How to Make an Indestructible Dog Bed

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Homemade Indestructible Dog Bed

Yup this Looks About Right. Thanks Discovery.com for the Photo

 

First off let me restate that… mostly indestructible.  I don’t believe anything is “Indestructible”, but some things are more resistant than others.

Which means if you have a “shredder” NEVER, EVER leave your dog alone with any bed… or you could be rushing him in to the vet for obstruction surgery after he eats it…

They have started to rate dog toys 0-5 star rating of toughness.

They even rate dog beds!

You can find out more at www.indestructibledog.com if you too have a “special” destructive dog!

You can even purchase beds and bed covers here if you don’t mind paying upwards of 60 to 200+.

They even make aluminum dog beds although I can’t imagine those are comfortable and beds make out of ballistic materials (yes think “bullet proof”). 

I Am A Genius

But I think I am a genius 😉

german shepherd training, puppy training, crate training

He made a “Window” in his Crate one day!

Okay, so maybe “Genius” is a bit much… but I am pretty proud of myself.

I have a very destructive puppy, well he is a year old now, but he acts like a puppy! Watch this to see how I taught him to control his puppy “impulses”.

He has eaten through crates, and shredded numerous toys and beds.

Elk antlers keep him entertained better than anything else!  For the cheapest ordering I have found check out  Elk Antler Chews LLC and Deb Nevins at www.elkantlerdogchewsLLC.com.  My dogs prefer the XL (they have to have XL split chews).

In fact at one point I had to take away all of his beds and blankets because they wouldn’t last more than 5 minutes with him.

Even under a diligently watchful eye, he can shred an object faster than any other dog I have ever owned.

But I felt bad for him because he then has to lay on hardwood floors…

So I was at a dog event  and there was a vendor selling homemade dog beds.  They were felt and looked super soft, but I knew after feeling how thin the fabric was that my dogs would never be able to keep one of these long.

Even my other dogs like to vigorously scratch and circle before laying down and so they can put a hole in a commercial dog bed very quickly; and then I have cut foam, fluff, or even wood shavings all over my house.

Not to mention most beds (even these homemade ones) were upwards of $50 for my size of dog.

 

getimpulsecontrol

So I Decided to Do Something About It

german shepherd training, puppy training, crate training

My Boy on His New Bed… note his Aluminum Indestructible Crate in the Background!

I tried to think about tough materials, and canvas came to mind.  Canvas isn’t soft… but it is better than hardwood and could take a serious scratching.  It is even hard to rip with teeth (not impossible).

So I bought a large canvas painter’s drop cloth and I gave it to my baby whom I have nicknamed, Zippy (because I sing “Zippity Do Da to him every morning) to see how it would fair.

It has lasted many weeks and he loves laying on it… and it has been washed many times making it much softer.

So I gathered some old pillows and some old sleeping bags (my husband’s kids had when they were little) and I sewed them into his canvas drop cloth.

I did the sewing by hand and used dental floss to make sure the stitches would be STRONG and would last through some humping and grabbing and possible ripping.

And, I didn’t stuff it FULL so that it would have a little bit of give when he grabs it, making it less likely to rip.

What You Need

  • One Canvas Painter’s Drop Cloth (from about $12-$20)
  • Dental floss ($2)
  • Old T-Shirts, blankets, pillows, towels (anything soft to fill it)
  • Cedar Chips (if you so desire for their flea controlling properties $8)
  • Heavy Duty Velcro ($20) if you want to get fancy
  • Zipper (if you want $5)

I’m no seamstress, so I kept it simple by hand sewing with no amenities, I can still throw it in the washer if I need since everything I put in it is washable!

Happy sewing my friends!

 

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There are 65 Comments

  1. annette says:

    Thank you for this I have forwarded it on…..I know a lot of people who have one of these dogs….the little darlings

    [Reply]

    Jeanne Reply:

    I have a portigese water dog and pit bull mix…she is 8 months old and chews up everything I give her…she is big 75lbs already and so full of energy…I am going to try to make that bed for her…thanks for the info… I hope it will work for Elbie..
    Jeanne

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  2. JP says:

    Nice thinking on the bed. You may want to rethink the antlers. My dog used to chew bones or wood or anything hard, until I went out of town for 10 days and came back to a $7,500 orthodontic veterinarian bill. Apparently, dog tooth enamel is weaker than human enamel. The vet asked me if I would chew on an elk antler, to which I replied no. Then he asked me why not, to which I replied, “Cause I could crack a tooth?”
    He then said if I wouldn’t chew on something for fear of breaking a tooth, then I shouldn’t give it to my dogs. He also said you’ll never see a wolf chewing on bones in the wild, that’s why there’s always a skeleton left from a carcass. Only the dumb ones do, they crack their teeth and die from an infection – natural selection I guess.

