How To Clean A Dog Bed – An In-Depth Guide For Pet Owners

Most pet owners have a dog bed for their canine companion to rest and sleep. It gives them a comfy place to hang out, plus it frees up the space on your bed and couch!

But what do you do if your dog has an accident on their bed?

With all of the different styles of dog beds out there, it can be tricky knowing the best cleaning method for every type.

That’s why in this article I’m going to give you my favorite tips and tricks for washing your dog’s bed.

By Allison Salonko.

Allison is a Veterinary Technician in the state of Indiana. She graduated from International Business College and Vet Tech Institute of Indianapolis with a degree in Animal Science and Technology in 2011.

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How Often Should You Clean Your Dog’s Bed?

A clean dog bed is essential for your dog’s health and the wellbeing of your home.

This is why it’s so important to have a routine cleaning schedule for your pup’s favorite resting spot.

Not only do they need to be washed for the sake of smell and hair removal, but it should also be cleaned of bacteria and debris regularly.

Many veterinary professionals recommend washing your dog’s bed about once a week or every other week.

While this is not quite feasible for most people, washing it once or twice a month should suffice.

How To Clean A Dog Bed Without A Removable Cover?

If your dog’s bed doesn’t have a removable cover, try not to worry too much, not all is lost as hand washing or tossing the whole thing in the washer is not as complicated as it seems.

Just follow these few steps and your dog’s coverless bed will be clean and smelling new in no time.

Step #1 How To Remove Dog Hair From Bed (Vacuum or Lint Roll)

Ridding your dog’s bed of hair is an important part of the process as the stubborn fluff will only be in the way when you’re trying to clean it of any stains and smells.

Plus, the hair is part of the problem, trust me!

Make sure you get into the cracks and vacuum really well. Give it a good shake out and vacuum one more time with the hose attachment.

If the blanket doesn’t have any stains and it’s just a little smelly then you can sprinkle it with baking soda and allow it to sit for an hour before vacuuming again.

Lint rolling can also be very helpful in removing stubborn hair from your dog’s bed.

Step #2 Removing The Stains

Stains are pretty common with dog beds, especially when our companion is very young or very old.

Spot treating stains on a bed that doesn’t have a removable cover is an important step to do BEFORE getting it wet.

Avoid household cleaners such as bleach as they can cause irritation to you or your pet.

Look for cleaners that are specifically meant for use with pets.

I recommend using the Rocco and Roxie Stain Remover as it is pet safe, easy on surfaces and is highly reviewed. Not to mention it’s chlorine free.

Step #3 Washing The Bed

Your coverless dog bed will still need to be washed.

You are welcome to throw it in the washing machine if the tag deems it safe (or if the bed is small enough), if not then you will need to hand wash it in a sink or bathtub.

If your pet has skin sensitivities you may want to find a cleaner specifically meant for pets with allergies.

How To Clean A Dog Bed Without A Washing Machine

Hand washing the dog bed will require a little more work than if you were only using the washing machine. When cleaning the bed by hand, you will still want to use a laundry detergent that is ideally chemical-free.

Completely submerge the bed in warm water and allow your detergent to remove stains and debris. This could take close to 30 minutes before it is ready to be rinsed.

How To Clean A Dog Bed In A Washing Machine

This step should be simple, if it’s able to be cleaned via the washing machine, then go for it!

Often, owners will need to run the bed though the rinse cycle twice in order to fully remove dirt and left over soap.

Spinning the bed twice may also be necessary, especially if the bed has a lot of cotton stuffing on the inside.

Step # 4 Rinsing After Handwashing

When handwashing your dog’s bed, you will need to squeeze as much water out of the stuffing or foam insert as you can. Submerge it again in clean water and repeat the process until the water is clear.

Step #5 Dry The Dog Bed

The hard part is already over. This is one of the easier steps in the process of cleaning a bed, especially if the manufacturer says it’s dryer safe.

If it’s too large or can’t be put in a dryer, then air drying is the only other option.

Using a rack for ventilation will help speed up the process. However, if it’s sunny outside, it may dry faster if left in the sunlight.

No matter what, it is crucial that your dog’s bed is completely dried.

Mold and mildew can build up in their interior bedding or in the bolstered creases.

How Do You Clean A Dog Bed With Baking Soda?

Cleaning a dog bed with baking soda isn’t a fix all, but it will help to eliminate odors pretty quickly.

If you are wanting to deodorize your dog’s bed with baking soda, all you have to do is four simple steps.

  • Vacuum the bed (or lint roll) to remove hair.
  • Sprinkle the bed with baking soda, making sure to get into the creases.
    Let it sit for about an hour.
  • Then vacuum the baking soda off.

Voila! Your dog’s bed should smell nice and fresh.

How To Clean A Dog Bed’s Foam Insert

Foam inserts thankfully are a little less complicated to clean than cotton. The first thing to do is again, remove any hair by vacuuming.

Then soak the foam mattress in soap treated water.

You will need to squeeze and incorporate the water and soap into it by squeezing.

Allow it to sit for 5-10 minutes before rinsing in clean soap-free water. Rinse until no soap is squeezed out.

Allow to dry completely before putting back into the cover.

How To Clean A Dog Bed With Poop On It

Accidents happen and poop disasters are always a challenge, but you shouldn’t have to throw away that perfectly good bed.

If your dog has had a #2 on their bed, then there are a few steps you should follow.

  • Remove the obvious soiling from the bed cover (as much as possible).
  • Vacuum the parts of the bed that are not poopy-fied to remove as much hair as you can before cleaning.
  • Spot clean the stains with a gentle, pet-approved cleaning solution.
  • Pre-soak the bed (or cover) in water and a small amount of soap.
  • Wash the bed in either the washing machine or hand wash according to our directions above.
  • Allow to completely dry.

Washing Your Dog’s Bed Makes It Last Longer

Don’t give up and throw out that expensive dog bed just because it’s a little stinky or your pet had an accident.

There are several methods for cleaning them, and most of the time you can just toss the bed in the wash and they will turn out just fine. 

If your dog’s bed is just a bit worn after a longer use, you may choose to donate it instead of throwing it out.

Photo by Iresha.

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