Dogs are one of the most popular pets in the United States. Numbers-wise, there are over 90 million. That’s not too surprising, though, when you think about it. For one thing, they’re great companions—that is, they’re always there to give you unconditional love. Not only that, but they can actually benefit our health as well.
That’s right, owning a dog can improve your wellbeing. For instance, they can help reduce stress, depression, and anxiety. In many cases, they can also ease loneliness. But wait, there’s more. Studies have shown that they can also lower your risk of heart disease. After all, there’s a much greater chance that you’ll be walking and staying active.
Essential Items For All Dog Owners
There are a lot of things that you need to get when it comes to owning a dog. For starters, there’s the collar, leash, and harness. Without them, you wouldn’t be able to walk your pup safely! Aside from that, there’s the stuff that they need inside the house—things like food bowls, food mats, crates, and toys.
Dog beds are another thing that you’ll want to invest in. You wouldn’t want to sleep on the floor every day, and the same goes for your pet! If anything, it’s one of those things that you have to buy before you even bring the pooch home. That way, they’ll have a place to rest as soon as they arrive.
Different Kinds of Dog Beds
There are many different types of dog beds that you can get, some fancier than others. For instance, you can get something with a lace canopy or something that just resembles a pillow. At the end of the day, it depends on your budget and your taste. Keep in mind, however, that not all of them have the same comfort level.
Main Types of Dog Beds:
- Donut-shaped Beds – These beds usually come with a removable pillow in the center
- Flat Mats – These pads are often put in crates. Generally speaking, they tend to be cheaper than other types of dog beds
- Snuggle Beds – These beds kind of resemble beanbag chairs; they’re great for dogs that like to curl up
- Waterproof Beds – These beds are great for incontinent pets; they can also be used outdoors
- Orthopedic Beds – These beds are usually made from medical-grade foam; they are great at supporting joints
- Heated Beds – These beds are ideal for dogs who get cold easily; they can also help those with arthritis
Choosing the Right Dog Bed
A dog can easily spend more than 12 hours a day sleeping. Given that, it only makes sense that you’d want to provide him with a good bed. Before you make a purchase, though, there are certain things that you want to consider such as his size, age, breed, health, and sleeping habits.
Picking the Right Shape
How does your dog sleep? Does he like to burrow in, lean back, or curl up? Because that will determine the type of bed that you want to get. For example, leaners would probably enjoy a bolster-style bed more than a rectangular pillar. Similarly, you’d want to get your dog an oval donut bed if they like to curl up.
Selecting the Right Support
Most young dogs will be perfectly happy with a polyfill or foam bed. If your dog is on the older side, however, you might want to get him an orthopedic bed. Made of high-density orthopedic foam, they’re able to soothe pains and aches and reduce stress on hips and joints.
Determining the Right Size
When it comes to ordering a dog bed, you want to make sure that you get the right size. After all, your dog won’t be able to use it if it’s too small! To do that, measure your dog from nose to tail while he’s in his sleeping position. When in doubt, round up in size. Just make sure that you have enough space for it in your home.
How to Wash a Dog Bed With No Removable Covers
Not all dog beds come with removable covers. Don’t worry, though, you can still clean them—here’s how.
Option 1: Using the Washing Machine
Start by removing any loose dirt that’s on the bed. You can do this easily with a vacuum—simply run it over the fabric a few times. Once you’ve done that, you can use a lint roller to get rid of any remaining fur or debris. Remember to get the corners as well as that’s where they tend to accumulate.
If there are any stains (e.g. urine, mud, etc), you’ll want to spot treat before washing. To do this, you’ll want to create a soapy mixture; we recommend mixing water with a bit of ACTIVE detergent. Dampen a sponge with the solution and use it to treat the stain. When you’re finished, squeeze out as much of the water as possible.
Depending on the size of the dog bed, you may be able to put it in the washing machine. If that’s the case, you can put it in and run a hot water cycle with one scoop of ACTIVE detergent. Consider running the entire cycle twice if the bed is excessively dirty.
Note: Always check the care label first before putting your bed in the washer; some materials may not be machine washable.
To dry the bed, you can put it in the dryer on a low setting. It’s important that you dry it completely, otherwise, mold can grow inside the filling.
Option 2: Washing the Bed By Hand
Start by vacuuming and lint rolling the bed. Once you’ve gotten rid of all the hair and debris, you can begin to wash it. Fill a bathtub with warm water and dissolve one scoop of ACTIVE detergent. If necessary, you can also add 1/4 cup of white vinegar for extra deodorizing power. Wait until the detergent is fully dissolved before placing the bed in the tub—you want the water to cover it completely. Let it soak for at least 20 minutes.
Drain the dirty water from the tub. Fill it with clean water and use it to rinse the bed thoroughly. You’ll have to squeeze out the water that’s accumulated in the filling with your hands. Repeat the rinsing process; there should be no more soap bubbles when you’re done.
Squeeze out as much water as possible out of the bed. Assuming that it fits, you can then pop it in the dryer and tumble dry on a low setting. Alternatively, you can leave it out in the sun to dry.
Washing Instructions for a Dog Bed With Removable Covers
Option 1: Using the Washing Machine
Give the dog bed a quick vacuum to remove any loose fur or dirt; lint rolling is also your friend. From there, remove the cover completely. Place it in the laundry bag so that it won’t get damaged and load it into the washing machine. For the best results, do not wash it with other laundry. If you need to, however, you can add a few towels to help maintain a balanced load.
Add one scoop of ACTIVE detergent and wash with hot water (it helps to kill any eggs or insects that might be on the fabric). White vinegar can also be added if there is a noticeable odor. Do not use bleach or fabric conditioners.
Run the washer and wait for the cycle to finish before retrieving the cover. Transfer it to the dryer and tumble dry on a low setting. Alternatively, you can allow them to air dry in a well-ventilated area.
Option 2: Hand Washing Your Dog Bed
As always, start by vacuuming and lint rolling the dog bed, ideally with a pet tool. Once you’ve done that, take off the cover. Fill a sink or washbasin with hot water and dissolve 1/2 a scoop of ACTIVE detergent. It shouldn’t take long for it to turn into a soapy mixture.
Place the bed cover in the sink or basin so that it’s under the water; press down with your hands if you have to. Leave it alone for about 20 minutes so that the detergent can penetrate into the fabric.
After soaking, rinse the bed cover with water—you can either hold it under running water or refill the sink with fresh water from the faucet. Either way, you want to rinse thoroughly until there are no more soap bubbles. Gently squeeze out the excess water and allow it to air dry in a well-ventilated room. Or if you want, you can tumble dry on low heat.
Tips For Keeping Your Dog Bed Clean
There are a few things that you can do between washes to keep the bed as clean as possible.
Use a Blanket
Place a blanket over the bed. Not only will it be more comfortable for your pup, but it’ll also help keep the bed clean. When it gets dirty, you can just pop it in the washing machine for a quick wash (assuming that it’s machine washable).
Make a Habit of Vacuuming
The vacuum is your friend. Use it frequently to remove dirt, mud, and hair from the dog bed—that way, things won’t build up as easily. For the best results, use it with a pet tool.
Wipe Down the Bed Occasionally
Wipe down the outside of the bed occasionally with a water-vinegar mixture. While it won’t get rid of everything, it will get rid of some dirt. Plus, the vinegar will help to neutralize any smells that are present on the fabric.
Use a Deodorizers
There are doggy deodorizers that you can buy from pet stores that you can spray onto the bed. Or if you want, you can make your own—all you need is water and some white vinegar. Mix the two things in a spray bottle and apply it to the bed.