Did you know….
….that a dog’s neck can expand when they get hot? 🔥🔥
It can! Just like your feet, ankles and hands swell when your temperature goes up, your dogs neck can, too.
When blood flow increases to the large veins (like the jugular in the neck) and the big muscles, a normally “kinda snug” collar will turn into a “too tight” collar.
Keep this in mind when determining the fit of your dogs collar or harness, especially if you have a flat faced dog like a Pug or Bulldog. Make sure you can comfortably fit two fingers underneath your dogs collar and two to four fingers (depending on the size of your hands) underneath all the straps of their harness *even when they’re exercising*.
Why? So that they can comfortably breathe!
If they’re too snug, your dog may be unable to take proper deep breaths without you even knowing it.
While it’s not as significant an expansion in their neck as it may be for our hands and feet (unless your dog is in full blown heat stroke) it is a really important factor to keep in mind if you tend to fit your dogs gear on the snugger side.
Over the years, I’ve seen more improperly fitted gear than you can imagine. I’ve observed dogs gasping for air while running around even though no leash pressure was being applied to their collar because the collar was too snug.
I’ve had a puppy in a harness nearly pass out during playtime because it couldn’t properly expand its chest to take full deep breaths as its respiration rate increased. And still other puppies hide from their playmates because their harnesses were so snug they couldn’t move properly making them unable to safely engage in play. (As a rule, I now routinely remove harnesses when dogs are running or playing.)
I want to be clear. None of these owners were in any way intentionally negligent. They just didn’t know! These were honest mistakes anybody could easily make.
Also, don’t forget that puppies grow rapidly in the first several months you have them, so it’s important to check the fit of their collars and harnesses on a weekly basis. If you have a large or giant breed dog, you’ll want to check it every few days.
One test you can use is if there is a roll of skin sticking out around the collar or harness strap making it look like it is cutting into their skin, it’s most likely too tight. (Or your dog might be a little over weight, but that’s another conversation.)
So check your dogs gear and if you aren’t sure if it’s sized properly, send us a quick message with a video or photos and we’d be happy to help you.