How To Clean Your Pet’s Accessories

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How To Clean Your Pet’s Accessories

Pet accessories like food bowls, pet toys and beds get dirty. They can become a breeding ground for bacteria that can make your pet sick and spread throughout your home. To maintain a safe and healthy environment for your entire family, including your beloved canine pal, you must regularly clean your pet’s belongings.

Use pet-safe products when cleaning pet items. While regular cleaning products are safe for humans when used properly, they may be detrimental to your pet’s health. For instance, concentrated bleach is a useful disinfectant commonly used for various surfaces. However, it can cause skin irritation, vomiting, diarrhea and other serious health problems if your pet gets in contact with it. As such, it’s important to be aware of the proper cleaning products and processes to follow when keeping your pet’s items clean.

It’s also vital to understand how frequently you need to refresh your furry friend’s items to maintain a germ-free home. To help, you can refer to this guide for cleaning your pet’s accessories.

Clean Dog Beds Every Two Weeks

Ideally, your pet’s bed must be cleaned once every two weeks. However,  if your pet tends to shed a lot or spend time outdoors, you may need to wash the beds once a week because dirt and dander will collect faster. You should also clean the beds more frequently if anyone in your home has pet allergies. While these considerations help determine the frequency of cleaning pet beds, it’s a good idea to clean them as often as possible because the longer you wait between washings, the harder it will be to remove grime off the bedding. 

When washing pet beds, check the construction if you can wash the entire bed or just its cover. Some customizable dog beds come with a removable outer covering you can put in the washing machine. If not, it’s usually safe to put the whole bed into the machine as long as there aren’t any tears where the stuffing could get out. Also, make sure to use an unscented detergent and run it under the hottest wash cycle. Then, hang it out to dry. 

Wash Pet Bowls after Each Use

Pet food bowls must be washed after every meal while dedicated water bowls can be washed every couple of days. When cleaning pet bowls, it’s important to remove all traces of food as these can harbor bacteria that your pet can ingest and get sick from. 

Today, many manufacturers offer dishwasher-safe pet bowls for the convenience of pet parents. Hand washing the bowls with warm water and mild dishwashing soap is a good option too, especially if your four-legged pal uses stainless steel bowls. Washing these types of pet bowls by hand helps retain their quality and ensures that the paint won’t chip or fade quickly. Whether you opt to use the dishwasher or handwash your pet’s bowl, let them dry completely or wipe them with a clean dish towel before letting your pets use them.

If you notice scratches, cracks or chips on food bowls, throw them away immediately. These spots can trap moisture and food particles, making them ideal environments for germs to grow. Even with daily cleaning, you may not be able to completely sanitize the bowl. So, it’s best to get a replacement. 

Clean Pet Toys Each Month or As Needed

Pets enjoy playing with their toys and often take these items everywhere inside and outside the home. Pet toys can be a breeding ground for mold and bacteria. To ensure your furry friend has something clean and safe to play with, clean their favorite toys every month or as often as needed.

Cleaning Plush Toys

When cleaning your pup’s most-loved custom plush toys, use a pet-friendly detergent. Then, place them in a mesh garment bag and run the washing machine on a delicate cycle to prevent damage. Alternatively, you can wash them by hand. You can also forego the detergent and use a natural solution instead. Soak the soft toys in a half and half solution of water and white distilled vinegar. The vinegar acts as a natural disinfectant and can eliminate germs. It is also safer for pets since they often carry the toys in their mouths. Before storing or returning the toys to your furry friend, make sure the plushies are completely dry to prevent mold from growing.

Cleaning Hard Toys

For firmer pet toys, you can wash them the same way as you would the pet bowls in hot water using mild dish soap. Another option is to fill your sink or a basin with warm soapy water and submerge the toys. Then, use a clean toothbrush to scrub each one and remove any gunk. Once done, rinse and lay the toys out on a clean rag to dry.

If your pet’s toys are frayed or torn, they may no longer be safe for your dog to use. They might accidentally ingest bits of plastic or fabric. In this case, it’s best to get rid of the toy once you spot tears or holes.

All pet accessories are bound to get dirty with constant use and will need to be cleaned. When cleaning pet items, it’s important to do it regularly while using pet-friendly cleaning products. This way, you can keep your pet’s favorite items clean and hygienic without using chemicals that can harm your beloved pet. If you aren’t certain what cleaning products to use, ask your veterinarian for recommendations. 

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