Pets bring energy, joy, and companionship to our lives, but one of the things we don’t want them to bring is germs. Disinfecting your dog toy can be an easy and effective way to keep germs and bacteria at bay and protect your canine companion from illnesses. When not well sanitized, a pet’s toys can serve as a breeding ground for bacteria.
In this post, we’ll explain why disinfecting your dog’s items is important and give you some helpful tips on how to maintain the cleanliness of dog toys to keep your beloved pet happy and healthy.
Why Is Dirty Dog Toys Dangerous?
Dirty dog toys can be dangerous because it can be a good host for germs and bacteria since they are often used many times in a day. Pets often use their mouths to play with their toys and this is a common way for germs to easily spread from the toys to pets.
According to some vets, your dog’s toy could even make them sick. That’s why they encourage dog owners to wash their pet’s toys at least once a month. Apart from bacteria, a filthy dog toy could be hosting harmful fecal coliforms, like E. coli, which could also affect humans. However, the good news is that pets are capable of dealing with a lot more germs than humans are, so the health risks are not as great.
Contrary to popular belief, canine acne is rarely caused by hormonal imbalances or changes during their early growth years. In fact, it mainly affects pups that chew on filthy toys and generally eat in bacteria-infested areas. Grime and bacteria can accumulate in the hair and pores on their face, leading to irritation – which manifests as red bumps or even pustules.
Disinfecting your pup’s toys and their other items is a suitable solution for puppy acne. Provided the dog’s bowls and toys are properly cleaned and maintained in a sanitary condition, this issue is unlikely to reappear. The actual danger of dirty dog toys is to humans. You might not realize how often you come into contact with your dog’s items; let alone the bacteria and germs that have accumulated on them.
Dirty dog toys also tend to get damaged faster as well. Depending on its material, a dog’s toy will start to weaken and break easily, posing a choking hazard. Therefore, be a responsible owner and do a proper and regular cleaning. This will allow you to examine your pet’s toy to ensure they are in great condition.
But how do you disinfect your dog toy? Let’s find out below:
How to Disinfect Dog Toys?
Hard and Plastic Toys
In order to clean hard and plastic pet toys, start by putting a little white vinegar in a container with water. Soak the toy in the mixture, clean them thoroughly and then let them dry naturally.
Soft and Plush Toys
The main purpose of disinfecting your dog’s soft toys is to eradicate dust mites. These tiny bugs are responsible for the allergic reactions that make pets and humans sick. Wash soft and plush toys by putting them through a mixture of baking soda and hot water in your washing machine on a gentle cycle. Use low-level heat to dry them.
Plush animals and rope toys should be washed more regularly than other types of pet toys. Rope toys have soft, absorbent fibers that can absorb drool moisture and make them a breeding ground for bacteria and germs.
Start by removing any metallic parts, soak the toys and put them in the microwave for at least a minute. Once they are dry, they will be germ-free and ready for your dog to play with them.
When it comes to disinfecting rubber toys, we recommend using vinegar. This natural disinfectant is gentle enough not to destroy the toys. You can soak rubber, nylon and silicone toys in warm water and 5% vinegar solution for around 10 minutes, and then scrub them gently with a clean brush or sponge to get rid of any accumulated dirt. Be sure to air dry the toys properly before giving them back to your canine companion.
Homemade Disinfectant Tips for Dog Toys
Disinfectants kill germs but they don’t get rid of dirt. Before you use any disinfectant, a thorough cleaning is necessary.
Start by removing all toys. Carefully wash and disinfect one toy at a time. Use a scrub brush and gentle detergent to scrub the surfaces to eradicate dirt and waste. Rinse properly to remove detergent before disinfecting.
Although bleach is effective as a disinfectant, it can cause any metal parts to corrode and damage clothing. Moreover, it can irritate your pet’s airways and sinuses.
Vinegar contains 5% acetic acid that acts as a disinfectant to kill germs. To produce your disinfecting mixture, add vinegar to an equal amount of water. Add a little baking soda to eradicate odors. Apply vinegar and water solution to the toy to disinfect and leave it on for around 10 minutes and then rinse them thoroughly.
Ways to Maintain Cleanliness of Dog Toys
So, here are a few tips to maintain the cleanliness of your dog toys so they can enjoy them for longer.
Check labels: Check labels before buying new products for your dog. Choose products that are easier to clean. If they are fabric or cloth, this is even more important.
Wash frequently: Although you don’t have to clean your canine’s toys on a daily basis, it’s advisable to regularly wash the ones they use often.
Sanitize: Keep germs and bacteria at bay with pet-safe disinfectants.
Control the chaos: Create a dedicated play area to help maintain an orderly home.
Toss out damaged or broken toys: This will also help prevent them from becoming a choking hazard.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is it safe to bleach dog toys?
No, it is not safe to bleach dog toys. It’s best to avoid using them or any other harsh cleaning products since it can cause skin irritation – thus, you should try and avoid it. Instead, try using apple vinegar and baking soda solution.
Will vinegar hurt dogs?
It depends. Vinegar might not be completely safe for dogs, but most pet parents add diluted white vinegar or apple cider vinegar to their pup’s regimens due to its supposed ability to clean, heal and reduce orders. Nonetheless, administering vinegar to your pooch is not an ideal solution as compared to any cleaning requirements your pet may have.
What Laundry Detergent Is Safe For Dogs?
A gentle detergent with no fragrance or dyes is safe for dogs. Make sure to toss them in the dishwasher or washing machine when they start to smell.
How often should I wash my dog’s toys?
You should wash your dog’s toys at least once a month to keep germs at bay. More, depending on how active your dog is. Without proper care of their toy, these products would become be hazardous in a long run. And washing your pet’s toys regularly can also prolong the life of these products – thus, allowing the pooch to enjoy them for an extended period of time.
When Should You Throw Away Dog Toys?
You should toss dog toys into the garbage bin if they are torn, broken or damaged. It’s sad, but sometimes the time comes to part ways with your dog’s favourite toys. Once they are damaged, they can break or crack. This means that your pooch would end up eating small parts of the toy when they are chewing on it.
Keeping your dog toys clean and sanitized isn’t always easy- and at times it feels impossible. However, considering how much your pooch loves his toys, putting in the effort to clean and disinfect them can be a great way to keep your furry friend healthy and happy. It is also important to get the right type of toys for your dogs. Some dogs may be sensitive or dislike certain materials. Fortunately, Well Pet Coach covers this in-depth about the best dog toys to have and how these toys can help to keep them both physically and emotionally healthy. As pet parents, we want the best for them and knowing what suits them is important. Do check out this Facebook page to read more of such relevant insights.