Can an electronic collar burn my dog's skin?
December 23, 2022
One of the most common myths surrounding the use of remote training collars is that the contact points produce enough electrical energy and therefore can burn your dog’s skin. Let’s take a deeper look into this common misconception of what many uninformed people call “shock collar”!
1.) Your dog understands basic commands:
First, we must understand what is actually happening within the e-collar itself. The technology that is utilized in today’s remote training collar units has come a long way. With today’s technology, brands like Dogtra have been able to finesse the use of static stimulation in a way that provides a light tingling sensation when stimulation is delivered. This harmless electrical static charge is delivered to just the area of skin that is directly touching the unit’s contact points, it does not travel throughout your dog’s body. Although the stimulation levels on your transmitter ranges from low to high, these levels are simply not strong enough to conduct electricity to cause burns.
Now let’s talk about the “burns” that have been reported from the e-collar. We now know that the static stimulation produced does not have the ability to burn, so what are these mystery marks?
What you are seeing on your dog’s neck is something called pressure necrosis, or more commonly known as a pressure sore. This abrasion is actually caused by continuous pressure from the contact points and has nothing to do with the stimulation delivered during training. Pressure sores are nothing new and can be seen in a number of different scenarios such as bed sores on human that is not able to relieve pressure from an area when sitting or laying down.
Something else that may look like a burn is if your dog is having an allergic reaction to the surgical steel of the contact points. If this is the case, you can very easily swap out those contact points for the titanium comfort pad contact points which will provide relief for your dog’s sensitive skin.
So how do we prevent pressure sores from occurring? This is easy! It is as simple as ensuring the collar is fitted correctly and your dog is not wearing the unit for prolonged amounts of time.
Make sure your dog’s e-collar is snug around the neck so that it is not able to freely rotate but not too tight that you can’t slide two fingers between the strap and your dog’s neck. If your dog is wearing the collar for more than 2 hours at a time simply rotate the collar to a new area to provide relief to the original location. If your dog is wearing their remote training collar in the water or snow, make sure to take the e-collar off your dog after the activity. Trapped moisture under the collar can increase the risk of irritation just like how wearing wet socks in your shoes would potentially cause irritation. Always keep a close eye on your dog’s skin so that you have a better understanding of how their skin looks far before there is any irritation.
If you notice that your dog has formed pressure necrosis sores, the very first thing to do is remove the e-collar and clean the area and disinfect the collar with rubbing alcohol. Depending on the severity of the sore a vet visit may be needed, when in doubt always get a professional’s opinion!
For additional information on this topic, you can read more about this here.