Q&A with Dr. Dodds: Can collars really damage the thyroid?

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Dear Jean Dodds,

My name is Cindy and I live in the Netherlands. I just read something about dogs and pulling on the leash that it is very bad. I read it in Dutch and I read also your name on it. 

Is it really so bad that a dogs pulls on a leash for his/hers thyroid? And here in the Netherlands they also said that it is bad for the eyes of a dog. 

What kind of dog collar or harnass can I better use if my dogs pull on a leash?

Kind regards,


Dr. Dodds Says: 
Dear Cindy: Hello – this is an important question that we’re all trying to pay more attention to, because the thyroid and salivary glands are superficially located just under the skin in the upper part of the neck. The thyroid gland is a butterfly-shaped organ just in front of the larynx and trachea, and the mandibular salivary glands are found on the side of the face just below the ears. Thus, they can be easily injured by trauma and sudden pressure forces (like could occur from the slip ring and chain of metal collar, and a metal prong or hard braided leather collar). A harness or “gentle leader” type collar is preferred these days, especially for strong dogs that like to pull and lunge out when on a standard collar and leash. Best wishes, W. Jean Dodds, DVM

W. Jean Dodds, DVM
Hemopet / NutriScan
11561 Salinaz Avenue
Garden Grove, CA 92843

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