Tips for a Clean Dog Bed

Photo: Cheryl G.

If washing your dog’s bed is not one of your regular chores, you may want to reconsider. Did you know that a dog’s bed is covered in whatever your dog is covered in – meaning hair, food particles, and anything that he may have rolled in outside. Since dogs, like most domestic animals, carry organisms that can cause diseases, pet owners should be aware of the importance of maintaining a clean dog bed.

According to PetMD, eventhough you aren’t the one sleeping in the bed, you are likely to come in secondhand contact with your dog’s bed multiple times a day, every day. Whenever your dog moves from his bed to your couch or comes over to you for a quick pat, he’s dragging an invisible cloud of germs everywhere he goes. Fortunately, your dog’s bed is one germy area that you can control.

Step 1

Choose Wisely

Melvin Pena from Dogster says, “How to wash a dog bed should be a primary consideration when you are selecting from the range of commercially available dog beds. Check the tags on dog beds to see whether the recommended method of cleaning is feasible and practical for you, your home, and the time you have for cleaning. All too often, people buy a dog bed on impulse because it is cute or it fits with their home decor. When the dog urinates all over it a few nights later, they find, to their cost, that the bed itself or the insert is soaked and is either not compatible with their washing machine or not recommended for their dryer.”

Step 2

Wash the Bed

Although vacuuming will minimize hair and dirt, it just isn’t enough to get rid of the harmful microbes lingering on your pet’s bed. The only real way to reduce the risk of infectious disease transmission is to launder your pet’s bed once a week or once every two weeks at minimum, said Kathy Backus, DVM, Holistic Veterinary Services, in Kaysville, Utah.

When determining how often to wash your dog’s bedding, however, you should also consider your pet’s activity level, how much they shed, the amount of time they spend outdoors and if they (or you) have allergies. If those factors are high, you may want to increase the number of washings to twice a week, she said. The longer you go between washes, the harder it will be for your washing machine to remove all the potential pathogens from the bedding.

Step 3

Hot Water

All pet bedding—including any blankets or cushion covers a pet may come in contact with—should be laundered at a temperature of at least 140 degrees Fahrenheit using detergent and chlorine bleach, if the fabric can stand it, said Sally Bloomfield, an honorary professor at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

If your washing machine doesn’t gauge temperature, choose the highest setting to help kill as many germs as possible. And for pets with sensitive skin, opt for a natural detergent and an extra rinse cycle. Dry your pet’s bed at the highest possible temperature setting, being careful to hang-dry fill or matting so that they don’t clump in the dryer.

Step 4

Clean surfaces

Be sure to regularly clean the floors and other surfaces around your pet’s bed. Use gloves and a bleach solution.

Since dogs have a number of bedding options, Braxton’s is asking you to share your techniques for washing, cleaning, and maintaining a dog’s bed!

What kinds of beds do your dogs use?

What kinds are the easiest to clean?

What are your approaches and methods?

What are your favored cleaning products? Let us know in the comments section!

 

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