This Is Why You Should Clean Your Dog’s Leash

Photo by Javier Brosch / Shutterstock

If you have a pet these days you are really lucky, especially during the pandemic crisis, because not only do you have someone to spend your time and play with during the self isolation, but you can also stretch your legs and breath outside in the fresh air for at least twenty minutes. 

Nevertheless, when you go back home you should always follow the advice of health experts if you want to stay safe and healthy, namely to have a strict hygiene ritual. So, this is the moment when you wash your hands properly for at least twenty seconds, after that, you probably even use some hand sanitizer to make sure you are perfectly clean, disinfect your switches and doorknobs, of course, you do not forget to clean your phone as well or whatever you touched when you entered the house. But how many of you clean the dog’s leash? Is it a priority for you? If not, then it should be. 

The truth is that once the coronavirus pandemic hit us, all of our cleaning habits have changed and we need to be more careful not to get sick these days. Obviously, one of the most important things that we have to take into consideration during the coronavirus outbreak is to pay close attention to the creatures around us and to take care of them properly.

So, this is why you should always clean your dog’s leash! Read on for more info!

Choose the perfect leash

As you probably know, choosing the right leash is not that easy, especially if you want one that is easy to clean. You can choose several models of leashes, but you should keep in mind that it has to be easy to disinfect after a walk when you come back home. Even though we have to stay home these days, do not forget that your dog needs to go outdoors to satisfy its basic needs every day and a leash is essential if you do not have a garden. It is recommended to have more than one leash so that you can rotate them when cleaning them.  

According to Lorraine Rhoads, an environmental biologist at Dogtopia, “Every dog parent knows how easy it is for the leash to slip under their pooch when they stop to squat or lift their leg on their daily walk! Hands-free leashes are a good way to keep your hands from constantly adding to the body oil grime, plus they free your hands up for better walking or running posture.”

Photo by Maria Sbytova / Shutterstock

Why should I clean my dog’s leash?

Just like other things in our house (or even personal ones), the dog’s leash must be cleaned often because it can be a place adored by mites and microbes. Your dog’s leash can be really dirty because of its body oil, mites, grass residues, food, faeces, urine or other things that can endanger your health. If you want to live in a healthy environment with your beloved furry friend, then you also have to clean its stuff from time to time. 

“Anything we frequently touch or handle has the potential to get dirty and pet leashes are no exception! Body oils, dirt, slobber, and even illness-causing germs can be hiding on your dog’s leash. Although it may be unlikely to transmit illnesses like ringworm, mites, or canine cough germs, it is still a good idea to routinely clean pet leashes,” says Rhoads.

How to clean your dog’s leash

The way you can clean your dog’s leash depends on the products you usually use to clean your stuff and the type of leash. In this case, you should carefully choose the cleaning products and the choice should be made based on the material of the leash because a leather leash should be cleaned differently from one that contains plastic or fabric. 

“The best way to clean leashes is based on the materials they are made from. For example, a leather leash needs to be cleaned with something like saddle soap,” said Chewy vet expert Dr. Jennifer Coates.

“To clean a leather leash, start with a damp cleaning rag and wipe the leash thoroughly to remove dirt,” says Rhoads. “Use a small bowl of water and a few drops of mild soap to make a cleaning solution. Dip a soft toothbrush in the solution and scrub the leather clean rather than soaking the entire leash. Hang the leash to dry out of the sun.”

In addition, for rope or nylon leashes you can use hot water and liquid soap or another effective detergent that you would normally use. Of course, you can even use your dog’s shampoo, especially if your dog has a sensitive skin or suffers from various allergies. “Let your leash soak for ten minutes in the hot soapy water to loosen and break down dirt and oils. If your leash is pretty grimy, take a soft nylon brush (like a toothbrush) and scrub the leash with additional shampoo. Rinse clean and hang to dry. Keep in mind that brushing too much may cause the webbing to look worn. Some rope or nylon leashes can be safely washed in the washing machine,” said Rhoads. 

Moreover, you should try to wash the retractable leashes manually. But if you still want to take advantage of your washing machine, Dr. Coates advises you “to lace the [nylon] leash in a lingerie bag and run it through the washing machine with a few towels to protect the machine from dings and scratches.”

Photo by hitdelight / Envato Elements

How often should I clean my dog’s leash?

The leash of your dog should be cleaned when you think that it is necessary to do so because it depends on how dirty it gets. You can clean it every month or when you notice that it is really dirty. But, do not forget that it is very important to bathe your dog as well, not just the leash. 

“The ideal cleaning frequency depends on how dirty leashes get. A leash that is regularly dragged across potentially contaminated surfaces (like a dirty dog park) should be cleaned more frequently than one that rarely touches the ground,” says Dr. Coates. “Use the ‘ick’ factor as a guide. If the thought of running your hands up and down the leash makes you shudder, it should be cleaned.”

When is it time to replace my dog’s leash?

Well, you should know that your dog’s leash must be replaced quite often, just as you replace your own clothes because they also become worn out and inefficient. So, remember that your dog’s health is very important and you should take care of it. 

“Be sure to replace leashes when they get frayed or damaged in other ways,” says Dr. Coates. “Damage makes a leash harder to keep clean and more likely to break.”

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