 4 youngsters raised within the 1960s, I grew up unseatbelted – the truth is, more often than not I sat on the hump between the 2 entrance seats! My technology was subjected to many extra probably life-endng dangers than are even authorized right this moment.
But there are a pair particular dangers I completely will not take with my canine, and so they need to do with their collars.
STANDARD TANG BUCKLE
The first hazard I gained’t expose my canine to is a collar with a daily steel buckle – you recognize! The type that has a body and a tang or prong that matches by a gap on the collar and is secured by the again of the buckle body. Why have I taken a stand in opposition to such a ubiquitous piece of canine tools?
The reply is: Because in a horrible emergency, when a canine’s collar is caught on one thing and he’s choking to dying, the one method to unbuckle that buckle – to get that steel prong or tang out of its gap – is to tug it slightly bit tighter. And you’ll have to consider me after I say I do know, from private expertise, that when a canine begins choking to dying, he gained’t be holding cooperatively nonetheless in good understanding that you might want to make his discomfort worse for a second with a purpose to save his life.
The canine who practically choked to dying in my arms was not my canine – he belonged to a neighbor. But I ran to assist after I heard the sound of canine and ladies screaming, and was confronted with a writhing tangle of gasping, screaming, urinating, panicking canines. Two canine had been taking part in when one grabbed the opposite by his collar after which rolled over; the collar twisted, urgent his tongue into his personal decrease tooth – and tightening to the purpose of choking his playmate.
I and the canine’ homeowners, each younger ladies, tried frantically to determine find out how to untwist the canine, however they have been huge, sturdy canine in a full panic, and we couldn’t do it. I dug my arms into the canine’ fur, searching for buckles to unbuckle. One canine was sporting a quick-release collar – but it surely wasn’t the collar that was tight. I lastly discovered the buckle for that collar, and it was partially within the mouth of the canine who was twisted, impossibly tight – too tight to have the ability to tighten it extra with a purpose to get the tang of the buckle undone.
As I used to be working to seek out the buckles, one of many different ladies bumped into the home and obtained scissors. She managed to hack by the thick nylon collar, releasing the canine only a second after the choking one misplaced consciousness and launched his bowels. About two seconds after the collar was minimize, he took a gasping, ragged breath, after which one other, and slowly got here to as we sobbed and patted him and the opposite canine and hugged one another.
There is a second lesson to be discovered from my nightmare story: When canine pals are taking part in bitey-face video games, they shouldn’t be sporting collars in any respect. Playful canine who’re left dwelling alone collectively shouldn’t be sporting collars, both.
TAG, YOU’RE IT
Here’s the opposite factor I don’t prefer to see hanging from canine’ necks: Metal or different inflexible ID tags – as a result of it’s straightforward for tags to get caught on issues, pinning a canine in a scary place and inflicting her to panic.
The final time I used tags was on a foster canine I had crated in my kitchen. I heard a ruckus and located her thrashing; her tags had one way or the other slipped by the ventilating slits on the aspect of the crate (maybe when she was turning round?) and obtained caught.
More generally, canine get caught after they lay on a flooring close to a floor-mounted vent, both warming or cooling themselves, as acceptable for the season. Their tags slip by the vent as they lay on the ground, and after they attempt to stand up, the tags flip and get caught. Hysteria usually ensues. Best case, somebody is dwelling and rescues them. Worst case? Don’t ask. Awful.
Personally, I’m snug having my canine collar-free more often than not. If they escaped my dwelling, say, in an earthquake or one thing, I do know that they might readily go to my neighbors and even strangers for rescue. They are microchipped and the chips are registered to me with present contact data.
But if protecting ID in your canine is extra important to you, maybe as a result of your canine is perhaps a serious flight threat if she obtained free, there are a number of safer options.
As a substitute for utilizing ID tags, I purchase collars which have side-release plastic buckles (straightforward to unsnap in an emergency) and have my telephone quantity stitched into the material. However, even these are taken off when I’m not dwelling or when I’m fostering a canine who would possibly play with my youthful canine (my older canine doesn’t play).
Silicone tags, resembling those from Silidog.com, are a secure various. They are sturdy however versatile; even a spindly, tiny canine would be capable of pull free if his silicone tag obtained caught.
I’m conscious of 1 firm (PetSafe) that sells a collar that closes with a hook-and-loop fastener, which may tear aside if a canine will get caught by the collar. It’s known as the KeepSafe Break-Away Safety collar, and out there from PetSafe or on Amazon.com.
Please contemplate using not less than certainly one of these options for those who presently use a typical buckle collar and/or steel tags in your canine.
Nancy Kerns is WDJ’s editor.