When Should You Replace Your Dog’s Leash and Collar? | Scott Goodwin Law

When Should You Replace Your Dog’s Leash and Collar?

by / Wednesday, 29 December 2021 / Published in Dog Bites, Tips
A happy dog holds a leash in its mouth.

Dogs can bite and attack for many different reasons, but there’s one crucial thing to remember:  pet owners have the most power to prevent them from happening. And a big part of that is making sure the dog is properly restrained and contained. This can mean making sure you have adequate fencing for your backyard so that the dog can’t escape, putting the dog in a separate room if they get overly excited about a visitor, and keeping them on a leash anytime they’re away from the house with you. Even if you’re just in a front yard that isn’t fenced in, it’s still important to keep them on a leash. 

Finding the right leash and collar for your dog can take some work. You need to find a collar that will fit your dog well and be comfortable to the dog, but strong enough for them to not be able to easily break out of. With the leash, you need one that’s durable and a good length to keep them under control. But once you find the right leash and collar, keep in mind that it isn’t necessarily a one-time purchase.

As is the case with so many things in life, you might reach a point when it’s best to replace a leash and collar. So when might those times be?

Visible Signs of Damage

Collars in particular are prone to getting a lot of wear and tear. Since they’re something dogs wear all the time, they can get damaged by something as simple as a dog scratching its neck. With both collars and leashes, there’s also the fact that certain types of materials may be further damaged with exposure to various elements. Leather collars and leashes, for example, might get damaged by being around water. 

When you look at your dog’s collar, look for visible signs of damage like fraying or cracking. If your dog has a tendency to chew on its leash, that can also result in physical damage to the leash, so be sure to check it more frequently. Physical damage can weaken a leash or collar to the point that they could break at some point down the line and allow the dog to get loose.

Sizing Issues

Generally speaking, dog collars can be adjusted to fit your dog as they grow or gain and lose weight. But as flexible as they can be in terms of sizing, there are limits to how much they can be adjusted. If your dog is young and has been going through a lot of growth or if their weight has significantly changed recently, it’s a good idea to check your dog’s collar to make sure it still fits them well. 

A good rule of thumb is to try putting two fingers between the collar and the dog’s neck. If your fingers aren’t able to fit, it’s too small. Or if you’ve seen your dog slip out of its collar or you can easily fit more than two fingers between the collar and the neck, it’s too big. Replacing the collar would allow you to find one that better fits and protects them. 

Training Needs

Collars and leashes also play an important role in dog training, but what’s right for one dog might not necessarily be right for another. For example, if a dog is prone to breaking out of its collar, it would be best to find a new collar with a stronger clasp. Or if you’re in the process of training a new dog or puppy, starting with a shorter leash will help them stay close to you. Once they’ve learned their basic training, you can switch to a longer leash to give them a little bit more room to explore.

With leashes, remember that they should be comfortable for you as well as the dog. Sometimes, people find that certain types of leashes are uncomfortable to hold because they cut into their hand.

Contact a Michigan Dog Bite Lawyer

Dog owners have a responsibility to do everything possible to protect others from being harmed by their pet. In the state of Michigan, the law states that dog owners are liable for dog bite injuries, even if the dog doesn’t have a history of aggressive behavior.

If you’ve been injured by a dog, whether it’s a dog bite injury or an injury caused by a dog jumping on you, be sure to contact a dog bite lawyer as soon as possible. At Goodwin & Scieszka, we’ve helped many dog bite victims in the state of Michigan get the justice they deserve. Contact us today to get started.