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How to clean various dog toys

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Many dogs have a variety of toys and none of them come with cleaning instructions. While some dogs don’t keep toys around long enough to need a cleaning, several dogs do. Here are some cleaning tips for a variety of dog toys.

Tennis Balls

Tennis balls are often full of bacteria and mud from playtime. A tennis ball can be cleaned in a few simple steps.

1. Fill a sink with warm water. Next, add dish detergent that is safe for animals. A gentle dish detergent will still clean the tennis ball without damaging it.

2. Set the tennis ball into the sink and scrub the ball with your thumbs. This will release dirt caught in the fibers without ruining the tennis ball.

3. Rinse the ball thoroughly.

4. Pat the tennis ball dry with a towel or washcloth.

Kongs and Treat Dispensing Toys

Treat dispensing toys often will get crusty or full of crumbs. When purchasing treat related toys, check to see if they are dishwasher safe. Toys that are dishwasher safe are going to be the easiest to clean. If a toy is dishwasher safe, simply put them in the dishwasher with other toys that are dishwasher safe or alone. Again, make sure to use a gentle detergent that is pet safe. If a toy is not dishwasher safe, wash it will warm soapy water, again using pet safe detergent.

Rope Toys

Almost every dog loves to play tug of war. These toys often become full of bacteria so it’s important to keep them clean. While many people think that perhaps these toys should be put in the washing machine, there is another way: microwave. This may seem unorthodox but it works. Simply wet the toy and then put it in the microwave for one minute. Because wattages vary, keep an eye on the rope toy. Of course, it will be hot when it comes time to take it out so be careful.

Plush Toys

Many plush toys include washing directions on the tag. They can be cleaned by simply putting them in the washing machine with a gentle detergent. Once again, think animal safe detergent. Dry on low heat unless the tag says otherwise.

When it’s Time to Toss

Toys with missing parts, overly chewed toys, and broken toys. If a toy still has an unpleasant odor after it has been washed, it’s time to toss it. There’s no need to feel guilty about throwing out a dog’s toy. Simply replace it with a new one and your pooch will have renewed happiness.

If you have questions, e-mail the Bismarck Pet Examiner at lovedogs1913@gmail.com. Your question might be the topic of her next article.

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