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The dangers of using collars-
- Just one incident of pulling or running fast to the end of the leash can cause serious neck damage. Neck Injuries- bruising, whiplash, headaches, crushed trachea, damage to larynx, and fractured vertebrae can be caused by pressure on the neck. Neck and spinal cord injury can cause paralysis or neurological problems.
- “Ear and eye issues are frequently related to pulling on the leash. When dogs pull on the leash, the collar restricts the blood and lymphatic flow to and from the head.”
- “Hypothyroidism (low thyroid gland hormone) may be related to collar related injuries. It seems obvious that the collar actually pushes on the throat exactly in the area of the thyroid gland. This gland gets severely traumatized whenever a dog pulls on the leash, it becomes inflamed and consequently “destroyed” by the body’s own immune system when it tries to remove the inflamed thyroid cells.”
- “The destruction of the thyroid cells leads to the deficit of thyroid hormone – hypothyroidism and because the thyroid gland governs the metabolism of every cell. The symptoms may be low energy, weight gain, skin problems, hair loss and a tendency to ear infections and organ failure.”
“Excessive paw licking and foreleg lameness can also be related to your dog’s collar. Leash pulling impinges the nerves supplying the front legs. This can lead to an abnormal sensation in the feet and dogs may start licking their feet. These dogs are often misdiagnosed as allergic and all that needs to be done is to remove the collar and treat the neck injury.”
The Solution: A harness
Choose a well fitting harness that distributes weight evenly and that does not pinch or rub specifically on one area. Make sure not to buy the type that tighten when the dog pulls in order to cause pain. Clipping a harness at the front of a dog who is known to lunge and pull is better than a back clipping harness as it distributes weight better, causing less health issues related to pulling. When a dog pulls softly or rarely a back clipping harness works well.