Everyday Adventures in Havachon Heaven

The Good, Crazy, & Adorable Life of One Havachon Puppy

Dog Toy Bacteria Danger – Wash or Waste?

Daisy has one toy that has survived her sharp teeth for several months – it’s the only “veteran” in her toy collection. Clearly the best made toy we’ve invested in!

This is the toughest toy I've ever had!

It’s a small stuffed ring with little squares of material protruding from it like stumpy spokes. Every other “spoke” is filled with a crinkly material that makes a crunchy sound when Daisy bites it. Daisy LOVES anything with sound to it.

Lately I noticed that when she plays with this toy, the stuffed ring gets saturated. Not just wet – saturated. It’s pretty gross. Thinking about this, I became concerned about the bacteria that could be growing inside this toy and could possibly make Daisy sick.

Yup, it sure can.

Apparently, stuffed dog toys are notorious bacteria breeders. Your dog can get any number of symptoms from diarrhea to gum issues because of the bacteria growing in toys, and even if your vet gives Puppy an antibiotic to clear up the problem, poor Puppy will just keep getting re-infected if he/she keeps playing with that dirty toy.

It’s been suggested by companies like Hartz that chewing ropes and stuffed toys can “harbor all sorts of microbes”. (::shudder:: ) A US government study found that bacteria can be killed by microwaving bacteria-producers like sponges, and some dog toys can be microwaved safely too.

To keep your dog from ingesting potentially hazardous bacteria, Hartz recommends cleaning these types of toys:

  • Chewing ropes – these can be microwaved for one minute, but it’s recommended that you keep an eye on the rope just in case, and use protective covering on your hand when removing the hot rope from the microwave. An alternative is to run the rope through the hot cycle of your dishwasher without adding detergent. The water is much hotter than running hot sink water over the toy, which won’t kill bacteria.
  • Stuffed toys – wash in your washing machine on the hot water setting; flimsy toys may not be sturdy enough to withstand a wash cycle, but a better made toy will. They should also be able to go through the dryer.
  • Any toys that are breaking or that your dog can bite chunks off should be thrown away. We had a Nylabone that Daisy was able to destroy within a few days at only 4 months of age. However, we found a hard plastic Nylabone specifically made for tough chewers, and she’s been working on that for 2 months. She’s only just now starting to take small shreds off it and make good-sized dents in it. She’ll be getting a new one in the near future!

I put Daisy’s ring toy through the hot water wash with her bath towels and blankets; I use one of the “free and clear” detergents with no perfumes, dyes, etc. to make sure nothing irritating gets left behind. That magical ring went through the washer and dryer and still looks like its ol’ self! And it was only a $4 toy!

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Havachon Laundry Lessons

Daisy seems to have a real affinity for laundry – after all, it’s the one thing that she always tries to pull off the sofa when it’s piled up, waiting to be folded…well, that and the fleece throws that she likes cuddling up with!

Whenever I take the laundry basket into the laundry room, there she is, trotting alongside me as if something exciting is about to happen. She watches me sort, toss, and start the washing machine as if she’s taking mental notes; then she seriously gets into part 2, when I move the clothes from the washer to the dryer. That’s her favorite part.

So I decided to teach her some lessons about how to do laundry – mostly to entertain myself, I guess! As I take each article of clothing out of the washing machine, I tell her “shake and throw” in a singsong voice, as I shake


This sure smells April fresh!

the folds out of wet pants and shirts, then throw them into the dryer. Again, she watches and listens intently – I swear one day I’m going to find her doing her own “shake and throw”!

Wouldn’t it be great if she could be taught to pick up anything that misses the dryer and falls on the floor? Like that occasional sock that just refuses to go into the dryer and falls down in front of her? She sniffs and sniffs anything that ends up in her domain (the floor), and playfully nips at pant legs that hang out of the dryer opening.

Maybe one day she can become a part-time laundress! 🙂

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Laundry Thief

I'm completely innocent, I tell you!

She waits quietly, innocently even, for us to leave her alone in the family room where the clean laundry sits in a pile on a sofa, waiting to be folded.

That’s when she makes her move.

With the stealth of a master thief and the cunning of a super sleuth, she silently reaches up onto the sofa and pulls her target onto the floor. “Now,” she thinks, “now you’re all mine.”

I found Daisy yesterday surrounded on the floor by half the laundry I’d done. Socks, shirts, undies – you name it, she had it. She looked like a pirate sitting in the center of his stolen booty, pleased as she could be, nipping a sock here, a shirt there, everything getting equal play.

I scolded her and put everything back in the laundry basket to be redone, but I never got the chance to fold the rest of the laundry. I pushed it to the back of the loveseat, out of her reach…or so I thought.

Today while I was on a lengthy phone call with a friend, this little sly thing pulled her silent maneuvers again, but this time she got so excited at her find that she gave herself away. She’d pulled down a pair of socks (how she happened to end up with a matched set, I don’t know) and was doing her “new toy dance” across the floor with it. Whenever we give Daisy a new toy, she romps from one end of the family room to the other, gives it a few chews, romps back again, gives it a few more nibbles, and repeats this several times as if celebrating the newbie’s arrival.

She did this with the sock and when I heard that telltale romping, I knew something was up. I caught her in the act, romping along with ears flying and the sock streaming out behind her. I took the sock away and added the pair to the laundry basket, then went back inside. As I passed the doorway I witnessed her at work: she was stretched at full length with her paws on top of the sofa seat, stretching her neck out like a giraffe in an attempt to reach yet another piece of washed clothing.

“Down!” I yelled. She was so shocked she jumped and hasn’t tried her little ploy again….yet….

I guess I’d better go fold the remaining laundry now.

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Bathtime Challenges

No, Daisy doesn’t mind baths themselves so much….anymore. And I get such a laugh every time out of how this furry puppy turns into a stick figure when she’s wet! I also love holding her afterward, all snuggled up in a towel and oh so warm and toasty. She gets very relaxed and a couple of times, she almost fell asleep in those few minutes. It’s my favorite part of bath time and one of those truly tender life moments.

What she really hates is being blow-dried afterward. I hold her on my lap and DD blow dries her on a low, warm setting. She’s okay with that, but we can only dry her head, back, and one side because she’s so tightly curled up like a furry curly-fry (not a tasty image, I know…).

The one funny thing she does is when we aim the dryer at her head, she snaps at the moving air as if trying to catch it! That part is cute.

After we dry as much as we can that way, we stand her on the counter (while I hold her) with a towel under her to dry her legs and underside, but she tries to run away and starts whining and yapping and it’s impossible to manage. Now that it’s so hot out, we can take her outside for a little while and she dries pretty fast, but what do we do during the cooler seasons?

Does anyone have any suggestions or advice?

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