With 8 dogs in our small house, the dog beds become a part of the furniture and line the floor from TV to Couch. One or two of the dogs will have favorite spots, but generally any bed will do. As long as there are enough beds for all, then all is good.
The Secret to Keeping the Beds Clean..
For years I went through lots of pet beds.. one would get soiled and would soak through into the padding of the bed, which resulted in lots of hosing, scrubbing and product application.. Eventually, I ended up with a lot of covers and no interior padding.. Then, my children returned from college with their foam mattress pads and no need for them. I quickly learned that once cut to size, ( you can double the foam for old or heavy dogs) placed in a large trash bag, and inserted in one of the empty covers, I had a very comfortable, easy to maintain and clean bed that was better and more durable then most high dollar dog beds. The cover can easily be washed, the trash bags can be wiped off or replaced, and If you are lucky enough to live near a college when the students are moving out, you can get mattress pads before they go into the dumpster, making them super affordable! So when ever I buy a new bed, one of the most important things I now look at is the quality of the Zipper and the stitching, as the cover is the part of the bed that is now going to last the longest.
Where do the Cats Sleep…?
Two of my smallest dogs sleep on my bed, but generally my dogs are not allowed on the furniture. Cats on the other hand, well, try to tell them where they are not allowed… with the exception of the kitchen counter, where I have employed a “scat mat” and a spray bottle, the cats sleep where ever they want. There are plenty of cat beds in places where the dogs can’t get to, but it was always aggravating to have a cat soil a perfectly good dog bed. Be it a hair ball or a sign of defiance against the new kitten… the cats took a lot of blame.
Trash Bag to the Rescue…
Once I started bagging my own dog beds a surprising thing happened… The cats seem to dislike the initial noise that the trash bags make and started staying off of the dog beds. Win Win Win!
So here are some final tips to help you with the now simple task of keeping your dogs beds clean and comfortable;
- Use heavy duty trash bags, you may even want to double them, and tie them closed well.
- Try to work the air out of the trash bag before putting on the cover .
- If the foam/bag fits tightly into the cover, the beds are easier to shake out and/or vacuum.
- Enjoy the cash your not spending on new dog beds, buy your dogs some new toys instead!