Today, March 20th, marks the first official day of spring 2021! This also means that it might be time to start looking ahead at the spring cleaning that should probably be done sometime in the near feature. When you think about spring cleaning I’m sure cleaning out the garage, junk drawer, gutters, etc, are what immediately come to mind. But you might not think about cleaning your pet or your pet’s items. It is important to keep your pet’s toys, beds, and other items clean as they get so dirty and obtain some much bacteria. Although dogs have a very high tolerance to grime and bacteria, a major concern is actually their skin! Dirty chew toys can actually cause “dog acne.” Also, dirty toys can smell bad and they can deteriorate faster.
Here is a short guide to cleaning some common pet items!
For hard toys, Homes Alive Pets says, “Our top recommendation is to use vinegar. It is a natural disinfectant, is safe to ingest, and is gentle enough not to damage the materials. Rubber, silicone, and nylon toys can be soaked in a 5% vinegar and warm water solution for 10-15 minutes, and then gently scrubbed with a clean sponge or brush to remove built-up dirt.” Just make sure that they are fully dry when you let your pup play with them again!
For soft or plush toys you can actually clean them in your washer! Additionally, adding ¼ cup of vinegar in with them can help get them extra clean. Depending on the quality and material of the toy it might be better to just let them air dry overnight, rather than risking damage in a dryer.
Another tip is to rotate your dogs toys! By having even just two different sets while your pet is playing with one set, you can be washing and cleaning the other set. Then swap whenever the set in use is ready for another round of cleaning.
The process for cleaning your pet's bed is a little different but not much harder! If your pet's bed has a removable cover, cleaning it could be as simple as unzipping it and putting it in the wash with other towels. Just make sure to read the tag to see if it’s washer/dryer safe. For most beds, we recommend just hanging to dry to avoid it possibly shrinking. If your pet’s bed does not have a removable cover, a tip we have is to put it in your bathtub with soap and warm water. For best results, we recommend letting it sit for 10-15 minutes before scrubbing it as best you can. Additionally, allow the bed to air dry overnight, as drying could take longer depending on the size of the bed.
If your main issue is odor then there are tons of pet specific odor removing products on the market that you could try! A few that are well liked are the Arm & Hammer Plus Oxiclean Pet Stain & Odor Eliminator and the Nature's Miracle Dog Stain & Odor Remover Spray. Both are relatively inexpensive and should cost you $10 or less. All pet stores should have at least a few options or you can always order online and have them shipped to your door!
“How to Wash Pet Bedding.” Arm & Hammer, www.armandhammer.com/articles/
Janisse, Krystn. “How to Clean Dog Toys: Keeping You and Your Pet Safe.” Homes Alive Pets Blog, blog.homesalive.ca/dog-blog/