As a responsible pet owner, you know that it’s a good idea to have a collar for your pet.
Dog collars make it easier to take dogs on walks around the neighborhood. Leash laws may even make having a collar a requirement where you live. And during training, a collar can help you regain your dog’s focus and manage behaviors.
Collars are also a safety feature for both dogs and cats. They give you a logical place to clip identification tags. If your pet ever wanders away from home, an easy-to-locate ID tag can help them return to your arms quickly and safely.
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But since your pet will likely wear their collar every day of their life, choosing the right collar for them takes some forethought. The last thing you want is for your new best friend to become chafed or injured from wearing their collar.
At Popov Leather, we recommend choosing well-fitting leather collars over alternative materials. In this guide, we’ll go over some of the pros and cons of different collar materials, and explain why genuine Horween Leather may be the right choice for your pet.
Popular Pet Collar Materials
Pet collars come in a variety of materials, and leather collars are not your only option. Some of the most common pet collar materials include:
- Metal Chains
Pros and Cons of Alternative Pet Collar Materials
At Popov Leather, we genuinely believe that leather collars are better suited to most pets than popular alternative materials. However, there are benefits and downsides to every pet collar material. Here are some pros and cons to the most popular options.
Nylon’s affordability and availability make it one of the most popular choices for pet collars. Most pet stores have a wide selection of nylon pet collars in a variety of colors and styles. As a result, these collars are often the first that many pet collars experiment with.
However, there are a number of reasons nylon collars may not be suited for your pets. Some pets are allergic to nylon, which can cause a variety of uncomfortable symptoms, including:
- Bald Patches
- Chronic Licking
- Paw Biting
- Chronic Ear Infections
Additionally, while nylon is more durable than some materials — including hemp — a determined dog can chew through nylon webbing. Over time, nylon also tends to stretch and expand, meaning that you will find yourself replacing your nylon collars multiple times throughout your pet’s lifetime.
Plastic dog collars are, perhaps, the most affordable dog collars on the market.
Unfortunately, this affordability is due to the fact that plastic dog collars are rarely well-made and tend to break easily. This abrasive material is also more likely than other materials to cause chafing and discomfort for your pet.
If you need a dog collar that’s virtually indestructible, leather chains are the way to go. For this exact reason, they’re popular with large dog breeds like Great Danes that tend to pull and fight to get loose from their collars.
That being said, metal chains can be cold and uncomfortable for your pets, especially for pets with smaller necks. They can also hurt your hands if your dogs choose to pull, and for that reason are a relatively outdated form of dog collar.
Hemp is one of the most eco-friendly dog collar options and has seen increased traction in recent years due to its low environmental impact. However, there are a number of downsides to choosing hemp collars over leather collars.
Unlike leather, hemp gets dirty easily. Braided hemp may become stained and lose its luster over time.
Hemp is also significantly less durable than other dog collar materials. The material stretches out over time, and many dogs can chew their way through hemp collars.
Benefits to Choosing Leather Collars
When compared to alternative materials, leather collars have a whole lot going for them. These collars are comfortable, stylish, and durable, making them an easy choice when it comes to pampering your new best friend.
Think of your pet’s collar the same way you would think about a watch strap. Plastic or nylon wouldn’t feel great on your skin, and would possibly irritate your skin by the end of the day, while a leather watch strap would be so buttery-smooth you’d barely notice it.
It’s the same when it comes to your pet’s collar. Soft, supple Horween leather is gentle against their skin, reducing the chances of chafing or irritation. As a result, it’s much more comfortable than other collar materials.
If you’re the type of person who enjoys a sleek, minimalist style in your own life, then it’s natural to want the same thing for your pet. Leather collars have a unique vibe to them. When people see your pet wearing a nice leather collar, they’ll know you took care to choose something special for them, rather than picking up the first thing you saw at your local pet store.
And if you have a leather dog leash, a leather dog collar is a natural choice. The two look excellent together and ensure you and your dog look equally fashionable when exploring the neighborhood together.
Your pet’s leather collar has the potential to last its entire lifespan. Collar buckles adjust, just like they would on your belt. This means that as your pet grows and its neck expands, the collar can adjust with them. It also means that if your pet manages to stretch the leather over time, you can tighten the collar to ensure they remain safe.
And leather collars are designed to last. It’s incredibly hard for dogs to chew through genuine Horween leather, and their collar is apt to withstand the rigors of their lifestyle, from the boisterous puppy phase all the way through their strong, determined adulthood.
Potential Downsides to Leather Collars
As with anything, there are a couple of downsides to choosing leather collars. Namely, leather collars can be a little more expensive than other types of pet collars, and they take a little more effort to maintain.
Cost of Leather Collars
One potential downside is that leather collars, which are made from a high-end, natural material, can be a little more pricey than their synthetic counterparts. That being said, the durability of leather collars means they’ll last longer than synthetic alternatives as well. This means that while you may pay more money up-front for your leather collar, the amount of money you spend over your pet’s lifetime may wind up being the same.
And if you look at the fact that your pet’s skin could become damaged from synthetic materials, costing you vet visits and treatment options, leather can actually be a more cost-effective choice in the long run.
Care and Upkeep of Leather Collars
The other potential downside to choosing leather is the fact that leather needs to be well-treated to withstand the rigors of outdoor life, including splashing through puddles or swimming in family pools. You have to be willing to put some time into the upkeep of your pet’s leather collar for it to truly stand the test of time.
If your leather collar gets dirty — say, from your pet rolling through the mud — you can clean it with a damp cloth. You’ll want to avoid using harsh chemicals, which can ruin the leather. If your leather needs a deep cleaning, select a cleaning product specifically designed to treat leather. And, whether you choose water or a leather scrub, be sure to leave your collar to air dry when you’re done.
You can also be proactive with leather care by choosing a hydrating leather balm to treat and protect your leather before you give it to your pet to wear.
Keeping Your Pet Safe While Wearing Their Collar
Although pet collars are a key accessory for your furry friends, they can be dangerous when worn improperly.
When sizing your pet’s collar and putting it on them for the first time, be sure that you can fit your thumb between your pet’s collar and their neck. Looser collars can pose a strangulation risk, as they can catch on objects while your pet is playing in the yard, while tighter collars can be uncomfortable or even suffocating to your pet.
Test the fit both while your pet is standing and while they’re laying down to ensure the distribution of their weight doesn’t make the collar uncomfortable for them in different positions.
Additionally, it’s always a good idea to have your pet microchipped so you can remove their collar at night and give them some breathing room without worrying about what would happen if they got loose.