How to Wash a Dog Bed

A Simple Guide by Berkeley Dog Beds



The dog bed sitting in the corner of your room is often the most used and abused piece of soft furniture in your home so it deserves to be cared for and kept in the best possible condition. Nobody loves a damp, smelly, dusty dog bed that may be harbouring mould, mildew, fleas, dog hairs and dander – least of all your dog.


Very few dog beds are designed to last and many end up in landfill alarmingly quickly. Washing is often impractical and can lead to the filling clumping and flattening thus rendering them unfit for purpose in providing a warm, insulated, supportive and comfy bed for your dog.


However, a quality dog bed will have been designed with regular washing and maintenance in mind to provide many years of service.


Key to this is having removable and replaceable covers. In this way, the cover(s) can be removed and easily machine washed on a regular basis. The cover should provide an impenetrable barrier to protect the inner bed so that this will not require extensive cleaning. You should be able to source replaceable covers from your supplier in case of degradation – a far less expensive solution than replacing the whole bed.


So, how best to begin?


  1. Vacuum the Bed

    This will get rid of much of the dog hair, dust and debris and allow you to inspect the cover for signs of excess wear and tear. For best results use a vacuum hose and upholstery attachment to clean all folds and creases. Berkeley's Dog Hair Remover Brush can be invaluable to help loosen and remove stubborn dog hairs and dried-on dirt.


Our Orthopaedic Dog Bed Mattress is fitted as standard with a Waterproof Mattress Cover. This can be removed but we would suggest keeping it in place and spot wiping the cover with a mild soap solution for all but the heaviest soiling or to replace a damaged cover.


We then offer a range of optional fabric covers that fit OVER the waterproof cover. These provide a soft, warm texture, the flexibility to match your room décor but most importantly they are designed for quick fitting and removal, regular machine washing and quick drying.


  1. Wash the Bed Cover

    Check the cover's washing instructions where applicable but we would always advise a cool wash with a suitable pet safe non-bio laundry detergent that will not irritate your dog's skin. If using your washing machine, placing the cover in our Pet Laundry Wash Bag will prevent dog hairs and heavy soiling clogging your machine and plumbing. If there are any signs of fleas, larvae or other infestations increase the water temperature.


  1. Stain Removal

Inspect the inner bed and cover for any localised heavy soiling / staining prior to machine washing and treat topically with a commercial stain remover or you can make a highly effective solution using diluted lemon juice or vinegar with baking soda before finishing with a mild soap solution.


Pet shampoo bars are useful to keep handy to deal with small stains on bedding as well as for emergencies when your dog has rolled in something unsavoury.


Baking soda can also be used separately in dry powder form to treat strong odours – simply sprinkle on the surface of the bed and / or cover, wait half an hour and vacuum off.


  1. Dry

    Fully air dry the cover and re-fit.

    In the case of our Orthopaedic Dog Bed Mattress, this is a good time to check the condition of the inner mattress, treat any light staining and then air dry the inner mattress also. Just like the best mattresses for humans, we recommend turning our mattress occasionally to ensure even wear.

    Choosing a warm sunny day to give the dog bed a major clean is perfect in order to benefit from the natural sanitizing benefits of the sun and fresh air.

    To keep the bed smelling fresh apply our Dog Bed Freshener to the inner bed before fitting the cover and then again onto the cover once installed. The mix of organic Lavender and Camomile has a natural calming effect on your dog as well as helping to deter future possible infestations.


If your dog sleeps on a Berkeley Raised Bed, the waterproof fabric cover can be left on the frame wiped with a mild soap solution prior to hosing to rinse and air drying. Toppers an be washed and treated similarly to our fabric mattress covers.


Regular cleaning, airing and the occasional replacement of worn / damaged covers will ensure that a quality dog bed gives many years of service and will continue to look as good as when first purchased.


As the saying goes, 'Buy Quality, Buy Once'.