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    Minette Reply:

    I’ve always said (in other articles) if you bang it on the counter and it could break your counter it an break your dog’s teeth.

    I stick with the cut ones the marrow in the middle is much less tough. But if I hear breaking (either antler or teeth) I take it away so good point

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  3. Lee Audlin says:

    Dental floss isn’t nearly as strong as FISH LINE. It’s easier to work with and lasts forever!

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    Well count me educated… i will try that next time :)

    [Reply]

    Erika Reply:

    Please be careful with fishing line and dental floss. If your dog is a chewer who injests what he/she chews, fishing line and dental floss can pose a MAJOR health risk if it gets entangled in their intestines. Thread can as well, but because it isnt as durable, I would think it would be a little less dangerous.

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  4. Joy says:

    Thank you for this tip I have a two yr old Rotty and a 5month old Rotty both darling spoiled rotten Rotty love to shred what ever blanket I put into their crate

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    Remember nothing is safe when you are away but you can see how it lasts when you are there :)

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  5. Cindy says:

    The link for elk antlers doesn’t work–it is missing the word “dog”. Here is the correct link if anyone is interested in pursuing this resource.
    http://www.elkantlerdogchewsllc.com/

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    thank you… darn my fingers sometimes

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  6. Shannon says:

    I have a male boxer, named Sarge who is 3 y/o who can destroy every & anything he gets his mouth on. We’ve spent probably over $1000 on beds (we have 4 big dogs total) that have all been shredded. Will definitely have to try this one out! Thank you.

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  7. I thought Cedar chips were not safe for dogs. Was I misguided?

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    I”m not a fan and probably not safe to eat but many kennels use them and I believe they have a something about them that keeps fleas away http://www.petcarerx.com/article/how-to-treat-fleas-in-the-yard/161

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  8. Robyn says:

    This is a terrific idea. Thanks for the info! Will share this with my other dog lover friends.

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  9. Luann says:

    I have to try this. I have a Malamute who even ate his KONG Bed.

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  10. Barbara says:

    I have 8 Great Danes and have found it much less expensive to make their dog beds than buying them. I used a painter’s drop cloth, and old comforters as the stuffing to make them. They are machine washable and last a long time!

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  11. Elsa Gonzalez says:

    Well this sounds really great! I have tried fleese but look bad really fast. I will try canvas and let you know how it works. Thanks for the idea and your wonderful newsletters.
    Sincerely,
    Elsie

    [Reply]

  12. Nancy Barnes says:

    We take a baby’s crib mattress and cover it with canvas and the dogs have softness and the mattress lasts. We put velcro closure on the canvas and it goes underneath the mattress so the canvas can be removed and washed. We find crib mattresses at yard sales and thrift stores, they work really well and are cheap.

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  13. Drea says:

    So, my American Bulldog, True Love, takes her “wubbie” to bed every night and chews on it. Her wubbie is whatever bed she’s torn apart recently. I got so tired of buying new ones that I bought one with sheepskin bottom, and chamois (maybe leather?) type top. It did not have a zipper. Now, I gather all the stuffing of things she’s torn apart and instead of throwing it away, I save it in a special bag. When she chews through her current wubbie – I just refill with the gathered stuffing and sip it in a pillow case cover and re-stuff the current wubbie (and whatever other rags I’ve collected) and sew the offending hole up. Yay! I’m spending much less money.

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  14. Sydney Kelly says:

    I have a 7 month old lab who has chewed through 4 beds, including 2 Kongs & I finally decided to use old blankets & an old mattress cover that is super soft that I wasn’t using anyway & this very comfy for him. It’s just a pain to have to reposition all of the blankets at night & keep them washed every week!!

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  15. Jane Sheehan says:

    My year-old Jack Russell can destroy just about any bed or toy (if he likes it!) I finally put one pillowcase over his bed and another covering the open end. For some reason, he hasn’t tried to shred it. I closed it in his crate during the day for the first few weeks and then when I left the crate open so he could go in and out in the daytime, he stopped trying to drag it oout and chew, I always put a nylabone in with him at night when I put him to bed, so he has something he likes to chew. He also likes the elk antler.

