When to Replace Your Dog’s Collar & Harness – How to Know It’s Time


Dog collars and harnesses are arguably the most important accessories your dog will have in its lifetime. And although many harnesses and collars are design to last, you will more than likely have to replace them at some point—whether it’s due to wear and tear, functionality, or something else that has jeopardized the safety of the accessories.

So, let’s check out some frequently asked questions and take a look at some signs that indicate your dog’s collar and harness need to be replaced.

How Often Should You Change a Dog’s Harness? 

teal velvet dog harness

Some quality dog harnesses could last the lifetime of your pet, but generally speaking, you will have to replace them from time to time.

Be sure to check the fit and state of your dog’s harness and replace it if you notice significant wear and tear or improper fitting.

How Often Should You Replace a Dog Collar?

Since dog collars are typically worn more frequently than dog harnesses, you will probably need to replace your dog’s collar more often.

While there is no specified frequency, there are some signs that it’s time for a replacement. 

pink studded leather dog collar

5 Signs It’s Time to Replace Your Dog’s Collar or Harness

Here are some signs that it’s time to replace your dog’s collar or harness:

1. The Collar or Harness Does Not Fit Correctly 

Since your dog’s weight may fluctuate over the span of its life, it is common for dog collars and harnesses to no longer fit like they previously did. And it is very important to note that dog collars and harnesses only keep dogs safe, comfortable, and assist with training when they fit properly. In other words, the many benefits of collars and harnesses are reduced or lost when they don’t fit your pup correctly. In general, a dog collar should be snug, but not too tight or too loose. 

pug dog harness

Be sure to follow the “two-finger rule,” which means that your pointer finger and middle finger should be able to fit between your dog’s collar and your dog’s neck once the collar is secured on your dog.

For harnesses, your dog should not be able to step, wiggle, or slip out of the harness. That means your harness is too loose. However, if your dog is chafing or losing hair around the harness area, that is a sign the harness might be too tight.

For more information on how to find the right size collar for your dog, check out our dog collar sizing blog.

2. The ID Tags on the Harness or Collar Are Outdated or Difficult to Read 

Have you changed your phone number recently? Did you move since you purchased your dog’s ID tag?

Are the ID tags scratched, damaged, rusted, or difficult to read?

Be sure that all of the contact information on your dog’s tag is correct, up to date, and easily readable! 

poodle name plate dog collar

A dog collar or dog harness ID tag can make all the difference in whether or not your pup comes home to you if they are lost. If someone finds your dog or your dog ends up in a shelter and the ID tags are missing, outdated, or difficult to read, reunification becomes much more difficult. So, if that’s the case for your dog’s ID tags, it’s time for a replacement.

3. The Collar or Harness Doesn’t Meet Your Needs

It is important to choose the right collar and harness for your dog. In other words, depending on your dog’s behavior, breed, and training needs, your dog may need a different type of harness or collar.

For example, if your dog is prone to pulling or can easily slip out of a regular collar, martingale dog collars and harnesses could be a great option for your pup. Additionally, sometimes regular buckle collars are not the best option for controlling a hyper dog or teaching them how to walk on a leash.

fox showing off harness studded collar

It is also important to note that a training collar or a harness for walking should not be used in place your dog’s everyday collar. So, if you have a special training collar or harness for your dog, be sure to also purchase a collar for everyday wear.

4. The Collar or Harness Has Suffered from Wear & Tear 

Your dog’s collar and harness are for more than just looks and following leash laws; they are for protection and safety. That’s why it is important to check these accessories frequently for wear and tear. 

Depending on the material of your dog’s collar or harness, it could start to rip, tear, or fray. If the collar or harness isn’t as strong as it once was, it’s time for a replacement. A worn or broken dog collar can be very dangerous, so you’ll want to replace the collar before it breaks to avoid all risks.

Blog image rolling dog

Also, if your dog loves the water or the mud (and for emergency purposes), it might be a good idea to have a backup collar and harness with ID tags so your dog can always have clean, fresh, and dry accessories on backup. 

5. The Collar or Harness Stinks, Even After Washing

If your dog collar or harness stinks, even after washing it, it might be time to consider a replacement. 

At Mimi Green, our dog collars and harnesses are designed to be worn. That’s why all of our collars and harnesses are washable! So, if you purchased a collar or harness from Mimi Green, just toss it in the wash on the gentle cycle and allow it to air dry. But if the collar or harness still stinks after washing, it is probably time for an upgrad

For super low maintenance and extra easy cleaning, our waterproof biothane collars are durable even for the most active dogs and can be customized to fit your dog’s unique personality. The waterproof polyester webbing is stink proof, easy to clean, and built to last—making these collars the perfect choice for outdoorsy pups.

Find Replacement Dog Collars & Harnesses for Your Pup at Mimi Green!

Ready to replace your dog’s collar, harness, or both? When you shop with Mimi Green, you are supporting a small, woman-owned business with beautiful, handmade products. All dog collars and harnesses available from Mimi Green are handcrafted, unique, made of quality materials, and designed with your dog’s safety and style in mind.


We offer a variety of sizes, buckle variations, and the ability to add information to your dog’s collar and harness, such as its name, address, contact information, and more. Shop our variety of dog accessories and find the perfect replacement collar or harness for your pup today!