Caring for Your Dog’s Toys

Does your canine buddy have a pile of doggy toys he loves to play with? If so, that’s great! Making sure your pet has plenty of playthings to amuse himself with is very important! After all, toys and playing are crucial to both Fido’s health and his well-being. However, it probably won’t take long for that cute stuffed animal you gave your pup to become, well, pretty icky. Read on as a Somerville, MA vet discusses caring for your pet’s toys.

Stuffed Animals

Many of Fido’s stuffed animal toys can go right into the wash. Use unscented detergent, and the hottest dryer cycle you have. However, if your pup’s favorite teddy bear has been reduced to a few scraps of fabric, it’s best to just discretely toss it (when your canine friend isn’t looking) and replace it with a new one. For safety reasons, we recommend removing small pieces, like squeakers and plastic buttons or eyes, as they can be choking hazards.

Tennis Balls

Tennis balls can also go into the washing machine. Use a gentle cycle and unscented detergent, and let it air dry before handing it back to your four-legged pal.

Rope Toys

Rope toys gather germs pretty quickly, so they should be cleaned regularly. Remove any metal pieces, and soak the fabric by holding it under the faucet. Then, microwave it for about a minute on high. Make sure it’s cool and dry before your next round of Tug-O-War!


Many rubber and plastic toys, like Kong toys, can be cleaned in the dishwasher. Rinse your pet’s plaything thoroughly, and use an old toothbrush to remove any grime or food particles. Then, go ahead and run it through the dishwasher. Don’t add soap: the hot water and steam will do the trick.

Chew Toys

If you have a toy that can’t be washed, seal it in a plastic bag and keep it in the freezer for a day or two. Although this won’t make Fido’s plaything any cleaner, it will at least help kill germs.


When choosing toys, always be sure to pick ones that are the correct size for Fido. We also recommend sorting out your canine buddy’s playthings regularly, and replacing anything that is worn out.

Please contact us, your Somerville, MA animal clinic, with any questions or concerns about your dog’s health or care. We’re here to help!

Comments are closed.