How To Wash A Dog Bed Properly (And Keep It Clean Between Washes)

You know how you wash your sheets, right? Well, it’s just as important to wash your dog’s bed. French bulldogs are pros at bringing love and wags into any room. However, they’re also quite good at tracking in mud & dirt from outside and transferring it to their bed! By leaving a dog’s bed unwashed for too long, smells, bacteria and fleas can become a problem.

It is recommended that for good hygiene a dog’s bed should be washed once a week. Washing isn’t the only task you need to do though. You should also vacuum your pet’s bed and blankets regularly to remove excess hair, dirt and dander. Daily vacuuming is the best way to prevent an outbreak of fleas, ticks or parasites as it will help to get rid of larvae or eggs that your pet might have brought to bed.

While a lint roller or vacuum can be great to remove surface dirt or hairs, it’s not going to get rid of pet odors or urine stains. Washing is the best way to do that. In fact, it’s the only way to get rid of harmful microbes and reduce the risk of disease. In this article, we’re going to show you how to wash a dog bed so that your pup can have a clean, safe and healthy place to sleep.

Dog beds with a removable cover – the easiest type to wash!

If you own a dog and have a pet bed with a removable cover, you’re in luck. Washing your dog’s bed is easy and can be done at home! Just make sure you read the manufacturer instructions first to make sure the cover is machine washable, otherwise, you may need to handwash it.

  • Before you wash, remove any excess dirt or dog hair by vacuuming
  • Put the dog cover in the washing machine at the highest possible temperature to kill bacteria (check the washing instructions to make sure it’s safe to do this).
  • Use a pet-safe laundry detergent
  • Line dry outside or in front of an open window if possible, as this will help remove any lingering odors

If the cover is hand wash only just follow the same instructions but wash by hand in the sink or bathtub.

How to wash a dog bed without a removable cover

If you haven’t got a removable cover on your dog bed then you’ll have to wash the whole bed. If it’s small then you may be able to fit it in your washing machine. Wash according to manufacturer instructions.

Once it’s done, take out the dog bed and let it air dry for a few hours before using it again. Avoid bleach when cleaning because it can irritate their skin and make them itch more than usual – there are pet friendly laundry detergents available.

What if you’ve got a bigger dog bed that won’t fit in a washing machine?

You can wash it by hand in the bathtub.

  • Fill the tub with water, and add detergent.
  • Put your dog bed in the tub and scrub away dirt or stains using a brush or sponge.
  • Rinse the dog bed by running fresh water over it until all of the soap is gone
  • Dry your dog’s bed with a towel and let it air dry before your pet uses it again.

Pet beds should be air-dried as a dryer will only displace the filling and cause the bed to become misshapen. Drying in sunlight is ideal because the sun can kill bacteria and microbes.

How to wash a dog bed with stains

So you know how to wash your dog’s bed, but what if there are stains left over that don’t come out in the wash? There are several ways for cleaning these stains.

For mild surface level ones like those from dirt and mud, use a pet-friendly detergent for spot cleaning. Just rub the detergent into the stain (you could use a brush for this). Once the stain is out you can wash as normal.

For more stubborn stains like feces or urine, use an enzyme cleaner. This is a type of cleaner that uses enzymes to break down the stains and odors caused by waste matter. Usage instructions vary so always read the instructions before you use an enzyme cleaner. The following is a popular products with pet owners: Rocco & Roxie Supply Co. Professional Strength Pet Stain & Odor Eliminator

If possible, try not to use harsh chemicals on a dog bed that could irritate your dog’s sensitive skin.

Keeping your dog’s bed clean between washes

While it’s important to wash your dog’s bed once a week (or once every two weeks at an absolute minimum) you should try to keep it as clean as possible in between washes.

The following are some steps you can try:

  • Buy a waterproof cover for your dogs bed to keep it clean and dry
  • Vaccuum the bed daily to remove dirt, debris and other nasties your dog might have dropped from his fur
  • Wash your dogs paws when he comes indoors after a session of playing outside
  • Air the bed in sunlight as this can help to kill microbes.

Final Thoughts

Now that you know how to wash a dog bed, it’s time to get it done! It may seem like a lot of work, but luckily most dog beds these days have a removable cover. So you should just be able to toss it in the washing machine once a week.

If it doesn’t, then there’s definitely a bit more work involved, particularly if it’s a bigger bed that won’t fit in the washing machine. It’s not that easy to dry a dog bed in winter weather either as dog beds don’t usually do so well in the dryer (the dryer can displace the filling and make the bed lumpy). Maybe you could find a removable cover to fit the bed?

Keeping your dog’s bed clean is worth it to make sure your pet stays in good health. Remember, a build-up of bacteria and dirt can lead to disease or infestation, so it’s important to stay on top of the cleaning process and do it regularly!

About The Author

Michael Johnson is a husband, dad of two, and owner of a lovable Frenchie called Winston for over 7 years. In that time he's experienced, researched and read everything there is to know about French Bulldogs. This website was founded to teach Frenchie owners how best to look after their dogs with tips, tricks, product reviews and more.