Introduction: Low Profile Pet Collar
My dog's collar used to scare me awake because it was so noisy, and my dog really loves to move and shake. The constant clanging and rattling of metal on metal tags drove me nuts. I tried covering the tags with rubber borders and tape, but it wasn't enough. Finally, I got fed up and got creative. The solution was really quite simple.
In this Instructable I'll show you how to turn your pet's noisy, jingly collar tags into a sleek, safe, and silent accessory. You'll basically be riveting the tags onto the collar. There are many benefits other than noisy tags to this modification
Benefits of a low profile collar:
- Keeps the tags and links flat and close to the body to prevent getting caught on fences or snags and restraining or choking your pet.
- Makes the tags less likely to break off and lose identification and critical pet information
- Some dogs don't like the sound, or are irritated with dangling tags and will bite at them.
- Dangling tags can get heavy for smaller/older dogs (My grandfather's dog Gizmo [RIP buddy] was always hunched under the weight of his tags). This method evenly distributes the weight around the collar.
- Allows for larger tags to be attached to smaller collars.
- Works for all types of collars and harnesses, even small animals like ferrets and rabbits so you can keep identifying information on them if they get loose.
- Pet Collar (Make sure it fits your pet. Nylon, leather, plastic...any material works)
- Tags (ID, vaccinations, chip info, anything you want to keep on your dog. Preferably metal tags, but plastic will work too)
- Pop rivets (I went with 1/8" rivets)
- Rivet gun
- Power drill with bit (I used an 1/8" bit to match the rivets)
- *Optional* 1/8" Metal eyelet (This is for securing a plastic tag to the collar, more on this later)
Watch this quick video tutorial if you're a visual learner, and/or read on to see a detailed write-up.
Step 1: Prepare the Tags
To start off, you'll want to hone out the holes in the tags if they aren't already big enough to snugly fit the shank of the rivet. Since I used 1/8" rivets, I used a 1/8" drill bit to widen out those holes. To do this safely, hold the tag with a vice or a sturdy pair of pliers and run the drill on a low speed.
Once you get the bit through, round off the edges of the hole by holding the drill at a ~45-degree angle to the tag, and move it in a circular path with the drill running so that the bit takes off the burs and sharp edge of the inside of the hole you just widened.
Do this to all of the tags. Feel free to make new holes if you want to position the tag differently or make it more secure with multiple rivets. Just be sure to start a new hole with a punch or a smaller drill bit and work up to the right size, especially if it's a metal tag.
Step 2: Make a Hole in the Collar
Now you'll need a hole in the collar where you want the tags to go. I started by marking the spots where the tags would go. I picked spots that were evenly distributed along the collar and still allowed the collar to be properly sized and adjusted. Mark the collar through the tag's holes in the spot you want them.
Next, push your awl through the material where you marked it. Once it's through, give it a few twists and start to widen the hole.
After that, I used my 1/8" drill bit to widen it some more. Make sure the hole is big enough to fit the shank of the rivet, but not the flange.
*WARNING* Be careful when drilling the collar, if it catches on the material, it will twist and spin and could catch your hands or anything in its path. Keep the collar tight and keep your trigger finger ready to cut power at a moment's notice.
Step 3: Make Them One
By now you should have correctly sized holes in the tags and the collar. All that's left to do is to rivet the two together.
Push the rivet through the back of the collar so that the flange is against the collar (the side facing the dog's neck) and the "popped" end of the rivet goes through the tag. It must be arranged this way because the rivet will not hold onto the soft material of the collar and the tag will pull right off, but it will hold the metal of the tag.
Put the stem of the rivet into the rivet gun, and pull the handle until it pops off. Discard the stem and test the rivet by tugging on the tag a little bit.
Repeat this process for the remaining tags.
Step 4: If You Have Plastic Tags...
One of my dogs' tags was a soft plastic tracking chip number. As I mentioned before, the rivet won't hold onto soft material, so riveting a soft nylon collar to a soft plastic tag won't work. I needed a metal surface for the rivet to hold onto.
To solve this, I used a small metal eyelet I use for leather work. If you don't have an eyelet, you could use a small washer with a 1/8" inside diameter. The rivet snugly fits inside the eyelet, while the eyelet snugly fits into the 1/8" hole in the tag. The rivet expands into the eyelet securely holding it to the plastic tag.
Step 5: Don the Collar
Try the collar out on your pet. Make sure it's comfortable and you can still see the tags. Let your pet feel it out and see if the tags are sticking into their skin or making them itch. The first time you see them shake without the accompanying orchestra of metal will be nothing short of miraculous, trust me.
I hope you enjoyed this Instructable. If you liked the video, please consider subscribing to my YouTube Channel, JakeOfAllTrades, and feel free to leave comments and questions. Thanks for reading!