Help! My Dog’s Bed Has Bed Bugs

There are a few word combinations that can cause even the steadiest people to become squeamish. Bed bugs have to be at the top of the list, or at least in the running. Just the thought might have you feeling itchy like we are right now!

Sometimes it just happens, though. And the infestations aren’t limited to human beds. So, if you’re yelling out for help because your dog’s bed has bed bugs, we’re going to let you know where they might have come from and what you can do about them.

  • Don’t Blame Our Four-Legged Friends
  • Telltale Signs Your Dog’s Bed Has Bed Bugs
  • Living a Bed Bug-Free Life
  • A Final Tip

Don’t Blame Your Four-Legged Friends

Before we get to the dog bed infestation that’s wreaking havoc on your mind (and your home), it’s important to note that bed bugs aren’t fleas.

Whereas fleas love to make a home by curling up in your little doggo’s fur, bed bugs have different plans. Bed bugs situate themselves in your mattress because there are little pockets they can hide in without being disturbed. You and your dog are constantly in motion, and those annoying little critters want no part of your mobility. They want to be left alone.

Bed Bugs Don’t Live on Dogs

The general rule when it comes to the mind of a bed bug is they want to be near you but not on you. Basically, they want access to feed off humans and pets quickly and then hide again.

So, if you want to place blame when your dog’s bed has bed bugs, know that it’s not little Fifi’s fault, as she’s not a carrier. It’s more likely that you spent time in a hotel or other location, and some of those clever, annoying bugs hitched a ride. They can find pockets in luggage or, yes, in a dog bed or pet carrier.

dog bed bed bugs, bed bugs in dog bed

How to Tell if Your Dog’s Bed Has Bed Bugs

It’s not always immediately apparent that your dog’s bed has bed bugs. These are clever tiny insects that have learned to be as inconspicuous as possible.

A few bed bug indications include:

  • Your dog is scratching more often than usual
  • Tiny rust-colored spots on the bed
  • A sweet but musty odor
  • Bed bugs in your mattress

Itch, Scratch, Repeat

Uncontrollable scratching is one of the first signals that something is wrong with your pet’s sleeping area. Dogs tend to scratch from time to time, but we’re talking about when your pup is noticeably uncomfortable.

They’ll be itchier when they spend time on or near their dog bed. But even though bed bugs won’t set up a home on your pet, they could stick around for a bit.

Bed bug bites are trickier to find on doggos because of the fur. However, keep an eye on your little one’s tummy. If you see some tiny red marks or bumps, you might just have your answer.

itchy dog, allergies in dogs

Spot Checking

Aside from actually seeing at least one of the insects, the best way to tell if your dog’s bed has bed bugs is to examine it closely. Grab that magnifying glass and look for tiny rust-colored specks. We don’t want to make you too uneasy here, but those spots indicate bed bug waste.

One thing to keep in mind is that those dots might not be obvious. If you’ve got a plastic cover on your dog bed, the critters could reside below.

The Smell Test

A third infestation indicator is a slightly off smell. The odor will be a combination of sweet and musty, but it could be barely imperceptible. So, of the four signs, this is the toughest one to distinguish.

From Your Bed to Your Dog’s

If you’ve discovered that you have bed bugs tucked away in your mattress, those insects might feel the need to spread the love.

Now, if your pet sleeps in another part of the house, it’s not a sure thing. However, if your pup sleeps next to you in the same room, it’s not just possible but probable that your dog’s bed has bed bugs, too. Again, these insects want to be as close to humans, dogs, and cats as possible, and they’ll take short trips to achieve their goals.

cleaning a dog bed, how to clean a dog bed

What to Do When Your Dog’s Bed Has Bed Bugs

Bed bugs can hide in similar places regardless of the size of the mattress. For example, they’re big fans of piping on mattresses and feel the same about it on dog beds.

The good news is that it’s easier to take care of the problem with pet beds than yours. And, yes, you could trash the tiny sleeping area and buy a new one for much less than replacing your mattress. However, you might not need to go that far.

Wash Away

If it’s just a mild infestation with a few bugs that you’ve discovered in the early days, a good cleaning could be all you need.

When your dog bed is small enough (and the tag permits), head for the washing machine for an extended soapy soak. Then, throw it in the dryer on high heat if it won’t damage the bed. Of course, if you can’t do this, you might have to trash it anyway. So, be aggressive with your dog bed cleaning technique.

At the same time, give your pup a good cleaning in case any of those clever insects decide to hop on for a ride. We also recommend giving it your all by vacuuming and cleaning any nearby floors or surfaces.

Tip: Chewy carries a bed bug killer by ECOLOGIC that might do the trick!

When Cleaning Doesn’t Work

In many cases, if the bed bugs are isolated to your dog’s bed, and the problem is minimal, laundering and cleaning could do the trick. If not, though, you’ll want to get rid of that bed, no matter how much your little fur baby is attached to it. After all, it’s for sleeping, and that’s not going to happen if they’re sharing their sleeping area with blood-sucking bedmates.

Tip to Avoid Bed Bugs in Dog Beds

No one wants to deal with bed bugs, regardless of where they set up shop in your home. Unfortunately, these insects are sneaky. They’re so tiny that we can’t see if we’ve accidentally walked them in the door.

But they need small crevices to hide. So, one of the best dog beds to have to foil their plans is a plain, flat cushion. You don’t want any piping, buttons, or anything ornamental – the simpler, the better.

While a simple dog bed won’t keep the bugs away, it’ll give them one less place to hide.