How to Wash a Dog Bed

How to wash a dog bed | Animed Direct
Danish Design Eco Wellness Dog Bed

The information in this article was reviewed and approved by registered veterinary nurse, Beth Walker

Animed Veterinary Nurse, Beth Walker

A comfy dog is a happy dog, so making sure your pooch has a cosy bed is essential. But with all the outdoor fun to be had, even the cleanest of dogs will need their bedding cleaned regularly. Dogs beds that are left unclean can become host to bacteria and fleas – and start to smell! So what to do when your pup’s favourite sleep spot needs a wash?

Depending on the dog bed you have, there are different ways to clean it and keep it fresh. Removable covers make light work of washing a dog bed, and some can be thrown in the washing machine. Read on to discover the different types of washable dog beds, and how to go about cleaning them.

Can Dog Beds Be Washed In The Washing Machine?

Some dog beds can go straight in the washing machine – nice and easy! Others will need to have their cover removed first and, depending on what the label says, the inner filling may need to be hand washed. Check your dog bed’s care label to find out how best to wash it.

This anti-bacterial mattress is a great example of a machine washable dog bed. Not only does it have outstanding resistance to machine washing, but it’s also stain and water resistant, as well as odour neutralising.

A dog bed with a cover is another great option for pup’s who get mucky a lot. You can frequently wash the cover without having to do the filling quite so often. This cover also dries quickly as the polyester fibre is resistant to absorbing water.

How To Wash A Dog Bed

First ascertain which parts of your dog’s bed can go in the washing machine, if any. Then follow these steps!

  • Vacuum the bed to get rid of any fur, dirt or other debris.
  • Put the machine washable dog bed or cover into an old pillow case.
  • Wash at the highest temperature recommended on the care label.
  • Be sure to use a pet-safe laundry detergent, and avoid using fabric softener. Not only might it cause irritation, it is also strongly scented which can upset dogs as they have a stronger sense of smell than us. Fabric softeners can also prevent beds that have been designed to wick away moisture from working properly.
  • You might wish to put the dog bed through a second cycle without detergent to wash off any residue.
  • Put it in the tumble dryer if the care label recommends it – if not, air dry it immediately in a well-ventilated, sunny place.

Tip: Like humans, dogs can have allergies to different detergents. If you’re using something new, be sure to monitor your dog for signs of allergies.

If the dog bed is too large to be machine washed or the label advises against it, you can hand wash it in the bathtub. Here’s how:

  • Vacuum the dog bed as before.
  • Fill a bath with hot, soapy water (again, using pet-safe laundry detergent). Ensure there is enough water to completely submerge your dog bed.
  • Soak it for 10-15 minutes first, before gently scrubbing any stains with a toothbrush.
  • You may also want to use baking soda to help remove odours.
  • Rinse the dog bed thoroughly.
  • Wring it out and quickly place it in a well-ventilated, sunny place to dry.

However you choose to wash your dog’s bed, ensure that it is fully dry before putting it back down for your dog. As tempting as it is to let them have their favourite snooze spot back as soon as possible, it’s really important to ensure that the bed and any stuffing inside is dried completely first. Otherwise, it can become a breeding ground for mould and bacteria.

Dog Bed For The Car

Danish Design Car Boot Bed
Danish Design Car Boot Bed

A washable dog bed for the car is particularly important when returning from muddy adventures! You can protect your car and let your dog ride in comfort with a wipe-clean dog mattress.

This boot bed is a great example. It features heavy duty waterproof fabric, so even a doggy dip in the river won’t be a cause for concern. Simply wipe the dog bed clean with a damp cloth.

It also features a removable car bumper protector that will prevent any scratches or muddy splatters down the car bumper when your dog gets in and out.

How Often Should Dog Beds Be Cleaned?

Ideally, you should wash your dog’s bed every week, or more regularly if it’s obviously soiled. This will make sure bacteria and other nasties don’t take hold.

Over the winter months, dog beds may need more frequent washing. One way to help dog beds stay fresher between washes is to prevent the bed from getting wet. It’s more difficult to keep things dry during the winter – you could consider using a towelling robe when your dog comes back from rainy walks to help keep their bed dry.

If your dog has a skin condition, it could be helpful to wash it more regularly.

Wash Don’t Spray!

It can be tempting to use room sprays or other fragrances as a quick way to make your dog’s bed smell better. But these can be very harmful to our pets! The strong fragrances are a lot for our dog’s keen noses and they can cause skin irritation too.

What’s more, it’s important to address the cause of smells, rather than just covering them up. Washing your dog’s bed regularly will prevent the build up of bacteria which is causing the smell.

Wrapping Up

Washing your dog’s bed regularly is important to keep it smelling fresh and looking clean so that your pooch has a safe space to snooze. Machine washable dog beds are ideal, as they require less effort than those that need handwashing. Always take a look at the label in your dog’s bed to check how best to care for it. Then, follow our tips for the best results!

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