How to Clean a Dog Bed

Most people who own dogs want them to have a nice, comfy bed where they can rest and go to sleep. But it can be hard to keep a dog bed clean and organized. Some have removable covers that can be machine-washed, while others require hand-scrubbing. This step-by-step guide will show you how to clean a dog bed and other important things to remember to keep your dog’s bed looking and smelling beautiful.

Cleaning Your Dog’s Bed: How Often Should You Do It?

According to conventional belief, dog beds require routine maintenance. “We advise laundering all bedding at least every two weeks,” advises Tina Wismer, DVM, senior director of the Animal Poison Control Center of the ASPCA.

However, this frequency may fluctuate based on a variety of factors, such as the amount of time your dog spends outdoors, the amount of shedding he does, and whether or not a member of your household has an animal allergy.

Using a Machine to Clean a Dog Bed

Regarding the material of your dog’s bed, the optimal cleaning technique will vary. It can probably be machine-washed and dried in accordance with the manufacturer’s guidelines if it has a detachable cover. However, in the absence of instructions, it is advisable to exercise caution.

According to Eleni Shipp, vice president of marketing at Lemi Shine, a line of cleaning products formulated with pet-safe, plant-based ingredients begins by removing all extra hair and debris from the bed. To accomplish this, either vigorously agitate the bed outside or conduct a thorough vacuum to eliminate any remaining residue.

Shipp then recommends placing the bed cover in the washing machine on the chilly cycle of the regular setting. “I usually add a few dog towels to the mix to fill out the load,” according to her.

Wismer adds that when it comes to detergent, search for something unscented or fragrance-free. Laundry detergent may contain fragrances and perfumes that, similar to those found in humans with sensitive skin, have the potential to induce an allergic reaction in pets, resulting in skin irritation and pruritus.

Avoid not only detergents but fabric softeners as well; they are capable of causing even more harm. “Fabric softeners contain cationic detergents, which have the potential to cause issues for your pets like drooling, vomiting, oral and esophageal ulcers, and fever,” according to Wismer. “These clinical signs require treatment by a veterinarian.” Therefore, it is prudent to run an additional rinsing cycle on your dog bed cover to ensure that the detergent has been completely removed from the fabric.

Shipp adds that allowing the cover of your dog’s bed to air dry is also recommended. However, in order to prevent shrinkage, rinse it on a low setting in the dryer and avoid using dryer sheets. “Oral ulcers can develop if a pet chews on a new or used dryer sheet,” warns Wismer. “If an animal ingests enough sheets, new or used, an intestinal blockage may occur.”

Read More: How to Carve Your Dog or Cat’s Face on a Halloween Pumpkin

How to Hand Wash a Dog Bed in 6 Steps

Without removal inserts, dog beds are nearly never machine-safe, which can make cleaning them a hassle. If so, the following five steps should be followed if you must manually clean a dog bed:

1. Vacuum the Dog Bed

Utilize the head attachment of your vacuum to thoroughly clean a dog bed, including the exterior, interior, and crevices. Although some of the dog hair, dirt, and debris may not be visible to the unaided eye, their complete removal is the objective.

2. Spot Clean Stains

Soak up any liquid that has stained or contaminated your dog’s bed using a paper towel. There are circumstances in which an enzyme spray or stain remover may be required. Ensure that they are pet-safe. For example, the Lemi Shine Multi-surface Disinfecting Spray is a reliable option. Shipp claims that not only does it not contain harsh chemicals, but it is also safe for canines and individuals with asthma, allergies, or other sensitivities that the use of potent chemicals like bleach and ammonia may exacerbate.

3. Soak in Warm, Soapy Water

Depending on the dimensions of your canine companion’s bed, combine unscented laundry detergent with warm water in a basin or bathtub. Once the bed is entirely submerged in water, allow it to dry for a duration of 10 to 15 minutes. In the event that the bed becomes exceedingly filthy and the water turns brown, drain and re-add the water before soaking the bed for an additional 5 to 10 minutes.

4. Sprinkle on Baking Soda

Remove the bed without wringing it from the tub or basin, and liberally sprinkle it with baking soda. Then, employ a scrub brush to cleanse each aperture of the mattress meticulously. Shipp explains that, in addition to being an effective cleaning agent, baking soda is also an excellent absorbent of foul aromas. This is especially beneficial given that the detergent being utilized is fragrance-free.

5. Rinse Thoroughly

While using baking soda to scrub the dog bed, completely drain the water from the tub or basin. Replace it with clean water and submerge the bed once more. Commence kneading the bed in order to eliminate any residual baking soda and detergent. It might be necessary to repeatedly drain and replenish the water in order to eliminate any remaining soapiness.

6. Wring and Dry

After the bed has been thoroughly cleaned, begin to drain it to remove any excess water. It is important to note that as the amount of water removed increases, the drying time of the bed decreases. Once all possible water has been extracted, dry the dog bed in indirect sunlight outside, on a mat, or on a drying stand. There is a possibility that several hours will pass before your mattress is completely dry.

Choose a dog bed that’s easy to clean

It is possible to dry clean a dog bed in addition to machine and manual washing, but it is not recommended for the majority of individuals. “Why should a $50–$90 cot be dry cleaned? Senior associate home editor for Better Homes and, Caitlin Sole, advises, “Probably not.” “You also can’t be sure of the safety of the solvents when they come into contact with dogs.”

It is, therefore, preferable to discover a dog bed that requires little to no upkeep and is straightforward to clean. Consider the following points:

  • Be sure to consult the label prior to acquiring a dog bed. Ensure that the mattress is completely machine-washable or that its cover is detachable and simple to clean.
  • Given the recommendation of experts that a dog bed is laundered every other week, it is critical to ensure that the mattress is constructed from a resilient material capable of withstanding a significant number of washes.
  • If your dog has a propensity for mishaps, consider purchasing an impermeable dog bed. Sole, the owner of a Great Pyrenees, stands by the Ultimate Dog Bed by PetFusion, which features a three-year warranty and a waterproof liner.


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