Throw Your Dog Toys Away Immediately If You Notice This

Every dog lover knows these aren't just four-legged friends, but part of the family. That means committing to a life filled with dog hair, occasional paw-prints on the floor, and tons of toys all around the house. Pet parents want what's best for their dogs, which means knowing when to throw out their toys. You might have to sneak them out behind your dog's back, but every now and then, dog toys do need to be thrown away.

There's a good choice that your dog has about 10 toys on the floor at all times. Whether they rip the items up right away or they've been sticking around for a while, it might be time to examine them a little closer. Sometimes pet parents can feel guilty with scooping up their dog's toys and throwing them away. But it turns out that if you don't throw them away in time, there could be some really bad consequences for your fur baby.

Throw your dog's toy away if you see rips or fuzz

According to PetSmart, you'll be able to visually see when it's time to throw a dog toy away. There's no science to it. PopSugar relates that all you need to do is look at the toy to know when it's time for it to go. If you look at your dog's cloth-covered toy and you see fluff coming out, or rips on the side, it's time to throw that toy away. There's no time period to it either, as some dogs are a bit rougher with their toys than others.

"It may be a matter of minutes for some pets and a matter of months for others," Jennifer Frione, DVM, owner of Lakeside Animal Hospital in Broward County, tells the publication. "If a soft toy starts to rip at the seam and/or stuffing is coming out, it is time for you to replace it with a new soft fluffy toy for your four-legged friend."

PetSmart agrees, adding that you also should throw away rubber toys that break. "Damaged rubber toys can have sharp edges that could injure pets' mouths and stomachs," the brand says on the website. Another danger: The pet can get extremely sick with gastrointestinal problems (via PopSugar). No pet lover wants that.

You should wash your dog toys two or three times a week

Dog toys are, well, dirty. There's no secret there, but it turns out that they're really dirty. "According to the National Science Foundation, pet toys are one of the top 10 reservoirs for germs in the household," Georgina Ushi Phillips, DVM, medical director at Pet Urgent Care of Wesley Chapel, tells PopSugar. Because of that, Phillips suggests washing dog toys that are loved or that go outside two to three times per week.

Considering that's more than some people do their own laundry throughout the week, that seems a little compulsive. Another great option is to have designated outdoor and indoor toys. You could also have a rotation of toys, so you can throw dirty ones into the hamper until laundry day (via Humane Society).

As far as how often to examine your dog's toys, Phillips suggest looking every single day to make sure no stuffing is coming out. This is the best way to keep your dog safe and save yourself from having to pay a hefty vet bill.

Rotating your dog's toys to make them last

If your dog seems to frequently tear up toys, there's a way to make the playthings last a bit longer. According to the Humane Society, rotating your dog's toys weekly is a great way to make the items last longer and gives the dog something to look forward to each week. "Rotate your dog's toys weekly by making only a few toys available at a time," the Humane Society says. "Keep a variety of types easily accessible. If your dog has a favorite, like a soft comfort toy, you may want to leave it out all the time."

While it does take a lot to be a dog parent, there's no one right way to do it. At the end of the day, just make sure there are no rips or stuffing falling out of your pet's soft toys, or sharp or pointed edges appearing on the harder toys. Being proactive can make all the difference in the world to your beloved pet.