Does your dog think that the dog bed you just bought him is his favorite chew toy?  Are you tired of buying anew bed every couple of months for your destructive pooch?

I’ve had dog owners tell me that destroying dog beds is a habit that drives them crazy.  Granted not all dogs do it.  Many of our furry pals get it right; sleep on the bed … chew on the chew toys.  For those overly rambunctious dogs who annoy their owners by surprising them with pieces of dog bed and foam everywhere, a few weeks after they get it, here’s a few tips and a product recommendation that may solve your problem once and for all.  Now, before jumping right to the product recommendation, it’s important to note that many “chewing” or destruction issues are a sign that your dog needs more exercise both physically and mentally.  Check out my post on dogs and exercise here: 

STEP ONE: Get your dog more physical exercise! You can do this a lot of different ways: some people run with their dog, some ride a bike and have their dog run beside them, and some play fetch.  Either way, your dog’s chewing and destructive habits may be due, at least in part, to the fact that they have excess energy to burn up.

Beagle SniffingSTEP TWO: Get your dog more mental exercise!  Often dogs are bored.  If you can exercise their brain a bit more, they have an easier time settling down when you go off to work.  If your dog likes to use their nose, you can introduce them to a series of beginner’s search and rescue games to entertain them and tire out their nose (check here for exactly how to do that:  Also, you can leave your dog with more entertaining chew toys to occupy their mind.  The standard Kong stuffed with peanut butter works well.  There are also an assortment of “food-hiding” toys (that is, toys in which you stuff or hide bits of food and your dog has to problem solve how to get them out)  that you can find at your local pet store to give your dog some mental stimulation and entertainment while you’re away.  

STEP THREE: Get a bullet-proof bed!  I’m being only slightly facetious.  There’s a company called Ballistic K-9.  

[ I should say for the record, I have no association with these folks … no kickbacks … no discounts, they just have a product that I really like and use myself (or at least my dog does).]  This company uses tightly woven ballistic nylon to make their dog beds and the results are that dog-bed destroyers usually meet their match.  The ”pros” with this product are obvious but to give it an honest review, here’s a couple of slight drawbacks.  The fabric itself is so tightly woven that a brand new bed has a bit of a balloon feel to it.  That is, the first few times your dog hops onto it, the air in it gets a little trapped so it puffs and billows.  The ballistic nylon also makes noise.  When your dog jumps onto it, the newer bed fabric crinkles in a way that other traditional dog bed fabrics don’t.  These aren’t big drawbacks by any means though; it took my Shepherd a couple of days to get used to it, and now he loves it.  The other ‘con’ is price.  These are a little pricy.  They have a lot of variety in color, shape and thickness and the price will vary based on the size of bed you need.  The price range is from the $60’s for the smaller beds to north of $200 for the extra-large versions of this premium bed.  Now, before you balk at that price you may want to compare it to the life-time cost of buying a new $48 dog bed from the local box store every six weeks?  My shepherd’s had one for a couple of years now and he was good for about four “more easily destroyed” beds a year. (granted his means of destroying them was jumping on and off of his bed with such energy and gusto that he began tearing stitching of the old beds and eventually just pulling beds apart)

In summary, be sure to heed the recommendations on exercise as your dog will be much happier in the long run, and do let me know what your experience is with the new dog bed if you decide to opt for this (nearly) indestructible dog bed.

All the best,