Even the cutest dogs can carry dirt, allergens and pests
Bathing your dog is all well and good, but if they jump on your bed or couch in between baths, the things they bring inside can get left behind.
The easiest way to protect your bedding and furniture from the dirt pets track inside is to keep it off in the first place! A waterproof, pet proof furniture cover is your best option and in our humble opinion, Blue Zoca's Waterproof fleece blankets are the absolute BEST protection money can buy! They're soft, cozy, breathable and guaranteed to stop virtually ANY liquid from leaking through.
But what about actual dog beds -- how to keep those clean and fresh?
Well, the process starts before you even buy one! Don't be swayed by cute shapes, or beds that simply match your decor. The best dog bed is one you can clean!!! So step 1 should always be to read, READ, READ!!! the care label that's required by law to be sewn into every textile product. On dog beds, you may find 2 -- one for the outer shell and one for the inner cushion -- look for them and see if you're able and willing to follow the care instructions every single time you wash their bed.
Beds that need dry cleaning are likely to sit a while 'cuz, let's be honest, how frequently do you go to the dry cleaner? Plus, dry cleaning can be pricey!
Oversize beds may be too large for your home washing machine and will require a trip to the laundromat every time you want to wash them -- a problem if an unexpected accident occurs when you just don't have time to sit at the 'mat while your dog bed goes through the full wash/dry cycle.
Can it go in the dryer? If not, you'll need room to air dry -- will that be a problem for you, especially if it takes overnight (or even a day or 2 ) to dry completely?
Foam inserts sound great, especially those memory foam, orthopedic ones, but again, can the foam be washed?? If not, you may want to consider wrapping the foam with something waterproof like a trash bag or drop cloth and ten re-inserting the foam inside the cover. But be warned -- some pets find the plastic noisy, hot and uncomfortable, so you may end up with an expensive bed your pet won't sleep on.
So now you've spent time shopping, reading and you've chosen a dog bed you think you can clean easily -- what next? Before washing, take a few minutes to remove as much hair, fur and loose dander as possible, using your vacuum, a lint roller or lint brush. The more you remove before washing, the less will be left behind in your machine. The last thing you want to do is to spend days picking hair and fur off the clothes you laundered after washing your dog bed.
Next, blot or scrape any . . . um, residue from the bed, like dried food, vomit, poop, whatever your dog left behind.
Now you're ready to wash! We suggest washing pet beds separately from other items, so your pet bed should be the only thing in the machine, giving it the maximum amount of room to agitate freely. Remember those care instructions? Follow them!! In general, we recommend using the gentle cycle, cool water and the most natural laundry detergent you can find. Some dogs chew on their bedding and you don't want them ingesting the chemicals some laundry detergents contain.
Some beds will be waterlogged after washing -- just rearrange the bed in your machine to balance the weight as evenly as possible and run it through another spin cycle to remove as much water as possible (you may need to do this more than once, but you'll thank us when it's time to dry!)
When most of the water has been removed, it's time to dry! If your care instructions say machine drying is OK, go for it! But don't use dryer sheets -- they're loaded with chemicals and they actually make fabrics less absorbent! If you can, line dry -- fresh air and sunshine make for fresher bedding and the sun's ultra-violet rays are a natural disinfectant.
And remember, you can toss a Blue Zoca waterproof blanket over your pet's bedding to keep it clean and dry longer -- it's sooo much easier to wash a blanket than it is to wash a bed!!
How do you keep your pet's bed clean? We'd love to know, so comment below and share your tips and tricks!
Heather & Laura
The Team @ Blue Zoca