Chew proof and chew resistant Dog Beds
If you have a four legged friend that likes to chew things up, you may have gone through a few dog beds – you may be in need of an indestructible dog bed. Most dog beds are made for the more well behaved and less prone to chew types of dogs, so a regular dog bed may last many years with nary a scratch to show for it. But if you have an aggressive chewer, there’s a very good chance your dog bed will last about as long as it takes to go refill your cup of coffee.
We recently adopted a new dog we have renamed to Rudy – the vet tells us he’s possibly a boxer, lab and/or pit bull…maybe all three. He’s about seven months old and has chewed up every blanket, dog bed, towel, etc we put down for him. We lost Ginger a few years ago due to her chewing rope toys so we are hypersensitive to how dangerous it can be for dogs to chew on fabrics and such. Hence, we do a lot of very quick clean up around Rudy so although he constantly chews up his beds, we do get them cleaned up quickly, for the record. We did a good bit of research on indestructible dog beds and found some very interesting results we’d like to share with you. The good news is that they do exist, some actually carry impressive guarantees, and there are even some plans on making them yourself! We’ll cover that all that and more below. This is a bit of a lengthy post so I want to provide a table of contents and links within the text to help you jump around and navigate.
The story so far
I’ll use Rudy, our most recent addition to our dog family, as an example. He’s a recent rescue and we are trying to get him into a calmer place both mentally and physically before we introduce him to the rest of the pack. I set up a nice bed and blankets right next to my desk so he can spend the day within sight of me as I work. It’s a good arrangement and he’s quite comfortable, at first.
During the times I’m not in my office, I move him to the next room and close the door of my office. The “next room” is a large open space with hardwood floors and very tough pieces of carpet he has, to this point, not chewed up. We also have a large crate for Rudy and we have started crate training but he’s highly resistant, almost to the point of panic. We feel he had a bad experience with this so we may not press the issue.
Most of the time, this works fine but one time I forgot to close my door and came back to a shredded dog bed. As I was cleaning it up, I was amused to see that Rudy, in spite of the mess he just made, elected to lay on the remains of the dog bed nonetheless…and give me a “I didn’t do it” kind of look in the process.
With Rudy in mind, as well as the rest of the pack who has been known to tear up a bed or two, we feel it’s time to take a look at indestructible dog beds – they typically fall into two categories with names that are pretty much self-descriptive.
Chew Proof Beds
These beds are normally made of metal or PVC…for the most part material that is simply not chewable. Often the sit on raised legs and have a (usually) ballistic material as a slung bed that is attached to the raised rails. The result is a comfortable spot for the dog to lay but that is, if not actually chew proof, at least highly chew resistant. Most of these that you buy will come with a guarantee but even the toughest of these are described “virtually indestructible” and if you dig deep enough, every product and every site will explain that short of building a dog bed out of steel or brick, nothing is actually 100% chew proof. Dogs have been known to chew through kevlar, any other kind of fabric, chain link fences, wooden decks, etc, etc so it’s just about impossible to create a bed that is actually 100% chew proof.
Chew Resistant Beds
These beds look more like the common beds you see but are made of toughened material also. Often, the same material as used in the bedding part of the chew proof beds. The catch here is that whereas the chew proof beds have metal or PVC frames, these beds are loose and easy to grab onto. The material will resist but, again, there’s no actual way of stopping your pup if he or she is determined. The material used here is usually ballistic as well, or some kind of enhanced material that is tougher, usually created in a grid like pattern that you will see called “rip stop”. This simply means that the grid pattern in the fabric will prevent long tears, which is good. You don’t want your dog chewing on anything that is long and stringy.
Note on Kevlar beds
Kevlar has been all the rage for quite some time now – anything that stops a bullet is pretty cool. Why not a dog bed? Well, Kevlar is actually quite chewable and, when chewed, pulls apart in long strands that, when swallowed, are very dangerous to dogs. Please take note of this and avoid beds that use Kevlar.
Making your own indestructible dog bed – the DIY method
If your pup doesn’t chew on it, does that mean it’s chew proof? Maybe not, but the result is the same. There are sprays you can buy that work quite well. You’ll see them labeled as “Bitter cherry” or “Bitter Lemon”. The idea here being, you simply spray this onto the bed, it doesn’t smell bad but when they chew it, it tastes horrible to them so they stop chewing. Sounds pretty good…what’s the catch? Well, every dog, just like every person, has different tastes and some dogs may actually like Bitter Cherry…go figure. But, it’s a quick and inexpensive thing to test. If this works on the bed you already have, you might save a bit of cash going with this approach rather than going all in on chew proof bed.
Our testing of chew proof and chew resistant dog beds
We’re sure Rudy will calm down as he grows older so our testing of these beds might be skewed a bit as he tries out some now and some later. We’ll take this into account as we post updates. Here are the four we decided to kick the tires on.
- K9 Ballistics makes some of the highest quality and best reviewed chew resistant and chew proof dog beds you’ll find.
- Kuranda also makes a good line of chew proof and chew resistant dog bed – below is their signature chew-proof bed. Like the K9 bed above, it’s simply made of chew proof material. In this case, PVC or metal. Now, my dogs have chewed up PVC pipes before so I’m curious to see how this one plays out.
What did we find? Check out the below information:
The K9 Ballistics Tough Rectangle dog bed faired well – better than we expected. I’ve witnessed Rudy chewing on this bed aggressively and it has stood up well. The downside, oddly enough, is that he won’t sleep on it as much – he prefers the orthopedic bed (below). So although this one certainly does warrant the title of a chew proof bed, or at least highly chew resistant, it’s not the winner in terms of comfort for Rudy or really, any of the other dogs. Also, if your dog chews through this in the first 120 days, they’ll send a replacement cover for free.
The Karunda dog bed, with the walnut PVC was an attractive and, apparently, very comfortable bed for our puppies as we would often see more than one piled on there. The chew proof nature of this bed stood the test of Rudy well and we think this is a very good option for aggressive chewers. This is our #1 pick overall
The K9 Ballistics Tough Dog crate pad didn’t last long – Rudy made short work of this one. It is apparently made of the same K9 Ballistic material but this one did not hold up as well as the others.
Our K9 Ballistics Tough Orthopedic Bolster Dog Bed faired quite well. I don’t know if it’s just more comfortable and so Rudy doesn’t chew it as much or what. I’ve caught him chewing it from time to time and although this is not shown as a chew proof bed, Rudy hasn’t done much damage. It’s almost like he’s chewing it out of habit but with no real gusto. But, it’s obviously comfortable for him so could be, young as he is, he’s also benefiting from the orthopedic side of this bed as well so maybe he’s just resting better.
And, of course, we would be remiss if we didn’t share a couple of those sprays to discourage dogs from chewing:
I hope this has proven useful for you – if you have any questions or comments, we’d love to hear them!