How to Wash Dog Beds: A Step-by-Step Guide

Last Updated on October 3, 2022 by Editorial Team

Dogs come into contact with so much dirt, grime, and disease-causing pathogens. Unlike human beings, a dog’s environment is dirtier, and this dirt is often transferred onto their dog bed when they lie on it.

Your dog may encounter pathogens from its own or other animal droppings, and some of these can cause human diseases. This is why it is essential to wash your dog’s bed regularly.

The first step is to pick out a dog bed that is easy to wash and withstand regular washing without damaging its fabric and contents.

A machine-washable bed or a bed with a removable cover would make your life much more comfortable, although any bed can be cleaned.

This simple guide will show you how to wash dog beds.

How Often Should Your Dog Bed Be Washed?

Different factors determine the length of time you should take between cleanings. For example, if your dog has been rolling in mud or animal poop and transferred this dirt to the bed, the bed should be cleaned immediately.

If you have a dog with allergies and hypersensitivities, or an immune-compromised dog (such as old or sick dogs), their bed should be washed more often. This also applies if a family member is sick, weak, asthmatic, immune-compromised, or has other allergies.

If your dog sheds hair excessively, their bed will need more regular cleaning (or vacuuming).

You should generally wash your dog’s bed weekly or twice a week if the above applies to you.

Otherwise, just let your senses guide you – wash it when it’s unnaturally dirty or smelly. Your dog certainly won’t complain because the bed is too clean! Everyone, including dogs, appreciate being in a clean sleeping environment for proper rest.

Read also: 6 Best Carpet Cleaners for Pets’ Stain and Odor Removal

How to Clean a Dog Bed

As mentioned, cleaning your dog’s bed is a lot easier when you have a removable cover or if the entire bed is machine-washable. Follow these steps to ensure the bed is cleaned and dried correctly every week.

Step 1: Vacuuming

Vacuuming helps get rid of loose dirt, pet dander, and other particles before washing the bed. You should vacuum first because, even after washing, pet hair sticks to the wet fabric while in the washer, hampering that proper clean you want.

Use the vacuum hose with an upholstery attachment and focus on the sleeping surface, carefully removing all the dust, fur, and particles from the entire cover. You should vacuum in between cleanings to keep the bed clean.

Step 2: Remove Your Cover

Most big dog beds on the market today have removable covers to make the washing process easier for pet owners. If yours has a removable lid, take it off entirely and wash it according to the instructions written on the care label.

If your cover is not removable, it probably means the manufacturer made the entire bed go into the washer. When your bed is too large for your machine, you may have to take it to a high-capacity washer at your local laundromat.

Step 3: Remove Stains

Find some stains on the bed? Just throwing it in the wash may not remove the stain. Before washing, urine, feces, mud, or food stains should be dealt with separately.

Spray the bed with a stain remover (following the instructions on the container). Alternatively, if you don’t have a stain remover handy, use this guide to help you remove different kinds of stains.

Step 4: Wash

Load the entire bed or bed cover into your machine and wash with the highest water temperature setting to kill germs. Dog beds should be washed in 140°F (60°C) water minimum for proper cleaning.

Dogs are sensitive to smells and harsh chemicals, so use a mild detergent with a very soft scent when cleaning. Rinse thoroughly to remove all traces of soap. Use natural detergent and add an extra rinse for hyper-sensitive pets.

Take it to your local laundromat for cleaning if your doggy bed is too large for your washer.

If your dog bed has memory foam, machine cleaning can destroy the memory foam. You should only vacuum, clean, and air the memory foam topper and remove any stains (cover memory foam with a waterproof topper for easy handling).

Step 5: Drying

To ensure it dries properly, you can dry your dog bed in a large dryer at the highest temperature. Leave to air dry to remove any residual moisture and prevent the growth of mold, mildew, or unpleasant odors.


Learning how to wash dog beds is essential for any pet owner. If your dog bed has a removable cover, air the mattress while cleaning out the dryer and flip it before replacing the cover (where possible).

Always wash your hands thoroughly with soap and running water after handling your dog’s bed or other pet items. Wear gloves, use paper towels to clean up droppings, and keep the floor around the dog bed clean.

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