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How To Clean a Dog Bed

Dog beds are our dogs’ special place. They kept them warm and comfy while they nap or sleep, especially during winter and cold days.

However, just like a human’s bed, a dog’s bed needs to be cleaned regularly. 

In today’s article, we’ll tell you all the tips for how to clean a dog bed. You’ll also learn why it is necessary to clean your dog’s bed, what you’ll need to do, and when you need to buy a new mattress. 

Do Dog Beds Need Cleaning?

Dog beds can get dirty in a matter of days, but they require less cleaning than human beds.

You need to clean your dog’s bed because it can be a focal point for germs and other health hazards. 

Generally speaking, dogs like to roll around in anything they can, especially if it is not clean and has a strong scent. They do this because of instinct and nature. It is how they interact with a new smell, but that also means that your dog won’t remain clean for weeks after washing them.

You cannot give your dog a daily bath like you or your kids. Their skin is too sensitive to the chemicals, which means that your dog won’t be clean most of the time he is with you. It also means that your dog will sleep in his bed with debris, mud, dirt, and other things.

There’s no way to keep your dog a hundred percent clean throughout the month. Still, you can maintain his bed clean to avoid turning it into a place for germs and other health problems to accumulate. 

How Dirty Is a Dog’s Bed?

A dog bed can contain many diseases carried by dogs and other animals. Those diseases can be transmitted to humans through your dog’s saliva, fur, urine, and more.

Some of these microorganisms capable of transmitting diseases can survive for months on your dog’s bed if you do not clean it regularly. 

So, keep your dog’s bed clean and brush your dog daily if needed to avoid any health problems for your family and your dog. 

What Will I Need to Clean My Dog’s Bed?

The items you’ll need will depend on your dog’s bed model. There are models you can wash in the washing machine, and others can be washed by hand.

However, some other beds only allow for vacuuming, or you can damage the material. What you need will also depend on how dirty the bed is.

For example, if you regularly clean the mattress, you’ll need to invest less time and materials than if you do it once a year. Take a look at your dog bed, check how dirty or smelly it is, and then you can decide what to use.

Soap and Water

If your dog’s bed gets cleaned regularly, you shouldn’t notice any significant indications of fleas or other health hazards. You can simply use some warm water with soap to clean it and rinse the bed with some clean water.

After that’s done, you should leave it to dry in an area with airflow for a full day. You can use some products if you find it hard to get rid of spots on the bed.

Keep in mind that the product will depend on the material. Do not use bleach or bleach-related products without consulting with your vet. Bleach can produce allergies in your dog’s skin. 

Vinegar, Apple Cider, and Warm Water

There’s no option more affordable than using vinegar to clean your dog’s bed. Vinegar is excellent for removing dirty spots and for getting rid of organisms that could carry diseases.

All you need to do is mix vinegar or apple cider with warm water in a container that can fit your dog’s bed. 

Follow these steps to clean your dog’s bed with vinegar and water: 

  1. Get ¼ cup of vinegar plus ½ cup more if the bed has a strong odor.
  2. Remove the cover of the dog’s bed if your model allows you. 
  3. Now, submerge the foam bed in the container with the vinegar and the warm water.
  4. Add a small amount of laundry detergent to avoid making the bed smell like vinegar.
  5. Leave it inside the container for around 20 to 30 minutes.
  6. Rinse it with clean water.
  7. Let it dry with air.

Baking Soda

Another option you have is to use baking soda for cleaning your dog’s bed. Baking soda is perfect for absorbing strong odors, which comes in handy when dealing with a stinky mattress. 

You can use the baking soda dry, which will get rid of the stink. All you need to do is put some baking soda over the bed, leave it on it for around 30 minutes, and then use the vacuum to take it off. 

Mixing the baking soda with water will create a thick paste that you can use to get rid of debris and dirt. You can use the thick paste for cleaning your dog’s bed or even the crate, and it does not require too much physical effort to use. 

Here’s what you have to do if you want to mix the baking soda with some water:

  1. Take the same amount of baking soda, water, and salt. 
  2. Mix them to create the paste. 
  3. Now, use a sponge to spread the paste over the bed or crate.
  4. Keep rubbing until you notice there's no more debris or dirt on the bed or crate.
  5. Finally, rinse the bed with some warm water to get rid of any leftover paste. 
  6. Let the bed dry with air and avoid using sunlight or heat as it can damage the materials. 

Lemon Juice

Lemon juice is one of nature’s most efficient cleaners. It is an option you can use for almost anything, from plates and sheets to your dog’s bed and crate.

It is because lemon juice contains different substances that can eliminate dirt, oil, and organic matter like microorganisms. 

