How to Wash a Dog Bed? Here’s what you need to Know

The best way to wash a dog bed is to follow the manufacturer’s instructions, use a gentle detergent, and dry it thoroughly. This will help to remove dirt, stains, odors, and bacteria from the bed and keep it fresh and comfortable for your furry friend. In this article, we will provide you with more details on how to wash a dog bed, what to avoid, and how to care for and maintain your dog bed.

Why You Should Wash Your Dog Bed Regularly

Washing your dog bed regularly is not only good for hygiene, but also for your dog’s health and happiness. Here are some of the benefits of washing your dog bed regularly:

  • It prevents the buildup of dirt, dust, hair, dander, and other allergens that can cause skin irritation, itching, and infections for your dog.
  • It eliminates unpleasant odors that can make your dog and your home smell bad.
  • It removes stains that can damage the fabric and appearance of the bed.
  • It kills bacteria, fungi, and parasites that can cause diseases for your dog and your family.
  • It restores the softness and fluffiness of the bed, making it more comfortable and cozy for your dog.

How Often You Should Wash Your Dog Bed

The frequency of washing your dog bed depends on several factors, such as:

  • The type and material of the bed
  • The size and breed of your dog
  • The amount of shedding and drooling your dog does
  • The level of activity and outdoor exposure your dog has
  • The climate and season of your location
  • Your personal preference and tolerance for dirt and odor

As a general rule, you should wash your dog bed at least once a month, or more often if it gets visibly dirty or smelly. You can also wash it more frequently if your dog has any skin or health issues, or if you or anyone in your household has allergies or asthma.

How to Wash a Dog Bed by Type and Material

There are different types and materials of dog beds, and each one may require a different method of washing. Here are some common types and materials of dog beds and how to wash them:

Foam Beds:

Foam pet beds typically consist of memory foam, orthopedic foam, or egg crate foam, engineered to offer ample support and comfort for your pet’s joints and muscles. Cleaning a foam bed involves a few steps. Firstly, detach the cover and launder it separately in the washing machine using a gentle cycle, cold water, and a mild detergent.

It’s crucial to avoid bleach, fabric softener, or dryer sheets as they may harm the fabric and diminish its longevity. For the foam insert, you have two options: hand wash it in a bathtub with warm water and mild soap, or lightly spray it with a hose and a mild disinfectant. Avoid twisting or wringing the foam to prevent it from losing its shape and firmness. To dry the foam, either air dry it in a well-ventilated space or utilize a hair dryer on a low setting. Ensure the foam is thoroughly dry before placing it back into the cover for further use.

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Bolster Beds:

Bolster beds, which feature raised edges, offer dogs a sense of security and comfort during sleep. These beds are typically stuffed with materials like polyester fiber, cotton, or foam to create a snug retreat for pets. Keeping bolster beds clean is essential for maintaining a hygienic sleeping environment. The cleaning process begins by checking if the bed has a removable cover.

If it does, the cover can be machine washed using cold water, a gentle cycle, and a mild detergent. After washing, it can be air-dried or dried on a low heat setting. In cases where the bed lacks a removable cover, the entire bed can be laundered in the washing machine using a large load setting, following the same instructions for water temperature and detergent. It might be necessary to run multiple wash cycles to completely remove dirt and odors. Additionally, manually fluffing the bed or using a tennis ball in a sock can help restore its shape and softness after washing.

Round pet Beds:

These beds also referred to as circular or donut beds, are designed with a raised perimeter encircling a sunken center, offering a snug retreat for your furry friend. Typically constructed from soft plush or faux fur materials and filled with polyester fiber or foam, these beds provide a comfortable resting place for your dog.

When it comes to cleaning a circular pet bed, the initial step involves checking for a zipper for easy disassembly. If present, the cover and filling can be separated and washed separately in the washing machine using a gentle cycle, cold water, and mild detergent.

Following this, they can be dried either on a low heat setting or air dried. For beds without a zipper, the entire unit can be laundered in the washing machine using a large load setting and the same gentle cycle, cold water, and mild detergent method.

Similarly, it can be dried on a low heat setting or air dried. Occasionally, multiple wash cycles might be required to completely remove all dirt and odors. To regain the bed’s shape and softness, manual fluffing or placing a tennis ball enclosed in a sock inside the dryer can be effective methods.

Cave/Covered Beds:

Covered beds offer a snug sanctuary for your canine companion, featuring a top that creates a cozy den-like environment. Typically crafted from soft materials such as fleece, sherpa, or suede, these beds are generously filled with polyester fiber or foam to ensure maximum comfort. Cleaning a covered bed depends on whether it comes with a removable cover.

If it does, simply wash the cover in cold water with a mild detergent, using the gentle cycle of your washing machine, and then either air dry it or tumble dry it on a low heat setting. If the cover isn’t removable, the entire bed can be laundered in cold water with a gentle detergent, using a large load setting on the washing machine.

After washing, air dry the bed or tumble dry it on low heat. It may be necessary to repeat the washing process to completely remove dirt and odors. To restore the bed’s shape and softness, consider fluffing it manually or placing a tennis ball wrapped in a sock in the dryer.

Heated dog Beds:

Heated dog beds incorporate a heating mechanism or self-warming materials to offer your pet warmth and coziness. Typically crafted from fleece, sherpa, or suede fabric and filled with polyester fiber or foam, these beds ensure comfort. Cleaning a heated bed depends on whether it has a removable cover. If it does, machine wash the cover on a gentle cycle using cold water and mild detergent, then either tumble dry on low heat or air dry. For beds without removable covers, machine wash the entire bed on a large load setting with cold water and mild detergent, followed by low heat drying or air drying.

