Can Dog Collars Cause Seizures? (Surprising Truth..)


If you’ve ever experienced your dog having a seizure you know how hard it can be to watch your baby go through that. Was there something you could have done different to prevent it from happening? You might be wondering if the type of collar you’re using on them contributed to their seizure.

It’s difficult to know exactly what caused a seizure unless there was an immediate cause and effect. For the most part a dog has a seizure because of an accumulation of things. However, a contributing factor to their seizure could definitely be the type of dog collar they wear.

In this post we’re going to look at the various different types of collars and if they’re likely to be one of the factors that contribute to a dog having a seizure.

We’ll also be addressing how to know if your dog is/has in fact had a seizure and best leash & collar practices to prevent it from happening again.

Let’s dive right in.

How To Know If Your Dog Is Having a Seizure

For a dog owner, there is nothing worse than seeing your four-legged friend suffer, which is why it is important to know the signs of a dog seizure. 

The signs of a dog seizure may look different from dog to dog. The general symptoms may include twitching, stiffening, loss of consciousness, drooling, foaming at the mouth or tongue chewing. Dogs may urinate or defecate during a seizure, or fall to the side. 

There are many reasons why a dog might suffer a seizure, including neurological issues, anxiety, kidney disease or generalized Tremor Syndrome.

You might worry about whether your dog’s collar can cause or contribute to them having a seizure. Which is why we’ve broken down all the details about each type of collar so you can know if the collar they’re wearing might not be the best for them.

Can Shock Collars Cause Seizures?

A shock dog collar, usually used for training purposes, creates electrical stimulation to the neck of a dog. Usage of a shock collar may cause changes in the dog’s respiratory and heart rates, and in some cases may even cause seizures or severe psychological damage.

Can Flea And Tick Collars Cause Seizures?

The FDA has reported that some fleas and tick collars have been associated with seizures and muscle tremors. Dog owners are advised to keep a close eye on their furry friend while wearing this type of collar, and to not keep the collar on for too long. 

Can Seresto Collars Cause Seizures?

Seresto, meant to kill fleas and ticks, works by releasing small amounts of pesticide on a dog.

Since this product was introduced to the market in 2021, the EPA has received at least 1,600 reports of related pet deaths. Symptoms included seizures, which were also experienced by people living with the dog. 

Can Bark Collars Cause Seizures?

A bark collar detects when a dog is barking and releases either a shock to the dog’s body or an off-putting citronella scent. These collars are controversial, and considered by the SPCA as inhumane. As with a shock collar, a bark collar (specifically the electric one) may lead to seizures and psychological damage.

Can Choke Collars Cause Seizures?

Although not directly associated with seizures, prong collars may lead to injuries to the thyroid glands and trachea, as it puts pressure on a dog’s throat. If this type of collar is used too often or improperly it could lead to serious issues such as tracheal collapse. 

Can Electric Dog Collars Cause Seizures?

An electric dog collar is often used interchangeably with a shock collar, as there is no difference between these two collars. An electric collar, as with a shock collar, may cause severe psychological damage or seizures. 

Can Magnetic Dog Collars Cause Seizures?

There is little scientific research to explain how magnets work (crazy since they’ve been around for so long!), and thus far the feedback from dog owners have been positive. There are no known cases of seizure in dogs caused by magnetic collars.

Can Traditional Nylon Dog Collars Cause Seizures?

A traditional nylon collar on it’s own will not cause a dog to have seizures.

However, seizures in dogs can be caused by neck injuries, which could be caused by regular collars if a dog is shaken by the collar by another dog or human.

In a way, if a dog were to have a seizure from this circumstance, it could be related to the collar, but more so to the neck injury. This injury, however, might be caused by a collar. 

Can Leather Dog Collars Cause Seizures?

Leather dog collars have not been known to cause a dog to have a seizure. More common symptoms from leather dog collars are that a dog could have an allergic reaction to the collar.

Can Metal Prong Collars Cause Seizures?

Although often referred to as a collar that resembles a mother dog’s delicate bite with her puppies, prong collars are still similar to choke collars. These collars may lead to injuries to the glands and trachea.

So while not directly linked to causing seizures, it could cause damage to their neck and throat which has all kinds of implications.

Can Spiked Collars Cause Seizures?

Collars with spikes on the outside, designed to keep a dog safe from another animal biting their neck, are not linked to causing seizures.

Can Smart Collars Cause Seizures?

Smart collars are usually equipped with GPS programming to detect where your dog is. The strength of the GPS signal is low, thus it doesn’t affect the dog’s heart or brain.

Even if you or your dog aren’t wearing a GPS, the chances are high that you are still exposed to the same level of GPS signals, which remains safe. 

Can Martingale Collars Cause Seizures?

Martingale collars are no-slip collars with loose fabric and a D-shaped ring. If fitted correctly, martingale collars will tighten when a dog pulls on a leash, but the collar will only tighten to the size of the dog’s neck. 

Best Leash & Collar Practices To Prevent Seizures

The best thing you can do for your dog is to get them a collar that isn’t known to have the potential to cause them to have a seizure.

The exception being flea and tick collars. While these types of collars have been reported to cause a seizure, if your dog needs protection it’s best to only use the collar when they’re outside. Monitor their use to keep your pup as safe as possible.

Many of the collars that do have the potential to cause a dog to have a seizure are attempting to stop a dog from behaving in a certain way.

The best solution to these collars is to train your dog to not do the things you’re attempting to prevent them from doing. While this obviously takes more time, and a lot more patience, it’s the safest route for your furry friend.

Here is a list of our favorite collars that are safe for your dog to wear.

Flat Collars

Flat collars are safe to use for everyday use. Make sure that these collars aren’t too tight, and that you can slip two fingers between the collar and your dog’s neck.

The Blueberry Pet Essentials is a great option, available in more than 20 colors. It’s made of durable and comfortable nylon and has an echo-friendly buckle. 

Breakaway Collars

Breakaway collars allow for peace of mind. If your dog got stuck to an object by their collar, the buckle will release, preventing them from suffocation or seizing due to trauma. 

ROAM Premium Dog Collar is our top pick, as it has a high-quality quick-release metal buckle with a smooth locking mechanism.

Martingale Collar

As mentioned above, Martingale collars are no-slip collars with loose fabric and a D-shaped ring. 

A wonderful option is the PetSafe Martingale Dog Collar, which is made of Nylon material that is comfortable and prevents them from escaping their collars. 

Final Thoughts

Certain collars have an increased chance of contributing to why a dog had a seizure. Thankfully, there are options available that have not been reported to have caused any dogs to have a seizure.

While some collars may deter certain behavior you don’t like, they can put your dog’s health at risk. Be sure you’re taking time to reward the behavior you want to see in your dog and skip out on the negative reinforcement collars.

Citations

Seizures in Dogs: Causes, Symptoms, & What to Do

Other posts you might find interesting:

Inflatable Dog Collars | Do They Work? (The Truth)

Can a Collar Make a Dog Itchy? (Simply Explained!)

Are Quick Release Dog Collars Safe? (The Truth!)

Alec Littlejohn

Founder and Reviewer at Pawscessories. He is a lifelong canine enthusiast and adores dogs of all shapes and sizes! He grew up in a family of vets and to this day he helps out around the family clinic and shares his learnings on Pawscessories. Learn more about Alec's story here

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