dog in dog bed with blanket

How to Wash Dog Beds and Blankets

Our beloved pups bring immense joy to our lives, and providing them with a spotless, inviting bed is a fantastic way to show our love and care.

Regular cleaning not only ensures a comfortable and hygienic sleeping environment for our four-legged pals but also contributes to their overall health and happiness.

We’ll take you through expert tips and techniques to wash dog beds and blankets effectively.

Whether you have a boisterous Labrador, a petite Pomeranian, or any breed in between, we’ve got you covered!


A Few Steps to Prepare

liquid detergent, baking soda, cleaning brush and vacuum

Before washing your dog’s beds and blankets, it helps to make sure you have everything you need.

Proper preparation sets the stage for a successful cleaning session, leaving your furry friend’s sleeping space feeling and smelling like new.

We recommend using the following:

  • Mild laundry detergent – Look for a gentle laundry detergent suitable for pets, as their delicate skin is more sensitive to harsh chemicals.
  • Bicarbonate of soda – For a naturally fresh scent and to combat any lingering odours, keep some bicarbonate of soda handy.
  • Soft-bristle brush – This gentle tool will help you remove loose fur and debris from the dog bed and blankets before washing.
  • Vacuum cleaner with upholstery attachment – A vacuum cleaner will be your best friend when it comes to tackling embedded fur and dirt.


Check the Care Label First

dog bed care label

Take a moment to inspect the care labels on your dog beds and blankets.

Different fabrics and designs may have specific washing instructions to ensure their longevity and performance.

When it comes to washing instructions for various fabrics, some materials may require hand washing or special care, while others are safe for machine washing.

Have a look at the recommended temperature and washing cycle. Knowing the right water temperature and washing cycle will help preserve the fabric’s quality.


Start By Removing Loose Fur and Debris

upholstery attachment on vacuum

Before tossing the bed and blankets into the washing machine, give them a gentle brushing to remove any loose fur, dander, or debris.

This will prevent excess fur from clogging the machine and ensure a more effective wash.

For a thorough clean, use a vacuum cleaner with an upholstery attachment to suction away embedded fur and dirt. Pay special attention to crevices and seams where dirt tends to accumulate.


Treat Any Stubborn Stains

dog bed stain and liquid detergent

If your dog’s bed or blankets have any unsightly stains, pre-treat them before washing.

Apply a small amount of mild laundry detergent to the stained areas and gently work it in with your fingers. Let it sit for a few minutes to break down the stain.

As much as we want to banish stains completely, it’s crucial to use pet-safe and eco-friendly detergents. Harsh chemicals can be harmful to your dog’s sensitive skin and health.


Remove Odours

dog bed with bicarbonate of soda

To eliminate any lingering pet odours, sprinkle bicarbonate of soda directly onto the dog bed and blankets before starting the washing machine.

Bicarbonate of soda is a natural deodoriser that will leave the fabrics smelling fresh and clean.

Whenever possible, consider sun-drying your dog’s bedding. The sun’s rays act as a natural disinfectant, and the fresh air will leave the fabrics smelling revitalising and delightful.

Now that your dog’s bed and blankets are ready for the wash, let’s move on to the washing techniques to make sure they come out of the process looking and feeling as good as new.

At this point, you need to decide whether you want to machine wash or opt for a gentle hand wash.

This will most likely depend on the type of material the dog bed or blanket is made from, so again, refer to the care label if you’re not sure.


Machine-Washing Dog Beds and Blankets

dog bed and blankets in washing machine

Machine-washing your dog’s beds and blankets is a convenient and effective way to achieve a thorough clean. Here are some tips on machine-washing dog beds and blankets:

  • Select the appropriate cycle – For regular dog beds and blankets without significant stains, opt for a gentle or delicate cycle. If the bedding is heavily soiled, a regular cycle should suffice, but avoid using heavy-duty cycles to prevent wear and tear.
  • Choose the right water temperature – Pay attention to the care label and select the appropriate water temperature. In most cases, a cold or warm setting is safe for pet bedding. Hot water can cause some fabrics to shrink or fade.
  • Low spin speed – To avoid damaging the fabric and maintain the shape of the bedding, opt for a low spin speed, especially for thicker materials.
  • Balance the load – If you’re washing several items at the same time, ensure a balanced load to prevent the washing machine from becoming unsteady during the spin cycle.
  • Follow your washing machine’s capacity recommendations – Overloading the washing machine can lead to inadequate cleaning and potentially damage the machine. Follow the manufacturer’s capacity recommendations for a successful wash.
  • Wash separately if necessary – If your dog’s bed is large or heavily soiled, consider washing it separately to ensure a thorough clean.


Hand-Washing for a Softer Wash

handwash dog bed

This gentle approach ensures that even the most delicate materials remain intact while providing a meticulous clean for your beloved canine companion.

For those extra special dog beds and blankets that require a delicate touch, hand-washing is the way to go.

When is hand-washing necessary?

  • Delicate fabrics Hand-washing is best suited for dog beds and blankets made from delicate fabrics, or those with intricate designs or embellishments.
  • Resistant stains – For tough stains that require more attention than machine washing can provide, hand-washing allows you to focus on treating problem areas with care.


