One thing that dog owners are familiar with is keeping their dog healthy and clean. We bathe them, take them to the groomers, brush their teeth when they get that puppy breath, and even trim their nails when they are willing to sit still long enough.
But, the thing most often overlooked is our dog’s collar and leash. Just like our dogs, these things also tend to get dirty, smelly, and even a little worn out without the proper maintenance. It’s just like our clothes, and we wouldn’t want to go out in dirty wear all the time, so neither would our dogs. But, there are a few things to keep in mind because not every material is the same and some need certain attention and treatment to ensure long lasting service.
There two basic types of leash materials to consider. Cloth which is commonly a nylon or polyester is normally inexpensive and is liked because of its durability and range of styles and color combinations. The other type is leather, which is normally quite expensive and often demands unique care and regular attention.
The best way to wash your leash or collar is by hand. Simply use a damp rag and mild soap while scrubbing along the fiber. Avoid using any detergents or powerful cleaners. Normally, a soap bar for sensitive skin would work perfectly.
You’ll need to be cautions if your dog has sensitive skin. Select the right soaps that are pet-friendly for cleaning their supplies. Many of today’s soaps and cleaners are made for human skin which is a completely different PH and contains different chemicals. Even after a wash, there can still be mineral residue left over which can irritate a dog’s skin, often resulting in incessant scratching at their collar.
For leather leashes, washing to get the mud and dirt out would be the same process, but you’ll want to apply a conditioner to keep the leather fresh and flexible. Oil based conditioners can be found in hardware stores and some urban-wear or camping supply stores. After the leash air-dries, you’ll need to apply a moisturizer and a sealant that will help keep the good moisture in for flexibility and help repel any water or liquids (including urine).
For the cloth based leashes, you also have the option of machine washing it. Never wash leather this way. You’ll want to put it in a mesh laundry bag during the wash. You don’t want the metal parts clanging around or the plastic parts such as the length adjustment breaking. Then you’ll need to let it air dry. Avoid using the dryer on leashes, since the high heat tends to break down the fibers quickly.
Make sure that you rinse out any soap residue. Detergents can easily irritate your dog’s skin. If the collar or leash still has a strong scent to them or a slick residue, rinse it by hand again and let it air dry.
Washing your dog’s leash and collar does more than just keeping it looking fresh and clean, it also ensures that you keep germs and debris out of their clothing. After all, they are the ones that have to wear them every day- even when they’re sick.
Washing your dog’s collar and leash help to eliminate germs, bacteria, and even parasites like fleas that can accumulate. Once you’ve washed their collar and leash, you may want to apply flea and tick powders to them, especially if they’re made of cloth, which is a very attractive hiding place for fleas. The area is warm and since fleas tend to search for areas that dogs can’t reach well, underneath a leash makes the perfect parasite sanctuary.
Another reason to wash your dog’s collar and leash regularly is that there could be stickers or burrs caught in it. Do a daily inspection and make sure your dog doesn’t have any prickly passengers tagging along with them.
It’s important to keep your dog’s leash and collar clean and in good condition for your dog’s health and protection and to ensure that it won’t break while you’re using it. Take care of your dog’s leash and collar so they can look and feel good while you’re out enjoying a walk in the park.
Keeping up with your pet supplies can be just another thing you don’t want to have to remember. After a long day at work and going to the store, the last thing you want to do is have to go “to the store” again. Consider home delivery of your pet supplies!