How often should you change your dog's bed and when does it need replacing?

How often should you change your dog's bed and when does it need replacing?

Let’s face it, our dogs’ beds have to deal with quite a lot. From dogs chewing, scratching and “digging’ at their bed to them coming in from a wet walk and heading straight for it, often their beds get dirty very quickly and are subject to a fair amount of wear and tear. But how often should you replace your dog’s bed and what are the signs that it is time to make the change? Here are some key things to consider:

  1. How much wear and tear the bed had to withstand
  2. The last time the bed was changed
  3. If your dog has outgrown the bed 
  4. If your dog’s requirements have changed (illness, injury)
  5. When you feel it’s time for a new style/colour etc. 

That’s the short version. To discover more about how often you should change your dog’s bed, carry on reading below.

Article contents:

How does a dog bed get damaged or worn?

So, not all things are created equal and not every dog bed has to suffer as much as the next one. Some dog beds may last many years while others may feel you are constantly having to replace or wash their bed. There are a number of things that can affect the lifespan of a dog bed including:

  • Your dog pawing or chewing at their bed 
  • Getting into the bed dirty and wet 
  • Having to constantly hoover hair from the bed 
  • Muddy paws!
  • Toilet accidents (in older or poorly dogs)
  • Leaky bed foam from damage

In some cases, the bed covers can simply be removed and popped in the wash with a replacement dog cover kept to hand while in other cases, it may be time to consider a new bed altogether. 

Why does a dog chew at their bed?

Some dogs, especially younger dogs, are chewers. Puppies tend to chew when they are cutting their adult teeth while some dogs are just chewers. Not every dog does this. Some will have a good go at maximum destruction from scratching and pawing too. 

Why do dogs scratch their bed?

If your dog appears to be scratching or digging at their bed then this is nothing to worry about. Some dogs do it more aggressively than others leading to damage however, for the most part, it is the dog marking their territory. They excrete a scent from their paws that mark the bed as theirs. They also do it to nest and get comfortable. Some dogs will also scratch at rugs, hard floor surfaces, couches etc. 

How to care for your dog bed

There are many ways in which you can prolong the life of your bed and care for it. Washing is a good place to start. While you can’t pick up the entire bed and place it in the washing machine, a dog bed with replacement covers means that you can pop off the covers and put a new one on. This will help to get rid of any unwanted muddy paw prints and odours.

Vacuuming is also recommended - especially if you have a shedder. A bed that you can vacuum will minimise the build up of dog hair and also keep unwanted odours and dust at bay. This keeps the bed fresh and hygienic. 

Signs it is time to replace your dog bed

There are some obvious signs that it is time to replace your dog bed. You will be able to tell if it really is past is bed but you should look for the following:

  • If the bed is ripped or torn and the inner mattress is exposed
  • If the dog bed is dirty or smells even after washing 
  • If the shape of the bed has gone
  • If there are broken parts of the bed - zip etc. 
  • If the dog has outgrown the bed 
  • If the requirements have changed - age, injury, growth etc.

If it is just the covers that are dirty, and the innards of the bed remain intact, you can purchase replacement covers for some beds that are machine washable and will have your dog bed looking as good as new. Some people purchase their bed with more than one cover so that they can not only have a spare when they wash their bed but also so that they can update their covers to match their interiors or when they fancy a change.

It Is important to replace your dog bed when it really does look out of shape and you can no longer bear to look at it. Once it has lost its shape and feel, it is probably no longer offering the same orthopaedic support it once did and it can be unhygienic. Of course, your dog could simply have outgrown the bed too. The length of time that your dog bed will last for could vary in time from two years to five years - there are no hard and fast rules but if you follow our tips above then you will get a good idea of when it is time to replace your dog’s bed.

If you feel it is time to replace your dog bed then choosing a new dog bed is made easier with our tips on how to choose a new dog bed.