Even if you bathe them regularly, it's healthier for your pet and your home to launder their sleeping area, too.
cat napping in tan pet bed
Credit: Kuninobu Sato / EyeEm / Getty Images

Let's face it: For as much as we love our furry family members, they're not always the cleanest creatures. "A dirty bed can be a breeding ground for bacteria, intestinal parasites, fleas, and mites," says Karen Doss, owner of luxury dog grooming products Fox + Hound. "For the same reason we wash our bed linens, a clean bed is healthy for our pets." How often should one be washing their beloved furry friend's bed? "Unless your pet has been rolling in something outside, we recommend washing your pet beds every other week," Doss says. "Observe your pet bed for dirt, shedding, and odor, if you notice any of those signs, time to throw the bed in the wash!"

Look for a machine-washable pet bed.

While some pet beds can be thrown in the washing machine with ease, others need to be handwashed or dry cleaned. "We recommend purchasing a pet bed that states it is 'machine washable'," Doss says. "If you can't find a whole bed that's able to be washed in a machine, look for one that has a removable (and machine-washable) cover."

Mind the label.

Not all pet beds are created equally, which is why Doss says it's important to double check the label before washing one. "Take care to check the label of your pet's bed for washing and drying instructions so you won't damage the fill or the fabric," she says.

Wash in hot water.

Whether your pet bed is machine washable or not, Doss says you'll want to wash and dry it in the hottest temperatures possible. "Always wash and dry your pet's bed at the highest setting the instructions allow," she says. "If the bed isn't machine washable, fill your bathtub with hot water and handwash it there."

Only use pet-safe detergents.

Traditional laundry detergents are filled with a slew of chemicals that could be hazardous to your four-legged family member's health. That's why Doss says it's crucial to use a pet-friendly detergent composed of all-natural ingredients, such as Fox + Hound Natural Pet Laundry Detergent ($16.50, shopfoxandhound.com). "Look for detergents with natural cleaning surfactants that will safely remove stains and odor without aggravating sensitive pet skin or allergies," she says.

Keep things clean in between washes.

If you're looking for a way to keep your pet's bed smelling fresh between washes, Doss recommends washing everything that comes into contact with it regularly, too. "Bathe your dog routinely with a high-quality dog shampoo and brush with a pet-friendly fragrance spray between baths," she says. "Don't forget to wash the blankets and linen you add to your dog's bed and the toys that they play with routinely."


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