Thinking that all dog collars are the same is almost like saying that all shoes are the same. You need something made from suitable fabric, in the correct size, that fits comfortably. You also need to consider the purpose of the collar when choosing the right one for your pet pal.
There are hundreds of different types of dog collars available (click here to read about the best dog collars). Even reflective collars vary greatly in design, fit, fabric, width, and special features. Reflective collars, however, have the additional benefit of keeping your dog visible in the dark. We’ve looked into some of the top reflective dog collars of 2024 for training, walking, and pet identification. Here are our favorites, as well as some tips on choosing the most suitable collar for your pet.
A good reflective dog collar is safe, comfortable, properly sized, and suited to your dog’s lifestyle. Getting the right collar can impact safety and durability. A reflective dog collar will ensure that your pup is visible to traffic and pedestrians during an early morning walk or evening run. These types of collars can also make it easier for you to spot your pup in the dark if you have an expansive property.
Here are the most important things to consider when choosing a reflective dog collar for your pooch, as well as how to measure for the perfect fit.
Getting the right size collar for your pet is probably the most important thing to consider. If it’s too small your dog will choke, if it’s too big they’ll escape very easily. If you’re using the collar for training, the wrong fit can also have an influence on how effective the training is. Collars that are too tight can cause skin irritation, hair loss, rashes, and even cuts. Be especially mindful about the size when you have a puppy. Puppies have sensitive skin and necks. Check daily to ensure it is not too tight.
Most manufacturers provide a sizing chart on their listing to help you choose the right fit for your pup. Although most reflective dog collars are labeled as small, medium, or large, it is important not to rely solely on this when choosing a size. Some sizes may refer to the actual length of the collar, while others refer to the neck size of the dog. This is why it’s best to measure your dog’s neck and work according to that measurement.
How to Measure for Your Reflective Dog Collar
The easiest way to measure your dog’s neck is by using a flexible measuring tape. If you don’t have a measuring tape, you can always use a piece of string and a ruler.
Wrap the measuring tape around your puppy’s neck at the point where the collar will sit. To ensure it’s not too tight, you should still be able to fit two fingers under the measuring tape, flat against your pup’s neck. If you can’t, it’s too tight. Loosen it slightly until you can. This is your measurement. We always recommend measuring twice to make sure it’s correct.
Not all collars sit at the same part of the neck. A martingale collar might need to slide over the head. In this case, measure the widest part of the head and neck.
Most collars are adjustable within a few inches. This is great because it provides a little flexibility with the measurements, but it also accommodates shedding, weight loss (or gain), and gives growing puppies a little leeway before they need to get larger size entirely. Some collar measurements will state the minimum and maximum adjustable length of the collar.
If you’re going with a collar that slides over your dog’s head, it needs to be adjustable to the largest measurement you took. Collars with clips should not be put on over your dog’s neck. Always follow the product’s instructions for donning and doffing the collar.
Fabric and Reflective Features
Dog collars come in a range of different fabrics and designs. Reflective collars are generally made from nylon since they are durable and can be stitched with reflective thread or layered with a strip of reflective fabric. A strip of fabric will most likely offer a bolder reflective shine than plain stitching. However, this depends on the stitching pattern of each particular collar.
The fabric should be durable but soft. Look out for any spiky, rough, or sharp edges that can scratch your pup. A collar with a padded interior lining will provide extra comfort and protection.
Regardless of your dog’s age, you want to avoid leaving the collar on all the time, as this can cause hair breakage, and bald areas, and limit airflow to the skin. If moisture builds up between the collar and the skin, fungal infections can quickly develop. Sleeping without a collar gives the skin time to breathe and reduces the chance of infections and rashes.
Some dogs don’t like stiff collars. If your dog just isn’t into the one you’ve purchased and objects to wearing it, try a different fabric or design, and make sure you keep it lightweight. Keep in mind that puppies have sensitive skin. It is best to rotate between collar types to avoid skin problems.
Some collars (mostly leather designs) have a traditional buckle similar to that of a belt. The majority of collars have a plastic clip fastener. If you have a large or very energetic dog who loves to chase squirrels on a whim, you may want to consider getting a safety clip with a locking mechanism. This offers an extra measure of security to prevent your pet from getting away from you while chasing something.
