How to Wash Dog Beds (+ Easily Washable Options)

Dogs are like us in many ways, including their sleep cycle. And in order for them to get a good night’s sleep, they need a suitable temperature, a good sense of security, and a comfortable place to lay down. These are all things that are provided by a dog bed.

Dog beds aren’t only intended for sleeping, though; they’re also for napping throughout the day. If you have a pup or an aging dog, you’ll notice that napping is a frequent activity for them, and that the bed is in constant use.

With constant use comes the need to routinely wash your dog’s bed for the sake of their health and well-being. 

If you’re in search of the most efficient ways you can offer your pet a bed that is not only comfortable but clean, this article is for you.

In this post, we’ll discuss all you need to know about washing dog bedding, whether by hand or in a washer.

Can Dog Beds Go In the Washer?

Your pup might be the best at shaking hands or being the pillar of your emotional support at difficult times, but dogs are far from perfect when it comes to hygiene, unlike cats. Dogs need frequent baths, and so do their beddings.

Whether or not your dog’s bed can go in the washer depends on bed’s material and construction. You need to check the bedding’s label for the washable icon before you put it into the washing machine.

Otherwise, you’ll find yourself stuck with an unsustainable clump of fabric that you’re better off throwing away. It’s for that reason that good-quality dog beddings are designed to be washable, both by hand and in the washer. In fact, a washer-safe dog bedding is optimal, as it facilitates washing it weekly and saves you loads of hard work.

If you bought your dog bed online, you can also check the product listing, which often includes information about whether you can wash the dog bed in the washer, and any special instructions on how to do so.

Why Wash Your Dog’s Bed?

According to a survey, 45% of dogs in the U.S. sleep on their owners’ beds. That’s because it provides a clean, safe, and comfortable space. 

Sadly, it’s not always ideal for dog owners to sleep next to their pets, as it can lead to allergic reactions and can be unsanitary. And thus, dog beds were made. 

Pet beds give your dogs a safe, warm place to sleep (not unlike sleeping right next to you!). Having a separate bed also provides more privacy and hygiene for both of you. And, as anyone who has slept next to a dog can attest, some pups are great at taking up aaaaallll the space in the bed.

In other words, having a separate bed for your pet is good for both of you. Good fences make good neighbors, after all!

Needless to say, cleaning the bed is a must for your dog’s comfort and health. PetMD recommends that you wash your dog’s bed and blankets once a week, or at the very least, once every two weeks. Any dirt or other debris should be vacuumed up between washes.

This routinely removes the bacteria, debris, and fallen fur—not to mention the odors. Plus, it prevents future infections or skin irritation.

5 Easy Steps for Cleaning Your Dog’s Bedding

Dogs are magnets for dirt and interesting smells, so it’s a relief to know that most beds are made to be easily washable.

Here’s a five step formula for getting your pet’s bed clean:

  1. Clean the outer cover. If your dog bed has a removable cover, take it out and clean it weekly. You can do so by hand or in the washing machine. However, if the bed doesn’t have a removable cover, check its manual first. 
  2. Vacuum the rest of the bed. Vacuuming is the most crucial thing to do before washing the bed as dog fur tends to stick to damp surfaces. It’s also important for the removal of the three Ds: dust, dirt, and debris. Using a lint roller can help remove any tiny hairs.
  3. Use a stain remover. You’ll encounter difficult stains while cleaning the dog bed. If you find deep stains, such as those caused by mud (or, ahem, organic waste), spray the bed and the covers with a stain remover before washing them.
  4. Submerge in hot water. If you have a washing machine, set the water temperature to at least 130 F. To make sure that all detergent is off, you can use an extra rinse cycle. If the dog bed is too large, however, or not washer-safe, you can hand-wash it in a bathtub half-full of hot water and pet-safe detergent. Hot water will help remove insects and their eggs.
  5. Dry the bed. You can air-dry the bed by hanging it in a well-ventilated area, or you can place it in a dryer. If you prefer the dryer, you can reduce the static by padding it with a pet-safe dryer sheet. Ridding your dog’s bedding of moisture will prevent the growth of mold and mildew.

Choosing an Easy-to-Clean Dog Bed

If you wish to get your pooch a comfy dog bed that will be easy on you to clean on a regular basis, then here’s what you should look for:

  • A washable bed is great, but one that’s fully machine-washable would be terrific. It saves time and water, and it makes sure that, in a few short steps, you can have clean bedding for your pet every week.
  • Choose a high-quality fabric on the bed, especially the cover, so it can handle repeated washing.
  • If your dog is in its twilight years and you want to reduce the number of times you need to clean, then buy a waterproof liner that could be placed under the cover.
  • If you have a larger dog, then a bed with a removable washer-safe cover would be the most convenient option. It would save space and you won’t have to hand-wash it in the bathtub.

Amazon has a wide selection of machine washable dog beds:

They aren’t the only option, however. Chewy has a wide selection as well, including orthopedic beds for older dogs:

Conclusion

It’s safe to say that pets that are as active as dogs need their beddings to be routinely washed. Unfortunately, not all manufacturers understand this, and you’ll find that many dog beds aren’t designed to be washed.

Checking the bed’s label, and doing some extra planning when you get your home ready for a new pet will allow you to find a bed that’s easily washable.

Washing once a week is a big task for even the most Martha-Stewart-esque among us, so go easy on yourself with a fully machine-washable bed to save you time and effort.

PuppyLists is written by J., who has owned, trained, volunteered with, and loved dogs for nearly three decades. When she isn't writing or researching, she's out adventuring with her 14 year old Lab mix.