Collars continually lay around your dog’s neck, which can be a big problem if your dog is allergic.
Maybe you’ve noticed some itching, hair loss, or overall irritation.
If you have a pooch with sensitive skin or neck, you’re in the right place.
Learning the types of materials that will keep your dog in tip-top shape is crucial.
Let’s go over what options you have as well as the best dog collars for sensitive skin and necks.
The Best Dog Collars for Sensitive Skin and Necks in My Checklist
- Overall Favorite: The Black Rhino Comfort Collar
- Best Leather Collar: Sleepy Pup Full Grain Thick Leather Collar
- Best Hemp Collar: Petfino Natural Hemp Dog Collar
- Best Nylon Collar: Tuff Pupper Heavy Duty Dog Collar
- Best Fleece-Lined Collar: Baloo’s Chews Organic Hemp Dog Collar with Fleece
The Best Dog Collars for Sensitive Skin and Necks: Key Takeaways
- Some dogs are very sensitive to certain material lying on their skin. It can cause breakouts, irritation, and hot spots to show up.
- Dyes, chemicals, and certain textures can cause the skin to react. Getting a chemical-free collar will eliminate issues.
- Metal, chiefly nickel, can be an allergy trigger for some dogs. It can cause hair loss, skin irritation, itching, and blisters. These dogs are incompatible with a choker, prong, and other nickel-plated collar types.
- Hypoallergenic materials like leather, hemp, and neoprene are excellent picks for a natural, irritation-free wearing experience.
Collar or Harness for Dogs: Which is the Right Choice?
The fact is, some dogs just don’t benefit from wearing collars. In most cases, you should only use a collar for identification tags.
Using a collar for anything else can put stress on the neck, triggering everything from basic irritation to much more severe issues.
A harness fits over your dog’s chest, back, and neck, putting even pressure on all areas.
If you want to take your dog out for a walk, harnesses are a safe bet.
If your dog pulls, jumps, or gets distracted during walks, a harness will give you better control while keeping your dog safe.
- Collar–the Good and Bad
Traditionally speaking, collars have always done the trick. But do they really? Every dog is different, so sometimes, collars just won’t cut the mustard.
- √Perfect for identification tags
- √Stylish and customizable
- √Easy to put on
- √Can have reflective stitching for night visibility
- ⊗It can damage a dog’s neck
- ⊗It can cause neurological problems in the front legs
- ⊗Collars are a choking hazard if your dog gets stuck on an object
- ⊗Collars can cause skin abrasions, hair loss, and general irritation
- Harness–the Good and Bad
Harnesses are gaining so much popularity these days, and for good reason. They offer a lot of support for your dog when it comes time for a walk or outing.
- √Equally distributes weight
- √Fits well to your dog’s body
- √Usually offers front and back leash attachment
- √Harder for a dog to slip out
- ⊗Cannot wear at all times
You can use the collar and harness in unison. If you take your dog out, you can let him wear the collar for his tags and while relying on the harness for lead attachment.
What Are Safe Collars for Dogs with Sensitive Skin?
Dogs will have different reactions to materials. Some dogs will have sensitivities to metal while others can’t come in contact with dyes or fragrances.
- Hemp Collars
Hemp collars are all-natural and plant-based. Because they are organic, the components are super easy on the skin of your pet.
These collars are also biodegradable and eco-friendly. Many pet owners find it satisfying to both find a suitable collar and save the environment at the same time.
- Genuine Leather Collars
Even though genuine leather is sometimes a bit more expensive than other materials, like nylon, it tends to outlast most.
Unlike other materials, leather actually gets better with time. Your dog’s natural oils will penetrate the leather, making it softer, more pliable, and better fitting.
Leather will still stretch, but with proper care, it can last several years.
- Nylon or Neoprene Collars
Materials like neoprene and nylon are hypoallergenic, so your dog doesn’t suffer from itchiness or irritation.
While the materials themselves are fine for your dog, make sure to check the dyes or chemicals in the makeup to ensure there aren’t hidden irritants.
