How to Safely Clean Dog Toys

Toys can stimulate your dog in different ways. For example, they encourage physical activity, benefit dental health, and prevent boredom and unwanted behavior. However, it is important to wash these objects on a regular basis in order to avoid the growth of bacteria and other pathogens.

5-Minute Crafts will show you how to safely clean your pet’s toys without putting your four-legged friend at risk.

Plush toys or stuffed animals

These types of toys are very easy to clean since you can toss them in the washing machine in a gentle cycle whenever they seem dirty, but keep in mind that experts recommend using a pet-safe detergent or pouring in 1/4 cup of vinegar instead.

If the toys seem too fragile for the previous method, you can also wash them by hand with a solution of water and vinegar, both in equal parts. Whichever procedure you choose, make sure to clean plush toys on a sunny day, so they can air dry outside.

Note: Never use undiluted bleach or softener dryer sheets. These household cleaning products are pet-poisonous and can cause different health problems.

Rope toys

Although the texture of these toys may look more difficult to clean, there is a very simple way to do it:

  1. Soak the rope toy in water.
  2. Put it in the microwave at a high temperature. Leave it for 1 minute.
  3. Remove the toy carefully and let it dry completely before giving it to your dog again.

You can also put them in the washing machine or dishwasher using hot water and no detergent. The heat will help kill any germs and bacteria.

Hard toys

Plastic, nylon, and rubber chew toys can help your dog keep their teeth clean, and it’s important to wash them regularly in order to avoid germs and bacteria. Some of these toys can be thrown in the dishwasher using hot water with no detergent, but experts recommend doing so only if the label states that they are dishwasher safe.

Another way to clean them is using warm water and dish soap, and scrubbing the toy’s surface with a toothbrush. This will help you remove dirt and grime. After that, rinse it thoroughly and let it dry.

Note: Check that the toy is completely dry and has no water inside before giving it back to your dog. In order to make sure that cleaning products don’t get inside it, cover any holes using adhesive tape before washing it.

The toy bin

Before putting any clean toys back into their box:

  1. Remove any fur and dust in it with the vacuum.
  2. Make a cleaning solution by pouring equal parts of vinegar and water into a spray bottle.
  3. Spray the solution over the box’s surface and wipe it off. Then, let it air dry.

General recommendations

  • In order to prevent choking, ingestion, and other hazards, discard toys with:
  1. Dangling pieces or parts that are heavily chewed on
  2. Mold on the inside
  3. Stuffing coming out
  • Don’t leave dog toys outside. They can become a potential surface for bacteria and mold when left under the rain. At the same time, the sun can make toys release hazardous chemicals.
  • Try rotating your dog’s toys once or twice a month in order to make cleaning easier and prevent your dog becoming too attached to only one of them. Group the toys and have a set in play, a set “on the waitlist”, and a set being cleaned.
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