Here’s what you’ll need to clean your dog’s bed:

  • An empty spray bottle
  • Hot water
  • Two tablespoons of baking soda (optional but recommended) 
  • Two tablespoons of lemon juice (depending on the size of the bed) 

Here’s what you have to do to clean your dog’s bed with lemon juice:

  1. Start by mixing three cups of boiling water with the lemon juice and the baking soda.
  2. Pour the solution into the empty spray bottle. 
  3. Shake the bottle to mix it all. 
  4. Spray the solution over the bed cover and the foam mattress.
  5. Proceed to wipe it off with a cloth.
  6. Repeat until the bed is clean. 

Bed Washing Detergents for Dogs

You can find many products for cleaning dog beds at pet stores or in your local vet. We recommend the Alpha Tech LaundraPet Detergent. 

However, before choosing one, consult with your veterinarian if your dog has a history of skin allergies. If your dog has skin allergies, we recommend using the natural options listed above. 

Step-By-Step Guide on Cleaning a Dog Bed

You should clean your dog’s bed regularly. However, you can do it step-by-step to avoid leaving your dog without his bed for a long time. 

The following instructions take you through the entire process: 

  1. Remove any pieces of debris and dirt or any other materials from the bed. Do it by shaking the bed outside of the house, preferably in a place with a lot of ventilation. 
  2. If there are pieces you cannot get rid of, use a vacuum to clean the bed. Make sure you remove every possible lump or piece of debris before washing the bed. 
  3. Proceed to use any of the natural or chemical solutions we have discussed in this article. Use the one that will help you the most with your particular breed and type of bed.
  4. If necessary, use a sponge with some mild-detergent to get rid of difficult stains on the bed.

Tip: If your bed cover can be washed in the washing machine, select the hand-washing option in the device. Always check the tag of the cover before washing it, for using the wrong temperature can damage the material and make the bed unusable. 

Dangers Of a Dog Sleeping In a Dirty Bed

Apart from the health hazard that a dirty bed can present for you and your family, dogs are also affected by dirty dog beds.

Dirty dog beds can harbor bacterias, viruses, parasites, and other organisms that can put your dog’s life in danger. 

If you do not clean your dog’s bed, then you risk the possibility of making it the nest of fleas and ticks that can make your dog’s life quite miserable. Ticks can even put your dog’s life at risk by deteriorating his health slowly. 

A dirty dog bed is a health hazard for you, your family, and your dog. Parasites, worms, bacteria, and other organisms can be transmitted by touch, so they can spread quickly within your household. 

Keep your dog’s bed clean, and make sure to give him a regular deworming treatment. Also, keeping your dog vaccinated will make your home a healthier place. It will also help you increase your dog’s life expectancy. 

When Is It Time To Clean My Dog’s Bed? 

It will all depend on how much your dog sheds and whether he is allowed outdoors or not.

If your dog is a breed like Golden Retriever, Akita, or other breeds that shed a lot, you should wash his bed once a week at a minimum. 

If your dog does not shed a lot and does not go out of the house that much, then once every two weeks will be enough. However, if your dog has a medical condition on his skin, you should try to clean the bed more often. 

Tip: When buying a dog bed, buy two similar dog beds. That way, when you are washing your dog’s bed, he will have another one to use in the meantime. 

When Is It Time to Buy a New Dog Bed?

The right time to buy a new bed for your dog will depend on how much your dog interacts with his bed.

If he is the kind of adult dog or puppy that enjoys ripping up the covers and the foam, then you will have to buy a new one as soon as you notice damage on the outside and mattress. 

If you can’t fix your dog’s bed, then it is time to get a new one. However, make sure that the mattress you get will resist your dog’s need to chew and play with it. Delicate materials won’t last long, and if your dog likes to play rough, it might be a good idea to get something resistant. 

How To Choose The Right Dog Bed? 

When it comes to dog beds, sometimes the cutest or best-looking ones are not the best option. When choosing one, think about how often it needs to be cleaned and how easy it is to clean.

If it doesn’t come with a removable cover, it might not be a good option for a high-shedding dog.  Most of the time, the beds that come without a zipper allow you to wash the entire unit.

To know how to wash the bed, all you need to do is check the tag for washing instructions. Remember that what matters the most is functionality and comfort for your dog.


Dogs need a place to rest. Their beds must be comfortable, the right size, and clean for their health and yours.

Keeping your dog’s bed clean is as essential as brushing them often. So, clean your dog’s bed once a week if they shed a lot or once every two weeks if they have short fur coats. 

Dog beds can be a haven for diseases and parasites, so avoid letting your children play with them. If your dog is left outside for long periods, it is recommended to clean the bed more often. 

Overall, a dog’s bed must be functional and should be easy to clean. Get rid of it if you notice a lot of damage to the cover and mattress. When buying a new dog bed, get one that can be cleaned easily.