Dog Beds: Maintenance Tips for Our Washable and Dryable Beds

Posted March 06, 2006

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Want to machine wash and dry your pet’s bed over and over with great results? Look here!

In our busy lives, we carve out time to care for our pets, insuring that they get proper food, a healthy amount of daily exercise, and all the loving attention they deserve. We also make sure to give them a sense of their own space by defining their sleeping area. Whether we invest in a deluxe bed fit for a king, or a simple mat to throw on the floor, we want to be sure that the product we choose will not only comfort our dog, but it will also hold up to regular machine washing and drying. There’s a reason we relegate all the mud and fur to a compact space – we’d rather throw something in the washer than have to clean an entire couch or carpet!

At West Paw Design, we don’t let anything hold our dogs back from a good romp in the park, least of all fear of having to launder a difficult bed. All of our dog beds are machine washable and dryable, and truly easy to maintain. In fact, three of our bed styles: Eco Naps, Nature Naps, and Zoo Rests, are made to go directly in the washing machine without any fuss at all! And for the ultimate in ease of use, look at the Big Sky Blanket, a beautiful throw to toss anywhere and clean anytime.

All of the other stuffed beds we manufacture have easily accessible openings finished with a hassle free zipper. For a quick wash, simply remove the cover from the pillow or bolster and toss it in the washing machine! All of our beds are meant to be washed in cold/cold water and dried on the low heat setting, and come out beautifully time and time again. We test our dyes for colorfastness and specially design our fabric to stand the test of time.

When the bed is soiled or needs a deeper cleaning, you may wash the entire bed - covers and inserts.  Since every washer and dryer are different, a different strategy is suggested for different people.  If you have a machine that is known to be tough on clothing (catching or tearing fabric), then we suggest you leave the insert pillow in its cover during the wash.  However, if your washer machine is a front loading machine with a clean history (pun intended) of being gentle, then you may separate the pillow insert from the cover and wash all parts on gentle cycle.

Whether you are washing the covers by themselves or the entire bed, be sure to "zip close" any zipper before washing. By keeping the zipper closed, it helps protect all of the teeth during the wash. Zippers are amazingly tough when zipped together, but when unzipped, the teeth are left exposed and can easily snag something, leading to excessive pulling and eventually damage to the tooth. When one zipper tooth gets damaged, it can make it impossible to zip closed again. 

With large beds of all kinds, you'll want to be sure the bed is tumbling freely.  If one area of the bed is pushed up against the heating element and the heat is directed constantly on the same spot for the entire length of drying, it will damage the fabric.  For those beds that fill the entire dryer (not allowing the bed to rotate freely), you will want to tumble dry with no heat or air dry.  Stuffed pillow beds are very similar to your own (human) pillows... so Mom's trick of throwing in a clean shoe to help re-fluff the pillow could help, but we suggest keeping the cover on the pillow inserts when using Mom's fluffing technique.  Enjoy your clean bed... we know your dog will!


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