How to Care For Dog's Neck and Spine

There are certain dog collar issues that many dog owners are not aware of. The
problem often becomes real when your dog is affected and you are unable to offer it
immediate medical care.

There are certain techniques regarding the proper use of dog collars and how they
relate to spine health that you can learn and practice yourself without having to
consult with a chiropractor or dog specialists (although whenever possible, we
recommend seeking the advice of a professional medical professional).

It any event, whether you do it on your own or with the guidance of a medical professional (which we recommend, if possible) it is a good idea to learn about a few techniques that will help you feel for misalignments and release muscle tension. Some of these techniques are actually rather simple.

Collars, when not properly utilized, are known to cause neck problems for dogs. Most of these problems result from improper handling by human beings. Collars can be very helpful tools in managing a dog, however, improper handling is the worst thing you can do to your dog.

For instance, improper use for the collar can cause the dog to experience cervical or neck subluxations. In fact, improper collar usage is the number one cause of cervical subluxations among dogs. Basically, there are five major types of dog collars currently available in the market. Below are the most popular types. Read on to learn how to provide proper care when using them.

Flat Collars Most dog owners prefer the regular flat dog collars. However, flat dog collars are the most danger to use. Basically, flat collars are used for attaching the leash to certain metal loops and they are also used for hanging the dog's tags. These types of collars are not meant for dog training. Similarly, they should not be used for controlling the dog during a walk. Yanking dogs using flat collars often cause tremendous muscle tightening around the cervical neck area. This can lead to severe neck and spine problems.

Leader Head Collars Leader head collars are ideal for training dogs. A leader collar is designed to perfectly fit over the head of the dog just like the muzzle. Its leash perfectly attaches on to the metal loop which is located under the dog's chin. The idea for this collar is to turn the dog's heat to the lead direction. However, turning the dog's head sharply in frustration (which many dog owners are guilty of) often causes upper neck and spine problems.

Choke Collars This is a special type of dog collar mostly used by trainers. It is designed to slightly choke the dog if it pulls too much. By choking, it makes the dog release the tension by easing back. However, by instinct, the dog will try to pull further away whenever it feels the tightening of the chain. This tightens the collar further causing the dog to choke more. Because of this, extreme care must be taken when using this type of collar.

Harness Collars Harness dog collars are designed to fit over the shoulders of the dog and securely around their chest. They are better choices than choke and regular flat collars. However, if improperly used, these types of collars can also cause subluxations in the chest, shoulder, and foreleg.

Prong Collars Prong collars are made of metal and have a circular ring of spikes running along its inner diameter. Because of this design, even low levels of force applied via the leash result in a fairly even distribution of force around the neck area. This in turn allows the dog owner (or trainer) to be very gentle with the leash while still getting the benefits of managing the dog. Because of this, some people believe these collars to be best for both walking and training your dog. On the other hand, this means that the owner or trainer has to be extra careful when using these collars - a tug in frustration with such a collar can result in much more serious damage than would result from a similar tug applied to a dog wearing a different type of collar.

While each dog, owner and each situation is different, what can be said with certainty is that whatever collar you use, use it carefully and responsibly. After all, your dog's spinal and neck health is literally in your hands.