Whether a dog uses a bed as a dedicated safe space or a token chew toy, you might wonder how often it needs to be replaced. Though there is no set expiration date for a dog bed, there are many factors that go into determining when it is time for a replacement.
Dog beds should be replaced every 1 to 5 years depending on the wear and tear, environment, and needs of the dog.
If you are still deciding whether or not it is time to replace your dog bed, keep reading below to help determine if your furry companion needs a new bed and if so, how you can get the best bang for your buck.
5 Signs it is Time for a New Dog Bed
There is nothing quite as enjoyable as watching a dog frolic in the yard on a sunny day, but when it is time to come inside, there’s no telling what they can and will bring with them. Dog beds can harbor bacteria, pests, and smells that over time can disrupt or harm your dog’s health. You need to replace a dog bed when you notice the signs below.
Tears, Holes, and Loose Strings Can be a Choking Hazard
As a dog bed wears, it is likely that you will notice a few tears or holes. Keep an eye on the size of any holes you may come across. One rule of thumb, if the hole is large enough to fit the dog’s head, it is probably time for a new dog bed. Additionally, any loose strings attached to a dog bed might seem like a fun chew toy to your pup, however, it might be a choking hazard. Take care to eliminate all loose strings that could be coming from the dog bed.
Unwanted Infestation Can Take Over a Home
Keep an eye out for the following types of infestations:
- Pests: Ants, Spiders, Cockroaches
- Parasites: Worms, Fleas, Ticks
- Mites: commonly referred to as “mange”
If pests, parasites, or mites decide to make your dog’s bed their new abode, they can be difficult to evict. You also run the risk of these critters migrating to other pieces of furniture in your home.
This could eventually become a costly remediation, so your best bet would be to replace the dog bed as soon as you realize there is an infestation.
Unexplained Sickness and Hair Loss
Rashes, unexplained sickness, and excessive hair loss could also be an indication it is time to replace your dog’s bed. Bacteria can lead to a plethora of health problems, and the last place you would expect it to be coming from is where your dog likes to snuggle most. To help with this potential problem, ensure that your dog’s bed is thoroughly washed regularly. Dogs will bring all sorts of bacteria with them from outside and your dog’s bed may be the place they end up the most. This article may interest you – “Why is My Dogs Fur Turning A Rust Colour”
Stubborn Odors from Bacteria and Outside Use
When you start to notice an odor coming from your dog’s bed, especially if the bed is surrounded by air fresheners, it might be time for a replacement. Certain materials that are used to make dog beds can trap stubborn odors and refuse to let them go. When you have exhausted every effort to mask the smells, but nothing is working, it is time to start looking for a new bed.
Changing Needs of an Aging Dog
A dog’s needs can change due to:
- Health reasons
The best way to determine if your dog needs a new bed is to watch them. The bed your dog has as a 6-month-old puppy, might not be a great fit once it is fully grown. As your dog ages, it might need a new bed to help ease its achy joints or allergies. Working dogs tend to need a supportive bed, this would include memory foam mattresses and other types of bed that form around the body.
Choosing a Lasting Dog Bed
In general, when it comes to purchasing a dog bed, you get what you pay for. Low-quality dog beds will likely need to be replaced more often than one that is a little more expensive. Look for a bed that is made with durable fabric and is easy to wash. Waterproof dog beds are also common for pet owners who prefer to keep their beds outside.
Best vs. Worst Fabric for Dog Beds
When choosing your next dog bed, use this list as a guide to help narrow down your options:
|Best Fabric for a Dog Bed||Worst Fabric for a Dog Bed|
Microfiber, vinyl, and nylon are easy to clean, water-resistant, and “chew” proof. They tend to last the longest with the proper upkeep.
Fabrics such as cotton and tweed might seem appealing and fashionable, however, they might not have the best-staying power. Holes and bug infestations are most common in these fabrics.
Search for Dog Beds that Meet Your Needs
- If your dog likes to gnaw, search for beds that are elevated.
- If your dog struggles with arthritis, search for orthopedic options.
- If your dog likes to feel snuggled, search for plush beds.
Helping Dogs Acclimate to a New Bed
When it is time to introduce a new bed into your dog’s life, you must remember that dogs are creatures of habit. Sometimes it takes a little extra effort from you to make the new bed feel like home for the dog. Here are a few tips to help:
- Use treats to encourage the “discovery” of the new bed.
- Set up the new bed in an old favorite spot.
- Surround the bed with familiar scents such as pieces of the old bedding, a shirt, or a trusted toy.
- Use positive reinforcement, such as patting or affirmative commands.
The goal is to make the new dog bed feel as familiar as possible. It may take some time, but with a little patience and support, your pup should warm up to the new bed.
Preventative Maintenance for Prolonging the Use of a Dog Bed
A dog bed can be an expensive investment that, if maintained properly, can last for well up to five years. It’s important not to forget the area surrounding your dog’s bed. Sweeping, mopping, and disinfecting the floors and walls could help in prolonging the life of a dog bed. If your dog bed has a removable cover, it is recommended to wash bedding once a week, as you would your own bedsheets.
Detox Wash for Dog Beds
- Remove all visible hair. Use a lint brush or a wet cloth/sponge to collect the loose hair.
- Run through a dryer for 10 minutes. A quick 10 minutes in the dryer will soften blankets and loosen hairs stuck in fibers.
- Shake out bedding. This will help to get rid of excess fur.
- Wash bedding. Add ½ cup of white vinegar to not only fight smelly odors but loosen stubborn dog hair.
- Dry according to bedding’s care label. Make sure you pay attention to the label to prevent shrinking or damage to your bedding.
The fabric or material a bed is made out of and the environment in which it is kept can cut short or prolong the life of your dog bed. If you are diligent in keeping a clean space, you can cut down on the number of times you’ll need to purchase a new bed.
There might not be a one-size-fits-all answer to determine how often you need to replace your dog’s bed, but chances are, if you are questioning whether or not it is time, you already know the answer. Keep an eye out for any hazards and watch your pup because most often they will tell you when they are ready.