Clean the dog bed?
Way too hard! It will ruin my washer and dryer! I’ll never get that dog smell out!
Are these the first thoughts that popped into your head? Well, it really is easy.
First of all, I just want to say that although I know this is not a pleasant topic, in order to keep your home clean and your pet healthy, cleaning soiled pet bedding is gross but necessary. It’s a not-so-fun part of being a pet parent, but we promised to take good care of them, so we gotta do what we gotta do, right? 🙂
We love our dog.
Lacey is 14 now and is starting to show some signs of aging. You know. Those milky cataracts in her once-clear eyes, a very gray muzzle and eyebrows, and some incontinence overnight while sleeping in her crate.
Old Dog Syndrome
A few weeks ago she couldn’t stand up in the morning. It scared us to death. We thought she had maybe had a stroke. The vet diagnosed her with “old dog syndrome” or idiopathic vestibular disease, where older dogs suddenly develop an inner ear problem that causes them to be very dizzy and unable to keep their balance. It comes on suddenly. It was very scary for us to see the change overnight in Lacey, from climbing upstairs to her crate the night before to not being able to stand the next morning.
The good news is that most dogs make an almost full recovery within a couple of weeks, and that was the case with our Lacey. However, for the first week, she couldn’t keep her balance when urinating so we had to bathe her more often. And then there was the bed in her crate, which was really soiled. Poor dog.
Here is a bit more about old dog syndrome.
Until her vestibular disease, we only washed her bed occasionally, because usually a good shaking outside and using a cat brush on it worked great in getting the dirt and tons of hair off of it. (Lacey sheds like crazy!)
But, it was definitely time to give it a good washing.
How to clean the dog bed.
Use a cat brush!
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We also have 3 cats, so we already had a cat brush, but even if you don’t have cats, I highly recommend getting a cat brush to remove hair from furniture and bedding. I used the cat brush to clean off as much hair as I could. That took a LONG time, but it is a necessary step. Otherwise, (I have found from prior experience) the wet hair sticks like glue to the insides of the washer and clogs the dryer lint basket. (Here are some helpful tips on living with your cat, too.)
Use your regular stain remover.
I then sprayed the bed on both sides with Shout stain remover and let it set about 5 minutes to really soak in.
Throw the dog bed in the washer.
I folded up the bed and ran it through a regular wash cycle with our regular HE detergent. There was still some wet fur stuck on the washer lid, but because I had removed most of the hair, there wasn’t very much and it was easy to just wipe out the washer with a couple of paper towels.
Dry the bed.
Check the label to make sure your dog’s bed is able to be dried in a dryer. Lacey’s is. If yours is not, hang it outside over a chair to dry. Be prepared – outside drying can take several hours.
I tossed the bed in the dryer with a fabric softener sheet to help cut down on hair sticking to it once dry. I also added my two dryer balls, each covered with a sock to prevent the loud banging they can make when there’s not a full load in the dryer.
Her bed came out clean, stain-free, and static-free. A quick wipe of the inside of the dryer removed the little hair that was in there. I also made sure to empty the lint basket. There was actually more of the fuzzy material from the bed itself in there than there was dog hair – yay!
Don’t forget the rest of their cage and surrounding area.
In the meantime, while the bed was in the washer, I also pulled out the plastic tray from the bottom of her crate, and gave that a good scrubbing with Clorox wipes. I vacuumed underneath and all around her crate, too. I think I found another whole dog’s worth of hair under there – yikes! Well, at least I now know not to let that go so long in between vacuum sessions…
Anyway, I have found this a great way to keep your dog’s crate bedding clean and your washer and dryer (mostly) hair-free when cleaning the bedding. Even though there was still some loose hair in the washer and dryer, it was super easy to clean out with just a few paper towels.
Here is Lacey in her nice clean bed. 🙂
By the way, did you know you can make a fabulous small dog bed from a dresser drawer?
See some examples in this post: 16 fabulous ways to repurpose old dresser drawers.
Tips on how to remove pet hair from furniture and car seats.
By the way, a great way to get pet fur off of furniture is to use dry rubber dishwashing gloves or a dry squeegee. They both work really well in whisking pet hair off furniture. I also keep a lint brush (like this) in my van console to clean off the passenger seat after Lacey has been riding shotgun. It works great because it gets down into all the crevices of the seat.
So, give your dog a Scooby snack from me and Lacey and stop procrastinating. It’s not so hard to clean a dog bed, and your pet will thank you, too 🙂
P.S. Leave me a comment with a picture of your pooch. I’d love to see them!
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