Do Light Up Dog Collars Hurt Dogs?
There’s no doubt that your pet pal loves hitting the road with you regardless of the time of day. If you need to squeeze in your activity before sunrise or after sunset, safety is key for both you and your pup. You may wear a headlight and reflective gear, but what about your dog? Light-up collars seem like a great idea to keep your pet visible (and looking festive at the same time) but are they really safe? We explore.
How Do Light-Up Collars Work?
Light-emitting diode (LED) collars are made from a variety of materials of which the most common are nylon or plastic. LEDs don’t emit heat like other heat sources so the collar won’t get hot around your puppy’s neck. They are generally rechargeable by USB with one charge lasting several walks. This will of course depend on the length of the walk and the collar’s brand.
How Safe Are Light Up Dog Collars?
Similar to you wearing a rechargeable wristwatch, an LED collar is completely safe for your pup to wear. We do however recommend that you only use the collar for walks, hiking or other dim-light activities and remove it when you get back home. Dogs who love to chew gadgets to shreds could get seriously ill from devouring an LED collar that contains lithium-ion (or other) batteries.
Most collars are very durable and difficult to chew through, but it’s better to be safe than sorry. Some light-up dog collars have a flash mode or strobe mode. When walking in busy areas we recommend you switch this setting off as it can affect other pets or people with epilepsy and cause seizures.
All-in-all, the collar is completely safe when used in a standard light mode and removed and stored after walks.
LED vs. Reflective Dog Collars
Reflective collars are another great way to stay safe in dim-light conditions. These collars don’t light up per se, but they reflect light that is directed towards them much like a glow-in-the-dark item. This will ensure your pup stays visible as well as keep cyclists, runners, or drivers aware and safe.
Since reflective collars don’t require batteries or recharging they are generally much lighter in weight and don’t pose too much of a risk if they are chewed on. They also come in at a lower cost than LED types. If you have a toy breed or other small dog, you might consider opting for a reflective collar rather than a LED style since the weight of the latter can be too much for a little pup to carry.
Although collars are great to improve visibility, harnesses can do an even better job. The effect of the lit-up or reflective collar could get lost on some dog breeds with large amounts of thick fur or wrinkles. A reflective harness however will remain visible and it’s also more comfortable for your pet pal to wear.
The type of collar you choose will depend on the size and breed of your dog as well as what they find comfortable to wear. Always ensure that both you and your pup are visible when walking before sunrise or after dark for your safety and that of other people out on the road.