How Often You Need to Clean Your Dog Bed to Prevent Germs
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How Often You Need to Clean Your Dog Bed to Prevent Germs

Jul 29, 2023

Responsible pet owners always put their pet's health first, making sure they get enough outdoor time, cuddles, playtime, and the best food on the market. But there's something many of us may forget when it comes to our pets' well-being—how clean their beds actually are.

Your dog's hygiene may be perfect but if the places they hang out the most are not as clean, your dog may still pay the consequences—and so will you. According to the American Kennel Club, the place where your most loyal companion spends most of their time, their bed, is one of the most germ-filled places in your entire house.

That's because pet beds collect all kinds of dirt, which can harbor disease-causing organisms, putting your pet at risk. Some of these organisms can also infect humans.

Newsweek reached out to an expert to find out how often you're supposed to wash your pet's bed in order to make it a safe environment for both of you.

Cleaning your pet's bed doesn't only benefit your furbaby, but it can also have a significant impact on your health by reducing germs and leading to fewer allergies.

Registered nurse Stewart Parnacott told Newsweek that implementing a regular pet bed cleaning routine ensures comfort and health for both pets and their owners, helping both carry on with their harmonious and healthy coexistence.

Even if you can't see them, pet beds host germs and bacteria that can put you at risk and expose your home to the risk of fleas, mites, ringworms, salmonella and listeria.

Because fecal matter is very likely to be found in a pet bed, if your dog has a gastrointestinal parasite like giardia, roundworms or hookworms, there's a risk that these can be transmitted to people and other pets in the household, too.

While your companion's bed may harbor nasty bugs and bacteria, as long as you keep it clean, your pet should be just fine.

"Wash your pet's bed every two weeks, without fail," Parnacott said. "Regular laundering prevents allergen build-up and ensures a fresh and healthy sleeping spot for your four-legged friend."

If you tried hard to wash your pet's bed but the smell and stains are still there, or if you think it's been overused, it's probably best to get your pet a new bed to keep their environment safe, comfortable and healthy.

Pet allergies are "no walk in the park," Parnacott says, as they can cause a symphony of sneezes, sniffles, and itchy eyes, affecting both pet owners and their companions.

He suggests using a hypoallergenic detergent without harsh chemicals, which ensures a thorough cleanse without triggering allergies in sensitive pets or humans.

"Opt for a hot water wash, as temperatures above 130 degrees Fahrenheit are effective in removing allergens from fabrics," he said. "Consider investing in an extra bed cover. Having two covers allows for a quick and seamless switch while one is being laundered."

The best way to ensure your pet's bed is clear of any harmful parasites and bacteria is to regularly wash the bed and inspect it for any unwanted hitchhikers, maintaining a vigilant flea prevention routine, according to Parnacott.

To keep your dog's bed clean in between washes, you can cover it with a comfortable blanket that you can easily remove and wash, and if the bed is small enough you can cover the bed with a garbage bag under the blanket.

It is also advisable to regularly vacuum your pet bed in between washes to avoid dust from accumulating. You should also wash your dog's paws when they come in from their walk to clean out all the dirt and germs that they may bring in from outside.