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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.

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

Dog bedding can be a huge 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, there are many washable beds for small dogs (affiliate link). and 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.

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.

Best Washable Dog Beds for Large Dogs

First of all, it’s a good idea to choose the right bed that suits your dog’s breed. Which bed you choose 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.

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

In this section, we will look at different types of dog beds in order to compare how challenging they can be to wash. Given that very small dog beds are much easier to clean than their larger counterparts, they are usually much less of an odour problem. Therefore, we have decided to focus on medium to large dog beds, in particular how to wash and clean them.

4 Types of Dog Beds Compared

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 remov

able 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 beds, 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.

Bedsure Orthopedic Dog Bed for Large Dogs – Memory Foam, 2-Layer Thick Pet Bed with Removable Washable Cover and Waterproof Lining (36x27x3.5 Inches), Dog Mattress, 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

Browsing Washable Dog Bed Options

We have already seen that certain bed types are easier to wash or clean than others. If you are still sitting on the fence with respect to which type best suits you and your dog, then this huge catalog of washable options can provide additional guidance.

Washable Dog Beds for Large Dogs (affiliate link)

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 sniff 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.

Pampering Dogs