Follow these steps to hand-wash dog beds and blankets

  1. Fill a clean basin or sink with lukewarm water. Avoid using hot water, as it can damage delicate fabrics.
  2. Dissolve a small amount of mild laundry detergent specifically formulated for pets into the water. Be sure to use pet-safe and eco-friendly products to protect your furry friend’s sensitive skin.
  3. Place the dog bed or blankets in the prepared water and gently submerge them. Allow the fabric to soak for a few minutes to loosen dirt and stains.
  4. Gently agitate the water by hand, being careful not to scrub or twist the bedding too vigorously, as this may damage delicate fibres.
  5. For stubborn stains, use a soft cloth or sponge to gently spot clean the affected areas with the soapy water. Avoid using excessive force to prevent fibre damage.
  6. Drain the soapy water and refill the basin with clean, lukewarm water. Rinse the bedding thoroughly until all laundry detergent residue is removed.
  7. Gently press the bedding to remove excess water. Avoid wringing or twisting the fabric, as this can lead to stretching or deformation.

To ensure all laundry detergent is removed, rinse the bedding with clean water multiple times. Continue rinsing until the water runs clear.

After the final rinse, gently squeeze out excess water from the bedding, being careful not to agitate or wring the fabric.


Drying the Bed and Blankets

Now that you’ve given your dog’s bed and blankets the love and attention they deserve during the washing process, it’s time to ensure they dry properly to maintain their fluffy and cosy appeal.

Proper drying is crucial to prevent mould, mildew, and odours while extending the life of the bedding. Let’s explore the two primary methods of drying: air drying and machine drying.

Air drying vs. machine drying

drying dog bed and blanket

Air drying is a gentle and natural way to dry your dog’s bedding, especially for delicate fabrics. It helps maintain the integrity of the fibres and ensures a fresh, chemical-free result.

Air drying is beneficial because there is no risk of shrinkage or damage, it’s eco-friendly and energy-saving, as well as the fact that sun exposure acts as a natural disinfectant and deodoriser.

However, it does take longer to dry, and this method is very much weather dependent.

Machine drying is a faster option that can be suitable for certain fabrics and weather conditions. However, it requires careful temperature control and monitoring to avoid damaging the bedding.

This method is good if you’re short on time, the bedding or blanket is made of thicker materials, or during cold and rainy weather.

It’s important to be aware of the risk of shrinkage or damage if not dried properly and could lead to clumping in stuffed beds.


How to Keep Dog Beds and Blankets Clean

blue polka dot dog bed

Now, let’s talk about the key to keeping that newfound cleanliness and comfort for the long haul – maintenance.

By establishing a regular cleaning schedule and adopting simple practices, you can ensure your furry companion’s sleeping space remains a welcoming oasis of relaxation.

Regular cleaning schedule

Designate a specific day each month for cleaning your pet’s bedding, depending on how often it gets dirty. Consistency is essential to prevent dirt and odours from building up.


Spot cleaning between washes

Blot stains, don’t rub them. If your dog has an accident on their bed, blot the area with a paper towel or cloth to absorb the liquid without spreading it.

When spot cleaning, use pet-safe cleaners or homemade solutions, such as a mixture of water and vinegar or water and mild laundry detergent.

After spot cleaning, ensure the area is completely dry before allowing your pet back onto the bed to avoid attracting dirt and bacteria.


Use removable covers for easy cleaning

Consider using dog beds and blankets with removable, machine-washable covers.

These make cleaning a breeze as you can simply remove the cover and toss it in the washing machine when needed.

If possible, have an extra cover or two on hand. This way, while one is being washed, you can quickly switch it out with a fresh one, ensuring your pup always has a clean bed to snuggle into.


How to Choose a Durable Dog Bed or Blanket

gray and brown dog bed

To further simplify the cleaning process and ensure long-lasting comfort for your furry friend, consider the following tips when selecting new dog beds or blankets:

Select high-quality fabrics

Invest in bedding made from durable and easy-to-clean materials. Look for fabrics that are resistant to stains and wear.


Opt for machine-washable designs

Choose dog beds and blankets that are machine-washable, with removable covers whenever possible. This will make cleaning a hassle-free task.


Choose the right bed size

Ensure the bed is the right size for your dog, allowing them to stretch comfortably without overcrowding the bed. Proper sizing reduces wear and tear on the bedding.


Supportive and comfortable padding

For senior dogs or those with joint issues, opt for orthopaedic beds with memory foam or supportive padding to promote healthy joint alignment and overall comfort.

Choose bedding with high-quality filling that retains its shape over time, providing consistent support for your pet.


Easy-to-clean designs

Beds and blankets with stain-resistant finishes make spot cleaning a breeze and prevent spills from setting in.

Select materials that dry quickly to minimise downtime when washing or dealing with spills.



gray dog bed and ball

In this comprehensive guide on washing dog beds and blankets, we’ve covered everything you need to know to keep your furry friend’s sleeping space clean and comfortable.

Regularly wash the bedding using the right laundry detergent and water temperature, and treat ugly stains with care.

Choose between machine washing for convenience or hand washing for delicate fabrics.

Air drying is gentle and eco-friendly, while machine drying requires low heat settings.

Maintain cleanliness with spot cleaning and invest in durable, machine-washable bedding.

Remember to choose the right size and materials for your dog’s needs, and your furry companion will enjoy cosy dreams in a fresh and well-cared-for bed.