What Collars Are Dangerous for Dogs with Sensitive Necks?
Neck sensitivity can happen for a few different reasons. Your dog may be reacting to chemical compounds in dyes or pest-repellents.
Other dogs will show signs of discomfort with metal and metal coating. Pinning down the cause of irritation is crucial to find a solution.
- Metal Collars
Some dogs can show allergic reactions to certain kinds of metal or metal coating.
Even collars of nylon and other materials can irritate a dog’s neck if there are metal attachment rings that touch their skin.
It would be best if you opted for stainless steel whenever possible, as it tends to be very neutral.
- Citronella Spray Collars
Citronella spray comes with some bark training collars to discourage unwanted barking. While some owners swear by the results, dogs can have allergies to citronella.
Not to mention—citronella is toxic to most pets.
- Flea and Tick Collars
Flea and tick collars have chemicals to repel pests that gravitate toward your pooch.
While these collars work very well for some dogs, others will run into trouble.
These collars can cause some dogs to develop hot spots and lose their hair around the area.
5 Best Dog Collars for Sensitive SKin & Necks
1. Overall Favorite: The Black Rhino Comfort Collar
My very favorite allergy-safe collar is this ultra-padded Black Rhino Comfort Collar.
These collars are stylish, comfy, and irritant-free. They will work for virtually any dog, as it’s available in 4 sizes and 5 colors.
The neoprene padding is very soft and lightweight. It has odor-resistant properties and quickly dries, so your pet can enjoy an active lifestyle in the great outdoors.
The material is tightly stitched and extremely durable. The stitching has reflective properties to help with visibility in dawn, dusk, and twilight.
The material seems like it would hold up against abuse pretty well. So, if you have a rougher dog, it shouldn’t be much of a concern.
This collar does buckle with a heavy-duty metal fastener. If you have a dog with an allergy to metal, you may not be able to use this for your dog.
- √Lightweight and well-made
- √Durable and comfortable
- ⊗Not good for metal allergies
2. Best Leather Collar: Sleepy Pup Full Grain Thick Leather Collar
For an excellent leather buckle collar, consider the Sleepy Pup Full Grain Thick Leather collar.
It is breathable and easy to break in. When your pet’s natural oils penetrate the leather, it causes greater flexibility and fit—so it grows better with time.
Each of these collars is handmade at their facility in Virginia. While these products are comprised of leather found outside of the US, they are manufactured in the States.
You can get the perfect fit for your dog, as it has four different sizes. There are also five variations of leather, so you can choose the shade you like the most.
The stainless steel belt-buckle design latches the collar with an added heavy-duty D-ring attachment on the front.
You can’t really beat the collar in terms of durability. However, it is a little pricier than other selections on our top 5.
- √Genuine leather
- √Made in USA
- √Stainless steel buckles
- ⊗More expensive
3. Best Hemp Collar: Petfino Natural Hemp Dog Collar
This simple Petfino Natural Hemp Dog Collar is a lightweight, organic choice. It’s very easy to size, put on, and adjust.
The colors are simple with a reflective patch on the side for low-light visibility. Petfino also offers matching leashes and harnesses, but you have to purchase those separately.
Not only are these collars 100% hemp—they are completely eco-friendly, colored with natural dye.
This collar is hypoallergenic, sunlight-safe, and odor-resistant. There’s also a thin fleece layer for a bit of wearing comfort.
The Petfino company offers a 60-day money back satisfaction guarantee, so you can tell they believe in their products.
That should alleviate some buying reservations. The company doesn’t specify the metal they use for the D-ring or adjustment point so it may cause sensitivities in some dogs.
- √100% eco-friendly
- √Matching accessories
- ⊗Undisclosed metal
4. Best Nylon Collar: Tuff Pupper Heavy Duty Dog Collar
If your pup walks in areas of heavy foot traffic, having optimal control is important.
The Tuff Puppy Heavy Duty Dog Collar is a worthy candidate if you’re looking for a handle.
