Did you know that one of the best things you can do for Fido—especially when he’s young—is provide him with lots of fun toys? Playing is great for dogs, both mentally and physically. Of course, our canine pals use their mouths to play, so their toys can get grungy pretty quickly. In this article, a West Bloomfield, MI vet offers some tips on cleaning dog toys.

Stuffed Animals

Fido is super cute when he runs up to you holding a plushy toy. It’s hard to resist these adorable ‘Play with me’ requests! Before trying to clean your pet’s favorite stuffed animal, take a good look at it and see if it’s worth saving. Dogs can reduce a stuffed animal toy to a few scraps of crusty fabric in a very short time! If the toy still has some life in it, but has a few rips, sew these holes up. We also recommend removing small parts, like plastic eyes, as they can be choking hazards. If the plushy is on its last legs, get Fido a new one, and discreetly toss the old one out. It’s worth noting that some pooches try to eat the squeaker or stuffing. This can be dangerous! Your vet may recommend choosing other toys.

Rope Toys

To clean a rope toy, start by removing any metal pieces. Soak the toy in water, and then microwave it on high for a minute. When it’s cool and dry, replace the metal part and give Fido his plaything back.

Tennis Balls

Tennis balls are also machine-washable. Use a gentle cycle and a hypoallergenic detergent. Hang dry, preferably in a spot where Fido can’t see it.

Rubber/Plastic Toys

Most rubber and plastic toys are dishwasher safe. You’ll want to rinse them off first. Use an old toothbrush to remove any dust or grime. Then, pop them into the dishwasher, using the hot cycle. You don’t need to add detergent. The hot water and steam will clean and disinfect the toys.


You can’t really wash chew toys. However, you can disinfect them. Rinse it well, then put it in a plastic baggie and freeze for at least 24 hours. It won’t look much better afterwards, but at least it won’t be as germy.

As your West Bloomfield, MI vet clinic, we are dedicated to offering excellent veterinary care. Call us anytime!