Washing a dog bed might not be part of your regular chores, but you may want to consider adding it to the list.
Your phone is probably full of photos of your dog curled up on his bed, and if his bed is his favorite place to be, it’s probably not the cleanest. Think about it — that bed is covered in whatever your dog is covered in (drool, hair, food particles, etc.). That spot in the yard in that he rolled in again? That was brought inside too.
Microbes, allergens, and fleas could all be lurking in your dog’s favorite spot. Dogs, like most domestic animals, can carry organisms that can cause diseases. Even just petting your dog can put you in contact with bacterial, viral, or fungal organisms that can cause you and your family harm. These organisms can live for up to 12 months without a host, which means they can be living in your dog’s bed for up to a year.
You probably touch your dog’s bed more than you realize, meaning you’re in contact with a lot of dangerous germs more often than you think. Each time your dog gets up from his bed, he can be carrying those organisms all over the house and onto whatever surface he lays on next.
Before you go throw your dog’s bed in the trash, head to the laundry room. Washing a dog bed is easy, and its level of cleanliness is something you can control. A good cleaning will get rid of anything that’s been lingering in the cushion, eradicating any organisms that can put you at risk.
A good practice to keep is washing your dog’s bed once a week. However, you’ll want to think about the amount of activity your dog is involved in. If he’s outside playing and getting dirty every day, you might want to increase to two times a week. Regular washing can make sure that your dog’s bed stays clean and free of germs, keeping your family and your dog safe and healthy.
Washing a Dog Bed? Here’s How to Get Started
How you go about washing a dog bed all depends on what kind of bed your dog uses. Some beds are going to be spot clean only, so you won’t be able to just toss them in the washer. Your dog’s bed most likely has a cover that you can remove to get things clean in the washer. Most dog beds are made with a removable cover to help make cleaning easier.
Unfortunately, besides throwing the cover and bed in the washer, there really isn’t a quick fix for washing a dog bed, so put away the Febreze. If you want to truly cleanse your dog’s bed, you’re going to need more than an air freshener to kill germs.
Unless you have a hairless dog, the bed is probably also covered in dog hair. If you’re only concerned with getting your the hair off the bed, a vacuum is the best way to pick up all the hair without spending a ton of your time trying to get it off.
Pro tip: You’ll want to make sure you vacuum the bed either way because the hair won’t come off in the washer. Once you’ve got the cover vacuumed and free of hair you can move on to the laundry room.
If there are any stains on your dog’s bed, you’ll want to use a stain remover before hitting up the washing machine. Treat the cover like you’d treat a piece of stained clothing, and you’ll be good to go.
Load both the cover and the bed, if possible, in a front loading washer. Make sure you wash it hot to ensure that everything you want gone stays gone. If you’ve got a larger dog with a pretty big bed, you can clean the bed the same way in a tub filled with hot water. Just take the time to make sure all the detergent is rinsed out of the bed when you’re finished. Remember that detergents with a lot of chemicals can bother your dog if he has sensitive skin, so be sure to use a mild detergent to avoid any irritation.
The last step is to dry the bed in the dryer or hang it to air dry in a well-ventilated area. The bed and the cover should be completely dry before you put it back in your dog’s favorite spot. This will keep mold and mildew out of the picture.