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Caring For Fido’s Toys
February 1, 2023

Does your pup get super excited when he sees that you have a new toy for him? Fido’s reaction at spotting a new plaything is always super adorable! Toys are important for your furry pal’s health and well-being. However, they also take a beating, and can get gunky pretty quickly. After all, Man’s Best Friend uses his mouth to play! A Saginaw, MI vet discusses caring for dog toys below.


Many dogs love stuffed animals. Fido sometimes uses them as comfort toys to snuggle up with, but he’s also fond of, well, destroying them. Most stuffed animals can be put in the washer. Use an unscented detergent and hot water, then tumble dry on low. However, before you decide to clean a plushie, make sure it’s worth saving. Small tears can often be mended, but major rips and stains are a different story. (This probably goes without saying, but if you throw your canine pal’s toy out, do it when he’s sleeping or in another area.)

Tennis Balls

Tennis balls are also machine washable. As with the stuffies, you’ll need to use an unscented detergent. Hang dry after.

Rubber Toys

Many rubber toys are dishwasher safe. Use a toothbrush to get rid of any gunk, and then put it into the dishwasher. You don’t need soap: just use a hot cycle. The steam and water will clean and disinfect the toy.

Rope Toys

Fido loves playing Tug O’ War. (Note: this type of play isn’t recommended for dogs that have any tendencies towards aggressive behavior, as it can bring out those mean streaks.) If you want to clean your pup’s rope toy, first check to see if there are any metal clasps or fasteners. If there are, remove them. Then, soak the toy and microwave it on high for a minute. Wait until it’s cool and dry before giving it back.

Chew Toys

Some toys can’t really be washed. For instance, if you give your canine buddy rawhide or rawhide alternatives, you may find rinsing them off doesn’t do much. What you can do is put them in a ziplock bag and then freeze overnight. It may not be much cleaner after, but it at least won’t be as germy. (Note: consult your vet before offering rawhide, as it can be dangerous.)

Please contact us, your Saginaw, MI pet clinic, anytime. We’re here to help!

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