You know the feeling. You’ve bought a lovely bridle leather collar for your lovely doggie. It feels nice in your hand and it looks great as you go for your morning walk.
“You only get that feeling when it’s new, right?”
Not necessarily. Whilst bridle leather naturally ages well, keeping a gentle imprint of time passing by, it is also important to look after your collar and lead. Over time, outside dirt and oil from your doggie’s skin will build up in the collar. If left, it will damage the leather and it will quickly start to look old and worn.
To prevent this, you need to clean the leather accessories every now and then to keep the leather supple and shiny. At www.dogsnug.com, we sell a great range of quality bridle leather collars, leads and even poop bag holders; and our experience has taught us how to look after them and keep them looking fantastic for years!
So, you’ve had your collar and lead a few weeks and it’s starting to look a little grubby. It still looks nice, but the accumulated dirt and oil has taken some of the lustre away.
To clean the leather effectively, here's a few tips.
- Clean your dog leads, poop bag holders and any other 'low dirt exposure' leather product every 6 months
Clean the dog lead and poop bag holder every 3-6 months
- Clean your dog collars once a month to get rid of the dirt, grass and dog's skin oil in the collar
Clean the dog collar once a month
- Avoid over-cleaning your leather products as this can over-oil and rot the leather over time
Cleaning with commercial products:
This is a simplified version of the method used for cleaning horses' saddles:
- Dampen a microfibre cloth and add some saddle soap to it. Apply the saddle soap liberally, as the more you rub it in, the softer it will become.
- Allow it to dry away from direct sunlight or sources of heat (such as radiators) and now add some neatsfoot oil to further preserve and protect the leather. Again allow it to dry fully before you use it for doggie’s walk.
- Rub down the leather for a good shine
- It is important to note that saddle soap and neatsfoot oil are both toxic to your dog, so whatever else you do, keep him away from them until completely dry!
The Home Made 'Salad Dressing' cleaner
This one is my favourite mainly because there no risk of hurting your dog with toxic products; in fact I feed my whippet Kai olive oil and apple cider vinegar on a regular basis to keep him healthy and well. I also find this mixture to give a delightful suppleness to the leather and it smells good too!
- Rub the leather dog collar or lead with a damp cloth to make sure that any dirt, grass and your dog's skin oil is removed
- mix 1 part white vinegar, 2 parts olive oil and a drop of lemon juice and rub with a clean cloth, let it soak in
- Buff the leather with a clean cloth (microfibre ones work really well)
Cleaning with Essential Oils
Many people think that using any oil based conditioner for cleaning your leather is a no-go zone. Instead they recommend using Lemon essential oil mixed with vinegar. Here's how to do it:
- Clean the leather with a damp cloth to get rid of dirt and oils
- Mix 10 to 15 drops of lemon essential oil
It leaves a beautiful fresh scent, but again make sure you let it dry properly as some essential oils can produce allergies in your dog.
Drying Wet collars
If your dog uses any opportunity to jump into water (not my Kai, you'll never spot him anywhere near it!) or it has rained while you’ve been out, you will need to get the collar dry:
- remove it as soon as you get home and lay it down on a towel or hang it out but off radiators or direct sunlight (direct heat can damage the leather) until it’s dry.
- You can apply any of the methods above to the leather once a month or so, but avoid over-oiling your leather accessories as this can rotten the leather.
At Dogsnug, we want you to get the most out of our great products. Look after them and they will look after you and your precious pooch for a long, long time.
Keep coming back for more tips and advice on all things doggie or visit our website www.dogsnug.com.