How Often Should I Wash My Dog’s Bed?

Fivebarks is reader-supported. We may earn a small commission through products purchased using links on this page.

The task of washing dog bedding is a time-consuming & rather annoying one, which means that we often put it on the back burner.

However, a dirty dog bed actually poses a considerable health risk to your furry friends because dog beds are a breeding ground for germs.

We’ve found that a good rule of thumb to maintain basic hygiene for your pet’s bedding is to wash it every week.

How Often Should I Wash My Dog Bed?

White Dog Sleeping in a Dog Bed

Since the bed is one of the germiest spots in the house, the longer you wait in between washes, the more potential pathogens can contaminate it. 

If your dog is fully potty trained & no longer has accidents in the house, you need to wash your dog’s bed once a week. However, there are some conditions where you may have to wash the bedding more frequently to kill harmful bacteria. 

Level of Activity 

If your dog is particularly outdoorsy & gets very dirty on walks, then you might have to wash it two times a week.

Dogs that spend a lot of time outside in woodsy areas may be prone to mites & ticks.

In this case, you have to wash the bedding quite often with very hot water to kill these parasites & ensure that they can’t latch onto your dog’s coat.

I have a friend who lived near a cow farm, and her Labrador Retriever was constantly getting infested with ticks. The problem was super serious, & it only seemed to go away with a good quality tick medication, & cleaning the dog bed & sofa covers every 3 days.

So, it’s also crucial to understand your surroundings. If your dog has access to livestock, then it’s smart to wash the bedding more often. 


Older dog and puppy on dog bed

If your pet is a heavy shedder, you may have to wash it more frequently as well. Loose hair can hold on to odors and make the bed much stinkier than normal.

Plus, loose hairs may trigger an allergic reaction. If you are allergic, consider washing the bed two times a week to get rid of any buildup of hair and dander. 


Whenever the bed is visibly soiled with fecal matter or urine, you have to clean it as soon as possible because fecal matter can cause a serious illness for your pet.

So, if you are still potty-training your pup, you will have to wash the bedding very frequently.

Consider buying a washable bed that can handle machine washing without becoming damaged. Using a washing machine is much more convenient than having to handwash it every week or so.

Strong Smell

Of course, if your dog bed has a strong, pungent odor, you may also have to wash it more often. This odor can be caused by unwanted bacteria or the oils on your dog’s skin.

Some breeds are more prone to smelling bad; wash your pet’s bed based on how dirty he becomes and how often you need to bathe him.

Consider purchasing an odor-resistant dog bed so you won’t have to wash it as frequently. 

What Should I Do In Between Washes?

Vacuuming bed

If you want to make sure that your dog bed is still hygienic in between washes, then you need to maintain it by spot cleaning & vacuuming. This will simply prolong how long you can go in between washes. 

Whenever you notice a small stain or mark on the dog bed, spot-clean it with a pet-friendly detergent. Use a wet rag & dip it in the detergent, then use circular motions to lift the stains. 

If your dog has made a tiny accident, then you can also clean it using a lemon juice and vinegar solution to get rid of any odors, followed by an all-natural detergent. 

To get rid of pet hairs, you can use a vacuum or a lint roller.

Will My Pup Like A Clean Bed And Blanket?

A common question that pet parents have is if their canine companion will like having a clean bed. Despite what you may think, your dog actually enjoys sleeping in a newly-washed bed, just like us! 

As long as you use an all-natural, pet-safe detergent, the smell of soap won’t be offensive to your pup’s nose. You’ll realize that most tired dogs will sleep on their bed, regardless of what it smells like.

The benefits of washing your dog’s bed and changing the bedding greatly outweigh any possible cons.

How Can I Deep Clean?

Working washing machine on white background

Cleaning your dog’s bed doesn’t have to be a super intricate process. The most important thing to remember while cleaning is to use hot water and tumble-dry on the hottest setting. 

Cleaning it at a hot temperature will kill any bacteria & parasites, which will reduce odors. 

To get rid of hair, try using a pet hair dissolver which can easily get rid of stray hairs without clogging up the machine.

If your dog had an accident on the bed, make an odor-busting solution with vinegar & lemon juice and use it to spot-clean before you throw the bed in the machine.

If you don’t have a machine-washable bed, there are step-by-step instructions on how to efficiently wash your dog bed by hand.  


Cleaning your dog’s bed is super important to prevent disease & maintain general cleanliness. Ensure that you clean the bed at least once a week, or twice a week if your dog gets dirty or smelly often, still hasn’t potty-training, and sheds often. 

Make sure you keep up bed hygiene throughout the week by removing and stray hairs & spot cleaning if you need to. 

If you have any questions or cleaning tips, leave a comment down below. If you found this information helpful, please share this article with other pet parents.

Thanks for reading!

Meet our writer

Anoushka’s love for animals began with taking care of the cows & chickens on her family farm. As she grew older, this love transformed into a love for dogs. She volunteers in a dog shelter, so she is well-versed in the care and comfort of all breeds of dogs.

Leave a Comment