As much as we love our four-legged friends, dogs have an inevitable amount of dirt and grime that comes with them. If you’re a dog owner, make sure that you’re regularly cleaning the things that your dog likes the best. As much as he hates having to rework his scent back into his belongings, knowing that you killed the germs that caused that scent is worth the peace of mind!
Dogs carry everything in their mouths, so it’s understandable that their toys would need a good washing every so often. You can buy dog toys online to replace the truly shredded, chewed-to-pieces remnants of toys, but wash the remaining ones while you wait for those to arrive.
- For soft toys, throw them in the washing machine with hot water. You can use a small amount of bleach if you want to for sanitizing purposes, but vinegar and baking soda is a more natural route. Definitely opt for an extra rinse cycle to make sure that they are really clean.
- Many hard toys can actually be put in the dishwasher! Run a cycle of only your dog’s toys with some vinegar and let the heat naturally do the sanitizing work. No chemicals are present to worry about your dog accidentally consuming, and his toys will be free of slime and dirt.
- For those other odd toys that don’t really fit in either category, hand-wash them in the sink. Use hot water and dish soap and get them scrubbed as clean as you can. Rinse with warm water and buff dry.
Food and Eating Space
Speaking of their mouths, imagine how dirty your dog’s food and water dishes are. Well, it turns out you don’t have to imagine: the Public Health and Safety Organization have officially ranked dog bowls as the fourth most germy item in the home. If you’ve noticed that slime that collects at the bottom of their water bowl, it’s time to toss that water and clean the bowl.
- If your dog’s dish is ceramic or stainless steel, put it in the dishwasher with the rest of your dishes every couple of evenings. Check the label to see about your plastic dish.
- For those who don’t have a dishwasher, you can definitely hand-wash the dishes as well. Use hot water and dish soap, adding a squirt of lemon juice or vinegar to help kill any existing bacteria. Rinse and let it air dry.
- Clean the floor and wall where Rover’s dog bowls normally sit. Thanks to their drooly, slobbery mouths there tends to be an extra buildup of gunk surrounding the dog’s bowls. Spray with a mild DIY solution and wipe them clean!
Wash your dog’s bedding every time you change your sheets. If you think that your own germs are nasty, think about all the extra clingers that your dog has in his bed: Dirt, fur, dead skin and all the other gross things that dogs love.
- All blankets and stuffed friends need to be put in the washing machine’s hot cycle and run with bleach, using the extra rinse option. (You might want to run an empty rinse cycle afterward to clean out any excess hair and grit at the bottom of the washer.)
- Check the label for the dog bed and see if it’s machine washable. Hang-dry it outside for a natural antibacterial cleaner: The sun!
- Run the vacuum hose to pick up fur and debris through their kennel or sleeping area, then spray with a solution and wipe it down.
Your dog’s health and happiness are as important as anyone else’s in the family. Make sure that you’re washing all his belongings on a cycle so that he’s kept as healthy as possible