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Safe Playtime: How to Clean and Disinfect Your Dog's Collar and Leash

  • 4 min read

Dogs are just like kids. They love to play and explore their surroundings. But unlike kids, they cannot tell us when something is not clean or causing them discomfort. As responsible pet parents, it is our duty to ensure that our dogs' toys and gear are free of germs and bacteria that could harm their health.  

As fur parents, our top priority is always the health and well-being of our fur babies.

While we may give regular baths to our dogs and wash their bedding, it’s easy to overlook the importance of keeping their toys and gear, such as their collar and leash, clean as well. However, unclean toys and equipment can harbor dirt, germs, and bacteria that can harm your pet's health.

 dog leash

The dangers of unclean equipment are not to be underestimated. Your pet’s toys, especially those made of plush material, can harbor nasty microbes that can easily transfer to your dog's skin and mouth. Although toys made of rubber, plastic, or nylon may be easier to clean, they can still trap dirt, drool, and bacteria in the crevices and cracks.

Rope toys, in particular, can be a breeding ground for germs as the soft fibers trap moisture and drool.

This can lead to skin infections and other health problems, especially if your dog has a compromised immune system or has any open wounds. Regular cleaning and disinfecting of your dog's collar and leash will not only help keep them hygienic, but also extend their lifespan.

To properly clean your dog's toys, bones, and other pet products, it's crucial to know the best methods for each type of material. Here are some guidelines for cleaning different types of toys and other pet products: 

Plush toys

Starting with plush toys, whether they have squeakers, crinkles, or stuffing, it’s important to launder them in the washing machine. 

The first step is to determine the best cycle for washing based on the durability of the toy. For instance, heavier-duty toys that can withstand a bit of rough handling can usually be washed in a normal cycle using cold or warm water.

plush toy dog

On the other hand, if the toy is more delicate, it's best to wash it in a gentle cycle or dry it using a low-heat setting. If you choose to hang the toy to dry, make sure to squeeze out any excess water before doing so. This will help prevent any unwanted mold or bacteria growth and keep your toy fresh and clean for your furry friend to play with.

If you're washing a toy with any electronic components, such as a battery-operated squeaker, it's best to hand wash the toy or simply wipe it down with a damp cloth.

Exposure to water can cause damage to the electronic components and render the toy unusable. 

Rubber toys

Chew toys made of rubber, plastic, or nylon can often be a breeding ground for bacteria and germs, so it's important to regularly wash them to keep them clean. 

One effective method is to hand-wash them using warm water and antibacterial dish soap. This will help kill any bacteria or germs that may have accumulated on the surface of the toy.

To thoroughly clean the toy, it's a good idea to use a toothbrush or scrub brush to get into the crevices and remove any dirt or drool that may have accumulated.

rubber toy dog

For toys that are especially grimy or dirty, a pre-soak in a solution of vinegar and water can help to loosen any dirt and grime before washing with soap and water.

Simply mix equal parts water and vinegar and soak the toy for about 15 minutes. Then, wash the toy with antibacterial dish soap and water as usual. Be sure to rinse the toy thoroughly with clean water to remove any soap residue. 

Rope toys

Rope toys can be disinfected by making sure they are wet and then microwaving for about one minute. This will kill any living organisms in the toy. To clean them, simply toss them in the laundry.

Keep in mind that rope toys should only be rope without any additional elements like plastic rings, bones, or metal.

rope toy dog

Keep in mind that rope toys should only be made of rope, without any additional elements like plastic rings, bones, or metal.

Collars and Leashes

For collars and leashes, you can clean them using soap and water, and then hang them up to dry completely before using them again. It's also a good idea to wash those every month, or more often if they become dirty or smelly.

Safe and ready for playtime!

Keeping your pet's toys and equipment clean and disinfected is crucial for maintaining their health and hygiene. By following these guidelines, you can ensure that your furry friend's toys and gear are always safe and ready for playtime.

Remember, taking a few extra steps can make all the difference in ensuring your pet's health and well-being.

Safe collars and leashes for all dogs!

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