Checking The Pets Collar for comfort

As an experienced sitter one of the first things I do when settling into a new sit is to check the dog or cats collar for comfort and freedom from restriction
Its amazing how many times I have come across a pet whose collar is too tight for it
and restricting both its comfort and ease of proper respiratory function
Often owners will fit a collar onto a pet whilst they are still growing or if they put on weight so that while it fit well initially down the track it can become restrictive and uncomfortable for the animal which is not only detrimental to their health and well being but to their mood
Its a small observation and adjustment I can make as a sitter which can result in vastly improved quality of life comfort and well being for an animal


I tend to check for this also, but usually the collar is fine. What is the “rule of thumb” for proper collar fitting? One finger, two fingers easily fitting between the collar and the body? Something else?

Hi @PVGemini hopefully this guide will help you. :slightly_smiling_face:


Yup, two fingers’ worth of room is good. I check.

I reckon a couple of fingers is a good rule of thumb ( excuse the pun ) and not too loose to be able to slip over their head obviously Usually you can get a sense if an animal is a bit restricted or laboured in their breathing .

Thanks @wendywindow - on the forum we often discuss how sitters and home owners can enhance each other’s experience, and it’s great to see a post about animals’ comfort.

Checking collars is a great idea - I don’t do it routinely but do soon notice if it’s too tight.

More generally, animal comfort raises a question about good communication. Would sitters tell the owner if you loosened a dog/cat collar, horse headcollar? And other wellbeing issues you notice?

Somtimes there’s a clear health benefit people are glad to know about - one owner told us a previous sitter had suggested a potential thyroid problem in their overweight, lethargic dog and was right, and he’s had three healthy years for which they couldn’t be more grateful. But there’s also the potential for owners feeling a sitter is judging, or imposing their opinion.

It can be a delicate topic, and I wonder how others approach it? And how HOs feel?


There are many helpful articles on the website blog covering a variety of subjects, many with contributions from experts, including veterinarians … This blog post contains advice about the correct fit as well as information on different types of collars …

In respect to communicating with owners about a pets potential health issues and well being I would think the animals health and well being ought surely be the number one priority for both sitter and home owner. I have spoken honestly with owners about a variety of health issues including collars possible dementia and dietary considerations and I think if the home owner recognises you come from a place of truely caring for the critter entrusted to your care and wanting the best for it they generally appreciate it