Dogs are very playful, which is one reason they are so much fun. Making sure your pet has lots of fun toys and taking time to play with him are both very important. However, since our canine buddies use their mouths to play, it often doesn’t take long for their toys to get, well, pretty icky. In this article from Armitage Animal Clinic, a Sharon, ON vet offers tips on cleaning Fido’s playthings.
Stuffed animals will always be popular among our canine friends. Before you try to clean one, take a good look at it and make sure it’s worth the effort. These plush toys often rip easily, which can be quite dangerous. You don’t want Fido swallowing squeakers, fabric, or stuffing! If you only see a few small tears, sew them up. If the toy is little more than a crusty scrap of fabric, discretely toss it and replace it. We also recommend removing plastic parts, like eyes, and sewing the holes closed. You can wash stuffed animals in the washing machine. Use hot water and unscented detergent, and then tumble dry on low.
Most rubber and plastic toys can go into the dishwasher. Use an old toothbrush to remove any crusted-on gunk first. Use the hot cycle. Don’t use soap: the steam and scalding-hot water will clean and disinfect the toy.
Rope toys are very easy to clean. Remove any metal pieces, and then thoroughly soak the toy. Put it in the microwave on high for one minute. Let it cool off before you give it back to Fido.
Tennis balls can also go into the washing machine. As with stuffed animal toys, you’ll want to use an unscented detergent, and hang dry. (Tip: you may want to hang them in a place Fido can’t see them, like a closet or shower. Otherwise, he may become a bit preoccupied with trying to get them.)
Fido may have some toys, such as chew toys, that don’t fall into any of these categories. Most of these can be rinsed, put into a plastic baggie, and frozen for a day or two. They may not look much cleaner after, but at least they’ll be germ-free.
Please reach out to Armitage Animal Clinic, your Sharon, ON vet clinic, for your pet’s veterinary care needs. We’re here to help!