Home / Blog February 10, 2023

5 min read

How to Wash a Dog Bed: Keeping Your Pets Comfy

Dog beds can collect a lot of dirt and grime, so it’s important to regularly wash them to keep your pup (and your home!) clean. Depending on the style of dog bed, machine washing, hand washing, or spot cleaning could be the ideal approach.

how to wash a dog bed


Dog beds should be cleaned about once per week to avoid any build-up of germs

Removable covers can make dog beds easier to clean

Most dog beds can be cleaned with a combination of machine washing, hand washing, and spot cleaning, depending on the materials 

Did you know?
Dogs sleep on average 10-12 hours per day.

If your new Pupper Pod has arrived for soothing snuggles, you might be wondering how to keep it clean and fresh! We’ve collected our best tips for cleaning your Pupper Pod, or any other dog bed that your pup might be using to get restful sleep.

When it comes to how often you should wash your dog’s bed, consider how (and when) it’s getting dirty. During a rainy week, for example, your pup could track in extra mud, while on a breezy summer day, the bed might stay fresh for longer.

Regardless, sources like the AKC recommend cleaning your dog’s bed once per week. Your pup might not mind a little extra earth on their resting spot, but it’s important to clean off any germs that might build up, for your own health.

Steps for Washing a Dog Bed

  • Step 1: Remove the Cover
  • Step 2: Spot Clean & Stain Treat
  • Step 3: Machine Wash Cover
  • Step 4: Tumble Dry Low

Step 1: Remove the Cover

The first step to cleaning most dog beds is to remove the washable cover. However, if your dog is prone to shedding, you might want to add an additional step before this one: vacuuming.

You can clear your dog’s bed of excess fur using your vacuum’s upholstery attachment. As always, you’ll want to be gentle while handling the bed and avoid damaging the fibers. In the end, this extra step can help prevent you from clogging your washer or dryer with pet hair.

After removing the outer cover of the dog bed, you’ll want to find a safe spot for the inner pillow. Some dogs might leap at the chance to chew up the springy cushion, so try to keep it out-of-reach.

When possible, airing the pillow out in fresh air and sunshine can help keep it fresh.

how to clean dog bed

Step 2: Spot Clean & Stain Treat

Unless you have an exceptionally clean pup (congratulations!), chances are your furry friend has left a few messes on their beloved bed. Luckily, there are plenty of strategies you can use to remove stains before you wash!

For a machine washable cover, you can use a natural stain treatment before washing to make sure that any tough stains come out. Different stain treatments come with different use instructions, but generally they should be applied soon before washing for the best results.

Our Pupper Pod comes with a chunky braided Melofoam™ border that shouldn’t be machine washed, but spot cleaning can be an easy way to address any stains that might pop up.

To clean the outer border of the Pupper Pod, all you’ll need is a clean cloth, warm water, and mild detergent. Using the cloth, gently scrub any stains with water and detergent, then with water alone to remove any suds.

Be sure to let the border air dry before assembling the Pupper Pod once again.

Step 3: Machine Wash Cover

To machine wash your dog bed cover, use a warm setting (no higher than 105°F) and wash the cover alone or with similar colors. Make sure you aren’t washing anything with sharp edges (zippers, hooks, etc.) alongside your dog bed cover, as these could snag and damage the cover.

For dog bed covers made from natural materials (like the Pupper Pod’s all-natural cotton), it’s best to clean them with an equally natural and gentle detergent. This is also important if your pup has sensitive skin!

Step 4: Tumble Dry Low

The final step of cleaning your dog bed is to tumble dry the cover. As with washing, it’s best to keep the cover separate from other items while drying. Use a low-heat setting on your dryer to avoid damaging the fibers of the dog bed cover.

How to Clean a Dog Bed

From machine washing to spot cleaning, there are many different ways you can keep your four-legged friend’s bed clean. The best method for cleaning your dog bed will depend on the materials that the bed is made out of.

Our Pupper Pod is made from plant-based Melofoam™ with a durable all-natural cotton cover. It’s best to avoid getting the inner Melofoam™ wet, which is why the bed includes a waterproof inner cushion cover.

The Pupper Pod’s outer cover is made of cotton and can be fully removed for machine washing and drying.

Other dog beds come with their own unique care instructions, so it’s always important to read up before you start cleaning. Depending on the material, some dog beds should only be hand-washed or spot-cleaned, while others can be fully machine washed.

Keep in mind that frequent machine washing can break down pillows and degrade the “cushy” quality of your dog’s bed, so even if the full bed can be tossed in the washing machine, it’s often best to save this for the most extreme messes.

How to Wash a Bearaby Dog Bed

The Pupper Pod’s outer cover is completely removable and machine washable. The satisfyingly squashy Melofoam™ core is protected by a waterproof inner cover which can be wiped clean if needed, and the bed’s chunky foam border can be spot-cleaned with warm water and mild detergent.

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How to Clean a Dog Bed Without a Washing Machine

Spot cleaning is the best way to clean a dog bed without a washing machine. Using a clean cloth, warm water, and mild detergent, you can gently scrub any parts of the bed that are looking a little worse for wear.

After removing the stain from the bed, you’ll want to wipe off any soap suds with another clean cloth. Let the dog bed air dry, and it will be fresh for further snuggles very soon!

How to Clean Dog Pee From Dog Bed

How to Clean Dog Pee From Dog Bed

When your pup has an accident, removing the stain (and scent) can require a little extra care. There are plenty of pet stain removal options to choose from, or you can turn to DIY solutions like baking soda and vinegar.

How to Clean a Foam Dog Bed

Dog beds made of foam materials such as natural latex usually shouldn’t be submerged in water, as this can damage the structure of the foam.

So how do you clean a dog bed without getting it wet? Spot-cleaning is one safe option, and for some foam dog beds, hand-washing might be an option.

If your dog bed has a removable cover, keeping it fresh might be as simple as washing the cover and airing out the inner cushion in the sunshine.

How to Wash a Small/Medium Dog Bed

When cleaning a small or medium dog bed, you’ll want to be extra gentle and take care not to alter the bed’s shape. Follow directions on the bed’s care label and machine wash or hand wash the bed in warm water.

The good news is, smaller dog beds are generally easier to clean, and processes like hand washing and spot cleaning will be faster with a smaller bed.

How to Wash a Cat Bed

Similarly to dog beds, cat beds can be kept fresh with a mixture of spot cleaning and machine washing, depending on the material that they’re made of. To begin, you’ll want to remove any debris from the bed using a lint roller or vacuum.

Next, follow your cat bed’s care instructions to decide what cleaning method to use. Warm or cold water and mild detergent are usually the best choice.


Whether you have a cat or a dog, the pet bed cleaning process looks similar. It’s best to wash your pet’s bed about once per week to keep your home fresh and clean with less germs.

You’ll want to carefully follow any care instructions for your pet bed in order to preserve its shape and texture and avoid damaging the fabric. For more extreme pet messes, you can use specialized stain treatment techniques.

With a little extra care and attention, your pet’s bed can stay snuggly fresh for many cat naps to come.