We tend to buy a lot of stuff for our dogs. Some of it’s great, while some of it ends up in the bin after a couple of minutes, so I thought I’d post up some reviews every so often.
Given that Beanie’s currently recovering from an op to remove half of Glasgow from her stomach and has a sizeable scar that needs protecting, it makes sense to start with this:
The “Comfy Collar”. It’s an alternative to the traditional Elizabethan collar (aka lampshade) that’s typically given out by vets to prevent licking of wounds. The collar has an outer sleeve made of what appears to be vinyl, and an inflatable inner tube. The sleeve has a zip so that it can be removed for easy cleaning, and also a little hole on one side to provide access to the valve. The valve is recessed so it would be quite difficult even for a talented accomplice (such as an eleven week old pup called Biggles) to mess with it.
Fitting is straightforward: inflate it, thread the dog’s ordinary collar through the three loops on the inner edge (you can just see one of them in the picture), put the collar on the dog and finally use the velcro strap to adjust overall tightness. Here’s the finished item, modeled by my glamorous assistant Beanie:
OK, so is it actually any good? Well here’s the good and the bad as far as I can see:
- It’s lightweight, and doesn’t obstruct the dog’s field of view at all.
- It does indeed seem to be more comfortable than the standard lampshade – Beanie behaves pretty normally with it on and can eat, drink and sleep soundly.
- It does a fine job of preventing access to the scar on Beanie’s abdomen, but it might not do such a great job if you need to protect the genital area or rear paws, and it absolutely doesn’t stop the dog scratching its head. For Beanie right now that’s all a plus, but for some injury sites I think the lampshade would do a superior job. Of course a lot would depend on the flexibility of your dog, neck and snout length etc.
- Getting the right fit with the velcro strap is crucial. If the fit is too loose, the dog may be able to swivel the back of the collar round to the front, and gain access to its wound. If it’s too tight I’d be concerned about how much pressure it was exerting around the dog’s neck.
- It might not be a good choice if you have other dogs in the house and can’t keep them segregated. The collar’s inner tube seems to be pretty tough, but I think the collar would make a great chew toy. In fact Biggles complained a lot the first time I put it on Beanie – why was she getting the new toy instead of him?
If you want to give the Comfy Collar a try, I’d recommend getting it from Pawsitive:
Their price for the collar is about the best I found, they dispatched very quickly and their service is superb – which brings me to my final point about the collar: take great care in picking the right size. The size you choose determines not only the fit around the neck, but also how wide and fat the “tyre” is, and therefore plays a part in how effective it’s going to be. If your dog’s neck is anywhere near the upper band of a size, I’d recommend going for the next size up. Also, double check the label on the collar itself when it arrives! In our case the manufacturer slipped up when marking the sizes on the outer packaging – thankfully Pawsitive could not have been better in helping us finally get the right collar for Beanie.