Some reflective dog collars are customizable with your pup’s ID and contact details. This is done either by embroidering on the actual collar fabric or by attaching an engraved metal plate. If you don’t already have a tag and need to have the collar customized, ensure that the lettering is clear, easy to read, and won’t fade over time. If you’re choosing something engraved, opt for a rust-proof, stainless steel tag. When submitting the details for engraving, double-check that everything is correct.
Collars pose a few safety concerns, mainly strangulation and neck injuries. Dogs have sensitive necks. Continuous pressure or pulling too tightly can easily cause an injury. Make sure the collar does not tighten when the dog panics. Once you have set the size, it should remain in place regardless of the activities your dog likes to engage in.
If you have an adventurous pup who loves exploring the outdoors with you, make sure you get a durable collar. This means you need secure fabric and stitching that can handle a lot of tugging, playing, water, mud, and even chewing. You also want to make sure the clips are durable and won’t snap.
To keep the collar clean and prevent infections and foul smells, wash it regularly. Many pet parents wash their dogs with their collars on since it’s easy to hold them. If you do this, make sure to remove the color straight after washing. Rinse all the soap off and let the collar and your dog both dry completely before putting it back on. Some collars are machine washable, which is a very convenient way of keeping them clean.
If you don’t wash and dry the collar properly, neck rashes and infections can develop. It will also cause pulling of the hairs around the neck. Never leave your dog with a wet collar on.
Available in a range of bright colors and five different sizes, JoyTale’s Reflective Dog Collar has a lot to offer. They are designed with reflective stitching on a durable nylon exterior. The interior is lined with soft neoprene for extra comfort and to minimize irritation. This option is our number one pick because of the extra customizable identification tag.
The tag is securely fitted onto the exterior of the collar. The stainless-steel nameplate can be engraved in four different ways, depending on the information you want on the ID. This can include your pup’s name, a contact number, or address. The laser etched plate won’t fade and remains clearly readable over time.
With seven sizes to choose from, you can get the perfect reflective collar whether you have a puppy or a fully grown St Bernard. These durable nylon collars from TagME feature top and bottom reflective stitching. The edges are all carefully designed to prevent any irritation and maximize comfort.
A plastic buckle makes this reflective dog collar lightweight and easy to fasten, and you can release it with one hand. This product offers you a range of 12 solid color designs. You can purchase a matching leash and customized dog identification tag separately, as an add-on.
For great customization and visibility, this Reflective Dog Collar from GoTags is a hit. The collar is made from durable nylon material with a highly reflective fabric strip. The strip is embroidered with your custom message, such as your pet’s name.
The embroidery is clearly readable and permanently stitched for lasting durability. There is a range of collar and embroidery colors to choose from, so you can mix and match to your liking. The adjustable collars are available in three sizes. The seller provides a sizing chart so you can make sure to order the correct fit.
This Reflective Dog Collar from Taglory features a neoprene interior lining, which provides a soft pad against your pup’s neck. It easily prevents itchiness and irritation. The exterior is made from durable, lightweight nylon with reflective stitching all the way around. The quick-release buckle also has a safety lock that prevents it from accidentally opening.
You can choose from 12 colors and five sizes. A sizing chart provides the width and adjustable length of the collars so you can make sure you order accurately. This reflective dog collar is perfect for those who like to walk their dog at night, as the visibility is excellent.
Lightweight and durable design
Rust-resistant D-ring for leash/tag
Color shades may vary slightly from listing
People Also Asked
Q: Are leather collars good for dogs?
A: Leather collars are very durable, generally don’t cause skin allergies, and are easy to wipe clean. They can, however, be very pricey, and do not come in the same wide variety as other types. Dyed collars can also give off color, staining your pup's fur. Consider the thickness and weight of the collar, since leather options are heavier than most other types. This can be uncomfortable, especially for smaller dogs.
Q: What is a martingale collar?
A: These are popular collars used for training. They are safe and comfortable. When the dog pulls, they cinch or tighten just slightly and loosen again comfortably when the dog walks properly.
Q: What size collar should I get for a large dog?
A: Dogs that weigh between 56 to 80 pounds will most likely need a collar that has a length of 16 to 24 inches.
Jarett and his vapor wake dog, Toxi, help keep the students and public safe on the University of Notre Dame’s campus. Jarett knows what equipment, food and toys to keep Toxi safe, productive and still able to have fun.