How to Wash a Dog Bed

Like humans, dogs enjoy sleeping on clean bedding.

Like humans, dogs enjoy sleeping on clean bedding.

Grit, hair and even fleas or ticks can lurk inside your dog’s bedding. Washing his bed every few weeks, or more if he spends a lot of time outdoors, reduces allergens, filth and insects inside your house. The material and style of your dog’s bed determine the most effective washing procedure.

Shake your dog’s bed outside, and use a fresh lint roller to remove hair from the surface. Loose dog hair will rinse off and reattach during the wash cycle, or clog the lint screen in the dryer.

Unzip the outer material cover and turn it right-side out before placing it inside the washing machine. If the interior bed is made of foam or synthetic filling, place it inside the washing machine.

Add a mild, perfume-free detergent. Choose a detergent labeled as, “scent-free” or “sensitive skin.” The perfumed detergent you use for human laundry can irritate your dog’s skin, leading to itching, eczema and hives.

Wash the bedding and the outer cover on a gentle wash cycle with cool water. A normal wash cycle and hot water can disfigure, shrink or melt parts of the bed.

Tumble dry the bed and covering on low-heat with a perfume-free dryer sheet. The dryer sheet reduces static electricity, which decreases the amount of hair that sticks to the bed.

Items you will need

  • Lint roller
  • Perfume-free detergent
  • Washing machine
  • Perfume-free dryer sheets
  • Dryer


  • Most dog beds come with washing instructions on the side tag. Defer to these instructions for washing a specific material.


  • Never attempt to launder a down-filled dog bed in a washing machine. Dry cleaning is the only safe option for such materials.

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About the Author

Christina Bednarz Schnell began writing full-time in 2010. Her areas of expertise include child development and behavior, medical conditions and pet health. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in international relations.

Photo Credits

  • Collie Dog on Dog Bed image by Janet Wall from Fotolia.com