Dogs come into contact with a lot of dirt, grime, and disease-causing pathogens. Unlike human beings, the environment of a dog 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 one that can withstand regular washing without its fabric and contents becoming damaged.
A machine-washable bed or one with a removable cover would make your life much more comfortable, although any bed can be cleaned.
In this article, learn everything you need to know about how to wash dog beds.
How Often Should Your Dog Bed Be Washed?
There are different considerations that 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 member of your family is sick, weak, asthmatic, immune-compromised, or has other allergies.
If your dog sheds hair excessively, their bed will need cleaning (or at least vacuuming) more regularly.
In general, you should 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.
How to Clean a Dog Bed
As mentioned, cleaning your dog 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 to get rid of loose dirt, pet dander, and other kinds of 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, being careful to remove 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 cover, take it off completely and wash according to the instructions written on the care label.
If your cover is not removable, it probably means the manufacturer made the entire bed to be thrown into in 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. Urine, feces, mud, or food stains should be dealt with separately before washing.
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 at least 140°F (60°C) water for proper cleaning.
Dogs are sensitive to smells and harsh chemicals, so use a mild detergent with a very mild 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
You can dry your dog bed in a large dryer at the highest temperature setting to ensure it dries properly. Leave to air dry to remove any residual moisture and prevent the growth of mold or 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 any other pet items. Wear gloves or use paper towels to clean up droppings, and keep the floor around the dog bed clean.