Why Do Dog Beds Smell? (Simply Explained)


why do dog beds smell

Your dog’s bed is likely one of their favorite places to relax. And because of this you’ve noticed a particular smell coming from their bed that’s rather unpleasant. Is this something you should worry about? Why does this happen?

A dog’s bed smells because your pet has natural body fluids that end up on the bed. In addition, they may roll around outside and bring in dirt among other things on their body. Any place they spend a lot of time will begin to smell without proper hygiene measures.

Read on to discover the main reasons why dog beds begin to smell and the best ways to prevent the smell from getting out of hand.

Top 5 Reasons Why Dog Beds Smell

1. Pet Dander

Did you know that your dog sheds tiny skin particles every day? These skin particles are known as pet dander and end up all over a dog’s bed. The bits of skin that your dog sheds can be hard to see or large enough for you to pick up.

Pet dander is essential as your dog grows new skin. So don’t worry when you notice the shedding taking place. However, it would be best if you clean a dog’s bed when you notice it. In fact, many people are allergic to pet dander.

This is why you have to get rid of it as soon as possible. You might need a regular cleaning schedule for your dog and their bed. Leaving the bed as is will permit the pet dander to travel all over your home, especially when the AC unit is running (spreading the smell, yuck).

2. Not Washing The Bed For Some Time

Picture this: you don’t wash the sheets on your bed for some time and sleep on them each night. You will accumulate sweat, body odor, and other unsightly things on the sheets. In the end, your most comfortable space will become unbearable because of the smell.

The same thing happens to your dog when you don’t wash their bed for a long time. Your dog continues to shed skin cells, fur, sweat, drool, and even bring other things from outside to their bed. With time, the bed becomes so dirty and ends up emitting a horrible odor.

3. Accidents

At times, your dog may have an accident on their bed. This usually happens when they’re scared, ill or simply weren’t able to let you know they had to go. When this happens, you’re going to end up with a smelling doggo bed.

So, the moment you notice your fur baby had an accident, wash the bed for them. Remove the soiled bed and clean it immediately. Leaving the pee or poop on it longer will only make the stench worse.

4. Outdoor Pollutants

The outdoors is an excellent experience for your dog. They get a chance to stretch their legs and have some fun. However, they also get exposed to all sorts of things. Imagine your dog runs into a puddle or shrub with a bad smell and goes to lie in bed.

The stench will remain on the bed, which can be quite an annoying experience. Therefore, be on high alert when your dog comes back inside. If they’ve been playing in smelly areas, bath them first before they go to bed for a nice long nap.

5. Infection

At times, your dog could develop an ear or skin infection. This means they’ll be spending even more time lying on their bed, which is safe and comfortable. However, it can cause unpleasant fluid from their ear or skin to contact their bed.

When you notice your doggo isn’t feeling well, please take them to the vet. At the same time, clean their bed often to prevent the smell of infection from sticking to the bed (and make sure their infection doesn’t get worse from a dirty resting spot!).

*Additional Possibility* Nursing Mom

A nursing dog often has a few pups by her side. These pups drink her milk, but some of it can end up on the bed. After some time, the accumulated milk and pee from the tiny puppies can be pretty unbearable. 

Thus, you have to change the dog bed for a new mom often. She might alert you it’s time for a change by trying to move the pups to a new place.

Is it Normal For a Dogs’ Beds to Smell?

Dogs can have a distinct smell which isn’t uncommon. This natural body scent tends to be part of their bed too. So, you don’t have to worry when the bed has a little dog odor.

However, take notice if the smell is overpowering. Just like human body odor, your dog’s scent can become too much, requiring a bath. The same applies to their bed when you notice the stench is too much.

*Don’t wash your dog or their bed using scented soaps.*

Most pets don’t like the scented aromas in such shampoos or soaps. It’s better to find milder solutions that get the job done, leaving your dog and its bed smelling fresh. 

In addition, get to know the different ways of keeping a dog’s bed from smelling.

Best Ways of Keeping a Dog’s Bed From Smelling

Regular Baths

How often do you bathe your dog? If you start to notice a particular odor on their bed, it’s time to increase their bath frequency. A dog bath is one of the best solutions when you want to prevent their bed from smelling. When you bathe your dog, you get rid of all the dander, odors, and other pollutants on them.

As you increase the baths, ensure you use dog-friendly products that won’t cause worse shedding or more odors. Milder products are the best for your dog and protect the skin.

We made a list of the top 15 best dog shampoos for odor that you can check out by clicking here.

Wash The Bed Often

If you only have one dog bed, you should wash it often. Make it a habit of washing the bed each week before giving it back to your dog to rest on it. Or at least twice a month.

Or, you can have two or more beds at home to interchange with when one gets a little stinky.

When the sun is out, take their bed outside for such much-needed freshness. Sunlight and fresh air can do wonders for their bed.

Pick an Easily Washable Bed

Some beds come with a water-proof lining that is simple to clean in case of an accident.

Also, many, but not all, beds come with a removable & washable cover that will make your life much easier when keeping your dog’s bed from smelling.

Final Thoughts

A dog’s bed can have some odor, that’s natural.

But, when the smell starts becoming irritating and causes you to turn away, it’s time to clean or even replace the bed. There are many reasons why pet beds smell. They can have lots of pet dander, or maybe your dog has one too many accidents on the bed, or even infection.

Once you notice their bed has a bad smell, it’s better to clean it as soon as possible. It’s not good for your dog’s health and well-being to leave the bed like that for a long time. Start by building a relatively frequent routine behind washing both your dog and their bed.

Other posts you might find interesting:

Why Are Dog Beds So Expensive? (Fully Explained!)

How Often To Replace A Dog Bed | The Truth

How To Wash A Dog Bed With Stuffing | Short Simple Steps

Alec Littlejohn

Founder and Reviewer at Pawscessories. He is a lifelong canine enthusiast and adores dogs of all shapes and sizes! He grew up in a family of vets and to this day he helps out around the family clinic and shares his learnings on Pawscessories. Learn more about Alec's story here

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