Should I Leave the Collar on My Shih Tzu All Day?

should i leave the collar on my shih tzu all day - super cute black and white shih tzu
Depositphotos 390694490 Copyright: cynoclub

If you’re wondering should I leave the collar on my Shih Tzu all day, the short answer is no. It’s not a good idea to leave a collar on any dog all day long, but the reasons why might startle you.

Why You Shouldn’t Leave a Collar on Your Shih Tzu All the Time

There are a number of reasons why it’s not a great idea to leave a collar on your Shih Tzu all day or all the time.

Personally, I never leave a collar on my two Shih Tzus. (You can learn more about Truman and Sammy here.)

I leave the collar attached to their leashes and put them on when we go outside. Once back inside, I unbuckle the collar and leave it attached to the leash, so it is ready for the next time we head back outside.

Here are some of the reasons I have chosen to do so.

1. Strangulation is Possible

Dogs like to play. If you have more than one dog in the house and they both have collars on, it is possible for the collars to connect and your dogs become choked and this can lead to strangulation and then death.

While this might seem far fetched, it really isn’t. I read an article some time ago about this happening to two little dogs. 

It is the main reason I stopped having my two dogs wear their collars all day and I haven’t let them wear collars inside the house ever since.

Even if you only have one dog, it can still happen.

Shih Tzus like to get into things and even though they are short, they do jump on furniture and other surfaces. It is possible for their collar to get caught on something and choke them.

This is the last thing you want to come home to – your poor Shih Tzu hanging by its neck. How horrible.

shaved shih tzu with blue collar on
Depositphotos 381305768 Copyright: Wirestock

2. Collars Can Cause Skin Issues

Think about it. You have something around your neck that while not tight is also not loose. It rubs against your skin, or in the case of your Shih Tzu, neck all day every day.

This can lead to skin irritation as well as hair loss. It then makes your Shih Tzu’s neck more prone to infection.

If the collar is too tight it can even cut into your Shih Tzu’s neck. This typically happens as a puppy grows and its owner doesn’t make the collar bigger as the puppy gets bigger.

While I know you would never do this, my sister found a dog running loose down a city street a number of years ago. 

She finally got it into her car and took the frightened dog to the vet. Someone had used a chain around the dog’s neck to tie it up in their yard.

While that’s bad enough, they must not have ever paid attention to the fact that the dog had grown and the chain became tighter and tighter. 

By the time my sister found the dog, the chain had grown into the dog’s neck and had to be surgically removed. 

It was horrible. 

I’m happy to say that my sister adopted the dog, which she named Ginger, and she had a long and happy life. 

The point is, if you are going to have your Shih Tzu wear a collar all day, you need to watch for possible skin issues.

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3. They Are Uncomfortable

For some Shih Tzus, a collar is just plain uncomfortable. It’s like a person that has to wear a shirt all buttoned up with a tie every day. What’s the first thing they do as soon as they leave the office? 

They ditch the tie and unbutton the shirt collar. 

They do that because they are uncomfortable with all that around their neck.

Dogs are no different.

Also, when you’re looking at collars to buy for your Shih Tzu, think about comfort. If the collar looks unbending and ridged, then there is a good chance it won’t be comfortable. 

4. Injuries to Their Mouth or Legs

If a collar is too loose and even sometimes when it is not, it is possible for your Shih Tzu to get their paws or teeth stuck in the collar.

Dogs tend to scratch themselves and if they do so around the neck areas they can get their paw or leg stuck in the collar. 

This can lead to the leg-breaking or even worse the dog strangling itself. 

This is also true when your Shih Tzu wants to groom itself and starts licking near its neck. It can get its tongue or teeth stuck in the collar and their teeth can break off or they may injure their mouth in another way.

Keep in mind, Shih Tzus don’t have the greatest teeth in the world, to begin with so, it would be pretty easy for them to break one or more of their teeth in this way.

These are not the outcomes you want.

black and white shih tzu sitting in a fancy chair
Depositphotos 411022318 Copyright: springfield

5. Their Neck Can Be Damaged

Collars are not really a great choice for your Shih Tzu in general regardless of when you plan to have them wear one. 

It can cause damage to your dog’s neck if your Shih Tzu has a habit of pulling on their leash when you walk. 

Their necks are quite sensitive and can be damaged easily.

Over time, this stress can cause serious medical issues as the tissues around their neck, their thyroid glands, and salivatory glands can be damaged.

A chest harness like this one when walking your Shih Tzu is a better option.

Related Questions:

Should Dogs Sleep with Collars On?

No, your dog or Shih Tzu should never sleep with their collar on. It is too easy for them to get their paws or legs caught in the collar.

The collar can also cause skin irritation and discomfort for your dog.

Are Harnesses Better Than Collars for Dogs?

Yes, they are better. You have better control over your dog and you don’t have to worry about neck injuries related to a collar. 

To Sum it All Up:

Wearing a collar all the time or all day is not a good idea for any dog and especially not for a little dog like a Shih Tzu. It can lead to strangulation, other neck injuries, and irritation. Instead, only have a collar on your dog when you’re outside or even better use a chest harness.

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