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The Ultimate Guide on How to Wash a Dog Bed:

Top Tips for a Fresh and Clean Pet Haven

As a devoted pet parent, you want to ensure that your furry friend has a comfortable and clean place to rest. A cozy dog bed is essential. But it can easily become a breeding ground for bacteria, allergens, and odors if not maintained properly. In this comprehensive guide, you’ll learn how to wash a dog bed, the importance of keeping it clean, and tips to make the process easier and more efficient. By following these steps, you’ll be well on your way to providing your pup with a fresh and clean haven they’ll love.

Related: Best Orthopedic Bed for Large Dog Breeds in 2023


how to wash a dog bed


Importance of a clean dog bed for your pet’s health

A clean dog bed is essential not only for your home’s cleanliness but also for your pet’s overall health and well-being. A dirty dog bed can harbor bacteria, mold, and allergens that can cause skin irritations, respiratory issues, and even infections. Moreover, a clean bed reduces the risk of your dog bringing in parasites like fleas and ticks, which can cause discomfort and health problems. By regularly washing your dog’s bed, you’re actively taking steps to ensure their health and happiness.


How often should you wash your dog’s bed?

When it comes to how often to wash a dog bed, there’s no one-size-fits-all answer. The frequency depends on factors such as your dog’s breed, age, and activity level. However, a general guideline is to wash the bed or its cover at least once every two weeks. If your dog has allergies or skin issues, you may need to wash it more frequently, perhaps once a week. Be sure to check the manufacturer’s care instructions to determine the best cleaning method for your dog’s specific bed.


Materials and supplies needed for washing a dog bed

Before you begin washing your dog’s bed, gather the necessary materials and supplies. Here’s a list of items you may need:

  1. Vacuum cleaner
  2. Washing machine or large basin for handwashing
  3. Laundry detergent (ideally pet-safe and fragrance-free)
  4. Baking soda or enzymatic cleaner for stubborn stains and odors
  5. Soft brush for scrubbing
  6. Towels or absorbent pads for drying
  7. Clothesline or drying rack

Having these supplies ready helps make the cleaning process run smoothly and efficiently.


When the cover is removable

If your dog’s bed has a removable cover, the cleaning process is generally straightforward. First, remove the cover carefully, ensuring that you don’t tear or damage it. Vacuum the cover and bed to remove any loose hair, dirt, and debris. Next, check the care label for washing instructions. If the cover is machine washable, place it in the washing machine and use a pet-safe detergent.

Opt for a gentle cycle and cold water to avoid shrinkage or damage. If handwashing is recommended, fill a basin with cold water and detergent, then gently scrub the cover with a soft brush. Rinse thoroughly to remove all soap residue.


When the cover is not removable

If your dog’s bed doesn’t have a removable cover, the cleaning process is slightly more involved but still manageable. Begin by vacuuming the bed thoroughly to remove loose hair, dirt, and debris. Check the care instructions to determine if the bed is machine washable. If it is, place the entire bed in the washing machine, using a gentle cycle and cold water with pet-safe detergent.

If the bed is too large for your machine, you’ll need to handwash it. Fill a large basin or bathtub with cold water and detergent, then gently scrub the bed with a soft brush. Be sure to pay extra attention to any stained or soiled areas. Rinse the bed thoroughly, ensuring that all soap residue is removed.


How to clean a dog bed: step-by-step guide

  1. Remove any loose hair, dirt, and debris with a vacuum cleaner.
  2. Check the care label for washing instructions and restrictions.
  3. If the bed has a removable cover, take it off and wash it separately.
  4. Use a pet-safe, fragrance-free detergent and cold water unless the manufacturer’s instructions say otherwise.
  5. Wash the bed or cover in a washing machine on a gentle cycle or handwash in a large basin.
  6. Rinse thoroughly to remove all soap residue.
  7. Gently squeeze out excess water or use a towel to absorb moisture.
  8. Dry the bed or cover according to the care instructions, either by air-drying or using a dryer set in a low-heat setting.



