big dog resting calmly on a dog bed

Let’s talk about something that is absolutely essential to your furry friend’s well-being: keeping their dog bed clean. Our pets spend a considerable amount of time snoozing away on their beds, so it’s crucial that we maintain a clean and cosy space for them to rest. In this blog post, I’ll guide you through the different types of dog bed fabrics, how often you should wash your dog’s bed, and how to wash and dry it properly. Let’s dive in!

pink dog bed with a dog and green rug

Types of dog bed fabric

When it comes to choosing the perfect dog bed, fabric is an important factor to consider. Not only does it affect your dog’s comfort, but it also plays a role in how often you’ll need to wash the bed. Here’s a breakdown of some popular dog bed fabrics:

Water-resistant and durable fabrics

Canvas: Known for its durability, canvas is an excellent choice for outdoor beds or for dogs who tend to be a bit rough with their belongings.

Polyester: This synthetic fabric is water-resistant and easy to clean, making it ideal for dogs who enjoy wet and muddy adventures.

Soft and cosy fabrics

Fleece: With its soft, warm texture, fleece is a popular choice for indoor beds and for dogs who love to snuggle.

Sherpa: This plush, sheep-like fabric provides a cosy and warm sleeping surface for your pup, especially during colder months.

Natural and eco-friendly fabrics

Cotton: Breathable and soft, cotton is a classic choice for dog beds. Opt for organic cotton if you’re looking for a more eco-friendly option.

Hemp: Durable and naturally resistant to odours and bacteria, hemp is a fantastic eco-friendly option for your dog’s bed.

When choosing the right fabric for your dog’s bed, consider their preferences, the bed’s location, and how often you’ll need to wash it. For example, if your dog loves the outdoors and tends to get dirty, a water-resistant and durable fabric may be the best choice.

fluffy white dog resting in a designer dog bed

So how often should you wash your dog’s bed?

The frequency with which you should wash your dog’s bed depends on a few factors, such as their breed, daily activities, allergies, and health issues. Here’s a quick guide to help you decide:

Consider the following:

  1. Type of dog breed: Some breeds shed more than others or have a higher likelihood of developing skin issues. These factors can influence how often you’ll need to clean their bed.
  2. Dog’s daily activities: If your pup spends most of their time outside, getting dirty and muddy, you’ll need to wash their bed more frequently.
  3. Allergies and sensitivities: Dogs with allergies or sensitive skin may require more frequent bedding washes to keep irritants at bay.
  4. Health issues and special needs: If your dog has any specific health concerns or needs, consult with your veterinarian for guidance on bedding hygiene.

General guidelines for washing frequency

  1. Weekly for dogs with allergies or sensitive skin
  2. Biweekly to monthly for average dogs
  3. Monthly to quarterly for dogs with minimal shedding and outdoor activity
small dog chewing a corner of a grey dog bed

Step-by-Step guide to wash your dog’s bed

Now that we’ve covered the basics, let’s dive into the step-by-step process of washing your dog’s bed.

Step 1: Prepare the bed for washing

Remove any loose hair and debris: Use a lint roller, vacuum cleaner, or rubber glove to remove as much hair and dirt as possible from the bed before washing it.

Check and follow care instructions on the label: Make sure to read the care instructions on your dog’s bed to avoid damaging the fabric or voiding any warranties.

Step 2: Washing the bed


  1. Fill a tub with warm water and mild detergent: Make sure to use a pet-friendly detergent that won’t irritate your dog’s skin.
  2. Soak and gently agitate the bed: Submerge the bed in the soapy water and gently massage it to release dirt and grime.
  3. Rinse thoroughly: Drain the tub and refill it with clean water. Rinse the bed until all soap is removed, and repeat if necessary.

Machine washing

  1. Use a gentle cycle and mild detergent: Place the bed in the washing machine and select a gentle cycle to prevent damage. Use a pet-friendly detergent, and avoid fabric softeners or bleach.
  2. Add an extra rinse cycle if needed: If your dog’s bed is particularly dirty or has a strong odour, you may want to run an additional rinse cycle to ensure it’s thoroughly clean.

Get rid of stubborn stains and odours

Pre-treat stains with a pet-friendly stain remover: If your dog’s bed has any visible stains, try pre-treating them with a pet-safe stain remover before washing.

Add white vinegar or baking soda to the wash cycle: To help neutralize odours, consider adding a cup of white vinegar or half a cup of baking soda to the wash cycle.

akita dog sitting on a designer dog bed

How to dry your dog’s bed

Once your dog’s bed is squeaky clean, it’s time to dry it properly. Here are your options:


Lay the bed flat in a well-ventilated area: Spread the bed out on a clean surface, such as a drying rack or clean towel, and allow it to air-dry.

Flip the bed periodically to ensure even drying: To prevent damp spots, make sure to turn the bed over every few hours or as needed.

Machine drying (not all beds are suitable for this)

Use a low-heat or air-dry setting: Place the bed in the dryer and choose a low-heat or air-dry setting to prevent damage or shrinkage.

Add dryer balls or clean tennis balls to fluff the bed: To help maintain your dog’s bed’s shape and fluffiness, toss in a few dryer balls or clean tennis balls during the drying cycle.

Tips for maintaining the bed’s shape and durability

Do not wring or twist the bed during the drying process: Wringing or twisting the bed can damage its structure and lead to lumps or uneven filling.

Avoid using high heat or direct sunlight: High heat can damage the fabric or cause it to shrink, while direct sunlight can lead to fading.

And there you have it – a comprehensive guide to washing and drying your dog’s bed! By maintaining a clean and cosy sleeping space for your furry friend, you’ll not only help keep them comfortable but also promote their overall health and well-being. So go ahead, establish a regular cleaning routine for your dog’s bed, and give your pup the clean, fresh, and inviting space they deserve. Happy washing, and as always, remember to shower your furry friends with love and care!

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