I don’t know about your dog, but mine has LOTS of toys! And day after day they get full of dirt, slime, and who knows what else.
If you’re like me a few years ago, you probably never thought about washing your dog's toys. I know when I first came across the idea I was like “duh! Why wouldn’t you?”
I will admit though, I probably don’t wash them as often as I should. But I try to aim for one a year at least. Usually around spring cleaning time.
Sometimes after the muddy season is over with, I wash them again. (If I remember.)
Along with washing your dog’s toys, you should also wash his/hers leashes, collars, bandanas, any clothing, food and water bowls, etc.
Basically, anything your dog owns!
When washing your dog’s toys and accessories it is important to do it safely. You don’t want to use any harsh chemicals as your dog is more sensitive and could become ill or worse die from them.
By soft toys I mean any fabric toys or stuffed toys.
Gather up all the soft toys and clothing and check them over. You want to make sure to get rid of any of the broken ones. If stuffing is coming out or strings are hanging loose or even holes, it needs to be thrown out. This is more of a danger to your dog than an entertainment.
Then throw all the good toys and accessories in the washing machine. I recommend doing this while your dog is outside or occupied elsewhere. They may get a little sad if they see you taking away all their toys!
Don’t use your normal detergent or fabric softener. These contain harsh chemicals!
Instead, use a little bit of baking soda or a little bit of vinegar. Add the toys in after some water has filled and you put the baking soda or vinegar in.
Put them through a normal wash cycle. Sometimes I put them through the rinse cycle twice to make sure everything came off.
Then you can throw them in the dryer on low heat, usually for about 30 minutes. Check on them to make sure they are dry.
Or if you use a clothesline you could hang them up to dry.
Kiara was happy to get all her toys back after the cleaning!
By hard toys I mean any rubber or plastic toys. Even leashes, collars, puzzle games, and bowls.
You want to make sure to get rid of any broken ones. Including plastic or rubber toys that have scratches on it. This is because germs can more easily build up in there and it will be nearly impossible to clean.
I find the best way to clean these is by soaking them in a sink or tub. Use a small amount of vinegar in the water. Grab an old toothbrush (that hasn’t been used with cleaning chemicals) to scrub off any crusted on dirt and grime.
If you can’t get something clean, you could use some baking soda to help eat away at the dirt.
Leashes and collars can soak in the water for a while and then you can scrub them dry. If they are machine washable, that will be an easier way but not all are so I mentioned it with the hard toys.
If you give your dog bones, they shouldn’t be more than a week old. By that time plenty of bacteria has grown on the bone and could make your dog sick.
Also, make sure to get rid of any small pieces that your dog could swallow and choke on.
Most likely your dog’s bed is machine washable.
If it isn’t you should throw it out after a certain amount of time. Bacteria and mites can grow in your dog’s bedding, and no one wants that!
Strip the fabric cover from the bedding and throw them in the washing machine. Wash these the same way as you did with the soft toys.
Now your dog's toys and accessories will be squeaky clean! (Cheesy pun intended!)