How Often to Wash Dog Bed?A Complete Guide

How Often to Wash Dog Bed


Wash your dog’s bed at least once a week to maintain cleanliness and hygiene. Regular washing helps prevent the buildup of dirt, pet dander, and bacteria, ensuring a healthy sleeping environment for your furry friend.

A clean dog bed also reduces the risk of skin irritations and allergies, keeping your pet comfortable and happy. A clean dog bed is essential for the health and well-being of your pet. Regularly washing the bed helps maintain a clean and fresh environment, preventing the buildup of dirt, pet dander, and bacteria.

This practice not only ensures a comfortable sleeping space for your furry friend but also reduces the risk of skin irritations and allergies. Additionally, a clean bed helps to maintain a hygienic living environment for you and your family. Therefore, regularly washing your dog’s bed is a simple yet effective way to promote your pet’s health and happiness.

Importance Of Cleaning Your Dog’s Bed Regularly

It’s important to keep your dog’s bed clean to ensure their health and comfort. Regular cleaning of your dog’s bedding is essential to prevent the buildup of dirt, bacteria, and allergens that can negatively impact your furry friend’s well-being. Understanding the risks of a dirty dog bed and the health benefits of clean dog bedding will highlight the importance of this often-overlooked task.

Health Benefits Of Clean Dog Bedding

Ensuring your dog has a clean bed offers numerous health benefits. Regular cleaning helps keep parasites, bacteria, and allergens at bay, reducing the risk of skin irritation and allergies. A clean bed also promotes a healthier living environment, leading to a happier and more energetic pup.

Understanding The Risks Of A Dirty Dog Bed

Allowing your dog to sleep on a dirty bed can lead to a range of health risks. Dust mites, fleas, and bacteria thrive in unclean bedding, potentially causing skin infections, and respiratory problems, and exacerbating existing allergies. Regular washing ensures your dog’s bed remains a safe and hygienic resting place. 

Factors That Determine Washing Frequency

Determining how often to wash a dog bed depends on factors such as shedding, outdoor activity, and skin conditions. Regular washing removes dirt, pet dander, and odors, ensuring a clean and comfortable resting place for your furry friend. Consistent washing can prevent allergens and pests from accumulating, promoting a healthier living environment for both the pet and the owner.

Dog Breed And Size

The size and breed of your dog play a significant role in determining how often you should wash the dog bed. Larger breeds and dogs with longer fur may track in more dirt and debris, requiring more frequent washings. Similarly, smaller breeds or those with short hair may not leave as much dirt and might not require as frequent washing. Consult with your veterinarian or breeder for breed-specific recommendations.

Activity Level Of Your Dog

The activity level of your dog can impact the cleanliness of their bed. Highly active dogs that spend a lot of time outdoors or engage in activities like agility or hiking may require more frequent washings due to dirt and odor accumulation. On the other hand, less active or indoor dogs may not need their beds washed as frequently.

Allergies Or Skin Conditions

If your dog has allergies or skin conditions, the frequency of bedwashing may need to be increased. Regular washing can help remove allergens and irritants from the bed, providing relief for your pet. Using hypoallergenic detergents and keeping the bed clean can also contribute to reducing allergic reactions and skin issues.

Signs That Your Dog’s Bed Needs To Be Washed

Proper hygiene is essential for your dog’s health and well-being, and your furry friend’s bed plays a significant role in maintaining cleanliness. Over time, your dog’s bed can accumulate dirt, allergens, and odors, which can be harmful and uncomfortable for your pet. It is important to recognize the signs that indicate your dog’s bed needs to be washed so that you can provide a clean and safe sleeping environment. Here are three key signs to look out for:


The first and most apparent sign that your dog’s bed needs to be washed is an unpleasant odor. Just like humans, dogs can produce smells, and these scents can get trapped in their bedding. Factors such as drool, sweat, urine accidents, and general dirt buildup can contribute to the funky odor emanating from your dog’s bed. If you notice a persistent unpleasant smell in the room where your dog’s bed is placed, it’s a clear indication that it’s time for a wash.