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    Love those Elk Antlers I just got a new order of XLs and they are being chewed like wild fire around my house :) makes me happy to see them have something to chew and do with themselves

    [Reply]

  16. Lesley says:

    OMG. I have a shredder of my own. I will have to try this.

    [Reply]

  17. brenda says:

    That could work for toys too. I have to get no stuffing toys for my girls. They also like to play ” Let’s kill the dish towel (or tea towel for those who do tea). Will check out Elk Antlers, thanks for the tip.

    [Reply]

  18. paula says:

    still working on site
    try parachute line about size of dental floss but much stronger….

    [Reply]

  19. Kim says:

    I LOVE this idea!!! I had gotten my two dogs new beds for Christmas, but My Aussie chewed through my Golden’s bed in about 15 minutes so it needs to be replaced. So much for ‘brotherly love’. I like the idea of stuffing the painter’s cloth with the remains of the old beds. Should have saved them from the past, but will do that with any future beds.

    [Reply]

  20. Laurie Thompson says:

    if your dog is that destructive he or she needs exercise. THAT is the problem.

    [Reply]

    Diana Reply:

    My 2 dobies have access to the outdoors 24/7 due to their doggie door. They are lean and muscled with no fat on them. They can shred a new bed in seconds. So it is not always that they need exercise. Sometimes they just like to chew and dig! I, too, am going to try the canvas cloth. They shredded the cordura beds that I made them in less than a month.

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    Dogs don’t actively exercise themselves. I have never seen a dog come up with an exercise regimen so if you aren’t providing it… then they are coming up with their own way to exercise their minds.

    [Reply]

  21. michelle says:

    Excellent idea with the drop cloth! My arthritic dog loves his futon mattress which you can pick a used one up cheap! Well I got married in October and my husband’s australian cattle dog just shredded it to pieces! I am going to try and find another used one cut it in half to make another bed. Couldn’t just think of what to cover it with so now I know what I’m trying next! Than you

    [Reply]

  22. Sam says:

    my pitbull goes running with me everyday, and also gets walks/trips to the dog park. We stimulate him mentally with fetch, tug, etc. We will go for a 40 minute run, and he will still chew when we get home. He’s just turned a year old. He genuinely just enjoys shredding his toys/crate blanket. Sometimes he will bring me reminants of what he chewed and also present it to me as a gift.

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    a 40 minute run for a 1 year old pitbull is nothing. He is an athlete capable of probably 15+ miles

    I run too, but I also have to hook my dogs up to a bike to give them the exercise they need as true athletes

    [Reply]

  23. Kwin says:

    Thanks for the great idea. I’ll certainly try it out.

    For now I found a great solution which was cheap and easy.

    For my Great Dane I purchased a waterproof hardware store tarp and covered her ripped bed in a tarp pillow case I sewed on the machine. I put a fitted twin bed sheet over it so I can wash it frequently. I like to use cotton jersey sheets and tuck them under the bed. Works great!

    [Reply]

  24. Jan says:

    Thank you for a great idea! I too have gone through several beds for my two pups. Must try the canvas!

    [Reply]

  25. Annette says:

    I am SSSSOOOO excited to try this!!!! I have a house pig and I swear to God it takes no time for him to chew, root or make holes with his little cloven hooves. I have spent so much money and have been so frustrated. I’ll let you know how it goes!

    [Reply]

  26. Gloria huemer says:

    Have a dobie and a pitbull and the bully of the household a pekingnese. The dobie shreds everything in sight–I’d be afraid to sew anything up for fear he’d swallow whtevr I used for thread and get it entwined in his insides. But am anxious to try the cnvs drop cloth idea, love to give them an old crib mattress from goodwill but I can just imagine him ripping tht to shreds. I rmbr my first 130lb dobie(I thought all dobies were tht big so whn my 2nd dobie wS only 98lbs I kpt telling him he was so “tiny”) would go along for a couple of Mnths just fine w/his dog bed thn suddenly rip it to shreds and stare at me w/tht “can’t u see I need a new bed?”look.

