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How to Properly Wash a Dog Harness

Your dog's harness is constantly exposed to dirt, oil, and other microbes that can build up over time and lead to many problems. Additionally, if your dog spends any time outside, their harness will likely be covered in mud and dirt, plus all the saliva and germs from their daily adventures.

A dog's hygiene is just as important as a human's. Not only do you need to bathe your dog regularly, but you also need to clean all of his gear - including his harness. Harnesses can get surprisingly dirty, even after just a few walks. 

In this guide, we’ll introduce the basic rules on the best way to wash a dog harness properly to ensure their durable and safe use and won’t affect your dog’s health. 

How to Take Care of Your Dog Harness

A dirty dog harness can be a breeding ground for bacteria and fungus. Not only is it unsightly, but it can also be dangerous for your pet’s health if left unwashed. Here are some of the best methods on how to clean a dog harness properly.

Keep it Clean & Dry

Can you put a dog harness in the washing machine? Most dog harnesses can be machine washed depending on the label for washing instructions. That’s why you’ll have no excuse for leaving your dog’s harness dirty. 

It's essential to clean and dry your dog's harness regularly. Every time you take it off your dog, make sure to do dry cleaning. This is especially important if your dog sweats a lot or has long hair. You should also try to air it out or keep it in well-ventilated areas. However, avoid sun-drying. It can cause the color to fade. 

Also, ensure you’ve removed the dog’s hair from a harness, which is a must during the dog’s shedding, and check whether it doesn’t have any stains. If dirt is detected from a bright-colored dog harness, it is better to wash them immediately.

Steps for Washing a Dog Harness

  1. Secure all buckles: The first step is to secure all of the buckles on the harness. This will prevent them from getting caught on anything and becoming damaged.
  2. Shake off dirt and debris: Shake off any dirt and debris on the harness. If your dog has been playing in the mud, you'll want to remove as much dirt as possible before washing it. Otherwise, the dirt will just get ground into the fabric and be more difficult to clean later on.
  3. Determine the harness’ material: 


    Nylon Dog Harness
    - Most nylon harnesses are machine washable, so you can easily clean them in your washing machine. However, you need to pay attention to the cleaners you use on your nylon harness. Some dogs can be sensitive to certain ingredients in detergents, which causes skin irritation. If you use a machine to wash your dog's harness, choose a gentle cleanser and do not use any harsh chemicals. 

    Leather Dog Harness - Leather is a fragile material that should not be submerged in water or become excessively damp. If the leather is heavily stained, a solution of soapy water (dog shampoo is gentle) or baking soda and vinegar can be used. Finished leather is often cleaned with a commercial leather cleaner. There are many commercial leather cleaners that may be a good investment, but if you use any of those, make sure your dog is not sensitive to any of the ingredients.

  4. When washing a dog harness, start with hand-washing in warm water, mild soap, or specific dog accessory cleaning solutions, and scrub it gently to remove the dirt. You can use a soft-bristle toothbrush or a rag with soapy water if needed.
  5. Let the harness sit and soak in the soap and water for 30 minutes to an hour. After which, you can use your washing machine to clean the harness. This is how to clean stinky dog harnesses and those that are extremely dirty.
  6. Rinse the harness thoroughly to ensure no soap and other residues that can irritate the dog’s skin for the hand-washing option. 
  7. Squeeze the excess water out. Hang or lay your gear out to air dry. Avoid putting it in the dryer, as the heat can damage some materials. 

 

Additional tips:

Tip #1: If you have a dog harness with metal fixtures, it's good to wash it in a mesh bag. That way, you can avoid any damage to your washing machine and keep the harness looking new. Plus, it'll help keep the other items in your wash load from getting tangled up with the harness.

Tip #2: If you have a machine-washable dog harness, you can wash it with the other dog items. Just be sure to use a gentle cycle and mild detergent.

Always Check the Harness For Damage

Always double-check the dog harness for any damages after each wash! It's imperative for the safety of your furry friend and to prevent any future issues that could occur from a broken or damaged harness. If damaged is detected, in-time replacement is a must. Washing your dog's harness is essential, but making sure it's still in good condition afterward is the key to keeping your pup safe and healthy.

Store the Harness in a Safe Place

It is essential to have a safe place to store your dog harness when you're not using it. This helps keep the harness in good condition and prevents your dog from chewing on it or damaging it. 

When choosing a storage spot, make sure it's out of your dog's reach and away from any sharp objects that could damage the harness. A good option is to keep it in a closed cabinet or closet. With proper care, your dog harness should last for many years.

Why’s It’s So Important to Take Care of Your Dog’s Harness?

One way to take care of your dog is by making sure their harness is always in perfect condition because they help keep your pup safe while out and about. In addition, a well-maintained harness will last longer, so you won’t have to replace it as often.

Here are a few reasons why it’s essential to care for your dog’s harness. 

  • Hygiene & Health: Taking care of the harness keeps your dog clean and healthy. A well-maintained harness will last longer and be more comfortable for your dog. Additionally, it's essential to take care of your dog's harness because it can help prevent injuries.
  • Preventing Smells: Harnesses are essential in keeping your dog safe and comfortable while on walks, hikes, or runs. But like anything else that your dog wears, they can get stinky over time. You need to clean your dog's harness regularly to prevent any unwanted smells.
  • Ensuring Durability: Like any other pet accessory, taking proper care of your dog's harness will last much longer and provide comfort and support for your pup. 
  • Protecting Your Dog’s Safety: Inspect the harness regularly for signs of wear and tear, and replace it if necessary.

  • Why Should You Get a Dog Harness from Pet & Cuddle?

    When choosing a harness for your dog, you want something comfortable and safe made of high-quality materials that will last for long-term use. That's why a harness from Pet & Cuddle is a perfect choice! 

    Our harnesses are made from durable nylon webbing and feature a comfortable padded chest plate, so you can be sure your dog is comfortable while out on walks. Plus, they come in various colors and designs to suit any style. Whether you're looking for a classic black harness or something a little funkier, we got you covered!  So why wait? Get your pup fitted for their very own Pet & Cuddle harness today! Check out our website for our impressive list of dog harnesses.

     

    Common Questions About Cleaning a Dog Harness

    If you've never had to clean a dog harness before, you may still have some questions on how to wash a dog harness properly. We will answer some of the frequently asked questions about cleaning a dog harness.

    Can you wash a dog harness in the washer?

    Yes, you can wash a dog harness in the washer! Just be sure to use a gentle cycle and cold water. You may also want to put the harness in a mesh laundry bag to prevent it from tangling or snagging on other items in the washer. 

    How often should you change your dog's harness?

    There is no specified frequency, but simply checking the state and fit of your pet's collar regularly can help you determine when it needs to be replaced. If you notice any wear and tear, it's time for a new harness.

    How long do dog harnesses last?

    For starters, the material of the harness will play a significant role in its longevity. If you opt for a cheap nylon harness, it will not last nearly as long as a higher-quality leather or mesh option.

    How often you use your harness will also impact its lifespan. If you only take your dog out for short walks on occasion, your harness will last a lot longer than if you're using it multiple times a day for lengthy hikes. 

    Should you keep a harness on a dog at all times?

    A harness is a functional tool for walking and training your dog, but there is no reason for them to wear it all the time. It can be irritating and uncomfortable for your dog to wear a harness all day, so only use it when you need it.

    How many harnesses should a dog have?

    When it comes to harnesses, having more than one is always better. This way, you can have a clean harness for your dog to wear. Different harnesses can be used for various activities. For example, you may want a sturdier harness for hiking or running versus a lighter-weight harness for walks around the block.