Caring for Your Dog’s Toys

Does your canine buddy have a favorite toy? Dogs are super cute when they are feeling playful. Of course, Fido uses his mouth to play, so it may not take very long for his toys to get grungy. Read on as a London, ON vet offers some tips on caring for your pet’s playthings.

Rubber/Plastic Toys

Many rubber and plastic items, such as Kong toys, are dishwasher-safe. You’ll want to rinse them off first. If your furry pal’s toy has gunk on it, scrub it with a toothbrush. Then, put it in the dishwasher. Choose the hot cycle, but don’t add soap. The steam and hot water will clean and disinfect the toy.

Rope Toys

Fido loves playing Tug O’ War! To wash your canine companion’s rope toy, start by removing metal pieces. Soak the toy in water, and microwave it on high for one minute. Don’t give it back to your four-legged friend until it’s cool and dry.

Stuffed Animals

Most plush toys are machine washable. Check label instructions, and be sure to use an unscented detergent. Before trying to wash a stuffed animal, make sure it’s worth cleaning. If it’s really ripped or worn—or is basically just a frayed piece of fabric—it’s probably best just to replace it. Safety can be an issue with these as well. Fido sometimes tries to remove the squeaker and eat it. This can be a choking hazard. Small plastic parts, like button eyes, are dangerous as well. Remove small parts, and sew up small holes.

Chew Toys

Chews, like bully sticks, can’t really be washed. (Of course, some won’t last long enough to get dirty, but that’s beside the point.) That said, you can rinse these off and freeze them for a day or so, which will at least kill germs.

Tennis Balls

Tennis balls can also be washed in the washing machine. Use unscented detergent and the cold cycle. Hang dry.


This probably goes without saying, but you’ll want to be a bit discreet when washing your playful pet’s things. Choose a time when Fido is sleeping or outdoors. Also, rotate your canine pal’s toys out regularly. This will keep things fun and fresh for him, and keep him from getting bored.

As your London, ON vet clinic, we are dedicated to offering great veterinary care. Please feel free to contact us anytime!

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