Stains are another sign that your dog’s bed is in dire need of a thorough cleaning. Whether it’s a result of spills, accidents, or bodily fluids, stains on your dog’s bed can not only be unsightly but also harbor bacteria and allergens. These stains can be particularly difficult to eliminate if not addressed promptly. Regular inspection is crucial to identify any stains and treat them accordingly.

Allergy Symptoms In Your Dog

One often overlooked sign that your dog’s bed needs washing is the presence of allergy symptoms in your pet. Just like humans, dogs can develop allergies to various substances, and their bedding can be a source of allergens. Dust mites, pet dander, pollen, and even mold can accumulate on your dog’s bed, leading to allergic reactions such as excessive itching, sneezing, watery eyes, and even skin irritations.

Therefore, if you notice your dog displaying these allergy symptoms, it’s crucial to check their bed and make sure it is clean and allergen-free. Regularly washing your dog’s bed can prevent these uncomfortable situations and promote their overall health. Additionally, it’s essential to follow the manufacturer’s instructions on how to properly clean the bed to avoid damage to the fabric or filling. By keeping an eye out for these signs and maintaining a cleaning routine, you can ensure that your furry friend has a fresh and cozy sleeping space.

How To Clean Different Types Of Dog Beds

Regularly washing your dog’s bed is crucial to maintain cleanliness and prevent the buildup of bacteria and odors. The frequency of washing depends on the type of bed, with most beds needing to be cleaned every 1-2 weeks.

Cleaning Instructions For Foam Or Orthopedic Beds

Dog beds made with foam or orthopedic material require special care to ensure their longevity and cleanliness. Here are the cleaning instructions to follow:

  • Start by removing the cover from the foam bed and washing it separately according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Use a gentle cycle and mild detergent to preserve the fabric.
  • To clean the foam or orthopedic insert, wipe it down with a damp cloth or sponge. Avoid using excessive water as it can damage the foam.
  • If there are any stains or odors on the foam, you can use a pet-friendly enzyme cleaner. Apply the cleaner following the instructions and allow it to sit for the recommended amount of time before wiping it off.
  • Let the foam or orthopedic bed thoroughly air dry before placing the clean cover back on.

Washing Guidelines For Plush Or Fabric Beds

Plush or fabric dog beds are often cozy and comfortable but can accumulate dirt, odors, and pet hair quickly. Follow these washing guidelines to keep them clean:

  1. Remove any removable covers or cushions from the bed.
  2. Check the care label on the cover for specific washing instructions. If it’s machine washable, use a gentle cycle and cold water. If it’s hand wash only, fill a basin with cold water and mild detergent.
  3. For both machine and hand washing, ensure that you thoroughly rinse the cover to remove all detergent residue.
  4. If the cover has any stubborn stains, pretreat them with a stain remover before washing.
  5. Let the cover air dry or follow the manufacturer’s instructions for drying.
  6. Once dry, reassemble the bed and place it in a clean and fresh area for your furry friend to enjoy.

Maintaining Hygiene For Waterproof Or Outdoor Beds

Waterproof or outdoor dog beds are designed to withstand the elements and repel water, but regular cleaning is still necessary to ensure hygiene. Follow these steps to maintain cleanliness:

  1. Remove any covers or outer layers from the bed, if possible.
  2. Take a damp cloth or sponge and wipe down the surface of the bed, paying attention to any dirt or stains.
  3. For more stubborn stains, use a pet-friendly stain remover or mild soap to spot-clean the affected areas.
  4. Rinse the bed thoroughly with clean water to remove any residue from cleaning products.
  5. Allow the bed to air dry completely in a well-ventilated area.
  6. Once dry, reassemble the bed and place it back in its designated outdoor or waterproof spot.

Steps To Properly Wash Your Dog’s Bed

Keeping your dog’s bed clean is essential for their health and comfort. Regular washing not only removes dirt and odors but also helps to prevent the buildup of allergens and bacteria. To properly wash your dog’s bed, there are a few important steps to follow.

Preparing The Bed For Washing

Before you toss your dog’s bed into the washing machine, there are a few things you need to do to prepare it. Start by removing any loose hairs or debris from the surface of the bed. This can be done by simply brushing or vacuuming the bed. Next, check for any removable covers or inserts that can be taken out and washed separately. If your dog’s bed has a cover that can be removed, make sure to do so before proceeding to the next step.