    [Reply]

  27. I need the instructions to make the dog bed. Please write back.

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    that is the content of the article…

    [Reply]

  28. Jeremy says:

    I was thinking of doing a really thick burlap as well. I’m happy to see you are having good success with it. We tried taking away all his toys and soft things to lay on (utterly destroy) but that’s when Titan stared tearing into our 60yr old hard wood floors. There are about 5 spots now that he’s dug and chewed down about 1/4″-1/2″+. Wanted to do a really tough carpet but I hear that’s bad due glues and the types of fiber strands. Thank you for your post. I know which direction to now go. Ty

    [Reply]

  29. Samantha says:

    Wow,now I know what to do. My Pitt/American Bull dog can not be left alone or he fines something to destroy. He is only 6 months old and I thought when he got older that would stop. He has destroyed his bed but now I know what I can do. He is so adorable that I won’t let him sleep on our tile floor so I put a very large folded blanket down for him. So far he hasn’t chewed it up but I’m goi g to make one of those beds for him. He isn’t spoiled.. Yeh. Right.
    Thanks for all the great advice. I really appreciate it

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  30. Betsy says:

    That kite string kids have all these extra Kies laying around that is wonderful to Sew with if you don’t have dental floss

    [Reply]

  31. anita e says:

    You said in the above commentary that an aluminum bed couldn’t be very comfortable. Just to clarify, the part of the bed that the dog lays on is a cot made out of vinyl or some other strong material. Only the structural part of the bed is made of aluminum. Many shelters use these beds as they are easily cleaned with a rinsing of a hose. The dogs seem comfy on them but I would not say they are totally indestructible. Some of the dog cots at the shelter I volunteer at have holes in them but for the most part they do last awhile.

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    I agree, understand, and know that… but I still wouldn’t want to sleep on one as they don’t look comfortable to me because they aren’t “cushy”.

    [Reply]

  32. Steven Wyant says:

    I would suggest that you look for a dog park and let your dog’s run off their energy that they have inside of them. It’s a behavior matter, the dog naturally has energy let them constructively burn energy instead of destructively tearing up your things.

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    Not all dogs can go to a dog park

    [Reply]

  33. Sarah says:

    i keep seeing all these people saying “they wont do it if you exercise them” I’m sorry but that is a bunch of bull, yes that is the problem with some dogs BUT NOT ALL. I have a 4 yr old chihuahua and her 11month old pup. With her yes if i don’t exercise her she will tear things up HOWEVER with her son this is not the problem, he just loves to chew and SHRED (if its cloth he tries to floss with it, bite and pull between teeth) I can take him to the river and play fetch in the water and on land let him dig ect. all day to the point when he gets home he’s so tired he doesn’t even want to stand up, just sleep, but within 5 min of going into his bed he’s tearing something up. Some dogs just love to tear things, the only thing i have found to save his beds is a dental treat at bed time and no stuffing squeak toys, in his crate, witch i now replace about every week and a half

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    If a dog is well trained and a dog is physically exhausted, they will not chew.

    Sleeping dogs don’t shred things. And well behaved dogs stop when given a command. It is a mixture of the two.

    We must meet their mental stimulation and physical stimulation needs.

    [Reply]

  34. Kasey says:

    Thanks for the tip – totally going to give this a go!!!

    [Reply]

  35. Lou says:

    Hi I have a house pig too and he is destroying every bed he has…did you try this bed and if so did it work?????

    [Reply]

  36. Ken Beaudet says:

    I LOVE THIS!!!! We have 7 rescued dogs that all live with us and bedding is an issue at times. I will certainly make several of these with one modification: the thread will be “fishing line” or cat gut as it may be known. Tough, easy to sew with, nearly impenetrable and CHEAP!
    My tip to all who own real chewers:
    ***Here is a very inexpensive and all but indestructible chew toy: The protective cover from a “fire department hose”. Stop by your local firehouse and ask if they have a section of old fire hose lying around. You want the protective sleeve that covers the fire hose (I have never stopped at any station that I did not get a scrap several feet long). Cut into 1 or 2 foot sections, tightly stuff with old tee shirts/ socks, old rope, leaving about 1 inch at each end and sew the ends together using a baseball stitch and “fish line” as your thread! You will have a chew toy that is about 3 inches in diameter and a real treat for your chewer! I have had these last for years and they are tough enough for even the most aggressive chewers.
    Happy training, Ken

    [Reply]

  37. Ken Beaudet says:

    Okay!! I admit that I did not read Minette’s comment on fishing line. Nor did I read all of the comments so-o-o-o- I will NOT be using fish line!! Please disregard my comment of a few minutes ago as far as (that) goes. The old fire hose sleeve chew toy is still amazing !

    [Reply]

  38. Sweet says:

    I thought it was just my Dobie that chewed everything. Also give her the antlers. Has saved socks, rug’s. She has chewed her bedding so she lays on the kennel floor. But will have to give the painter canvas drop cloth a chance.

