One of the pleasures of having a dog is watching them play with their favorite toys. Whether your pup carries them around in their mouth to show off or gleefully throws them in the air, even the most well-cared-for toy starts looking a little grungy after some time.
Most of my dog’s toys don’t last long enough to need cleaning because my dog is Satan, but the hardiest toys can last us a few months, after which they’d start smelling like pizzle sticks on a humid day if I don’t give them a good clean.
So to keep my dog’s toys in good shape and avoid letting my house smell like doggie drool, here are a few tips I’ve learned along the way.
1. Chuck it in the dishwasher. (Toys, not dogs.)
If you’ve got a dishwasher, you can put your dog’s rubber or nylon toys on the top rack for a nice sanitizing hot wash. I usually just throw them in with my pup’s water and food bowls at the end of the week. You don’t need detergent — the extra hot water will help get rid of any stinky germs.
*Note: If unsure about whether to throw your toys in the dishwasher, check with the toy manufacturer first.*
The Mazee toy ($21) from Planet Dog is pawfectly designed to go in the top rack of your dishwasher so you don’t have to worry about nasties living inside your dog’s treat-filled toys.
2. Use more machine power. (Toys, not dogs.)
You can throw tennis balls and cloth or stuffed toys in the washing machine and pop them in the dryer. I like to use a sensitive detergent for the wash and vinegar as a rinse for my dog’s toys, and the bonus part is that chucking a few tennis balls in with your towels will make them fluffier.
If you’re nervous about putting any toys in the dryer, try putting them in an old pillowcase first. And make sure there are no plastic pieces. If you’re still not sure, an afternoon hanging in the sun can dry your pup’s soft toys just fine!
3. Go for rubber or washable materials.
Toys with lots of nooks and crannies for bacteria to grow are hazardous to your pup’s health since you can’t ever get them fully clean. My pup used to have a toy that was very textured and a pain in the behind to clean properly after stuffing it with peanut butter, despite her best efforts to lick up all the yumminess. Once I got rid of that toy, I vowed to only buy toys that would make my life simpler.
I always look for rubber toys or toys that are clearly marked as easy to clean or open up so I can make sure to get in there and scrub or wash away the grime, especially when my pup rolls her toys in dirt. The Orbee-Tuff Peace Sign Nook ($13) from Planet Dog is minty, made of super durable Orbee-Tuff material, and has huge holes that can be sanitized in a jiffy.
4. Keep your dog’s mouth smelling fresh.
A good way to prevent your toy bin from smelling like a kennel is to keep your dog’s dental health in check. Your vet can tell you if a dental cleaning is necessary, and how to brush your dog’s teeth at home. Buying toys that stimulate your pup’s mind while helping him keep his teeth clean is a great and easy way to ensure that your puppy’s breath isn’t the cause of his stinky toys. The Pup Bone toy ($9) from Planet Dog is available on BarkShop and has a minty flavor to keep your pup’s breath smelling so fresh and clean from puppyhood.
5. Buy scented toys.
I’m not talking about bully stick scent, though! Some toys come with a refreshing mint scent that helps cut down on the smell of dried dog saliva in your dog’s toy pile. Planet Dog has a whole line of minty fetch toys that also happen to be nice to look at! Some of my faves are the Orbee Globe Ball and the Nook line. The bonus? They float, so you can take them along for some water fun too!
By the way, Planet Dog donates a portion of each purchase towards helping dogs in need, so you can feel good about your dog’s toys smelling good.
Got any more tips for keeping your dog’s toys squeaky clean? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below! 😛
Sniff this related article: 16 Beautiful Dog Toys You’ll Want To Keep For Yourself
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