Dogs dirty their beds quite quickly. There's no preventing it. This is just what dogs do.
That is, if your dog likes sleeping in their bed. Some of them seem adverse to laying down and taking a snooze in that big, comfy dog bed that you went out of your way to buy. That has probably left you wondering why they aren't interested.
As it turns out, the way you clean in and around your dog's bed makes a difference. Using the right cleaning tools could attract your dog to the bed while certain scents (like cologne and ammonia) might drive them away.
Dogs have an impeccable sense of smell that we tend to underestimate. But it is why they are so sensitive. In order to work with your dog, here are some tips for cleaning their bed.
Don't Use Stuff Your Dog Will Hate
Your dog's bed should be inviting. This is where you want them to sleep, but using the wrong products to clean it could actually deter your dog from sleeping there. Even cleaning around the bed with some traditional household cleaners could bother your pup.
When you are cleaning the area around your dog's bed, you should consider using ammonia-free or all-natural cleaning products. Dogs hate the scents found in many household cleaners. Ammonia is a particularly strong repellent for them.
It's okay to keep your dog outside in a secure area while you clean. This gives you time to clean and let the scents taper off.
Also, this should be obvious, but it's worth stating: Do not use household cleaners as a deterrent for your dog's unwanted behaviors. This will likely negate any good behaviors and simply instill fear for you.
Remove Dog Fur Before Washing and Wash Separately
Before you stick that nasty ol' doggy bed in the washing machine, do your best to get as much fur off as possible. Using a lint roller or even some duct tape (if you're in a bind) can get the hair off. You might also want to do this outside so as to prevent the loose fur from flying around your house.
Once you've got the excess fur off, remove the cover if your dog's bed has one. If not, be sure that you check the tag for washing machine instructions. Most beds and removable covers are machine washable but come with specific instructions.
You will want to wash the bed separately from other laundry. This will keep the clinging fur and debris from getting onto your laundry.
Also, be sure that the laundry detergent you're using is pet-friendly. Some companies manufacture detergent made specifically for animals, and those products are typically free from harsh chemicals.
Of course, dogs leave difficult stains, so don't expect your detergent to remove those. You will need to treat those heavy spots with a stain remover before you load the bed into the wash.
Drying Your Dog's Bed
It is safe to put your dog's bed in the dryer. Tumble-drying it for about 20 minutes is effective in standard dryers. You can also choose to air-dry your dog's bed on a line outdoors. The outdoorsy scent might actually attract your dog to their bed.
If you have to air-dry inside the house, do so in a room that has a lot of ventilation. Otherwise, you run the risk of mold and mildew growing inside of your dog's bed.
There are tons of icky little microbes that set up shop inside of your dog's bed. Since some of them can be harmful to your precious pooch, it is important that you wash the bed once per week.
A quick cleaning simply won't do since it cannot kill off those hurtful microbes. Washing once per week will do a much better job of eradicating those microbes and lessening your dog's chances of contracting an infectious disease.
During the week, you can use a vacuum to suck up excess fur and dander from the outside of the bed. Having a cover or a sheet over the bed can make laundering the bed a bit easier.
Do a Daily Spray
Spraying your home's carpets and other soft fabrics with a home-made cleaner can help keep unwanted pet odors at bay. Tea tree oil drops in a cup of warm water and single teaspoon of baking soda acts as a powerful eradicator of smells.
Also, it won't harm your dog.
A simple dusting of this home-made spray over your dog's bed once per day will keep it smelling fresh. Also, these scents won't likely deter your dog from sleeping in their bed.
Keeping up with your dog's bed takes a lot of work. Their beds get messy quite quickly. Remaining diligent is key. Weekly washings and daily spray-downs can help keep things smelling and looking fresh. It can also keep your beloved pup safe from harmful bacteria that tend to fester in the fabric.
Take care of your dog, and they'll keep taking care of you.