Do dog crates need bedding?

Whether in the car or at home, should we be putting beds into our dog crates? Let’s look at the pros and cons of; do dog crates need bedding?

do dogs crates need bedding

Do dog crates need bedding? Yes, dog crates need bedding.

Most dogs, especially older dogs, like a bit of comfort in their lives. That’s partly why they choose to sit on the couch with you, and, if you let them, they’ll be more than happy sleeping on your bed.

Five reasons why dog crates may benefit from the use of bedding:

  1. Comfort and Insulation: Bedding provides a soft and comfortable surface for your dog to rest on. It can help cushion their joints, making it more comfortable to lie down and sleep, especially for older dogs. Additionally, bedding can provide insulation from cold or hard crate floors, helping your dog stay warm and cozy.
  2. Hygiene and Cleanliness: Bedding can absorb urine and other liquids, and prevents your puppy from sitting or lying directly on any accidents, making cleanup easier and reducing odors. Vet bedding is specifically designed for this purpose, allowing liquids to drain through and away from the dog leaving them feeling much more comfortable.
  3. Security and Comfort: Many dogs find a soft, padded surface comforting. It can mimic the feeling of a den, making the crate a more secure and inviting space for your dog. This can be especially helpful for anxious dogs or puppies adjusting to crate training. Even the best dog crates for puppies can need a little extra comfort.
  4. Temperature Regulation: Bedding can help regulate your dog’s body temperature by providing insulation in cold weather and preventing overheating in warm weather. Choose bedding materials that are appropriate for the climate.
  5. Pressure Sores Prevention: For dogs with medical conditions or elderly dogs, bedding can help prevent pressure sores or calluses that can develop from lying on hard surfaces for extended periods. A soft surface can alleviate discomfort and reduce the risk of skin issues such as hot spots.

Ultimately, the decision to use bedding in a dog crate should be based on your dog’s individual needs and preferences, as well as considerations like climate, age, and health. It’s essential to choose appropriate bedding materials and regularly clean and replace them to ensure your dog’s comfort and hygiene.

Do dog crates need bedding? No, dog crates don’t need bedding.

How often have you bought your pooch a lovely, soft (usually expensive) bed only to find them sprawled out on the kitchen floor for most of the time?

Five reasons why dog crates don’t necessarily need bedding:

  1. Easy Cleaning: Without bedding, cleaning the crate becomes much simpler. You can quickly wipe down the crate’s surface and remove any mess or accidents. Bedding can trap odors and make cleanup more challenging.
  2. Allergies: Some dogs or humans may have allergies to bedding materials like dust, mites, or pollen. Keeping the crate bare reduces the potential for allergens in the crate area.
  3. Chewing or Ingestion Risk: For dogs (and puppies) prone to chewing or eating non-food items, having bedding in the crate can be risky. Dogs might tear apart and ingest bedding, leading to potential health issues or blockages.
  4. Temperature Control: In hot weather, extra bedding can make the crate uncomfortably warm, potentially causing overheating. Conversely, in cold weather, dogs are often more comfortable without bedding because it allows them to regulate their body temperature by moving around.
  5. Crate Training: When crate training a puppy, it can be beneficial to start with a bare crate. This helps the puppy focus on the crate itself as a comfortable and secure space. Once the puppy becomes accustomed to the crate, you can gradually introduce bedding if desired.

It’s important to note that every dog is unique, and their comfort and needs may vary. Some dogs enjoy having soft bedding in their crate, while others are perfectly content without it. Ultimately, the decision to use bedding in a dog crate should be based on your dog’s individual preferences and any specific circumstances or concerns you may have.

The perfect compromise to crate bedding

Many of the criticisms about putting bedding into the dog crate revolve around the following;

Hygiene and Cleaning (including allergens)

Chewing and safety

Temperature regulation

Veterinary bedding

Vet bedding solves all of these issues.

It allows for easy cleaning (any liquids drain straight through) and the vet bedding itself will withstand a hot wash in a machine.

It’s designed to allow the dog to regulate its own temperature. The structure of vet bedding is designed with a myriad of ventilation holes which stops any feeling of dampness and allows airflow when it’s warmer too.

Vet bedding has been used for decades in the veterinary industry without any ill effects from dogs chewing on it.

(while it’s generally safe for dogs to chew on vet bedding, you should monitor your dog’s behavior and consider alternatives if excessive chewing is causing issues. Provide appropriate chew toys and regularly inspect the bedding for signs of wear or damage. If your dog’s chewing behavior becomes a concern or persists, consult with a veterinarian or a professional dog trainer for guidance on addressing the behavior.)

Three of our favourite types of vet bedding for every situation

Rubber Backed Vet Bedding for travel

Non slip, rubber backed veterinary bedding makes the perfect dog crate liner for travel.

It stops your dog sliding around in the crate, making them feel more secure, comfortable and might even reduce travel sickness by reducing the motion experienced by your puppy.

With all the benefits of normal vet bedding, great ventilation, easy to clean and durable, the non slip option for car, or air travel, is a natural choice.

Thick, Luxurious Vet Bedding for Comfort

Your older dogs (anyone over 7 years old is classed as older) may benefit from a little extra comfort in their crates and the thicker, more luxurious vet bedding option will suit them.

Creating padding between their joints and the plastic tray and crate floor, vet bedding will alleviate some of the soreness that comes with age.

The thicker options for vet bedding come in a minimum size of 30mm.

Thinner, Cooler Vet Bedding for Summer

Original vet bedding is around 25mm thick and perfect for all but the coolest of months.

Original vet bedding can be autoclaved or machine washed at 130 degrees, the same standard as required by medical professionals to kill most bacteria leaving you safe in the knowledge that no nasties are left behind after a machine wash.

Ready to start crate training? Get our free crate training guide by clicking this link.

All articles on are written by qualified behaviorist and dog trainer, Cheryl Walker.


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