Somewhere deep in Skylar’s DNA there must be a champion Labrador retriever, because she can’t get enough of the water. Most of her collars — some leather, some with crystals, some made of ribbon — simply aren’t meant to get wet; same goes for the jangling tags she wears on our walks or out for brunch dates. I tested a slew of water-friendly collars and tags, and here are the ones I highly recommend. My top collar picks are also earth friendly, made from recycled materials like inner tubes and billboards.
Ecollargy Recycled Collar by Itzadog
Ecollargy Recycled Collars are made in Colorado from retired advertising billboards saved from the landfill; they’re durable yet soft, and no two are alike because colors and patterns vary from billboard to billboard. According to Itzadog, the material “wears like denim and gets a rich vintage look over time.” (Sky hasn’t had hers long enough to test that claim.) If you have a specific color in mind, you can indicate a couple of preferences in the comment section, and the friendly staff at Itzadog will do their best to accommodate your request. Sky’s best color is lavender (it looks great with her blue-grey coat), so that’s what I asked for, and I got a lovely collar that fades from cobalt blue to lavender-pink ($16–$18; itzadog.com).
Quiet Spot Tag Silencer by Itzadog
This is the original tag wallet, waterproof because it’s made of neoprene, and there are no snaps to rust. It’s a great way to keep tags safe and quiet during trips to the beach or in the pool. Available in nine colors ($8.95; itzadog.com).
Inner tube collars by Cycle Dog
Deflated bike inner tubes are hard to recycle by conventional means, so Cycle Dog came up with a creative way to use them in these quick drying, durable, no-stink, no-fray collars. The soft rubber is overlaid with equally durable fabrics in an array of bright-colored solids and patterns. Some of the collars are reflective, and all come with the clever, dual-function “Pup Top” bottle opener leash attachment — how perfect is that for the beach? ($23–$27; cycledog.com).
CollarTags by Boomerang Tags
By far my favorite everyday tag, Boomerang’s ingenious CollarTag slides over the collar and is bent to match the curve of your dog’s neck. Made of scratch resistant stainless steel, the company guarantees they won’t fall off (and Sky’s never has). The easily removable style also makes changing between Sky’s many collars a breeze ($9.95–$10.95, boomerangtags.com).