Taking good care of your beloved four-legged friend means feeding him, playing with him, ensuring he gets the exercise he needs and keeping him clean. Let’s focus on the cleaning and hygiene part – you may regularly get your dog groomed, and you may think your cat does a great job of cleaning herself. However, there is one thing you may be overlooking a bit too regularly, and that is your pet’s bedding.
Some pet owners let their pets sleep in their bed with them, and this means that they ensure that their bedding is washed regularly (hopefully), but even co-sleeping pets sometimes have their own bedding for their daily naps or chill time in the living room (if they’re not allowed on the couch). Your pet’s bedding is actually host to a myriad of nasty germs, dust, fur and bacteria, and requires regular, efficient cleaning.
Let’s look at how to wash your pet’s bedding effectively so that you can give your darling a clean, hygienic sleeping spot:
- Tackle loose dirt first:
Before you do any washing, remove all excess dirt and fur using a vacuum cleaner. Vacuuming also helps to remove fleas, flea eggs, and other types of mites and bugs.
- Then any stains:
Use a pet-friendly spot cleaner (great odour and stain-removal pet-safe cleaners are available at most pet stores) to remove any mud, feces or food stains. If you don’t do spot cleaning, when the bedding is washed entirely they could be set in stubbornly and much harder to remove later on.
- Wet washing:
Now that you’ve vacuumed and attacked those stains, it’s time to wash the bedding. First things first, check the care label on the bedding, if any, and ensure that you adhere to each part religiously. If the bedding will fit in your washing machine, throw it in there on the longest and hottest cycle possible. It is recommended that you wash the bedding in your machine for two cycles. If the bedding is too large for your washing machine, fill your bathtub up with scalding hot water, then:
- Add in a capful of mild detergent and a ¼ cup of apple cider vinegar or white vinegar (the vinegar is an incredibly effective deodorizer).
- Let the bed soak in the water and solution for at least 15 minutes.
- If you are able to, stand on the bedding in the bathtub and step on it several times to beat out any dirt.
- Drain all the water out of your bathtub, and use a bucket or the taps to rinse the bedding with warm water until the water runs clear and there are no suds left when rinsing. It is advisable to rinse the bedding at least three or four times to get it really clean.
Once the bedding has been washed, ensure that you wring out as much water from it as possible. If the bedding will fit into your dryer, throw it in and let it dry on a long cycle. If not, leave the bed outside in direct sunlight to dry, preferably propped up on something so that all angles of it can be dried without one side staying damp. It is crucial that the bedding is dried out thoroughly, to prevent mold and its ensuing nasty smell from forming.
- Petroleum distillates
- Nonylphenol Ethoxylates (NPE)
- Isopropyl alcohol
- Phenols of any kind
- Fragrance additives
The best part about keeping your pet’s bedding clean is that it helps keep your pet clean too! After all, sleeping in a smelly, dirty bed would make you dirty and smelly too, right? It is recommended that you wash your pet’s bedding at least twice a month to ensure it stays clean, fresh and hygienic.
Make sure you can take your pet to the vet for routine care and treatment for illness or accidents.Sign up for pet insurance with Oneplan™ Pet today.