March 01, 2019
Taking care of leather products like a dog collar seems like a daunting task for anyone not used to working with leather, but in reality it’s really easy.
You probably wouldn’t go swimming in a little black dress or a sports coat (but more power to you if you do), and you should also choose your dog’s collar appropriately. A trip to the beach or a muddy day would be a good time to break out a waterproof or artificial material collar, that while may not look as good, will be a little easier to take care of after a dip in salt water or the like. There are also products on the market that will coat leather in a weather resistant coating and make them easier to clean if you wish to add them on. If your collar does get dirty or wet, it’s important to clean them up and let them dry out. Leaving a leather collar on a wet dog or bunched up in a bag overnight is an invitation for permanent stains and potential mold or mildew (which can also happen with nylon or polyester collars). Along with drying your collar, wipe down and dry off any metal hardware to resist rusting.
We mentioned products to add weather and dirt resistance to your collar. There is also leather that is more naturally weather resistant that you can buy. Our deluxe leather collars feature bridle leather which is a premium leather tanned and stuffed with waxes and oils to help keep it weather resistant, as it was originally used in horse bridles and subject to weather and tough conditions. We recommend products like Saddle Soap and Sno-Seal use a variety of natural ingredients like beeswax, castor oil, coconut butter, almond oil and other oils to restore your leather and add a layer of protection. Saddle Soap is available in the shoe section of local stores like Target or Wal-Mart if you don’t want to purchase it online. It’s also great for keeping leather purses, boots and shoes, belts and more looking great.
Cleaning leather is actually pretty easy. There are many different kinds of leather though, so if you are going to use this technique on anything other than sleepy pup leather collars and leashes, we recommend testing it out on a part of the leather that isn’t visible when worn just in case it may lead to discoloration. Check with the store or brand you bought your leather goods from for cleaning recommendations. You can clean most stains with just a wash cloth and water. If a stain is a little more stubborn, we recommend everyday white vinegar found in grocery stores (5% acidity). You can mix it half and half with water at first, then use full strength if need be. Let the collar dry out completely, and then apply Saddle Soap or another leather conditioner to keep the leather looking great and in its optimal condition.
If not conditioned, either through the natural oils on your dog or a leather conditioner, leather can eventually dry out, get brittle and even crack. As with most things in life, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Keeping your collar conditioned two or three times a year (or as needed) will keep it looking and working great. If it does get a little too dried out, don’t worry, you can usually restore it back to normal. We do recommend Saddle Soap, but most any leather conditioner will work, and in an emergency vegetable oil or olive oil will work. Just make sure to test an inconspicuous area first to see if there is any discoloration. Food grade oils may also invite chewing, so we do recommend Saddle Soap and wax based conditioners.
June 18, 2021Read More