Search Menu

Dogs love their beds. Unfortunately, your canine companion’s bed may be one of the most germ-filled places in your house. In addition to collecting dirt, pollen, and dog hair, they can harbor disease-causing organisms, some of which can infect humans, for up to 12 months. That’s why it’s crucial to wash your pup’s bed every week. This guide offers suggestions on how to do it.

How to Remove Hair

Mixing dog hair with water causes it to clump up and clog your machine, so before and in-between washings, vacuum the surface and sides of the bed with a pet hair vacuum or a pet hair remover tool. Make sure to get into crevices and around buttons and tufting. Use a lint roller or masking tape, or wear rubber or latex gloves, and wipe the bed to lift the remaining hair.

How to Remove Stains

If the washing machine doesn’t remove stains, these at-home alternatives should. When you use a store-bought cleaner, choose a non-toxic, pet-safe option that doesn’t contain bleach or chlorine.

In Partnership with logo
Find Your Perfect Home white dog paw print
*Dog friendly rental filter applied to results


  • Immediately pick up and dispose of the waste. Apply an equal amount of cold water and distilled white vinegar to the affected area.
  • Blot the section with a cloth or scrub with a soft-bristle brush. Repeat spraying and scrubbing until the liquid is absorbed, and the stain disappears.
  • Sprinkle baking soda and allow the bed to dry overnight. Vacuum when dry.


  • Generously sprinkle baking soda onto the stain and let it sit for five minutes to soak up the liquid.
  • Combine baking soda, two cups of vinegar, and water into a spray bottle. Spray the solution onto the stain and let it set for at least 10 minutes.
  • Blot the stain with a cloth. When it’s dry, shine a urine detector to ensure you eliminated the underlying stain. Repeat spraying and blotting, as needed.


  • Let a new stain dry. If the stain is old, twist or bend the affected section of fabric to break off loose dirt and vacuum it up.
  • Wet a cloth with cold water and wipe the stain away. If possible, machine wash the bed. If not, vacuum again.


  • If the stain is still wet, soak the section of the bed with blood on it immediately in cold water. Hot or warm water will set the stain.
  • Gently blot the stain with a wet cloth until you’ve removed as much of the stain as possible. Combine equal parts baking soda, white vinegar, and cold water together and set for thirty minutes. Then blot the mixture out.
  • If the bloodstain hasn’t lifted, repeat the process. For hard-to-remove stains, apply an enzyme-based stain remover or hydrogen peroxide.
Shetland Sheepdog laying in its bed in an office on Bring Your Dog to Work Day.
Joerg Huettenhoelscher/Getty Images Plus

How to Clean a Handwash-Only Bed

Begin by vacuuming the bed to get rid of dirt, hair, and debris. Place the bed in a sink or bathtub (if those aren’t big enough, try an outdoor children’s pool). Fill the container with warm water, laundry detergent, and a cup of vinegar. Squeeze and knead the bed in the water repeatedly. Empty the tub and rinse the bed until soap is gone. Lay the bed flat and allow it to air dry.

If you suspect there’s an infestation in the bed, it’s time to toss it.

How to Clean a Bed with a Removable Cover

Vacuum the entire removable cover with an upholstery attachment before removing it from the bed. If the cover has a stain on it, follow the above instructions to remove the stain before washing. Always check the bed’s washing instructions. Wash the bed and removable cover in separate loads on the hottest water setting to kill germs. Add laundry detergent and ½-cup of vinegar to each load and run a rinse cycle after.

How to Clean a Memory-Foam Bed

Use a handheld vacuum or an upholstery attachment to clean every crevice of the memory foam. Spray a combination of ½-cup of laundry detergent and water on the bed without soaking it. Sprinkle the bed with baking soda and let it sit for a few hours to remove odors. Then vacuum it for a final time. Remember to flip the bed and treat the opposite side with the same steps.

Related article: Why Do Dogs Pee on Beds?
Get Your Free AKC eBook

Moving with your pet

Download this e-book for tips to help you prepare for a move with your pets.
*Turn off pop-up blocker to download
*Turn off pop-up blocker to download