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What To Use For Outdoor Bedding For Dog’s House?

Many dogs like to spend some time outdoors.

While outside, get active, running around and playing catch. This is important as it impacts their health through proper exercise and exposure to fresh air.

However, while outside, your dog may need to rest, busk, and catch naps from time to time, and they need a comfortable and safe place.

As a dog owner, it’s your responsibility to provide this outdoor necessity to your canine friend.

There are a variety of materials one can use to make outdoor bedding for your dog, with each having its merits and demerits.

In this article, we highlight great options for your canine friend(s).

Importance of Good Bedding for a Dog’s House

First and foremost, the comfort of the dog is of the utmost importance.

In addition, the beddings help protect the dogs from scratches and scuffs.

They also help keep the dogs’ houses warm during cold weather conditions.

Is Straw Good for Dog House Bedding?

Straw is a soft by-product of small grains.

It’s common for outdoor bedding for dogs’ houses.

It has been used to make outdoor beds for dogs for a long time.

Straw is usually very soft and offers plenty of insulation in the winter and fall.

Another advantage is that it is readily available in most areas, making it easy for a dog owner to obtain.

However, there is a possibility that straw beddings can attract fleas.

They act as perfect breeding grounds for fleas and other tiny pests.

Is Straw Safe for Dogs if Eaten?

It is not safe if the dog eats large amounts.

If the dog ingests small amounts, there will be no significant harm.

However, if taken in high proportions, it will cause gastrointestinal problems and other problems. 

Other symptoms may include,

  • Difficulty with breathing
  • Lethargy
  • Nosebleeds
  • Wheezing
  • Sneezing
  • Low appetite
  • Chocking

If your dog’s outdoor bedding is a straw bed, there are various ways you can make sure they don’t munch on it.

You can:

  • Ensure there are plenty of items around the house to keep the dog busy. Examples include bones, balls, toys, and some dog snacks such as biscuits to chew on.
  • Walk your dog frequently. Dogs chew mostly because of boredom. Engaging your dog in physical activities ensures they are preoccupied.

Better Bedding Choices for an Outdoor Dog House

puppy in dog house

Straw is not the only material that you can use to make outdoor beds for dogs.

There are various other materials that can work even better depending on the needs of your dog and your budget.

Wood Shavings

Using wood shavings makes the outdoor bed comfortable and soft for your dog to lay in.

They are also preferred because of their moisture absorption rate and how they control lousy scents.

They are also environmentally friendly. Wood shavings also act as a natural repellant against insects, mites, and fleas.

However, wood shavings should not be used when your dog is pregnant or has newborn puppies to avoid bacterial transmission.

This bacteria can sicken the puppies.

Wood shavings absorb water and get dampened quickly.

Fungus such as Aspergillus fumigatus does well in damp wood shavings.

It can easily poison the dog.

Note* be cautious with some wood shavings as they can be toxic, such as those from cherry.

Old Bedding

Old clothes, blankets, and ragged carpets make excellent outdoor bedding for a dog.

If you have old clothes or blankets, you can improvise and create outdoor dog bedding with them.

One can also purchase these materials.

Old clothes cushions and don’t cause a mess in the dog’s house.

It is usually advisable to periodically clean these materials to eliminate odors from developing and maintaining the house’s cleanliness.

Notably, some old linens and beddings are not suitable for avid chewers.

As the dog owner, check out what works best for your dog.

Elevated Dog Beds

Most dog breeds enjoy an elevated outdoor bed.

These beds resemble a sturdy hammock. They lift your dog from the ground for optimal comfort.

The elevated dogs’ bed mostly suits your dog if it has painful joints or stiffness.

The elevated model will relieve stiff joints when the dog is resting.

In cold climates, this type of bedding keeps your dog off the cold floor, while in warm conditions, the air can circulate, and your dog can enjoy plenty of fresh air.

Traditional Dog Beds

It is usually an expensive choice for keeping your dog warm and comfy.

However, many store-bought dog beds are specifically designed for outdoor use.

The dogs love the comfort provided by an excellent orthopedic mattress.

Other dog beds have additional features such as self-warming that provide warmth.

Others, like a heated winter bed, have electric designs.

For specifically designed outdoor beds, checking their durability is critical.

It is also preferable to invest in a waterproof cover to protect the fabric.

The waterproof materials will withstand heavy rains and other extreme conditions for more extended periods.


A nice fluffy rug is an excellent choice for outdoor bedding used by a dog.

Mats feature a rubberized back.

This feature protects your dog from moisture and bars them from sliding around.

However, a dog cannot easily crunch the rug up its body; hence it is not suitable when the weather is freezing.

How to Select a Suitable Rug for Your Dog

  • If your dog is not prone to chewing on things, select a rug with long fibers that increases your dog’s warmth and comfort levels.
  • On the other hand, select rugs with short fibers for chewing dogs to prevent chewing and ripping the threads out.
  • For an outdoor rug, select one that can withstand harsh weather conditions.

Cedar and Pine Chips

Cedar and pine chips are another safe option for dogs.

One of the significant features of pine chips is their insect repellant qualities preventing fleas and bugs from inhabiting the dog’s house.

They also provide excellent insulation and are comfortable for the dog.

Another importance of these beddings is that they release pretty good fragrances.

However, it’s good to note that this fragrance can sometimes irritate dogs with sensitive noses and or irritation on the respiratory systems.


Fine wood particles are produced when you cut wood with a saw.

It ensures that a dog’s house is dry as it is absorbent.

However, it is unsuitable since very fine particles clump together in the dog’s moist cracks and surfaces.

In addition, it blocks up the dogs’ eyes, nose, and mouth when clumped together.

Additionally, it becomes very messy, quickly making it uncomfortable for the dog.


Newspapers are readily available in most areas and offer a better cost advantage than other dog bedding materials.

Shredded newspaper is an excellent outdoor bedding material for a dog because the newspaper absorbs moisture like a paper towel.

It also decomposes quickly in the soil and can be incorporated into a manure management system.

The dogs are also able to move around their house with ease.

Alternatively, the newspaper can be crumpled, which helps trap air between the sheets.

It also increases cushioning surface area and provides more warmth.

Another advantage is that the risk of toxic contamination is minimal with newspapers.

Its main disadvantage is that it gets messy and dusty quickly.


It allows the dog to conform to it directly and rest comfortably.

Fine particles should be used because large particles cause bruising and abrasions on the dog’s skin.

Sand is also soft on the dog’s paw.

Sand is not a good absorbent, which causes challenges of excrement on the dog’s floor house.

Also, disposing of soiled sand is hectic for the dog owner.


Long-stemgrass hay is one of the best natural types of outdoor dog bedding.

However, the dog owner should note that hay and straw are different.

Straw is the stem of an individual wheat plant and is more brittle than hay grass.

Hay grass retains its structure much longer, allowing your dog to hunker down in comfort.

Hay lasts longer than straw and has minimal dust effect on your dog.

In Summary

An outdoor dog bed is essential, but it is not enough to just have a bed.

It is paramount that you choose the safest and most comfortable material to ensure your canine friend has a good time outdoors while maintaining safety and good health. 

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National Canine Research Association of America