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Our dogs may not be as hygienic as we are, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't do our best to keep them or their things clean. Like their dog beds, for instance. You may not realize just how dirty your dog's bed gets. And a dirty dog bed means your pup is dragging those germs around the house after lying on it. Fortunately, this is something you can control. Here's an overview on how often to wash your dog's bed and the proper way to do it.
How Dirty Are Dog Beds?
Dogs can carry disease-causing bacteria, viruses, parasites and fungi. They can pass these organisms onto the environment around them (like a dog bed) where they can then live up to 12 months without a host. For example, flea eggs can fall off your dog onto their bed, where they can hatch and grow. And ringworm causing fungal spores can live on their bed as well. Not only can these organisms cause issues for your pup, but they can also cause issues for you.
How Often To Wash A Dog Bed
Dog beds should be washed regularly. Exactly how often depends on several factors: how much your dog sheds, the environment and weather in your area, how dirty your dog tends to get, whether they or you have health issues (like seasonal allergies) and whether you have health issues. As a general rule of thumb, it's recommended you wash your dog's bed at least once or twice a month. Just note that the longer time between washes, the more difficult it is to remove all the pathogens. In addition, you'll want to wash it more often if your dog spends a good amount of time outside, likes rolling around on the ground and in the grass, or either of you have health issues.
Pro Tip: Having several dog beds that you can rotate will be helpful for a dog who likes to get dirty, since the beds will need to be washed once a week or more.
How To Quickly Freshen Up A Dog Bed
While there's no way to quickly AND thoroughly clean a dog bed, there are a few ways to freshen it up. You can use a vacuum to reduce fur and dirt (and a lint roller for particularly stubborn pieces) or place a sheet on the bed that you can wash weekly. You can also spot clean specific areas that are dirty with pet-friendly stain and odor remover, as well as spray the dog bed with a pet-friendly cleaner or non-toxic pet deodorizer.
How To Properly Clean A Dog Bed
For starters, you'll want to follow the instructions on the dog bed, as those will vary based on the materials. That being said, it's recommended you wash the bedding on high heat to kill as many germs and parasites as possible. If your pet has sensitive skin, use a hypoallergenic detergent and an extra rinse cycle. Also use the highest heat setting to dry any bedding that is safe for the dryer and hang dry any filling or materials that aren't.
Pro Tip: If the care instructions permit it, you can add chlorine bleach to the wash for extra disinfecting power.