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Is leather collar waterproof

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Are Leather Dog Collars Waterproof?

Leather dog collars are valued for the durability and beauty of the material, but when it comes to waterproofing, it can be somewhat transitory. First, genuine leather is not waterproof – when the material is exposed to water, it absorbs moisture and can become soft, stretch, and eventually lose its form. With time, repeated exposure to water can cause the leather to crack or become deformed through warping. To avoid those problems, many manufacturers apply a water-resistant treatment to the collar. However, it is vital to note that water-resistant does not mean waterproof.

While a treated collar will probably be fine in light rain or splashing brought on by the dog’s play, submerging it in water is bound to cause damage. For those who like taking their pets swimming or spend a lot of time in wet conditions, more fitting options may be nylon or rubber collars. When a collar absorbs the water it is exposed to a number of risks. First, the concerned leather becomes softer and expands as a result of the absorbed moisture.

The expansion of the porous material such as leather is extremely dangerous as it is likely to lose its form and will not return to the previous one even if the dye penetrates it. Due to the absorption of the water, the moisture can also penetrate into the padding present in many collars. The wet padding becomes a prime spot for mold and bacteria, which can lead to diseases for the dog and create an unpleasant odor for the owner. Staining the dog’s coat is another risk of the dye being absorbed by the water, especially if the collar is of a darker or particularly vibrant shade. To avoid those risks, the owner has to periodically condition and waterproof the dog collar by following the manufacturer’s advice on maintenance. Regularly cleaning the collar with appropriate leather cleaner and waterproofing solution specific to leather products can adequately extend the lifespan of the item.

The Limitations of Leather in Wet Conditions

Leather is a natural material with its own set of challenges when wet. The most prominent limitation is that it can absorb water; in fact, it can soak up to 30% of its weight in water, which has a serious impact on the material’s texture and utility . However, it might not seem immediately negative: the leather becomes pliable and stretchy, and the wet collar morphs to seemingly become more comfortable. However, the useful dirt and waterproofing properties of leather are ruined due to its flexible state, which undermines the collar’s ability to retain the well-defined shape.

Wet leather is also more prone to damage, with the fibers swelling and weakening. When it dries, the material may become stiff and brittle, leading to cracking. This type of damage does not manifest immediately after the collar becomes wet, but rather after prolonged and repeated wet-dry cycles that the collar is likely to endure due to its exposure to the elements. In addition, the damage is cumulative: according to a study of wet-dry and wear cycles, tensile strength could have already been decreased by 25% after five cycles . As such, the collar’s owners should be aware of the damage that wet conditions can impart and should check its state periodically. While the worst of these can be prevented or delayed with leather conditioner and waterproofing spray, wetness will still ruin the collar. In case the dog enjoys playing in the wet, with activities including rain and swimming, it might be beneficial to use a waterproof collar material for these times, such as the always-dry non-absorbent rubber or quickly-drying nylon.

The Impact of Water on Leather Collars

One of the things that have the most significant effect on leather is water. Considering that many dog collars are usually made of leather and dogs do nor mind getting wet, this information is quite important for any pet owner. When leather becomes wet, it absorbs the water. While this may make the material more pliable and, therefore, somewhat more comfortable, it comes at the expense of the collar’s durability. Leather, when soaked, expands unevenly, which, in turn, makes it subtly bend and warp the collar. This effect is compounded when a person repeatedly wets the collar, as its rate of change becomes accelerated, and the product may come apart at the seams outside of the dry state.

All these effects are even worse in the case of salt water.

In an experiment described in Accarson’s “The effects of salt on wet leather relative to dried leather”, it is mentioned that “increases of more than 80% in stiffness occurred after exposure of leather to salt water, compared with exposure to fresh water” . The problem with salt is that it has much better absorbing properties than water, and as such, absorbs the water, which was absorbed by the leather, reducing the material to nothing better than a piece of chipboard. For that reason, owners of active pets, which are usually the most prone to getting their collars wet, should be aware of this information. The owners should be proactive, and perform some treatments, which would prevent the water from holding on the leather. The most effective of these is the waterproofing treatment, which are devised in such a way as to repel the water, instead of absorbing it. Finally, the owner could also occasionally clean the collar and apply a conditioner specifically designed for leather, as to restore the material’s natural oils.

Biothane as an Alternative

Biothane is an excellent choice for dog owners who seek an alternative to regular leather collars, which is both durable and waterproof . It is a synthetic material with properties that advance over natural leather but offer it the appearance and touch. Due to structuring ignorance of dog collar users, there are many mistaken notions regarding the context. The key to Biothane’s functionality is its non-porous structure, meaning it passively rejects the absorption of water. It also has a useful kind of trade-off that silk and certain materials also called wicking nature, while Biothane does not even absorb sweat from the dog’s skin. This can be an indispensable feature for dogs in the waters and those who live overly active.

One does not have to go out of their way to clean mud and dirt from Biothane collars — they can be washed off with standard water and soap. They also do not tend to accumulate ‘pet’ odor, meaning that special cleaners and conditioners are not required to maintain a pleasant smell . This is an essential advantage under modern, rushed life, where practicality and quality cannot be separated. Biothane is also more durable than regular leather in several aspects. For one, it maintains its full flexibility and resistance to cold temperatures . It also rarely tears or breaks and does not fall into ruin after heavy wear, lasting for years of usage. Warranty tests measure its maximum resistance from pulling forces as high as 1000 pounds , making it feasible for the majority of large breeds and some dogs bred to pull. Biothane is also on average more stylish than regular leather, coming in a variety of colors and finishes some of which imitate the materials of the original .

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