What Material Is Good to Fill a Dog Bed?

Remove the filling before washing the dog bed.

Remove the filling before washing the dog bed.

Your dog plays hard all day and deserves a good spot to rest. Several materials make good dog bed fill by offering firm support; some even smell nice to boot. Find a dog bed cover that zips closed, then fill it with the material you choose. Remove the fill to wash the bed cover.


Foam is inexpensive, durable and supportive of a pet's weight. Memory foams work well for senior dogs that may have a touch of arthritis, because the foam cushions their joints and bones. Since foam resists flattening, the foam you purchase will hold it shape over time -- the mark of a good bed filling.

Cedar Chips

Not only do cedar chips smell nice, they naturally repel bugs. Find cedar chips or cedar shavings at your local pet store. Fill the bed with cedar chips, then replace the chips when they no longer smell fresh. The chips are not washable, so dispose of old chips when you wash the bed.

Old Clothes

Chances are, your dog already lies on your worn clothing or unwashed blankets because they have your scent. These materials work well for dog bed fill and don't have to cost you anything. Use old clothing you have outgrown or no longer want. Stuff the clothing into the dog bed cover, then zip the cover closed.

What to Avoid

Cotton batting is a common choice for dog bed filling, but it isn't a good one. Over time, the filling can become lumpy and lose its shape. Initially supportive, this material does not hold up over time. If you've got a dog bed that has cotton batting, consider removing the filling in favor of a more supportive material.

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