Collar For Dogs With Sensitive Skin And Neck: How To Choose

Disclosure: Our recommendations are based on our testing, research and analysis. We may earn a commission on products purchased using links on this page.

As a dog owner, you want to ensure that your dog is comfortable in their everyday collar, with and without a leash attached. And while every dog collar serves the same purpose, some are distinctly better than others. This is particularly true for dogs with sensitive skin and necks, as the wrong collar can cause skin irritation, itching, and pain.

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. If you purchase something thru a link below, we’ll receive a small fee.

To find the best collar for your dog, you need to find one that will suit your dog’s lifestyle and fit comfortably. You should also pay attention to details like the size and adjustability of the collar, material and design, reflective stitching, and whether it has padding. Here’s how you can choose the best dog collar for sensitive skin.

How To Choose The Best Collar For Dogs With Sensitive Skin And Neck

best collar for dogs with sensitive skin and neck

When choosing what collar to use with your dog, you should consider details like the material used, design, closure type, padding, size, and adjustability. Here are the best qualities to consider when choosing dog collars and why they matter.


There is a vast number of materials used to make dog collars. But just like people, dogs can suffer from allergies and sensitivities to certain materials. Every dog has different allergies and sensitivities, so you’ll need to pay attention to how your dog reacts to different types of collars.

When you put a collar on your dog, you should watch for symptoms of irritation, like your dog scratching the collar or rubbing their neck against furniture. If your dog dislikes the collar, you can try a different material. If you used a stiff collar beforehand, it’s worth seeing if your dog likes a soft, flexible collar better. 

You should ensure that the material you choose for your dog’s collar is waterproof or dries quickly. If the collar gets wet, you should take it off your dog until the collar and neck are both dry. This practice reduces the likelihood of skin conditions. 

The best materials to look for when shopping for collars include neoprene dog collars, leather dog collars, imitation leather dog collars, and Biothane collars. Nylon collars are prone to irritation and challenging to clean, so they aren’t recommended.


You should choose a collar design that puts minimal stress on your dogs neck. Not all collar designs are created equally; some can put enough force on sensitive neck areas to cause issues with your dog’s nerves or salivary glands.

If your dog seems to react exceptionally poorly to the stress placed on their neck by a collar, you should consider using a harness instead. Harnesses are much better at distributing the force placed on your dog, allowing you better control with substantially less potential to harm.

You should check to see if your dogs collar bleeds colors or dyes onto your dogs skin before using it. This is common with pleather collars and nylon collars. If the collar bleeds dye, it may cause skin irritation. You’ll need to wash the collar before use or pick an alternative thoroughly. 

Closure Type

Some closure types are better for dogs with sensitive skin than others. The best designs are breakaway collars and martingale collars. Slip leads shouldn’t be used with dogs with sensitive skin and necks as they can injure the neck and cause abrasions. 

A martingale collar is safe to use with your dogs sensitive skin. It offers the added benefit of fitting comfortably around the dog’s neck while not allowing the dog to slip the collar over their head. 

Breakaway collars are also excellent for use for dogs with sensitive skin. They’re almost exactly like flat collars in design but have a component that will unclasp if stress is placed against the collar. This substantially reduces the risk of neck injuries. 

Certain closure types aren’t appropriate for dogs with sensitive skin. Choke chains and slip leads both have the potential to tighten without any limit, so they’re not suitable to use with dogs with sensitive skin. 

Buckles are okay to use with dogs with sensitive skin in specific scenarios. The buckles can cause irritation and chafing on tight collars when the buckle is pressed directly against the skin. Padded and fleece-lined collars that place a layer between the skin and the buckle are much better. 


dog holding leather collar

One of the best ways to improve your dog’s comfort with sensitive skin is to give them a padded collar. This type of collar significantly reduces the abrasiveness of the material against your dog’s neck and makes the experience of wearing the collar substantially more comfortable for your dog. 

Fleece-lined collars are also excellent for dogs with sensitive skin or thin fur. The fleece material inside the collar significantly reduces rubbing and abrasion, dramatically reducing issues like rashes and skin irritation. A fantastic fleece-lined alternative is the Soft Touch Collar, a leather dog collar with sheepskin leather padding.

Size and Adjustability

One of the most significant issues with dog collars that irritate the skin and neck is improper sizing. Hair loss and abrasions will quickly develop if the collar is too tight around your dog’s neck.

That’s not the end of the issues that an improperly sized collar can cause. If a dog is made to wear a collar that is too tight and grows bigger or gains weight, the collar can begin to cut into the skin of their neck — resulting in an excruciating and complex issue.

A prevalent cause of skin issues is when puppies are made to wear a collar that isn’t adjusted or resized enough as they grow. If you want to combat this issue, you should make sure to slip your fingers between the collar and your puppy’s neck daily to ensure the fit is proper.

Additionally, if you notice that your dog is suffering from irritation from a collar, it helps to rotate the type of collar your dog wears. You can also remove the collar when your dog is sleeping to reduce the likelihood of skin infections. 

Which Dog Collar is Best For Sensitive Skin and Neck?

If you have a dog with a sensitive neck or skin, one of the most important things you can do to keep your dog comfortable and healthy is to choose the right type of collar. Not all collars are created equal, and unfortunately, many common types of collars contribute to rashes and abrasions. As long as you select your dog’s new collar using the advice in this guide, you’ll find that your dog quickly becomes much happier and more comfortable with their collar. 

How useful was this post?

Click on a star to rate it!

Please give us feedback on this post:

Let us improve this post!

Tell us how we can improve this post?