If you have a four-legged friend that likes to chew things up, you may have gone through a few dog beds. If so, you may need 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 refill your cup of coffee.
We recently adopted a new dog we have renamed 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 speedy clean up around Rudy, so although he constantly chews up his beds, we do get them cleaned up quickly.
We did a good bit of research on indestructible dog beds and found some exciting 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 please use the table of contents above as needed 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 introducing 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.
He either watches me working, or he watches his eyelids. His history before we got him is sketchy, and we’re sure he was mistreated, so we’re giving him all the time and space he needs to feel welcome.
During the times I’m not in my office, I move him to the next room and close my office door.
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.
This works fine most of the time, 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, despite the mess he just made, elected to lay on the remains of the dog bed nonetheless and watch me with an “I didn’t do it” kind of look in the process.
With Rudy in mind, as well as the rest of the pack, which 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 and, for the most part, material that is not chewable.
They often sit on raised legs and have a (usually) ballistic material as a slung bed attached to the raised rails.
The result is a comfortable spot for the dog to lay in and is, if not actually chew-proof, at least highly chew resistant.
Most of these that you buy will come with a guarantee. Still, even the toughest of these is described as “virtually indestructible”. 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.
Our favorite here is outlined in our article on comfortable and calming dog beds.
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 or some enhanced material that is tougher, usually created in a grid-like pattern that you will see called “rip-stop”. This means that the grid pattern in the fabric will prevent long tears, which is good. You don’t want your dog chewing on anything 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 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”, etc.
The idea here being, you 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 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 – clicking the links, or the images will take you to Amazon:
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.
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 an excellent option for aggressive chewers.
The K9 Ballistics Tough Dog crate pad didn’t last long – Rudy made short work of this one.
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.
It’s obviously comfortable for him, so could be, young as he is, he’s also benefiting from the orthopedic aspect 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: