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Caring For Fido’s Toys
February 15, 2022
Did you know that toys and playtime are crucial to your dog’s health and well-being? Playing is very important to Fido, mentally and physically. Of course, given that our canine pals play with their mouths, it’s probably no surprise that their toys get crusty and gross so fast. A Raleigh, NC vet offers some advice on caring for your furry friend’s toys below.

Stuffed Animals

Plushies are definitely the preferred toy among many of our canine companions. However, they take a lot of abuse, and can fall apart pretty quickly. If Fido’s favorite stuffed penguin is little more than a few scraps of cloth, it’s probably best to just toss and replace it. However, if the toy is still intact enough to survive a bit longer, you should be able to machine-wash it. If there are small tears, take a minute to sew them up first. Use an unscented detergent and hot water, and then tumble dry on low. It’s worth pointing out that some stuffed animals can be dangerous. The ones made for people may have things like button eyes or little accessories, which can be choking hazards. Some dogs also try to eat the stuffing or squeakers. Err on the side of caution here!

Rope Toys

Rope toys can actually be cleaned in the microwave. Remove any metal pieces first. Then, soak it in water and nuke it on high for one minute. Let it cool off before you give it back to your furry buddy.

Tennis Balls

Tennis balls are also machine washable. Use a non-scented detergent and cold water, and hang dry … preferably somewhere Fido can’t see it.


Most rubber and plastic toys, such as Kong toys, are dishwasher safe, though you’ll want to check the label to make sure. Use an old toothbrush to get any grime out of small pockets and crevasses, and then pop it into the dishwasher. Don’t use soap: the steam and hot water will do the trick.


Chews can’t really be washed, per se. However, you can pop them in the freezer overnight. This won’t make them look any better, but it will help kill germs. (Note: Be sure to ask your vet for advice on chew toys, as some can be dangerous.) As your local Raleigh, NC animal clinic, we are here to help! Please feel free to contact us anytime!
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