Tips for removing stubborn stains and odors

Sometimes, a simple wash may not be enough to remove stubborn stains and odors from your dog’s bed. In these cases, consider using baking soda or an enzymatic cleaner specifically designed for pet stains and odors. Sprinkle a generous amount of baking soda on the bed before vacuuming it.

Alternatively, follow the instructions on the enzymatic cleaner to pre-treat the bed before washing. These methods can help break down and eliminate tough stains and unpleasant smells, leaving your dog’s bed fresh and clean.

Removing Pet Hair

Pet hair can be a real nuisance, especially if you have a furry friend who sheds a lot. Here are a few tips on how to remove pet hair from furniture and dog beds:

  • Use a vacuum cleaner with a pet hair attachment. This is the most effective way to remove pet hair from furniture and dog beds. Be sure to vacuum all surfaces, including the sides, back, and bottom of furniture.
  • Use a lint roller. Lint rollers are a quick and easy way to remove pet hair from small areas, such as furniture cushions and dog beds.
  • Use a rubber glove. Put on a rubber glove and rub your hands over the furniture or dog bed. The rubber will help to pick up the pet hair.
  • Use a static cling sheet. Place a static cling sheet over the furniture or dog bed and rub it with your hands. The static cling will help to attract the pet hair.
  • Wash your furniture and dog beds regularly. This will help to prevent pet hair from building up in the first place.
  • Fabric Dog Bed Covers: If you have a dog bed that is made of fabric, you may want to consider buying a cover that can be removed and washed. This will help to keep the bed clean and free of pet hair.


  • Short dog hairs, such as those on the hound breeds, may stick onto fabric more than the longer hairs of breeds like collies do.
  • Keeping a washable blanket over the dog’s sleeping area provides an easy way to minimize hair collection. Use a blanket that is less apt to collect dirt and hair.

By following these tips, you can keep your furniture and dog beds free of pet hair and keep your home looking its best.

Related: Dog Hair On Clothing and More

How to wash different types of dog beds

There are various types of dog beds available, each with unique cleaning requirements. Here are some guidelines for washing common dog bed styles:

  1. Orthopedic or memory foam beds: These beds typically have a removable cover that can be washed separately. The foam insert should be spot-cleaned and aired out to remove odors and moisture.
  2. Bolster beds: Many bolster beds have removable covers, making them easy to clean. If the bolster filling is exposed, spot-clean it, and air it out to dry.
  3. Donut or cuddler beds: These beds may or may not have removable covers. Follow the care instructions for washing the entire bed or just the cover. Be sure to reshape the bed while it’s still damp to maintain its structure.


Can you wash a dog bed in the washing machine?

Whether or not you can wash a dog bed in the washing machine depends on the bed’s size, materials, and care instructions. Many dog beds and covers are machine washable. But always check the label before proceeding. If the bed is too large for your washing machine, handwashing or spot-cleaning may be your only option. Always use a gentle cycle and cold water to avoid damage or shrinkage.

Related: Bathe Your Dog The Right Way

Drying and maintaining your dog’s bed after washing

Proper drying is crucial to maintaining your dog’s bed’s shape, cleanliness, and longevity. If the care instructions allow for machine drying, use a low-heat setting to prevent damage. For air-drying, place the bed or cover on a clothesline or drying rack in a well-ventilated area, away from direct sunlight. Ensure that the bed is completely dry before allowing your dog to use it, as dampness can lead to mold and mildew growth.

To maintain your dog’s bed between washes, regularly vacuum it to remove loose hair, dirt, and debris. Additionally, consider using a pet-safe fabric spray to freshen up the bed and keep odors at bay.

Related: Allergies in Dogs (VCA Hospital)


Keeping your pet’s haven fresh and clean

how to wash a dog bed

a clean dog bed is more comfortable


Now that you know how to wash a dog bed, you can provide your furry friend with a clean and comfortable place to rest. Regularly washing your dog’s bed not only keeps your home looking and smelling fresh, but it also contributes to your pet’s overall health and well-being.

By following these tips and guidelines, you’ll ensure that your dog’s haven remains a cozy and inviting space for them to enjoy.




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