The days when a dog bed was a spot on the floor or the back porch are long gone. Today, many dog beds are nearly as expensive as people’s beds!
Dog beds, like dogs, come in all shapes and sizes today. There are ergonomic dog beds, memory foam dog beds, beds for “circle” sleepers, and “stretched out” sleepers and beds for senior dogs with joint or incontinence issues.
Once you have invested in a high-quality, high-end dog bed, you are going to want to do everything possible to make sure it lasts as long as possible. Yet still, at some point, the day will come when replacement is the only suitable option.
How often should you replace dog beds? That is what we will investigate in this article.
How Often Should You Replace Dog Beds?
There is no one-dog-fits-all answer to the question of when to replace dog beds.
But for general purposes, here are three times you should always replace your dog’s bed:
- When you can smell your dog’s bed before you see it (and so can your guests).
- When the dog bed has become compromised to the point where the inner stuffing falls out and there is a risk of your dog eating it.
- When your dog has a serious pest infestation or surface skin infection that may render the bed unsafe to use.
Learn How to Make your Dog Bed Last Longer
This YouTube video from a dog mom gives you lots of tips to extend the useful life of your dog’s bed.
When Is it Time to Replace Your Dog’s Bed?
The right answer to the question of how often to replace your dog bed depends a lot on your dog.
Some dogs see a dog bed as just another large chew toy. Other dogs refuse to use their dog bed and insist on sleeping in the “big people’s bed” with you. Obviously, these two dogs will use their own dog bed in completely different ways.
In the remainder of this article, learn key signs to tell when it is time to replace dog beds.
The Dog Bed Has Rips, Tears, or Deep Damage
As Consumer Affairs points out, there are some signs that are just so clear they are impossible to ignore.
Once the dog bed has become structurally unsound – which means there are gashes, rips, tears, or frays to the point where the inner material is exposed – the dog bed is likely beyond repair.
To keep the bed in this state is a potential safety hazard, especially if your pup has developed a taste for stuffing or foam batting. You will pay far more for a trip to the urgent care to remove an intestinal blockage than you will to invest in a new dog bed.
The Dog Bed Is Clearly Unsanitary
As Breeding Business points out, your dog’s bed ranks in the top 10 in terms of areas in the house with the most germs.
While you might argue that this also describes your own bed, consider this: you don’t go weeks between baths, go to the bathroom without wiping yourself, and roll in stinky stuff you find on the lawn before coming in for a nap.
You probably also don’t try to hide food in your bed, bring interesting items (like bugs and parasites) from the lawn into the bed with you, secrete skin oils into the fabric and batting, slobber all over the bed or shed out large amounts of hair into your bed.
Sure, you may be able to wash your dog’s bed and tend to these sanitation issues. However, the larger the dog, the more difficult (and expensive) it can become to wash the bed in any way that really addresses the germs and bacteria-harboring there.
As well, if your dog’s bed is not machine washable, your only safe option is to wait until it becomes unsalvageable and change it out for a dog bed that can be popped in the wash.
The Dog Bed Is Easily Locatable By Smell
Depending on what dog breed you have, your dog’s nose may be up to 10,000 times keener than your own, according to VCA Animal Hospitals.
The difference between you and your dog, however, is that lots of things your dog thinks smell good are things you really don’t want to smell at all!
This includes your dog’s bed. Once you are able to discern the location of the dog bed when it is still out of sight range, it has officially become too stinky to be in the house.
The tough part here is that as soon as you wash your dog’s bed, your dog will want to stink it up again. But some odors are less easy to remove, especially for senior dogs who have age-related incontinence issues.
Once your dog’s bed has gotten to the point where you can’t wash the odor away, a replacement is clearly in order.
This is especially important to consider if your dog bed has any type of inner lining, foam, or filler material that cannot be easily washed.
An example would be a foam bed with a washable, removable liner. As long as the liner was usable, you could probably keep the bed. But if the odor gets into the inner foam or core, that becomes a matter of tolerating it until it becomes intolerable.
The Dog Bed Attracts Household Pests
Once your dog’s bed has gotten stinky and dirty enough that it starts attracting the attention of other unwanted household occupants, it simply has to go, as Our Dogs Online user forum points out.
It is a rare homeowner who wants to keep anything in the house that might attract moths, rodents, fleas, or other pests.
These types of unwelcome visitors may also put your dog or you and your family in harm’s way, and they likely won’t stop coming until the bed is removed.
The Dog Doesn’t Want to Sleep There Anymore
Many dogs prefer to sleep with their people than to sleep on their own in their dog beds. And many dog owners are happy to accommodate.
But rest assured that once your dog starts sleeping with you, it will be hard to break them of this habit.
The Collegian points out, there are some very real benefits to providing your dog with their own bed and insisting that your dog sleep there instead of with you.
One of the biggest benefits is to keep your own bed from looking and smelling like your dog’s bed!
If your pup has suddenly decided they would prefer to sleep with you instead of in their own bed, you will want to investigate what is prompting the change.
Your Dog’s Bed No Longer Meets Their Needs
Finally, there is a case to be made for replacing your dog’s bed once you notice your dog’s needs changing beyond what that particular bed can accommodate.
This could be for some simple reason such as noticing that your dog’s bed has finally become so lopsidedly uncomfortable, stinky, dirty, infested, or downright sleep-repelling that they don’t want to spend any time there anymore.
Or it could also be possible that your dog’s needs have changed for health reasons. Just as many people will find that they prefer a softer or firmer mattress over time, so too can your dog’s sleep needs change as they grow older.
Joint aches and pains are a leading reason why your dog might not find their bed comfortable enough to sleep in for hours at a time anymore.
The bed may be too low to the ground and consequently too difficult to get down to and up from multiple times per day. Or it might not provide enough cushion for aching joints.
Your dog may also lose hair due to aging or develop hormonal imbalance and have more trouble self-regulating body temperature at night, especially in the cold season.
What Should You Do With Your Dog’s Old Dog Bed?
This is a great question, especially since many dog beds are large enough to not even fit in a household trash bin!
If your dog’s current bed is still insufficiently good condition and is washable, you can consider washing and sanitizing it and donating it to a local pet charity or rescue to give to a dog in need.
Then you can work with your canine veterinarian to identify what type and size and material of bed would work best to support your dog’s health difficulties and ensure restful sleep.
As Recycle Now points out, cloth dog beds may be eligible to recycle as textiles. Dog beds made of plastic can potentially be included with other plastic recyclables.
When in doubt, give your local recycling center a call to ask about options for recycling as much of your dog’s old bed as you can.