Cleaning Your Dog’s Collar

Keeping Your Pup’s Collar Clean

I’ve always relished the pleasant scent of cleanliness — those unmistakable aromas of Pine-sol®, Comet®, Windex®, baking soda and vinegar. Ahhh. Okay, so maybe I’m exaggerating a little, but I do love stepping into a recently cleaned room and basking in its freshness. Then, without warning, it inevitably hits me. That distinct and instantly recognizable stench — that pungent odor that can only come from one source: Molly.

When we first adopted Molly from a local shelter, she was a smelly, tangled mess. It was clear she needed some good, old-fashioned TLC and the trusted touch of an old groomer. I’m happy to report; she received both, and then some. But her stench never completely went away — it was subtle at first, growing stronger over time. Months went by, and I couldn’t quite put my finger on why the smell haunted me regardless of how many times she went to the groomers. Then, it hit me. I was completely overlooking her collar, and, wow, was it a stinky oversight.

Sure, I could have opted for a new one, but the clean geek in me knew I could bring back the collar’s freshness. This week, we had a special house guest (my mom’s pup), so Molly and I thought we’d share our seven simple steps to smelling sweet (yeah, we’re still working on the name).

Step One: On bath day, remove your dog’s collar, and squeeze a few drops of dog shampoo on it. (This will add a delightful scent without creating any skin irritation.)


Step Two: Place the collar in a bowl and fill the bowl with hot water.


Step Three: Soak the collar for about 15 minutes.

Step Four: Remove the collar and gently scrub it with a sturdy wash cloth to remove any excess dirt and odor. (Add extra shampoo, as necessary.)


Step Five: Rinse the collar under running water, taking time to remove any excess soap.


Step Six: Towel dry, and then hang.

Step Seven: Put your dog’s collar back on and enjoy a happy, fresh-smelling pup.


For an extra touch of scented goodness, add a drop of lavender oil to the collar before putting it back on your pup. I’d recommend cleaning a collar every 6-8 weeks to keep it smelling fresh and clean. Just keep in mind that our method probably won’t work with leather collars.