Selecting The Right Cleaning Products

Choosing the right cleaning products is crucial to ensure that your dog’s bed is thoroughly cleaned and free from any harmful chemicals. When selecting a detergent, opt for a mild and pet-friendly option that is free from any harsh perfumes or additives. Harsh chemicals can irritate your dog’s skin and cause allergies. Additionally, avoid using fabric softeners or dryer sheets, as they can leave a residue on the bed that may be irritating to your dog.

Washing Machine Vs. Hand Wash

Deciding whether to wash your dog’s bed in the washing machine or by hand depends on the type and size of the bed. If the bed is small enough to fit into your washing machine, it is generally safe to wash it there. However, always check the care instructions provided by the manufacturer to ensure that machine washing is suitable for your particular dog bed. If the bed is too large or delicate for the washing machine, hand washing is the best option.

Fill a bathtub or large basin with warm water and add the mild detergent. Gently agitate the bed in the water, paying extra attention to any stained or soiled areas. Rinse thoroughly to remove all soap residue. After washing your dog’s bed, it’s important to dry it properly to prevent mildew and odors. If possible, air drying in the sun is the best option as it helps to naturally disinfect and deodorize the bed. If drying indoors, use a fan or open windows to improve air circulation.

Ensure that the bed is completely dry before allowing your dog to use it again. By following these steps, you can ensure that your dog’s bed is always clean, fresh, and comfortable. Regular washing not only promotes good hygiene but also helps to extend the lifespan of the bed, allowing your furry friend to enjoy a clean and cozy resting place for years to come.

Drying And Maintaining Your Dog’s Bed

When it comes to keeping your furry friend’s bed clean and fresh, regular washing is just one part of the equation. Drying and maintaining your dog’s bed is equally important to ensure hygiene and longevity. In this section, we will discuss effective drying techniques for different types of beds, provide tips for preventing mold and mildew, and highlight the importance of regular maintenance and spot cleaning.

Drying Techniques For Different Types Of Beds

Different types of dog beds require different drying techniques to ensure they dry thoroughly and avoid any potential damage. Here’s a rundown of the best drying methods for common types of dog beds:

1. Foam-filled beds

If your dog’s bed is filled with foam, it’s essential to handle the drying process with care to maintain the bed’s shape and integrity. After washing the cover, squeeze out excess water gently. Then, place the bed in a well-ventilated area and allow it to air dry completely. Avoid exposing foam-filled beds to direct sunlight or using high-heat sources like dryers, as this can lead to deformation and reduce the lifespan of the bed.

2. Memory foam beds

Memory foam beds provide superior comfort to your furry companion, but they require special attention during the drying process. After removing the cover, gently squeeze out excess water without applying too much pressure. Next, place the foam outside in a shady area to air dry naturally. Avoid exposing memory foam beds to direct sunlight or using artificial heat sources, as excessive heat can damage the foam’s structure and quality. Patience is key to maintaining the durability and performance of memory foam beds.

3. Pillow-style beds

Pillow-style beds are usually easier to dry compared to foam-filled or memory foam beds. After washing the cover, you can opt for machine drying on a low or gentle cycle. Ensure you remove the bed promptly from the dryer to prevent overheating or shrinking. Alternatively, you can air-dry the pillow-style bed by hanging it in a well-ventilated area. This method allows for natural drying while preserving the bed’s fluffiness.

Tips For Preventing Mold And Mildew

Vigilance is crucial in preventing mold and mildew growth, as it can pose health risks to your beloved pet. Here are some important tips to keep your dog’s bed mold and mildew-free:

  1. Ensure the dog’s bed is completely dry before use. Moisture is the primary factor that promotes mold and mildew growth, so make sure the bed is thoroughly dried before your furry friend hops back on it.
  2. Regularly inspect the bed for any signs of mold or mildew. Check for musty smells, visible spots, or any discoloration on the cover or inside the bed. Early detection allows for prompt action and prevents further contamination.
  3. Keep the bed in a well-ventilated area. Proper airflow helps in moisture reduction, minimizing the chances of mold and mildew formation. Avoid placing the bed in damp or humid spaces like basements or laundry rooms.
  4. Wash the bed regularly. Regular washing helps remove any accumulated dirt, dander, or body oils that can contribute to mold and mildew growth. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions regarding washing frequency.
  5. Consider using antimicrobial sprays or treatments. These products can help inhibit the growth of bacteria, mold, and mildew, adding an extra layer of protection to your dog’s bed.

