Is BioThane Safe to Use in Dog Gear?

Is BioThane Safe to Use in Dog Gear?

Written by Samantha Montoya

What is BioThane?

BioThane is a brand name of coated webbing. The coating is made of TPU or PVC which makes BioThane waterproof and easy to clean. The coating also makes BioThane feel like a cross between leather and rubber. The internal webbing is what gives BioThane it's strength and it is made of polyester.

What Makes a Product Safe for my Dog?

A product is safe for our dogs if it is not-toxic and doesn't break when we need it most, such as emergency situations when our dog will suddenly run off. There are a few components of dog gear that will effect whether it will break under pressure.

  • Material
  • Connections
  • Hardware
  • Wear and Tear
  • Construction
  • Following Directions of Use

In this article we will be talking mostly about the material BioThane. However it is important to understand all components of your dog's gear, especially since it is very common that the hardware or connection points are what fails first in practical use of dog gear.

Is BioThane Toxic?

BioThane states that their matieral is non-toxic.

Does BioThane have Latex?

It also does not have latex, so there is no worries for those with latex allergies.

Will BioThane hold Viruses and Bacteria?

As far as harboring bacteria and viruses, BioThane can be disinfected. BioThane states that the following disinfectant products will not harm BioThane:

  • 10% bleach solution (take the bleach out of the bottle, at 6.5% active ingredient, and dilute 1 part to 9 parts water)
  • Envirocide (follow directions on bottle).
  • Cavicide (follow directions on bottle).

Can my Dog Break BioThane?

This is an important safety concern of many dog owners! Remember that the entire integrity of the piece of equipment is determined by the makeup of:

  • The material
  • The connections
  • The Hardware used
  • Wear and Tear
  • Construction
  • Following Directions of Use

For this article we are going to focus on the material BioThane. So please due diligence and ask about the break strength of any hardware used and whether there are tests done on the equipment's construction to test other connections! In order to answer whether BioThane could break if your dog tries to run away we need to know how strong BioThane is and how much force a running dog can put onto BioThane! We will calculate that below.


Material is only one aspect of the safety of any piece of equipment. The quality of construction, other parts, adherence to care instructions, age, and other wear and tear conditions are also important factors in whether a piece of equipment is safe for your dog. This article is looking only at BioThane's break strengths in ideal conditions under simplified conditions of a worst case scenario.

How Strong is BioThane?

BioThane has different strengths depending on the versions. BioThane comes commonly in Standard, Super Heavy, and Adjustable varieties. According to BioThane the break strength is up to 1,000 pounds for a width of 1", or 500 pounds for a width of 1" for adjustable. [1] Manufacturers generally test the material themselves, here is a video of a test facility testing rope, which may be similar to how BioThane tests their material. Remember that material is only one factor in how strong your dog's gear can be.

Type of BioThane

Width of BioThane

Break Strength [1]

Force needed to break BioThane [2]

Standard & Super Heavy 3/8 inch  375 pounds 1.67 kN
Standard & Super Heavy 1/2 inch 500 pounds 2.22 kN
Standard & Super Heavy 5/8 inch 625 pounds 2.78 kN
Standard & Super Heavy 3/4 inch 750 pounds 3.34 kN
Standard & Super Heavy 1 inch 1,000 pounds 4.45 kN
Adjustable 3/8 inch 188 pounds 0.83 kN
Adjustable 1/2 inch 250 pounds 1.11 kN
Adjustable 5/8 inch 313 pounds 1.39 kN
Adjustable 3/4 inch 375 pounds 1.67 kN
Adjustable 1 inch 500 pounds 2.22 kN
Rope 1/4 inch 500 pounds 2.22 kN
Rope 5/16 inch 800 pounds 3.56 kN


When my Dog runs Away how Much Force do they Produce?

When dogs run they create force, but the force changes as dogs pick up speed. To keep things simple we assume that a dog reaches their maximum speed as soon as they start running and keep that speed until they hit the end of the leash. This is to make the equation simple as well as ensure that we don't have to worry about length of the dog gear used. In practice the greater the distance before the leash tightens the greater speed your dog has picked up, you may also add force to the leash by attempting to pull your dog back and out of danger. Our equation for Force is:

Force = mass * acceleration

Where mass is how much your dog weighs and acceleration is how fast your dog is running.For these calculations we use a top speed of 37mph. [3] This is to keep it simple, but to also account for worst case scenario speed.

Dog Size

Weight Range

Force From Running [4]

Small  up to 22 pounds 0.17 kN
Medium up to 55 pounds 0.41 kN
Large up to 100 pounds 0.75 kN
Extra Large up to 200 pounds  1.50 kN


Let's Compare, Can my Dog Running Away Break BioThane?

BioThane Product

Small Dogs

up to 22 pounds



up to 55 pounds



up to 100 pounds

Extra Large


up to 200 pounds

Standard & Super Heavy 3/8" Safe* Safe* Safe* Can potentially break
Standard & Super Heavy 1/2" and up Safe* Safe* Safe* Safe*
Adjustable 3/8" Safe* Safe* Can potentially break Can break
Adjustable 1/2" Safe* Safe* Safe* Can break
Adjustable 5/8" Safe* Safe* Safe* Can break
Adjustable 3/4" Safe* Safe* Safe* Can potentially break
Adjustable 1" and up Safe* Safe* Safe* Safe*
Rope 1/4" and up Safe* Safe* Safe* Safe*


    Comparing Strength of BioThane to Leather


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    Reference List

    [1] Biothane USA Beta 520 for Pet Products

    [2] Formula used to convert pounds to kN: Pounds / 2.204 to get kg; kg * 9.81 to get Newtons; Newtons / 1,000 to get kNewtons: pounds / 2.204 * 9.81 / 1,000 = kN

    [3] Denver Zoo African Wild Dog: Adaptations Speedy Pursuit

    [4] Formula used to convert dog running into kN: Pounds /2.204 to get kg; mph / 2.23 to get meters per second; kg * m/s = N; N/1,000 to get kN: Pounds / 2.204 * 37 / 2.23 / 1000 = kN

    [5] Techlab Systems Rope Cable Cord...Tensile Strength Test-METROTEC

    [6] Tierverstand Hundeleinen aus Biothane, eine detaillierte Zusammenfassung

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