A clean dog bed is vital to the good health and happiness of your dog, especially in areas where fleas, ticks and lice are prevalent.
One of the best things you can do to help make house cleaning easier is to provide any dogs in the house with their own beds. This helps to keep the majority of the fur they shed contained to a central area.
It can be helpful to cover dog beds with blankets, towels, throws or folded sheets (depending on the size of the pet.) This makes cleanup easier because the covers can be removed and taken outdoors for a thorough shaking before placing them in the washing machine. If bed covers are removed and shaken frequently, you may get away without washing the covers every time.
However, a complete laundering is necessary if there are any signs of urine or feces. Bloodstains, which are often an indication of unwanted insects such as fleas, also indicate that a washing is needed.
Cleaning techniques depend upon the type of bedding you use for your dog. If the bedding is a pile of blankets, cleaning is as simple as laundering the materials in a washing machine. It is best to use hot water and a mild detergent soap to help kill insect eggs that may be harbored in amongst the bedding.
If your dog’s bed is a zippered cover that contains cedar wood chips, which work well to deter insects, frequent washing of the cover is recommended. Change the cedar chips every few months so that the natural repellants found in the cedar chips are at their strongest.
If your dog sleeps on your sofa or chair, thoroughly wash any fabrics that you use to cover the furniture. Be sure to vacuum the cushions frequently. Turn the cushions over and vacuum underneath to make sure you get any insects or flea eggs and larvae that might be present. Keep a watchful eye for ticks as you go about cleaning the furniture.
Foam beds take a little more effort to clean. Start by removing the fabric covering. Wash it in a machine using detergent and cold water so that the cover does not shrink. Hang it outside to dry.
While the washing machine is running, fill a tub (bathtubs work well) about half way with warm water. Add a small scoop of laundry detergent to the water. Put the foam in the tub and work the soapy water into it with your hands. Don’t use a brush because it will destroy the foam. Once you are satisfied that the foam is clean, empty the wash water and refill the tub with clean water. Use your hands to work the clean water into the foam for a thorough rinse. You may have to squeeze the foam a few times in order to remove all of the soap. The rinsing is done when there are no more signs of soapsuds. Take the foam outdoors and place it in the sun to dry.
After the cover and the foam are thoroughly dried, replace the cover and the dog bed is as good as new.