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Multiple wash cycles may be necessary to eliminate all dirt and odors. To restore the bed’s shape and softness, manually fluff it or use a tennis ball in a sock. Avoid washing the heating element or self-warming material to prevent electric shock or fire hazards, adhering strictly to the manufacturer’s cleaning instructions for maintenance.

What to Avoid When Washing a Dog Bed

When washing a dog bed, there are some things that you should avoid, such as:

  • Using hot water, as it can shrink, fade, or damage the fabric and the filling of the bed.
  • Using bleach, fabric softener, or dryer sheets, as they can damage the fabric and reduce its durability, as well as leave harmful residues that can irritate your dog’s skin or cause allergic reactions.
  • Using harsh detergents, as they can damage the fabric and the filling of the bed, as well as leave harmful residues that can irritate your dog’s skin or cause allergic reactions.
  • Overloading the washing machine or the dryer, as it can cause the bed to lose its shape and softness, as well as damage the machine.
  • Drying the bed in direct sunlight, as it can fade the color and damage the fabric and the filling of the bed.
  • Using the bed before it is completely dry, as it can cause mold, mildew, or bacteria growth, as well as unpleasant odors.

How to Care for and Maintain Your Dog Bed

Besides washing your dog bed regularly, there are some other things that you can do to care for and maintain your dog bed, such as:

  • Vacuuming or brushing the bed weekly to remove loose hair, dirt, and dust.
  • Spot cleaning the bed as soon as you notice any stains or spills, using a damp cloth and a mild soap or stain remover.
  • Deodorizing the bed monthly or as needed, using baking soda, vinegar, or a commercial deodorizer.
  • Rotating or flipping the bed periodically to prevent uneven wear and tear.
  • Replacing the bed when it becomes worn out, torn, or flattened, as it can no longer provide comfort and support for your dog.

Conclusion

Washing your dog bed is an important part of keeping your dog healthy and happy, as well as your home clean and fresh. By following the tips and guidelines in this article, you can wash your dog bed effectively and safely, and extend its lifespan and quality. Remember to always follow the manufacturer’s instructions, use a gentle detergent, and dry the bed thoroughly. Your dog will thank you for it!

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Frequently Asked Questions

How should you wash dog bedding?
You should wash dog bedding with warm water, laundry detergent, and a cup of vinegar12. You can also use an enzymatic detergent or a non-toxic pet-safe cleaner2 to remove stains and odors.

How often should dog bedding be washed?
You should wash dog bedding once a week or once every two weeks at minimum2. If your dog is very active, sheds a lot, spends time outdoors, or has allergies, you may want to wash it more often.

How to wash a dog bed without removable cover?
To wash a dog bed without a removable cover, first remove loose hair and debris with a lint brush or vacuum. Next, spot treat stains with a mild detergent, then machine-wash the dog bed on a gentle cycle with lukewarm water. Air dry flat or use a low-heat dryer. Use your hands to gently reshape the stuffing.

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How to wash a dog bed with stuffing?
To wash a dog bed with stuffing, follow the same steps as above, but make sure to check the label of the bed for any special instructions. Some beds may have zippers or Velcro that need to be closed before washing. Some stuffing materials may not be suitable for machine washing or drying, so you may need to hand-wash them or air dry them.

How to wash dog bed with urine?
To wash a dog bed with urine, first sprinkle baking soda over the stain and let it sit for five minutes to soak up the liquid. Then, combine baking soda, two cups of vinegar, and water into a spray bottle and spray the solution onto the stain. Let it set for at least 10 minutes, then blot the stain with a cloth. Repeat as needed until the stain and odor are gone. Then, wash the bed as usual.

How to wash a large dog bed?
To wash a large dog bed, you may need to use a large basin, bathtub, or outdoor pool to soak the bed in warm water, detergent, and vinegar. Squeeze and knead the bed in the water repeatedly, then empty the tub and rinse the bed until soap is gone. Hang the bed to dry or use a low-heat dryer.

What kind of detergent should I use to wash my dog’s bed?
You should use a mild, fragrance-free, hypoallergenic detergent that is safe for your dog’s skin and coat. You can also use an enzymatic detergent that can break down organic stains and odors. Avoid using bleach, chlorine, or other harsh chemicals that can irritate your dog or damage the fabric of the bed.

How can I remove stains and odors from my dog’s bed?
You can remove stains and odors from your dog’s bed by using natural remedies such as vinegar, baking soda, hydrogen peroxide, or lemon juice. You can also use a carpet and upholstery cleaner or a stain remover that is designed for pet messes. Always test a small area of the bed before applying any product to make sure it does not cause discoloration or damage.

Can I wash my dog’s bed in the washing machine or do I need to hand-wash it?
Whether you can wash your dog’s bed in the washing machine or not depends on the size, shape, and material of the bed. Some beds are machine-washable, while others are hand-wash only. Always check the label of the bed for washing instructions and follow them carefully. If the bed is too large or bulky for your machine, you may need to wash it by hand or take it to a laundromat.

How can I dry my dog’s bed without damaging it or causing clumping?
You can dry your dog’s bed without damaging it or causing clumping by using a low-heat or no-heat setting on your dryer, or by hanging it to dry in a well-ventilated area. You can also fluff the bed with your hands or a tennis ball to prevent the stuffing from clumping. Avoid using high heat or direct sunlight, as they can shrink, fade, or melt the fabric or filling of the bed.