Why Does Dog Bedding Smell & How Can I Clean It

Why is it that dog bedding has such a distinctive odour? It’s that combination of wet dog and mud together which just isn’t so pleasant to smell. We’ll look into reasons for foul-smelling dog bedding, plus ways you can reduce the odour and tips on caring for your dog’s bed.

What Causes Dog Bedding to Smell?

There are a few reasons why dog bedding can smell, most of which are reversible:

  • Ear infections – the yeasty smell from bacteria growing in your dog’s ears, treated with antibiotics from the vet
  • Skin conditions, including canine seborrhoea, allergies, parasites and inflammation from bacteria and yeast
  • Anal glands – more than just a ‘fishy odour,” anal gland smell is disgusting!
  • Urinary tract infection – treated with antibiotics from the vet
  • Natural skin microorganisms – when you wash your dog, the smells from the natural yeast and bacteria on their skin react with water, causing the wet dog smell – but sorry, there’s not a lot you can do about this! Thankfully though, once they are dry, this smell should decrease significantly.


How to Keep Your Dog’s Bedding Clean & Smelling Great

By far the best solution to the wet dog smell is to regularly wash and dry your dog’s bedding. This is when having a removable cover which can be washed separately is ideal. Our Billy Beds all have removable covers which are machine washable and easy to dry. You can add your choice of washing powders and softeners to the machine, and then hang on the line to dry in the sun. A regular vacuum in between washes can also help keep the smell down, as well as removing all those pieces of dog fur.

Just take note that some dog beds have removable covers which are not washable or covers which can’t be removed at all. These may seem great at the time of purchase, but in the weeks to come, you’re going to wish you had a washable one!

Our tips on caring for dog bedding (and cat bedding for that matter too), are:

  • Use the sun to help dry and air bedding
  • Only use pet-friendly cleaning products – see your vet if you are not sure about what to use
  • Vacuum regularly
  • Use a removable cover and have a spare to cover the inner while washing, otherwise the smell will get into the inner area too

If you need help selecting the best size dog bed or cover, just ask! Our range of dog bedding has been specially designed to be removable and washable.  We’re here to help you (and your furry friends).

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