Sterilizing

Sterilization is the process of removing all living organisms and biological agents from an item.

In the hospital we use autoclaves to steam clean surgical instruments before use. After they have been scrubbed clean, lubricated and air dried they are wrapped in a pack with other tools, towels and drapes the veterinarian will use in surgery and then ran through the autoclave to use pressure and steam to kill everything on those very important tools.

Your dishwasher is generally the closest thing you have to this in your house. You should get bowls for your pets that are dishwasher safe and run them through a cycle now and them to sanitize them. I like having a few sets of pet dishes. Then you can just put fresh food down, empty and remove the used bowl and wash it with a cycle so you always have clean bowls waiting for use.

Some pet toys that are hard plastic, like Kongs, can also go through the dishwasher on a regular basis.

Softer toys can go through the clothes washer on a hot cycle but dishwashers run too hot for these. Make sure the toys are labeled dishwasher safe before you run them through.

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