Whatever the weather, the average dog spends twelve to fourteen hours each day sleeping in their bed, so a comfy dog bed is a must for a happy hound. But cold temperatures, draughts, wet dogs and muddy paws create can hamper a hound’s cosy and warm haven.
Also, dogs pick up more dirt in winter, a lot of which goes to their bed, creating a breeding ground for nasties in their dwellings and the wider home.
With an always-on approach to considering canine comfort and the sleeping needs of dogs, award-winning dog bedding company of over 12 years, Charley Chau has distilled their advice, to help pet owners keep their dog hygiene clean and cosy this winter.
Charley Chau Co-Founder Christine Chau shares her top tips:
- Manage moisture. If your dog’s bed is damp, your dog will never hit peak cosiness. A dog’s paws, legs, underbelly and tail get wet on winter walks, and these are the bits in most contact with their bed. Drying your dog after a walk will help, but other solutions include:
- Choose moisture-wicking fabrics such as Weave and Velour, which take moisture away from your dog’s body and dry out quickly. Avoid cotton as it’s highly absorbent and holds on to moisture but if your dog’s bed is cotton, adding a moisture-wicking layer of Fleece or Faux-Fur into the bed will create a brilliant barrier
- Air your dog’s bed regularly too. Strip off the covers and pick it up off the floor, so air can circulate freely around and through it. This is key during winter when our homes are less well ventilated, with the heating on and windows and kept closed
- Check for condensation. It may seem baffling that a cold, damp dog bed can occur in a warm room, but it can, and it’s invariably caused by excessive condensation forming in your dog’s bed. As well as feeling less than cosy for your dog, this can lead to the growth of mildew and other types of mould in the dog bed mattress – and breathing in fungal spores is not good hound or human! Check for condensation regularly through the winter by feeling the underside of your dog’s bed with the flat of your palm. It will feel relatively cold but if it feels even slightly damp then it’s almost certainly caused by condensation. Prevent condensation by:
- Moving the bed at least 1m away from the radiator, especially if you have hard floors
- Try placing a rug under your dog’s bed to create a barrier between the floor and bed
- You can also raise your dog’s bed off the floor so that the underside is not in contact with the floor – even a rattan dog basket can create enough lift to stop condensation
- Draught proof your dog’s bed. Consider what’s happening at ground level– if it’s draughty for your ankles, it’s draughty for your dog too. Exclude the draught with these simple steps:
- Check for draughts and if you find any, move the bed
- Avoid placing dog beds near external doors and windows. Instead put your dog’s bed against somewhere protected such as pushed up against a sofa or an internal wall
- Create a cosy cocoon by opting for a dog bed with deep sides, which will protect your dog from cold draughts and trap warm air to keep them toasty
- Consider adding scatter cushions such as Charley Chau’s Mini Bolster Pads to your dog’s bed. They’re effective draught excluders, providing a physical barrier and a warm bedfellow. They’re also helpful for senior dogs, who suffer deeper issues with their joints in the colder weather, as they offer something warm to rest against
- Manage surface dirt. Rain, mud, snow – are just a few things that make our dogs (and their beds) muckier in winter, making surface dirt a pain! With a few tweaks this needn’t be the case.
- Avoid cotton and choose intelligent fabrics that don’t absorb moisture as they can handle surface dirt better. Velour is a good choice as it can be wiped clean with a damp cloth in between washes. Alternatively, Charley Chau’s wool-like Faroe fabric has a built-in stain-guard treatment, so it’s a dream to spot clean
- If you love pale colours for your home, a pale dog bed can still work in winter. Simply move the bed further away from any external doors that give your dog access to the outside world, so by the time they have got to their bed their muddy paws will be clean
- Invest in doggy blankets, as they are fab for protecting a dog bed from surface dirt and it’s much easier to wash a blanket than strip the whole dog bed
- Discouraging dust mites. These critters live in our homes all year round, but they can become a real problem in the winter, especially for humans and canines with allergies. Dust mites love warmth and humidity and a dog bed in winter offers one of the warmest and most humid places in your home for them to thrive. Plus, your dog has a never-ending supply of food (dander, dust and dirt from their coat) for dust mites to feast on. Ways to keep mites at bay:
- Invest in a Waterproof Liner. Not only do they protect against moisture, but they also act as a barrier to the mites, plus they’ll keep the animal dander, dirt and dust out of the mattress meaning less food and a less hospitable environment for dust mites
- Choosing hypoallergenic fabrics and fillings can also help to discourage dust mites, so check the fillings and materials used in your dog’s bed. Charley Chau’s standard deep-filled dog luxury mattress is filled with an insulating hollowfibre that’s also used to fill hypoallergenic cushions for human use
- Washing and maintenance. If you don’t already have a regular washing routine for your dog’s bed, we recommend washing your dog’s entire bed, including the mattress, to start afresh. If your dog’s mattress is beyond redemption, replace it and then care for it.
- Wash regularly. According to PetMD, dog beds (the outers at the least) and blankets should be washed once a week or at a minimum of once every two weeks to maintain the optimum health and hygiene for their bed. We mirror this advice.
- Before washing, check the common care symbols on your dog’s bed to see if/how it can be washed. Not all dog beds are machine washable but if like all of Charley Chau’s fabric dog beds, yours is then wash your dog’s bed at the right temperature. We advise 30 degrees because it’s still delicate enough not to cause the bed’s fabric to shrink, bobble or change texture, so your purchase remains unspoilt
- Use an antibacterial, pet-friendly washing powder or liquid to kill bacteria. Should your dog have soiled their bed, an enzyme cleaner will get rid of pet odours and stains, which in the case of pet urine might stop repeat ‘marking’ behaviours
- Use a Waterproof Liner on the mattress, so you won’t need to wash the bed as frequently. Also consider invest in spare bed covers; not only will they make wash days less manic, they will also provide a back-up against winter accidents and messes
- Spot clean in between. In between wash days, spot clean any obvious dirt on your dog’s bed. A quick wipe with a damp cloth and pet-safe anti-bacterial spray in between washes is also a good option – you’ll be amazed at what a difference it can make, not just to dirt that you can see but also to dirt that you can’t see but can smell
- Prolong the life of the fabric. At Charley Chau, we are very much about performance over time. To prolong the life of any fabric we advise that you:
- Lower the temperature. Don’t be tempted to wash bed covers on high heats in your attempt to kill germs. It’s kinder to the fabric and to the environment to wash on a lower heat. The key to removing dirt and bacteria is a good quality detergent, which takes the dirt and bacteria out of the covers and blankets
- Lower the spin. Spinning can cause fabric fibres to twist together resulting in shrinkage or, with fluffy fabrics such as faux-furs, pilling where long fibres clump together and the fabric loses its fluffiness
- Avoid the quick wash cycle – it may be fast but it’s not kind to fabrics. Quick washes deliver very severe levels of agitation in the drum, so it’s basically beating up the fabric
Charley Chau has been at the forefront of luxury dog bedding design worldwide for over 12 years, with happy customers in over sixty countries around the world. Proud supporters of British manufacturing, the company offers an extensive collection of uniquely styled dog beds and blankets in a beautiful selection of fabrics and styles to suit even the most discerning of hounds and their human owners.
At the heart of Charley Chau’s collection is supreme canine comfort, gorgeous styling, and exceptional quality. Charley Chau bedding is designed to be as practical as it is gorgeous with machine washable everything, removable covers, waterproof liners, and replacement spares.