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How to Wash Dog Toys Safely: Step-By-Step Guide

Written by: Patricia Dickson

Last Updated on April 12, 2024 by Dogster Team

belgian malinois lying down with a dog toy

How to Wash Dog Toys Safely: Step-By-Step Guide

We all want our dogs to be healthy and happy. We do everything we can by taking them to the vet, feeding them high-quality kibble, and doting on them with love and patience.

However, many pet parents forget to wash their dog toys, which can make your dog sick. From being outside in the dirt to being carried around the house and dropped on the floor, dog toys pick up a lot of bacteria, germs, dirt, and grime.

You do need to make sure that the dog toys are washed safely, however, as there are chemicals that can make your dog sick in some cleaners. If you’re wondering how to wash your dog’s toys safely, keep reading for four simple steps and more.

divider-dog paw

What Happens If You Don’t Wash Dog Toys?

The least that could happen when you don’t wash your dog’s toys is that they end up grimy, dirty, and smelling horrible. No pet parent wants stinky, dirty toys rolling around on their clean floors and carpeting.

Worse, your pet’s toys will become a breeding ground for germs, bacteria, and illnesses. These things pose a health hazard to your pet, other pets, you, and your family. This means it’s extremely important to clean your dog’s toys on a regular basis for the best results.

The Step-By-Step Guide for Washing Dog Toys the Natural Way

You don’t have to use special products to wash your dog’s toys. There are natural ways to ensure the toys are clean and bacteria-free without worrying that your dog is going to ingest something toxic when he starts chewing on his toys once again. We’ll list the steps for washing your dog’s toys the natural way below.

1. Run a Sink of Dish Soap and Hot Water

First, run a sink of hot water, then add a little dishwashing soap to the mix. Dawn is best because it’s the gentlest and the one that is non-toxic to pets.

dishwashing detergent dispenser on a woman's hand
Image Credit: ViDI Studio, Shutterstock

2. Immerse Your Pet’s Toys and Soak

Once you’ve run the soapy water, put your dog’s toys into the water and let them soak for about an hour. You can skip the soaking part if the toys aren’t very dirty. However, if it’s been a while or the toys are caked with grime and dirt, soaking is best to get the grime and dirt out of the toys and not leave any bacteria and germs behind.

3. Wash One Toy at a Time

Once the soaking time is complete, take a sponge or cloth and wash one toy at a time. Make sure to get into the cracks of the toys and scrub until there is no grime, dirt, or bacteria remaining.

dog bed with toys
Image Credit: Pixel-Shot, Shutterstock

4. Rinse Completely and Let Dry

Once the scrubbing of the toys is complete, rinse them completely and let them dry. Make sure you get all of the soap off the dog’s toys because the dog could get sick from ingesting the left-over soap. Once the toys are dry, you can give them back to your grateful canine to play with once again.


When Should You Throw Away the Dog Toys?

There are times when no amount of washing is going to help save a dog toy. If the toy just refuses to come clean or is damaged, torn, or broken, then it’s best to get rid of the toy and replace it with another. This is because broken, damaged toys can become a choking and health hazard for your pet, so it’s better to be safe than sorry.

Not throwing away damaged dog toys can also end up with the pieces of a broken toy ending up becoming lodged in your dog’s intestines and causing issues you don’t want to deal with. It’s cheaper to replace the toys than it is to pay the vet and a lot safer for your canine friend as well.


Final Thoughts

When taking care of their pets, many pet owners forget about washing their dogs’ toys. While they don’t have to be washed every single day, it is a good idea to give the toys a good scrubbing at least once a week.

There are plenty of methods you can use to clean the dog’s toys and plenty of products you can buy. However, you don’t have to have anything special to get the toys clean and fresh. Simply use dishwashing detergent, a sponge, and a sink of hot water, and your dog’s toys will be clean and ready to be played with for another day.

What do you use to clean your dog’s toys?

Featured Image Credit: Julia Malsagova, Shutterstock

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