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Waterproof BioThane Leash Care Tips and Dog Water Safety

Looking for a way to keep your dog safe and dry on all your adventures? At High Tail Hikes, we offer custom waterproof gear for dogs of all sizes, so you can rest assured knowing that your best friend will be comfortable and protected.

One of the game-changing perks of BioThane is that it’s waterproof! This makes BioThane gear an ideal choice for any type of water activity with your dog – beach trips, swims, rainy days, and more. 

In this post, we’re going to answer some frequently asked questions about using and caring for your waterproof BioThane leashes, collars, and long lines, as well as basic water safety tips for your next water-based adventure with your dog!

What is BioThane?

BioThane is the ideal dog leash material. BioThane is a woven polyester webbing, coated in a soft, grippy PVC material. The webbing gives BioThane its strength, while the PVC coating protects the webbing and makes the material waterproof, odor proof, and antimicrobial (which means mold and mildew proof, too!). 

BioThane is lightweight and soft to the touch, while also being incredibly strong and durable. BioThane comes in a variety of colors and sizes and resists fading, cracking, and peeling. With basic maintenance, your BioThane dog gear will last for years. 

Read our blog about why you should choose genuine BioThane. 

@2babybulldogs bulldog looking to the left at sunset in front of a body of water with sailboats in the distance wearing a BioThane dog collar@2babybulldogs

Why is BioThane so great to use in or around water?

BioThane is waterproof, so it won’t get wet and heavy, unlike typical dog leash materials (rope, fabric, or canvas). 

Besides being waterproof, BioThane webbing is unique in that it’s antimicrobial. That means that BioThane is mold and odor proof - you’ll never have to deal with stinky leashes or collars again! Antimicrobial also means less skin irritation and itchiness for your pup under their collar. 

Finally, because it’s waterproof, BioThane dries really fast! After a rainy hike or a swim, you can simply wipe down or hang up your gear to dry, and it will look and smell good as new only a short while later. 

Does BioThane float?

BioThane doesn’t float on top of the water per se, but because it is lightweight and doesn’t absorb water, it will typically suspend just below the surface of the water. 

As a bonus, the bright colors available for BioThane products mean that your gear may be easier to spot in the water! 

@granola.girl_mysterydawg a brown pitbull with a white speckled belly smiles at the camera wearing a bright orange life vest and bright green BioThane longline leash


Is BioThane grippy when wet?

BioThane can get slippery when wet. For this reason we recommend practicing a solid leash grip, or leash lock, to help secure your leash. You may also consider wearing gloves with grip on the palms to help keep your grip on a wet leash and protect against leash burn.

Finally, you may want to clip the leash to your waist belt via a carabiner or our Waist to Leash Strap, use a Hands Free + Convertible Leash, or add a Convertible Handle + Sliding O Ring as an add on to your leash to make sure that the leash stays connected to you even if it slips out of your hands. 

We do not recommend tying knots in your BioThane long line as a “stopper” to help catch or slow down the long line in your hand. This will wear down the webbing interior of your leash unevenly, and cause a potential failure.  

What’s the best leash hardware for water dogs?

When it comes to leash hardware, there are a few different considerations. Solid brass is 100% rust proof and therefore is a great option for water use. We also recommend our rust proof, anodized aluminum autolocking carabiners.

If you select brass hardware, we recommend opting for scissor snaps, so that sand doesn’t clog up the leash clip and spring.


How do I care for my waterproof BioThane leash?

BioThane dog gear is super low maintenance! To keep your BioThane gear performing at its best, we recommend rinsing your dog’s leash or collar with fresh water after any water-based or dirt-heavy activities. Read our blog all about how to clean and care for your BioThane gear

Take special care to rinse the hardware on your leashes and collars. This will help to rinse off dirt, grime, and salt water all of which can, over time, wear down the hardware. You can then towel dry your BioThane leashes and collars OR just allow them to air dry (ideally, in a warm, sunny location). 

Periodically, you’ll want to clean your BioThane gear more thoroughly. If you’re using your BioThane dog leash or collar in salt water or lots of dirty spots, you might find your hardware clasp gets sticky. To wash the clasp on your dog’s leash, use a mild soap, rinse, and then add a few drops of WD-40 inside the clasp. Move the clasp mechanism a few times to help the oil penetrate and make sure your clasp is working smoothly again!

6 Water Safety Tips for Dogs

Adventuring in and around water with your dog can be super fun, but keep in mind these safety considerations.

1. Use a Long Line at the Beach

We recommend using a long line or a drag line with your pup at the beach, especially if they are a puppy or you are still working on recall training. The beach is full of fun things and interesting smells, but it’s important that you’re able to secure your dog quickly if needed. 

A drag line (a line with no handle) is less likely to get caught on rocks, roots, or other obstacles while your dog is playing near the water. BioThane DOES get slippery when wet, so a loop handle can give you some peace of mind that you’ll be able to secure your dog quickly. 

Not sure what length of leash might be best? Check out this post.

2. Keep Your Leash Clear of Rocks

When exploring with your dog in a rocky environment, it’s quite easy for a leash or long line to get caught or wedged between rocks. It’s even possible that your dog’s leash could become damaged or sheared if it gets stuck and your dog pulls at the same time. Make sure you supervise your dog closely anytime they are in a rocky environment and hold the leash so it clears rocks.

@indigo.the.boykin a chocolate brown dog smiles at the camera, dripping wet, wearing a blue bandana, and wearing a long line sitting on an ocean beach with the waves cresting in the background


3. Getting your dog comfortable in and around the water

Let your dog approach or interact with water at their own speed. Some dogs love the water and some don’t - either way, your dog is perfect as they are! 

Before taking your dog out on water (i.e. boating), take plenty of time to get them comfortable with the steps involved in any water activity. Practice on land or at home first. If your dog is uncomfortable or scared, take several steps back, and move at a pace that your dog feels comfortable with. Some dogs will never enjoy these activities - and that’s OK! 

@bear_hardrock a black pomeranian explores a gentle creek rapid wearing a High Tail Hikes long line


But! If your dog is a water dog, check out our Annual Water Dog contest (we run it every July via our Instagram). Submit photos of your water dog enjoying the water and sporting High Tail Hikes dog gear for your chance to win a gift card to our shop! Or, just check out the #hthphotocontest year round for lots of fun pics and videos of pups enjoying the water!

4. Get Your Dog a Life Vest!

Make sure your dog is wearing a well-fitted dog life jacket, especially when engaging in watersports, such as kayaking, paddleboarding, boating, or any other activities around moving water.

@alformayor a big black dog sits on a boat watching the horizon, wearing a blue lifejacket and Biothane leash


5. Don’t Leave Your Dog Unattended

A long line can be a helpful safety back up if you’re swimming with your dog. But don’t ever leave your dog unattended in or near water, especially while wearing a leash or long line. If the leash gets caught on something, your dog could drown. This is especially true when it comes to fast moving water.

6. Be Heat Aware

Even if they’re playing in the water, it’s possible for your dog to overheat. Be sure to give your dog plenty of opportunities to rest in a quiet, shady locations after water play. Make sure that your dog always has access to fresh water to drink. Read more tips about keeping your dog safe during the summer in our summer safety blog. 

Got plans for more adventures with your dog this summer? Check out our blogs about hiking with your dog, and camping with your dog!