Regular Maintenance And Spot Cleaning

In addition to regular washing, maintaining and spot-cleaning your dog’s bed is essential for optimal cleanliness. Here are some tips to keep the bed fresh and tidy between washes:

  • Vacuum the bed frequently to remove loose hair, dander, and debris. Use a pet hair attachment or a handheld vacuum with good suction power for effective cleaning.
  • Spot clean any accidents or spills immediately. Blot the affected area with a clean cloth or paper towel to absorb as much liquid as possible. Then, use a pet-safe stain remover or a mild detergent diluted in water to clean the spot. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s cleaning instructions for the best results.
  • Rotate the bed regularly to promote even wear and prevent the formation of pressure points. This helps maintain the bed’s shape and maximizes its overall lifespan.

By implementing these drying techniques, mold prevention tips, and regular maintenance practices, you can keep your dog’s bed clean, fresh, and comfortable for years to come.

Additional Tips For Keeping Your Dog’s Bed Fresh

Keeping your dog’s bed fresh and clean is essential for their health and well-being. With regular cleaning and maintenance, you can ensure that your furry friend has a comfortable and hygienic sleeping environment. In addition to washing your dog’s bed, there are other measures you can take to keep it fresh and clean.

Using Protective Covers Or Liners

One effective way to maintain your dog’s bed is by using protective covers or liners. These can act as a barrier against dirt, moisture, and pet dander, extending the life of the bed and making it easier to keep clean. Investing in a durable and washable cover or liner will not only protect the bed but also make the cleaning process more convenient for you.

Vacuuming Regularly To Remove Hair And Debris

Regular vacuuming of your dog’s bed can help remove pet hair, dirt, and other debris that accumulates over time. By using the upholstery attachment on your vacuum cleaner, you can effectively lift and remove any loose particles that may be embedded in the fabric. This simple and quick maintenance task can go a long way in keeping the bed clean and fresh for your dog.

Establishing A Cleaning Routine

Establishing a regular cleaning routine for your dog’s bed is crucial for maintaining its freshness. Having a set schedule for washing, vacuuming, and spot-cleaning can prevent the buildup of odors and bacteria, ensuring that your dog has a hygienic sleeping area at all times. Consider creating a cleaning calendar or setting reminders to help you stay on track with the maintenance of your dog’s bed.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Often Should A Dog Bed Be Washed?

Dog beds should be washed every 1-2 weeks to maintain cleanliness and prevent odor buildup.

What Happens If You Don’t Wash A Dog Bed?

If you don’t wash a dog bed regularly, it can harbor dirt, bacteria, fleas, and unpleasant odors, compromising your dog’s health and comfort.

Can I Wash A Dog Bed In The Washing Machine?

Yes, most dog beds can be washed in the washing machine. However, always check the care label for specific instructions.

How Do I Clean A Dog Bed Without A Washing Machine?

To clean a dog bed without a washing machine, vacuum the bed to remove loose hair and dirt, then spot clean using a pet-safe cleaner or a mixture of water and vinegar.

How Can I Make My Dog’s Bed Smell Better?

To make your dog’s bed smell better, sprinkle baking soda on the bed, let it sit for 15 minutes, then vacuum it off. You can also use a pet-safe fabric freshener.

Are There Any Special Considerations For Washing Orthopedic Dog Beds?

When washing orthopedic dog beds, ensure they are completely dry before using them again to prevent the growth of mold or mildew. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for care and maintenance.


It is essential to maintain the cleanliness of your dog’s bed for their health and well-being. Regularly washing the bed not only helps in removing dirt and odor but also keeps away harmful bacteria and parasites. By following a proper cleaning routine, you can ensure a fresh and hygienic resting space for your furry friend.

Remember, a clean dog bed equals a happy and healthy pup!

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