How to Insulate a Dog Bed

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Cozy ashley
Cozy ashley (Image: Photo by Phyllis Benson)

Dogs need warm beds in cold weather. Some dogs need only an insulated house and straw-filled bed to survive freezing temperatures. Other dogs need extra warmth to truly be protected from cold. If your dog sleeps outdoors, in a basement or on cement, provide extra shelter against cold weather as puppies, older dogs and sick dogs are especially sensitive to cold. Be sure your dog, indoors or out, has a warm place to sleep away from drafts and bad weather. Sometimes making your dog cozy in winter is as simple as making the bed warmer. You can insulate a pet bed in these easy ways.

Things You'll Need

  • Dog bed
  • Space blanket
  • Bubble wrap
  • Memory foam
  • Exercise mat

Space blanket. One inexpensive tool for keeping out dampness and insulating against cold is an emergency or space blanket. These thin foil-type blankets are available in outdoor, hardware and discount stores. Open the dog bed cover and tuck the space blanket all around the padding. Some dogs will not sleep on the bed because of the crinkly foil sound. For these dogs, fold the foil and put it under the dog bed. The foil can easily be cut to any shape.

Space blanket
Space blanket

Bubble wrap. Bubble wrap is inexpensive and can be cut to fit inside the dog bed. Lay sheets or strips of bubble wrap over the bed and use scissors to cut them to size. Slide them into the dog bed under the bed pad. You can use one or more layers to protect the bed from a cold floor. If the bubbles flatten out, they are easily replaced with new bubble wrap. Some home improvement stores have bubble wrap that is bonded to foil layers for a more effective insulation and vapor barrier.

Bubble wrap
Bubble wrap

Foam. Memory foam or other hypoallergenic foam is excellent for insulating the bed and adding extra cushioning for arthritic joints in older dogs. Buy a twin-size foam mattress topper. It will provide enough foam for two or three dog beds. Air the foam out for a few days before cutting it to size. Some dogs will not sleep on the bed until the new smell leaves. If the regular dog bed padding is worn out, cut one or more layers of foam to replace the old padding.

Memory foam
Memory foam

Exercise mat. A foam roll-up exercise mat makes a good insulation barrier. Use a closed cell foam mat as it is stiffer and thicker than other mats. The mat should be at least a half-inch thick. It can be cut with sturdy scissors or a carpet knife to fit the dog bed. Placed under the dog padding, the mat insulates the bed while letting the dog sleep on the softer pad.

Exercise mat
Exercise mat

Tips & Warnings

  • If your dog is a bed-chewer, do not use bubble wrap that can be ripped in small pieces and swallowed.
  • Whenever a dog destroys its bed, take away the chewed parts immediately to prevent choking.

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