Of course, dogs’ beds should be washed. Whether your dog bed can is really dependant on the bed you select. We would recommend always looking for a bed that can be washed. If you chose a washable dog bed then a machine washable bed will make your life a lot easier.
Like us your dogs will come into contact with lots of different types of bacteria and fungus. Unlike us (we hope) dogs will come into contact with bacteria from their own and other dogs/animals (foxes and badgers for example) faeces. This does lead to an increased risk of your dog and its bed containing unwanted bacteria. Your dog will happily carry-on with-its business undeterred by most of these potential pathogens. These same pathogens can cause harm to us humans (particularly in young, old or immunocompromised people).
Examples of the most common diseases that cause illness in humans:
- Tapeworm: eating infected fleas will cause tapeworm, never particularly serious and most common in children. When severe can cause weight loss.
- Campylobacter: dogs may show no signs of infection (which can come from food or infected faeces) other than diarrhoea. In humans stomach pain, diarrhoea and potentially life threatening in the young/old and immunocompromised.
- Rabies: although rare, caused by a virus an infected dog bite can be very serious especially of not treated immediately. The sign of symptoms is normally too late. Usually signalled by behavioural change, headache, fever and eventually paralysis.
- Roundworm: caught by the ingestion of roundworm eggs, most common in children and can lead to inflammation of the eyes and worse case blindness.
There are of course many other potential diseases that can be spread, but let’s be honest all of these should be rare and can easily be prevented. Remember good hygiene, routinely cleaning bedding and general good practice.
How often should you wash your dog bed?
Determining how often to wash your dogs’ bed is dependent on different factors including:
- Activities your dog has taken part in, i.e. if it has rolled in fox poo and then transferred this onto its dog bed then it needs washing!
- Allergies your dog may have, the more allergies then the more often you should wash your dogs’ bed.
- Allergies you or your family has will mean potentially increasing washes of your dogs’ bed.
- How much your dog sheds hair, more hair potentially more washes.
The general consensus is that your dogs’ bed should be washed once a week and twice a week if any of the factors above are present. Use your common sense, if your dogs bed smells then wash it. Likewise if your dog has been on a particularly dirty walk and transferred that dirt to its bed then wash it.
How to wash your dogs’ bed?
Ideally your dog bed should be a machine washable dog bed. Most beds have a cover which is easily washable and then the inner cushion that potentially (depending on size) may be too large for your washing machine. The perfect scenario is that the whole bed can be washed. You are more likely to wash the cover more than the cushion.
If you cannot wash the cushion, then inserting a plastic bag or lining between the cover and cushion will provide some protection. When machine washing, do so at the highest temperature possible (follow manufacturers guidelines). Then tumble dry (if recommended for your dog bed) or hang dry.
In between washes a vacuum of your dogs’ bed is recommended to collect any loose hair/dirt.
If your dog bed isn’t machine washable then use warm water and detergent ensuring all of the detergent is dissolved before adding your dog’s bedding. Give the dog bed a good rub until completely clean and then apply at least two rinses before drying.
Best to use a natural detergent where possible and something gentle if your dog has sensitive skin. You can also use some form of stain remover before washing if there is really ground in stains on your dog bed.
Your dog will be grateful for a nice clean bed and you will help prevent any potential bacteria/parasites spreading around your house!
To purchase a fully machine washable dog bed and receive a 10% discount use code BEDS10 click here.