Deck out your dog this holiday season with festive collars that are bright, colorful and out of the ordinary. Whether you want your pooch to light up the party, stand out in the crowd or share Christmas cheer, there's a collar for that.
Santas, reindeer, snowflakes, Christmas trees, snowmen, plaids, stripes - - these are but a few of the print designs available for nylon and cloth quick-release collars. Whether you buy them from mass-produced markets at the nearest big name pet store or online from an individual handcrafted marketplace, there is an astounding array of Christmas motifs to choose from. The only thing that sets these collars apart from everyday collars is the festive print design. Neckerchiefs are also popular for doggy casual wear, and there are many Christmas print fabrics to choose from for these, too.
For dressier occasions, you can deck your doggy diva out in red and green rhinestones, add a Christmas brooch to her collar, give her a red satin bow, a silk poinsettia, a feather boa or a tulle ribbon bow. For your canine gent, a tuxedo collar and black tie or a sequined red and green striped bow tie would set him apart from the crowd. He could also make a statement in a white shirt collar and plaid bow tie. Dress up any collar with charms, key chains or small non-breakable tree ornaments to add holiday cheer.
If your dog is always first to lend a helping paw, put him in charge of some of the gift giving with a collar pouch for carrying small gifts. Another idea is to attach hook-and-loop tape to his collar and to the bottom of a small, lightweight, wrapped gift for him to carry to your favorite loved one. You could also use him as a messenger. Use a ribbon to tie a Christmas card to his collar for special deliveries. Be sure to spend some time teaching him how to perform these tasks before the big occasion. Dress him like Santa with a red felt collar trimmed in white faux-fur to really get into the holiday spirit.
Nothing says Christmas louder than jingle bells, and these are a classic to add to your dog’s collar for the holidays -- but there’s no need to stop there. Your dog can help you ring in the holidays with a Christmas tune by attaching musical Christmas ornaments or pins to her collar. There are also small recording devices that come on a keychain; record your Christmas greeting -- or better yet, the barking "Jingle Bells" song -- and attach the keychain to your dog’s collar. Another idea is to buy peel-and-stick push-button gift tags, record up to 60 seconds of a Christmas song, and stick it to your furry friend’s collar. Just be kind to your dog, don’t attach anything noisy to the collars of dogs who are nervous or don’t tolerate strange sounds well. Try out the sounds near your dog before you attach it to her collar. Signs that your dog has a fear of the noise would include panting, whining, salivating or attempts to get away from the noise.
Let your dog light up the party with a LED dog collar. There are many colors available, and some of these collars even have special flashing lights. For a more whimsical look, attach a girl’s LED hair bow to your dog’s collar, or wrap the collar with a Christmas light necklace. You could even pin classic light-up Santa pins or snowmen to his collar. Most of these LED gadgets can be found wherever party favors are sold. As with the audible collar, test your dog's reactions to the lights before you put it on him. Some dogs go nuts chasing reflections and you don't want him "crashing" the party.
Jenny Newberry, a former teacher with 25 years of experience, is a professional writer and photographer and holds a B.S. and a M.Ed. in elementary and special education from the University of South Alabama. She is also a history buff, praise and worship pianist, pet enthusiast, avid crafter and hobby gardener.