How to Wash a Dog Bed

Wouldn't you want a clean bed?
BananaStock/BananaStock/Getty Images

Keeping your dog’s bed clean helps prevent fleas and ticks from invading your dog and home. Washing your dog’s bed about once a week helps keep his habitat smelling fresh and clean. Additionally, regardless of whether the bed manufacturer suggests hand or machine washing, a small amount of care may help your pet's bed last longer.

Machine Washing

Step 1

Remove the outer cover of your dog’s bed if there is one. Often dog beds have internal stuffing or foam and an outer shell that unzips. Shake it outside and remove any debris or hair.

Step 2

Place the bedding in your washer. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for water temperature. For instance, some dog beds may be washed in warm water, while others require cold water.

Step 3

Set the washer to the gentlest washing setting available and the “small” or “medium” water level based on the size of the bed.

Step 4

Add mild detergent and start the washer. Allow the washing cycle to complete.

Hand Washing

Step 1

Shake out the blankets and bed to remove any hair or debris. Wash any blankets or bedding cover in the washing machine. Set the water to “hot.” This helps remove any bacteria on the bedding.

Step 2

Wet a washcloth with warm, soapy water. Use a mild soap or baby shampoo. Ring out the excess water.

Step 3

Inspect the outside of your dog bed. Clean any dirty spots by rubbing them with the wet washcloth until the bed is clean. If there is too much soap, rinse out the washcloth and wipe the area with the wet washcloth.


  • Do not use bleach or harsh chemicals to clean the dog bed.


  • After washing your dog bed, allow it to air dry outside if possible. The sun helps kill any leftover bacteria. If the hair and debris refuse to come off, brush the bed or cover with a soft brush.

Items You Will Need

  • Mild washing detergent
  • Washcloth
  • Mild soap or baby shampoo