How To Wash A Dog Bed

As much as we love when our dogs snuggle up in bed with us, most dogs love having their own special place to sleep and relax. However, our canine companions can really do a number on their beds, tracking in dirt and mud or having the occasional accident.

That’s why it’s so important to learn how to properly clean your dog’s bed, both for your pup’s health and your own home’s cleanliness.

In this guide, we’ll walk through the key steps for washing different types of dog beds, from vacuuming away debris to tackling tough stains.

Remove Debris Before You Wash The Dog Bed

Before washing your dog’s bed, it’s important to remove any debris or dirt that has accumulated. Start by vacuuming the surface and sides of the bed thoroughly with a pet hair vacuum or pet hair remover tool. Make sure to vacuum any crevices, buttons, and tufting where dirt and fur can gather.

You can also use a lint roller or masking tape to lift any remaining loose hairs. Wearing rubber or latex gloves and wiping the bed can help grab more fur as well. If the bed is smelly, sprinkle some baking soda over it and let it sit for a few hours before vacuuming to help deodorize.

Removing all the dirt, fur, and dander first will save you time when washing the dog bed and prevent the fur from clumping when it gets wet.

Spot Clean Pet Stains on The Dog Bed

Before washing, you’ll want to spot-clean any urine drops, mud stains, or other pet stains on the dog bed cover. For mild stains, use a pet-friendly detergent or stain remover to pretreat the area. Gently work the detergent into the stain using a towel or soft brush.

For tougher stains like urine or feces, try an enzyme cleaner which will break down the organic matter. Apply the enzyme cleaner to the stain, let it sit for 15 minutes, then blot and rinse thoroughly with water until the stain is removed.

Getting rid of stains and soiled areas beforehand will make sure they don’t set in during the washing process. It also helps to eliminate odors.

Remove Stuffing and Wash The Dog Bed Cover

If your dog bed has a removable cover, take it off and throw it in the washing machine. First, check the care label to see if the cover is machine washable.

To hand wash, soak the cover in warm soapy water for a few minutes, then gently scrub stains with an old toothbrush. Rinse thoroughly until the suds are gone.

You can wash the removable cover and bed filling separately. This allows you to clean the cover more vigorously. Use the warmest water temperature allowed on the care tag to kill germs and bugs. Add a pet-safe laundry detergent to the washing machine.

Hand Wash or Machine Wash the Dog Bed Cover

For delicate materials, hand washing is best. Fill a sink or bathtub with warm water and a small amount of mild detergent. Submerge the cover, let soak for 10-15 minutes, then scrub and rinse.

If the washing machine can handle the fabric, you can machine wash the cover. Use a gentle cycle and cool or warm water with a pet-safe, dye and fragrance-free detergent.

Let the cover air dry completely if possible rather than using the dryer. Air drying prevents heat damage and mildew growth.

Wash Your Dog’s Bed on a Cold/Gentle Cycle

When washing the entire dog bed in the machine, use the gentle or delicate cycle with cool or cold water to avoid ripping the fabric. Hot water can be used if trying to kill fleas or other pests, but always check the tag first.

Use an extra rinse cycle with pet-safe detergent to fully eliminate soap residue which could irritate your dog’s skin. Avoid fabric softeners and dryer sheets as these contain fragrances.

Let the bed air dry completely before your dog uses it again. The moisture left behind can allow mold to grow.


How can I sanitize my washing machine after washing my dog’s bed?

To sanitize your washing machine after washing your dog’s bed, run an empty cycle at the highest temperature setting with 1 cup of white vinegar. The vinegar will help remove any leftover dirt, bacteria, or pet odors.

What should I do if my dog’s bed is too large to fit in my washing machine?

If your dog’s bed is too large to fit inside your home washing machine, take it to a laundromat. Look for an extra-large front-loading washing machine that can accommodate bulkier items like large dog beds, comforters, or pillows. Just be sure to still use a pet-safe detergent and wash gently.

How can I thoroughly dry my dog’s bed after washing it?

To fully dry your dog’s bed after washing, it’s best to hang it outside if possible to air dry in the sunlight. You can also tumble dry on low heat, being sure to fluff it periodically. Adding a few wool dryer balls can help separate stuffing and prevent clumping. Just don’t use fabric softener sheets, as these can irritate your dog’s skin.

What’s the best way to clean a waterproof cover on my dog’s bed?

To clean a waterproof cover on your dog’s bed, wipe it down weekly with a soft cloth dipped in a mild detergent and water solution. For deeper cleaning, remove the cover and machine wash it with your dogs’ bedding using pet-safe detergent. Be sure to air-dry the cover fully before putting it back on the bed.

How can I keep my dog’s bed clean between full washings?

To maintain your dog’s bed between full wash cycles, vacuum it frequently to remove fur, dirt, and dander. You can also spot clean any new stains immediately with an enzyme cleaner. Use a washable cover over the bed to protect the insert. And let it air out in direct sunlight regularly to freshen and deodorize it.


To keep your dog healthy, aim to wash their bed at least every 1-2 weeks. Active dogs who spend time outdoors may need it washed weekly.

When the bed is visibly soiled or your dog has an accident on it, clean it immediately. Use an enzyme cleaner to eliminate odors and stains.

Frequently vacuuming and spot-cleaning between washes is also recommended. Try using a protective cover over the bed to keep it cleaner longer.

Keeping your dog’s bed fresh and hygienic with regular washing and cleaning is an essential part of pet care and maintaining a clean home. Putting a little time into keeping their bed clean will pay off with a healthy, happy dog.

Sophie Delatorre
Sophie Delatorre

I'm Sophie Delatorre, an experienced and trusted product review expert known for my in-depth and unbiased analyses. With over 10 years under my belt reviewing all types of consumer products, from tech gadgets to home appliances, I provide comprehensive feedback to help consumers make informed purchase decisions.

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