How to Protect Your Dog’s Bed & Keep It Smelling Fresh
“Let’s start by taking a smallish nap or two…” ~Winnie the Pooh
Most dog parents today provide their dog with a nice comfy bed (or two, or three) positioned in favorite napping places throughout the house, outside, and in the car to cuddle upon. Whether you have one dog or multiple, it’s a sure bet you've also thought, “how do I keep this bed clean?” And once cleaned, just how clean-smelling is it?
First, always have a well-groomed and cleaned dog to help reduce odors. But even still, they manage to bring stink home! Here are several handy cleaning tips to keep the freshness in your pet’s bed:
Give It a Shake!
Take the bed outside and give it a good shake to help remove loose fur and dirt. Be sure to also do a flea check!
On a nice day, leave the bed, lie outside for a good ol’ fresh airing out!
Suck It Up!
Vacuum the bed surface and all the little nooks, crannies, and creases to catch a good portion of dirt and hair. Sometimes, depending on the dog, type of coat, and the season, a second round of vacuuming may be in order.
While there are many products out there that offer sweet-smelling scents, it’s important to keep in mind that some can be toxic to dogs. There are other safer, natural cleaning and deodorizing choices, such as white vinegar and/or apple cider vinegar (ACV), baking soda, and even lemon juice! (NOTE: If you’ve never used or exposed your dog to these or any new product, please check with your vet and do a small exposure test first to be sure your dog has no adverse reactions).
According to Whole Dog Journal, “Since ACV is a great deodorizer and safe for your dog, you can use it to disinfect dog toys and bedding. Spray it anywhere you need odor control and/or a gentle disinfectant.” They also say, “Refresh and deodorize pet bedding by spraying it with vinegar or by adding vinegar to laundry when washing bedding.”
Give It a Good Soak!
Some dogs love to romp and roll in some pretty stinky stuff! When this happens, not only will your dog need a good soak, but also his bedding. Always use a chemical-free, dog-friendly detergentand let material soak for a while in a tub or washbasin. Be sure to check the fabric tag for any laundering warnings or specifications and drying instructions.
If your dog loves to trek through rain, snow, puddles, mud, or dusty trails, you may also protect your pet’s bed by having a 4Knines Seat Cover or Cargo Liner for your vehicle. These “Life-Proof” covers(including their very new limited camouflage design) were designed by 4Knines to “protect cars from muddy paw prints, claw marks, dog fur, drooling, and the dreaded ‘accident.’” Go here to check out all the styles and colors. One is sure to fit both your needs!
Periodically give dog bed covers (and beds with non-removable covers) a spot washing for stains, and a full washing, either in a machine or by hand, depending on the fabric and size. Most recommendations say to wash your dog’s bedding once a week in hot water. Again, be sure to read the fabric tag for any laundering and drying specifications.
A recipe for clean: According to Honest Paws, “Pet owners can mix one part distilled ACV vinegar with three parts water…a great tool for cleaning your pet's bedding. Many pet parents have found positive results in adding the concoction to the laundry when washing their dog's bedding.”
If the bed insert is still in good shape, and you just need to replace the cover, check out4Knines Premium Waterproof Dog Bed Liner. Not only is it good for your dog’s health as it protects the bed’s foam insert from “household allergens, dust mites, mold, mildew, and that wonderful ‘wet dog smell,” the soft fabric is machine washable and it’s also “quiet” so you won’t hear your dog as s/he nestles in for a nice nap!
Did You Know…?
4Knines bed covers come with a USA Staff & 2-Year Warranty?
Sometimes you just can’t wash, fluff, puff, or deodorize the material anymore and the time has come for a new bed. Today, there are so many different choices. Do a little research and find the type of bed that best suits your dogs’ needs. If your dogs prefer something a little less bulky, a 4Knines Plush Microfiber Top Dog Crate Mat/Travel Bedwith special foam padding may be just the thing! It can be used in their crates, on the floor in their favorite resting spot, atop their bed, or even as an extra cushion in the car! Machine washable, the pad has a waterproof bottom, which is very helpful whenpotty training young pups, or protecting older pups that may have continence issues.
Did You Know…?
4Knines believes in giving back?
“Since day one, 4Knines has donated a percentage of every sale to animal advocacy groups.”
Now that you have your dog's bed care down pat, you may be wondering what to do with the old bed?
If you are replacing your dog’s bed in its entirety, you may just be able to bring warmth and comfort to a homeless dog by donating it. Happily used beds that are clean and still intact can provide comfort to a shelter or rescue dog. Just be sure to give the place a call first to confirm that they do indeed accept bedding donations.
Dorothy Wills-Raftery is an award-winning photojournalist and author of EPIC Dog Tales: Heartfelt Stories About Amazing Dogs Living & Loving Life With Canine Epilepsy; the FiveSibes™ Tales children’s books: What’s Wrong With Gibson? Learning About K-9 Epilepsy and Getting Healthy With Harley: Learning About Health & Fitness; and Buddy, the Christmas Husky~Based On A True Holiday Miracle books (ArcticHouse Publishing), as well as the FiveSibes.com, an online encyclopedia for the Siberian Husky breed and Canine Epilepsy information, as well as her international award-winning FiveSibes blog, based on the lives of her five Siberian Huskies. Her work has also appeared in American Pet Magazine, Ruff Drafts, The Sled Dogger, and Hudson Valley Paw Print Magazine. Dorothy is the writer and host of "The Sibe Vibe” Dog Works Radio show.
Dorothy is a 9-time Dog Writers of America Association “Excellence” nominee, winning the prestigious Maxwell Medallion in 2017 and 2016 for her writing, photography, and design. Her book EPIC Dog Tales: Heartfelt Stories About Amazing Dogs Living & Loving Life With Canine Epilepsy received the 2018 Independent Press Award for “Excellence” in the Reference Book category and 2017 NYC Big Book Award for “Excellence” in the Animal/Pet book category. Dorothy was also named “Best Author” in 2015 & 2016 by Hudson Valley Magazine and all four books named “Best in Print” by American Pet Magazine, An official International Purple Day® for Epilepsy Ambassador since 2012 and a volunteer case manager for The Wally Foundation-Canine Epilepsy, Dorothy is the creator of the FiveSibes #LiveGibStrong K-9 Epilepsy Awareness campaign and partnered with The Anita Kaufmann Foundation for #Paws4Purple Project, both inspired by her own epileptic Husky, Gibson. In addition to her Siberian Huskies, Dorothy shares her home with her husband, daughter, son-in-law, and grandson. You can follow Dorothy and her FiveSibes on Facebook at FiveSibes: Siberian Husky K9 News & Reviews, on Google + , Twitter, and Instagram(@FiveSibesMom).