Dog beds are actually quite a recent invention. After all, it wasn’t so long ago that dogs were considered to be work partners to humans rather than companions and best friends.
Most dogs slept outside, ate outside, worked outside, and lived outside. But that sure isn’t the case today!
Today’s dogs are pampered and spoiled. For dogs that aren’t allowed to sleep in their owner’s beds, these pups rate a special dog bed just for them.
But how can you keep your dog’s bed clean? Is it okay to wash your dog bed? If yes, how do you do it? We tackle these tough questions in this article.
Are Dog Beds Washable?
The truth is, not all dog beds are washable.
But the cover on your dog bed may be washable. And in some cases, the inner dog bed itself may also be washable.
The best approach is to read the manufacturer’s instructions to find out how to keep your dog’s bed sanitary and clean without destroying the bed itself.
Learn How to Wash a Dog Bed
In this helpful short YouTube video, a dog owner explains an easy way to wash a dog bed.
As the video explains, it is important to find out what type of care you can do for your specific bed and cover that won’t ruin the bed itself or the inner filling.
How Often Should You Wash a Dog Bed?
According to PetMD, the state of your dog’s bed can impact not just your dog but you as well.
Just like you want to wash your sheets at least once per week, if not more frequently, so too is it important to wash your dog’s bed regularly.
Plan on washing your dog bed once per week or once every two weeks, depending on how difficult and time-consuming the washing and drying process may be.
What If Your Dog’s Bed Is Not Washable?
Unfortunately, there is no good news when it comes to cleaning and sanitizing a non-washable dog bed.
Live Science points out that sleeping with your dog can potentially transmit pathogens, bacteria, and other zoonoses (diseases that can jump from animals to people) from your dog to you.
While giving your dog a separate place to sleep by providing a dog bed reduces the risk, it only works if you keep your dog’s bed clean. Otherwise, those same pathogens can incubate and spread from your dog’s bed to your dog right back to you again.
Ultimately, if your dog’s current bed is not washable at least to the point where you can remove and launder the protective cover, you should replace it as soon as possible.
What Kinds of Dog Beds Are Washable?
If you are just now starting to shop around for a good dog bed for your pup, you might be wondering what kinds of dog beds are washable.
It is quite important to read up on any dog bed you consider buying to be sure the entire bed is washable and not just the outer cover.
What makes choosing a washable dog bed even harder is when your pup has special needs, such as extra-comfortable and cushioning memory foam material to support joint pain.
But memory foam is not washable and you will ruin it if you try to launder it. Most foam fillers will act like a sponge when washed, destroying the cushioning properties in the process.
When you find a dog bed advertised as “washable” be sure to read the fine print to find out if the entire bed is washable or just the outer cover.
Plastic dog beds are washable. So are most cotton, faux suede, or poly-blend (polyester) dog beds?
Is Washing the Outer Cover Enough to Keep Your Dog Bed Sanitary?
The true goal of washing your dog bed is to remove any pathogens, insects, or eggs that may be hiding inside the cover or the bed filling. This is very hard to do if all you are washing is the lining.
However, if this is your only option, then washing the outer cover of your dog’s bed is definitely going to be better than no washing at all!
How to Wash Your Dog Bed At Home
Molly Maid points out that when you wash your dog bed cover, you should wash it separately from the “people” laundry you need to wash.
This is a further protective measure to keep pet hair from embedding into your clothing and linens, where it may cause irritation if you are sensitive to pet dander.
You may also need to use a special stain remover or pre-treatment if there are waste stains or any kind of other embedded stains in the material.
If your dog is small in size, you can probably fit the bed cover and perhaps even the bed itself in a large residential washing machine and dryer. Alternately, drying the bed out in the natural ultraviolet light of the sun offers extra sanitizing benefits.
But if you have a medium, large or giant size pooch, your best bet is probably going to be to take the cover and bed to a local laundromat. Don’t have the bed dry cleaned as the chemicals could be toxic to your dog.
The best setting is hot water for washing and high heat for drying. This is the most disinfecting and sanitizing method, but be sure to read the manufacturer care instructions first to avoid voiding the warranty or damaging the dog bed.
Alternatives to Washing Your Dog Bed
What if you bought your dog a bed and your pooch loves it, but you discover when you go to wash it for the first time that it isn’t washable?
This is such a common error because most pet owners aren’t looking for washability as the number one benefit from their dog bed. You probably chose your dog bed based on comfort, shape, size, filler material, or anti-chew durability.
But does this mean you now have to go right out and buy another expensive dog bed? And then what should you do with the old dog bed?
There are some other things you can do before having to replace the dog bed. These tips can help you get more use out of the dog bed you have, even if you can’t wash it thoroughly.
Place a bed cloth over the bed
This is one of the simplest ways to prevent too much dirt, hair, and pathogens from accumulating in your dog’s bed.
Spot clean and vacuum the dog bed
Be sure to use a pet-safe spot cleaner to avoid irritating your dog’s skin.
Put the bed out in the sun once a week
Sunshine is a natural antiseptic and disinfectant.
Buy a washable cover that fits the bed
Another option is to find a dog bed cover (or make one – or have one custom-made) to fit the bed and just wash that.
Just put the bed in the dryer to sanitize it
If your dog bed fits into your dryer and the manufacturer’s instructions say it is safe to do this, just drying your dog bed can help with sanitizing it.
These dog safety tips can help keep your dog’s bed safe and comfortable for your precious pup to get the best night’s sleep.