    [Reply]

  39. pam says:

    I have two labradoodles, one is a right chewer. I have made two hammock beds which was covered with hessian. I replaced what was left of the hessian with the strongest shade cloth you can buy and fitted it exactly the same. He has a chew at the corners but it is still in one piece, it is also cool and easy to hose off.

    [Reply]

  40. Rosie says:

    My Kara has always since birth gone to her bed and we call it nursing. She just lays there and puts a piece of the bed in her mouth and sucks. Then sometimes afterwards she starts to nibble. Causing holes to appear n stuffing come out. Vet says normal for some. So don’t tell me she needs exercise. I resew with yarn. Most dogs pull toys are made of thread so why not. But will try fish line.

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    unless you are a marathon runner, your dog needs exercise

    [Reply]

  41. Vicki Travis says:

    I think the dental floss is good and also the fish line. I have used thread used for buttons, pretty strong.

    [Reply]

  42. dette says:

    The best bed we have found for our 4 boys is an old foton mattress they love it and it doesn’t go flat, we also can vacuum it everyday which keeps it nice. If it gets to dirty cover comes off to wash.

    [Reply]

  43. Bop P. says:

    Try making ur dog bed with Kevlar material. Super sthrong used in body armor.
    For doggie chews I bought zone grey 2 Inch pvc cut it into about 6 inch lengths. 4 inch pvc pipe works too.
    My vet said pvc won’t hurt dogs. They make good fetching toys too. U can even put some peanut butter.

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    PVC can and does break teeth so be very careful of that, I have seen it because pvc doesn’t give

    [Reply]

  44. Lori Pearson says:

    Hi, I was reading your blog about making your own dog bed and saw the conversation about the cedar shavings. Cedar shavings are wonderful about being used to help control fleas in bedding.
    BUT BECAREFUL; cedar shavings or cedar in general omit a poisonous gas that if used in closed and not very well ventilated areas: small rooms, creates, aquariums, and any other place you can think of may cause poisoning that works up huge vet bills or worst yet–death.
    They are great to use (I would do a lot of researching before using pine as well) to help keep down the parasite population and to help keep the yucky smells down.
    ****Good idea–if any shaving comes directly from anything that was alive and packaged, don’t use with animals unless in an open air space such as horse stalls, or any area in your home that is open and airy such as a huge family room, and pet cages that are not made from glass but are made from materials that allow a lot of air to pass through. And please DON’T put glass lids or tops on any enclosers****
    Sorry if any of that seemed repetitive but this subject is very important to discuss!
    Good luck with your dog bed and please keep us updated on how it’s working.
    Thank you and I look forward to keeping on reading your blog since I found it 😉

    [Reply]

  45. Brenda says:

    So – I read this and thought brilliant! Last weekend I went to the hardware store, the sewing store, and got all of the materials.
    I am happy to report that the bed has held up and the house has been stuffing free since completing the project.
    Diesel, my rescued English Bulldog, has tried to rip it up but has not been successful!!
    THANK YOU!!!!!

    [Reply]

  46. Dr. Debbie McKee says:

    I have, currently, 2 rotties and over 40 years of extensive K9 experience. You are right – most exercised dogs with a definite program rest better and will not be destructive. It is always my first recommendation when asked what to do with the lovable shredders. BUT, keep in mind that there are always exceptions, and I now have one! Still trying to grow out of this at the age of 7! She is my most exuberant, hard worker, tracker, swimmer, cattle dog ever, and can destroy any bed in 5 min! She is also the most lovable lap dog, bless her heart. Look out Home Depot.. Headed there in the morning for my canvas!! Just an aside – always be open to learn from others! My thanks to you for your info and puppy kisses from Lucie!

    [Reply]

  47. My new rescue pup, a Jack Russellxpointer mix will shake to death anything soft, then start chewing till it’s broken. And so she did that to her beds, quietly so I wouldn’t know until it was too late. So, after sleeping on a flannel sheet on a board in her kennel, I think she realized how much she liked to be on a soft surface. I saved her beds and stuffing and made covers out of dropcloths for each. I also sprayed them with Bitter Apple spray from the pet store before putting one in her kennel. So far, so good. She hasn’t been chewing on them and enjoys her fluffy bed. I don’t know of any material that would be as economical as this.

    I washed and dried the whole dropcloth first to soften it up. The dental floss worried me, so I just used a sturdy “outdoor fabric” thread. I sewed three sides together, flipped it right side out and put the bed inside, then just stitched the opening closed, making sure the seam would be on the underside so she couldn’t mess with it. She is a very contented doggie and I am a happy petmom.

    [Reply]

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