It can really come into handy if you walk through crowded areas where you can use that extra sense of security.
Of course, you should never use the handle feature if you plan to grab them forcefully, as that can damage their neck.
The buckle and D-ring attachments are 100% rust-free stainless steel. The fray-proof ballistic nylon gives you perfect durability.
There are three different sizes and eight color choices, so you have plenty of variety.
The sizing charts have convenient measurements. There is a 3M reflective stitching around the design for dark time visibility.
This collar also has a 60-day money back guarantee. If for any reason you aren’t satisfied, you can work with it, you can send it back for a refund.
- √Bungee cord handle
- √Many style choices
- ⊗You could damage your dog’s neck if you use the handle forcefully
5. Best Fleece-Lined Collar: Baloo’s Chews Organic Hemp Dog Collar with Fleece
If you want a hemp collar, but need extra padding, the Baloo’s Chew Organic Hemp Dog Collar with Fleece can give some added comfort.
The design is very breathable and the colors are pleasing to the eye.
This collar is terrific in terms of comfort. It is extremely soft, flexible, and simple to secure.
The buckle and adjust point are both made of tough, durable plastic. It’s machine washable, odor-resistant, and hypoallergenic.
Unlike the other hemp collar on our list, this one doesn’t have a reflective strip or stitching.
So, if you were looking for a collar that offered low-light visibility, this is not the one for you.
But, they love the environment! Baloo’s Chews even has 100% recycled biodegradable packaging.
- √Biodegradable materials
- √Well-made and flexible
- ⊗No reflective parts
What to Look for in the Best Dog Collars for Sensitive Necks
When you’re shopping for your dog, there are aspects you want to keep in mind before deciding.
First, knowing exactly what triggers your dog to react is the most crucial.
Once you pinpoint a chemical reaction, nickel allergy, etc.—you can get to buying.
1. Correct Size
Correct size is a significantly essential factor. If your dog is merely sensitive to any collar material rubbing on their neck, the right size will alleviate some of that.
Remember, you need to be able to fit two fingers between your dog’s neck and the collar, but you absolutely don’t want it to be any looser than that.
2. Proper Material
Some dog collars are treated with chemicals or dyes that react badly with your dog’s pH. Look for collars that are:
- Nylon, neoprene, or mesh
- Not itchy, stiff, or poky
- Highly breathable and flexible
- Well-stitched and durable
- Free of BHA
Ultimately, you want an organic, breathable collar that bends with your dog’s body movements.
1. How Do You Measure Your Dog for a Collar?
For optimal fit and minimal rubbing, your dog will need to have a collar that is the perfect size for their neck. When you measure, follow these steps:
- Get a measuring tape.
- Wrap it around the area of the neck where the collar fits.
- Record your measurement in inches.
- Add an additional two inches.
- Shop accordingly.
2. What Causes Skin Sensitivity When Dogs Wear Collars?
Dogs can be allergic to just about anything. But that doesn’t mean that your dog is having an allergic reaction.
Finding the root cause might be tricky. So, look for visual cues and try these tips.
- If you walk your dog using the collar for an attachment, try a harness so the collar isn’t rotating around your dog’s neck. If it is, it can rub the fur off and aggravate the area.
- The collar may be too tight, causing irritation. Slip two fingers under the collar. If you can’t fit two, you may need to loosen the collar. If you can fit more than two, try tightening it.
- Pay close attention to the area. Is your dog losing fur, blistering, or getting a rash? If you suspect allergies, try a hypoallergenic material.
- When you buckle your dog’s collar, make sure it’s not pinching skin. If you have accidentally pinched the skin, the collar may rub on the spot which will take longer to heal.
A collar is a big part of your dog’s daily life, no matter how insignificant it can seem.
If they have to wear something most of the time, it should be comfortable and problem-free.
The Black Rhino Comfort Collar is my favorite for its ultra-plush, highly durable, irritant-free features.
However, another pick may work better for your special canine. Hopefully, we’ve led you to your pick of the best dog collar for sensitive skin and necks.