Cuddling up with your canine companion is a joy, but the reality is that as delightful as they are, dogs can sometimes bring in quite a bit of mess. Beyond the visible dirt and mud, dogs carry an array of bacteria, mold, parasites, viruses, and other unwanted substances. While dog blankets serve as a barrier to protect your furniture and bedding, it's important to acknowledge that these blankets themselves can become quite grimy and odorous. In the following guide, we aim to provide dog owners with comprehensive instructions on washing their furry friends' blankets, ensuring a clean and comfortable environment for both pup and person.
How Often to Clean Your Dog's Blanket:
To maintain a hygienic living space, it's recommended that you wash your dog's blanket at least once every two weeks. The frequency of washing depends on various factors, such as your dog's shedding rate, outdoor activities, and potential allergies. Additionally, consider any allergies you or your family members might have towards dog dander or allergens your dog might bring in. Remember, the longer you postpone washing the blanket, the more difficult it becomes to remove the accumulated contaminants.
Steps for Washing Your Dog's Blanket:
The following are recommended steps for washing a dog's blanket. However, always prioritize the cleaning instructions provided by the manufacturer on the care label. If you're dealing with a OrthoRug blanket, it's advisable to follow OrthoRug's specific washing instructions to extend the longevity of your waterproof dog blanket.
- A lint roller or rubber glove
- Pet-friendly laundry detergent that’s free of dyes or fragrances
- Enzymatic pet stain remover
- White vinegar
- Washing machine or tub
Washing a Dog Blanket in a Washing Machine:
- Take the blanket outside and shake it vigorously to remove excess hair and dander. Employ a lint roller or rubber glove to tackle any stubborn hair left after shaking.
- Remove any caked-on debris like mud, vomit, or waste. Address urine stains or bodily fluid spots with an enzymatic stain remover to eliminate odours. For mud or dirt stains, use a small amount of laundry detergent.
- Place the blanket in the washing machine. While larger blankets can usually be washed on their own, smaller ones might require additional towels to balance the load. Alternatively, if you're washing a dog bed, you can include your dog's blankets to distribute the weight evenly. Avoid washing the blanket alongside regular clothes.
- Set the washing machine to the highest temperature allowed by the manufacturer's care label. Generally, higher temperatures effectively eliminate bacteria, mold, and even fleas or flea eggs. However, take care not to use a temperature that could damage the blanket, particularly if it's made of delicate materials. Some items, such as faux fur beds, should be washed on cold to preserve their quality.
- Run an extra rinse cycle to ensure all detergent is thoroughly removed. Skip fabric softener, as it contains harsh chemicals that might irritate your dog. Instead, during the final rinse cycle, add a quarter cup of white vinegar to soften the water and eliminate germs. The vinegar scent will dissipate as the blanket dries.
- Adhere to the care label's instructions for drying the blanket. Some blankets tolerate machine drying, while others, like Cool Comfort blankets, are best air-dried. Hanging the blanket outside in the sunlight can further aid in eradicating bacteria and neutralizing odours.
Hand-Washing a Dog Blanket:
Not all blankets are suitable for machine washing, and your machine might not accommodate larger dog blankets. In such cases, you can follow these steps to hand-wash a dog blanket:
- Place the blanket in a tub and fill it with water. While the water is running, add pet-friendly detergent to create a soapy solution. Consult the manufacturer's label for water temperature recommendations.
- Ensure the entire blanket is submerged and let it soak for 15 to 20 minutes.
- Gently agitate the blanket in the tub using your hands. For stubborn stains, use a washcloth with additional detergent to gently scrub.
- Drain the soapy water from the tub and refill it for another soaking round. While rinsing, move the blanket around to facilitate the process. Repeat this step until the water runs clear. As an alternative to fabric softener, consider adding white vinegar to the final rinse.
- Attempt to remove excess water from the blanket by gently wringing it. If you have access to a washing machine, a delicate spin cycle might help eliminate excess water. Adhere to the care label's instructions for the drying process.
Remember, maintaining your dog's blanket cleanliness is essential for a healthier and more enjoyable coexistence. Regular cleaning not only ensures your pup's comfort but also contributes to a more pleasant living environment for everyone.
Maintaining the Freshness of Dog Blankets Between Washes
Preserving the cleanliness and fragrance of your dog's bedding and blankets in the intervals between washes is made easier with these tips:
- Use the brush or pet hair attachment on your vacuum to remove dirt and hair between washing.
- If vacuuming isn’t an option, shake it out and/or use a lint roller or rubber glove to keep hair under control.
- Spot clean as necessary with a gentle pet stain remover or use a solution of vinegar and water. You can also use baking soda with a washcloth or toothbrush to gently scrub tough stains.
- Use a pet odour eliminator spray to neutralize odours and keep bedding smelling fresh and clean.
Pet blankets sometimes undergo wear and tear, but this doesn't mean they must remain in that state. While your furry friend might relish snuggling into their well-worn blanket, adhering to a regular washing routine is paramount for both their well-being and the overall health of your household. And you'll undoubtedly find greater joy in an abode that doesn't exude the aroma of a bustling dog daycare."