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Can You Wash Dog Beds?

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links that pay me a commission. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. Full disclaimer here.

The question ‘Can you wash dog beds?’ dominated my thinking recently. For good reason. We had just visited the home of a relative, unannounced. Well, when I say unannounced, I guess our friends knew that we were going to drop in sometime that day. Perhaps they weren’t expecting us quite so early in the morning. Oops. Our mistake. I would not have been happy if I were the host either.

Anyway, to cut a long story short, their little dog, Daisy, was definitely making her presence felt. And not by jumping up or barking or being adorably cute, which she is. Rather, Daisy caught our attention with the smell. Her doggie bed was punctuating the air with an undeniable stench.

Dog bedding is a problem when it comes to cleanliness.

As it happened , when we returned the next day, at a more reasonable hour, the aroma was perfectly sweet.


How did Daisy’s owners do it? Mind you, little dog beds are probably easier to wash than huge, bulky dog beds. Nevertheless, Daisy’s bed was now looking almost brand new and the whole house smelt fresh and clean.

MidWest Homes for Pets 24L-Inch Pink Dog Bed or Cat Bed w/ Comfortable Bolster | Ideal for ‘Small’ Dog Breeds & Fits a 24-Inch Dog Crate | Easy Maintenance Machine Wash & Dry

What secret did Daisy’s owners have up their sleeves for cleaning dog bedding so quickly and so effectively? Or was it their choice of dog bed?

Let’s see.

4 Types of Dog Beds Compared

Can You Wash Dog Beds of Any Type and Size?

In this section, we will look at different types of dog beds in order to compare how challenging they are to wash. Now, as you would expect, very small dog beds are much easier to clean than their larger counterparts. So, here, we are focusing on how to wash large dog beds.

1. Foam Dog Beds

Many of the foam dog beds are basically a dog-sized version of ours and are best for larger dogs.

They’re usually too large to put in the washing machine, so this makes them difficult to wash effectively. However, the good news is that many of them come with a removable cover that is machine washable.

Bedsure Orthopedic Dog Bed for Medium Dogs – Waterproof Dog Bed Medium, Foam Sofa with Removable Washable Cover, Waterproof Lining and Nonskid Bottom Couch, Pet Bed

2. Memory Foam Beds for Dogs

These beds are, of course, very similar to regular foam, but are a little denser and more supportive. These are very helpful for older dogs as well as dogs with arthritis or other joint issues.

Like foam dog beds, they’re typically too large to put in the machine, but many also come with a removable cover that is machine washable.

Classic Brands Ruff n’ Roo Small Waterproof Bolster Cotton and Memory Foam Dog Bed with Non-Slip Bottom, Grey

3. Elevated Mesh Beds

These beds are ideal for dogs that like to be higher off the ground. They are also ideal as an outside bed for your dog and can easily be taken along when you go camping.

Now here is a dog bed type that is relatively easy to clean. Many come with a breathable mesh that can be easily and quickly ‘washed’ with the wiping of a wet cloth. The type pictured below comes with a comfortable bolster than can be removed for easy washing.

Western Home Elevated Dog Bed Cot, Chew Proof Raised Outdoor Dog Bed with Bolster for Extra Large Dogs, Portable Cooling Pet Cot with Breathable Mesh, Skid-Resistant Feet, Grey, 48.25 inches

4. Faux Fur Dog Beds

Microfiber and fleece or faux fur beds can usually be machine washed, depending on the size of the bed and your washing machine. This type of bed tends to be more flexible with minimal padding.

Bedsure Calming Dog Bed for Large Dogs – Donut Washable Large Pet Bed, 36 inches Anti Anxiety Round Fluffy Plush Faux Fur Dog Bed, Fits up to 100 lbs Pets, Camel

Some Tricks for Cleaning Dog Beds

Most dog beds can of course be vacuumed and wiped with a damp cloth in between washings. This will serve to keep them looking good not to mention making them more comfortable for your dog.

If your pet happens to be a low shedding breed, you probably won’t have to worry about this vacuuming trick in between washes.

If not, then regular brushing will help reduce shedding, but you’ll still have to vacuum and wipe the bed in between machine washing.

Video: Hacks to Cleaning a Dog Bed

How Often Should a Dog Bed be Washed?

How often you need to wash dog bedding will depend on how messy your dog is. If your dog is more of an indoor dog, then he is probably easier to keep clean. I would use the smell test then in deciding how often the bed needs washing. Some beds can last a whole month, others need washing every 2 weeks or so.

If your dog loves to play outside in the mud, or roll in you-know-what, then you may want to wash his bed more often, perhaps weekly.

Of course, if the bedding is large and bulky, most dog owners are reluctant to do the heavy washing too often.

Buying a Washable Dog Bed for Your Pooch

First of all, it’s a good idea to choose the right bed for the dog breed as well as for your environment.

This is a question that is relevant when you are about to welcome home a new puppy, or when you are needing to replace an existing bed. Perhaps you are looking to replace a bed that your dog has either outgrown or destroyed with chewing.

Alternatively, perhaps you are trying to reclaim your own bed by enticing your dog into his. As much as we love our dogs and want them close by, people who share they bed with their pets, surprisingly don’t sleep as well. Perhaps you are the exception. Providing your dog with his own cosy, comfy bed is generally a better alternative.

So, what are your options in each of these cases, if washability is a priority?

Which bed you choose for your dog will naturally depend on his/her size, age and health. Your choice will also be governed by whether your pet is more active and/or more often outside.

Here is a huge catalog of options from which you can choose a washable bed, according to the size of your dog:

Washable Dog Beds for Large Dogs (affiliate link)

Washable Dog Beds for Small Dogs (affiliate link)

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