How to Clean a Dog Bed

You love your dog enough to provide him or her with a nice, cozy bed—but when was the last time that dog bed was washed? Unfortunately, dogs are far from the cleanest creatures. And with as much time as your dog likely spends snoozing in his bed, you may shudder to think of all the lingering bacteria, fur, and other filth that’s settled into the fabric over the years. The good news is that most dog beds come with cleaning instructions, and even a decidedly gross dog bed can be restored to its near-original cleanliness and freshness with just a little time and elbow grease.

By having a better understanding of why it’s important to clean your dog’s bed regularly as well as how to clean different types of dog beds, you can check this often-overlooked cleaning task off your to-do list today!

Reasons to Clean Your Dog’s Bed

Your dog doesn’t seem to mind sleeping in a dirty bed, so why bother with cleaning it? Actually, there are quite a few reasons to make cleaning your dog’s bed more of a priority.

Protect Your Pet and Loved Ones

Did you know that disease-causing organisms could live on your dog’s bed for up to 12 months? These organisms often come from your dog’s feces, saliva, and other bodily fluids—and it’s not uncommon for these to end up in your dog’s bed. This means that each time your dog lays down for a snooze, he or she could be coming into contact with these bacteria. It also means that anybody in your home who even touches the dirty dog bed could be at risk.

By taking the time to clean your dog’s bed regularly, you can get rid of disease-causing bacteria, thus protecting your pet and others in your household.

Cut Down on Odors

Let’s face it. A dirty dog bed is guaranteed to give off an unpleasant smell. You might find that the area around your dog’s bed smells like…well, dirty dog. Over time, this odor can permeate other areas of your home and will probably be more noticeable to guests than to you. Either way, cleaning your dog’s bed can get rid of those odors and make your home smell fresh and inviting once again.

How Often Should You Clean Your Dog’s Bed?

There’s really no “universal” answer to the question of how often your dog’s bed need to be cleaned. This will really depend on how much time your dog spends both outside and in the bed, as well as how much your dog sheds and how much filth your pup tends to get into. If your dog is regularly groomed and bathed, this may also help to cut down on the frequency with which his or her bed needs to be washed. Generally speaking, though, it’s a pretty safe bet to clean your dog’s bed once a month. The same frequency is recommended if you want to clean your dog house.

How to Clean a Dog Bed

Before you even attempt to clean your dog’s bed, see if you can locate a tag anywhere on it that indicates explicitly how to wash and care for the bed/material. As a general disclaimer, you should always follow the care and washing instructions set forth by the bed’s manufacturer.

If you can’t find a care tag on the bed itself, it’s possible that you threw it away with the bed’s original packaging. Try researching the manufacturer’s website to see if care instructions may be posted online.

If all else fails, there are a few general cleaning instructions you can follow to easily and effectively wash your dog’s bed.

Dog Beds With Removable Covers

Some dog beds are made with removable covers that make them much easier to clean than dog beds without removable covers. Often times, these covers can be simply zipped on and off. Other beds may have different means of fastening/unfastening the cover, such as Velcro or buttons.

If your dog bed has a removable cover, begin by taking the fabric cover off and tossing it into your washing machine; you’ll probably want to wash it separately from your other laundry. You may also want to use a “free-and-clear” detergent or other laundry detergents specifically formulated for pets to reduce the risk of any type of skin reaction.

Once the cover is washed, simply toss it into the dryer (with a fabric sheet, if desired) and run it on low-to-medium heat until it’s completely dry. While it’s drying, take time to vacuum any loose debris or fur from the rest of the dog bed. You may also want to spot-treat visible stains with a combination of warm water and a gentle dish soap. Use a hairdryer on each treated area to dry before replacing the freshly washed cover, or set out in the sun to air dry.

Dog Beds Without Removable Covers

Unfortunately, not all dog beds come with removable covers. If your dog bed doesn’t have a removable cover, you’ll need to put a little more elbow grease into getting your dog’s bed clean. Begin by thoroughly vacuuming loose debris from the bed. Generally, the best way to wash a dog bed without a removable cover is to fill a bath tub up with a combination of warm water and a free-and-clear laundry detergent. Submerge the dog bed and use a scrub brush to wash the bed and remove stains.

After washing, wring the bed dry as much as possible. It may be necessary to reshape the bed if it has lost any of its shape during the washing process (this is common with memory foam dog beds). From there, you may choose to dry the dog bed in your clothes dryer (if it’s a smaller dog bed) or set out in the sun to dry. Keep in mind that the drying process can take some time; in the meantime, you may want to set out a backup dog bed (or even a nice, comfy pillow) for your dog to rest on.

Looking For Other Cleaning Help?

Cleaning your dog’s bed isn’t too difficult, but it does require a fair amount of time (especially if you don’t have a dog bed with a removable cover). If you’re feeling overwhelmed by all the little cleaning tasks required to keep your home looking its best, it may be time to hire a professional house cleaner.

At Maid Sailors, we offer everything from deep-cleaning to regular house-cleaning services. Let us take some of the burden off your shoulders; call (212) 299-5170 to schedule your first cleaning service or to find out more about what we do!

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