As a pet parent, you know after a while your dog’s collar stinks! Most dogs love to roll around in the dirt, grass, and mud which make their collar extremely dirty. However, did you know a dog that stays indoors the majority of the time can have a dirty collar too?
Dogs have natural oils in their skin that rise to the surface and get absorbed by the collar. If you don’t wash your dog’s collar for a long time, the buildup of bacteria can cause skin irritation and lead to infection. This is why cleaning your dog’s collar is essential for their well-being.
Dog collars come in a variety of styles, colors, and textures. The two most common types of dog collars are fabric and vegan leather. Some collars are machine washable and will have instructions on the tag which is usually sewn onto the interior of the collar. Typically, you just toss this type of collar in the washing machine and allow it to air dry.
If you aren’t one of the lucky ones with a machine-washable dog collar, here are tips on how to clean a dog collar.
How to Clean Fabric Dog Collars
Fabric dog collars are durable and long-lasting. Keeping them clean is easier than you think with these easy steps below.
Baking Soda and Water Dog Collar Cleaner
Step 1 – Combine 1 tbsp of baking soda and 1 tsp of water into a plastic container.
Step 2 – Mix the ingredients until it forms a paste. Sometimes you need to add a little water to create the perfect texture of not too wet or dry.
Step 3 – Choose a toothbrush that features strong features and dip it into the baking soda paste.
Step 4 – Brush the baking soda paste onto the collar and scrub to remove stains and dirt. Remember to clean both sides of the collar.
Step 5 – Rinse the collar under the kitchen faucet to remove the baking soda paste from the surface. Repeat the process until the collar is clean.
Step 6 – Use a soft cotton towel to dry the collar and remove excess water. Allow it to dry in the sunlight.
Remove Odor from Fabric Dog Collars with Pet Friendly Scented Soap
Some fabric dog collars hold an odor that is difficult to remove. If you are having trouble refreshing your dog’s collar, try the tips below to learn more about how to wash a dog collar.
Step 1 – Choose a pet-friendly soap or shampoo that has a scent such as lavender, mint, cucumber, or rose.
Step 2 – Fill the kitchen sink halfway with warm tap water and add a tablespoon of pet-friendly scented soap or shampoo in the water.
Step 3 – Scrub the collar with a toothbrush to remove stains and rinse thoroughly. Then drain the dirty water.
Step 4 – Refill the sink halfway with warm tap water and a tablespoon of pet-friendly shampoo or soap.
Step 5 – Allow the collar to soak for 45 minutes or longer depending on the strong odor of the collar.
Step 6 – Once the odor is removed from the collar dry it off with a soft cotton cloth and absorb any excess water from the collar.
Step 7 – Allow the fabric collar to dry outdoors in direct sunlight or on a flat surface indoors.
How to Clean Vegan Leather Dog Collars
Vegan leather dog collars are rapidly taking the place of genuine leather. If you don’t want to harm animals, just to give your dog a leather leash and collar set, vegan options are the perfect option for you and your dog!
Vegan collars are made with various durable materials such as hemp webbing and cork. These eco-friendly dog collars are designed for long-lasting use and are easy to keep clean. Vegan dog collars also make the perfect birthday gift for the next 'Pup-Party' you attend!
Cleaning Vegan Leather Dog Collars
Step 1 – Mix pet-friendly shampoo or soap in a bucket, sink, or plastic container with warm water.
Step 2 – Dip the collar into the container and use a soft cotton washcloth to gently scrub dirt and stains off the collar.
Step 3 – Repeat steps 1 and 2 until the collar looks new again.
Step 4 – Rinse the collar under the faucet to remove soap and grime.
Step 5 – Use a dry soft cotton towel to dry the collar.
Step 6 – Allow the collar to air-dry indoors on a flat surface. A dry cool environment will help the process go faster.
How to Spot Clean a Vegan Leather Collar
Sometimes a dog’s collar just needs a little refresh such as a spot clean. Follow these tips to clean a vegan leather dog collar quickly.
Step 1 – Choose a pet-friendly wet wipe.
Step 2 – Remove the collar from your dog’s neck.
Step 3 – Gently clean the exterior surface of the collar avoiding the part that touches your dog’s skin.
Step 4 – Wipe off the pet-friendly residue with a paper towel.
Dog Collar Care Tips
- Clean the collar frequently.
- Avoid soaking vegan leather dog collars.
- Use pet-friendly dog shampoo, detergent, or soap.
- Spot clean with wet wipes when needed.
- Avoid placing vegan leather collars in direct sunlight because it can cause cracking.
- Allow fabric and vegan leather collars to air dry on a flat surface to help them maintain their shape.
- Avoid using dish soap or other harsh detergents to wash collars.
What happens if your dog gets a skin infection?
At first glance, you can’t see what is hiding underneath the surface until you get a better look at your dog’s skin. A helpful tip is to check your dog’s skin every time you clean their collar. Gently glide your hand in the opposite direction of the fur growth to reveal the surface of the skin.
Check the skin for the following:
- Unpleasant odor
- Hair loss
- Flaky skin
- Hot spots
- Changes in skin texture
If you notice any unusual skin ailments, contact a veterinarian immediately for further assistance. Medical treatment for skin infections and ailments in dogs is usually treated on an outpatient basis. One doctor’s visit and a follow-up are usually required to ensure your dog has healed properly.
How to Disinfect a Dog Collar
Keep in mind if your dog has a skin infection located under their vegan leather collar, you need to replace the collar. Do not attempt to disinfect a vegan leather collar. However, if your dog has a fabric collar you can disinfect it by following the steps below.
- Combine 3 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar to a bowl with 1 teaspoon of baking soda and 2 cups of hot water.
- Allow the collar to soak in the cleaning solution for 30 minutes.
- Scrub the collar with a toothbrush to remove bacteria and grime.
- Throw the water out and refill the solution in the bowl with hot water again.
- Allow the collar to soak for another 30 minutes.
- Remove the collar from the bowl and rinse under the faucet to remove residue from the baking soda solution.
- Use a soft cotton towel to soak up excess water from the collar.
- Allow the collar to air dry.
Always use your best judgment when a skin infection is involved and has touched the surface of a dog collar. Bacteria attach and can spread easily, especially if you place the collar back on your dog. When in doubt, always purchase a new collar to be safe.
Now that you know how to clean a dog collar you can help your dog maintain healthy skin. Remember to use a pet-friendly shampoo or detergent that can be purchased at your local pet store or online.
Stinky dog collars are a problem for most pet parents but with the right scented pet-friendly shampoo you can remove the odor. Just make sure you continue cleaning the collar on a regular basis. For extremely harsh odor, peppermint-scented shampoo is recommended for removing odor from dog collars.
If cleaning, scrubbing, soaking and deodorizing sounds like too much trouble for you, remember you can purchase machine-washable dog collars. This type of dog collar is perfect for pet parents with busy schedules.
It's a good idea to have two collars per dog in your household that contain identification tags. This ensures your dog will always wear a collar in case they run out of the house or yard while their other collar is being cleaned.
It’s also recommended to have a fabric collar and a vegan leather collar so you have a choice of which texture is ideal for different situations. Whatever collar you choose for your dog, just make sure it’s cleaned on a regular basis to help keep your pup happy and clean!