Thursday, January 31, 2013

A couple of questions for you.

I got to thinking yesterday as I wrote about doing laundry after the pack had their bones in their crates.  I got to thinking about what other people use for bedding.

So, can I ask?  

What do you use for bedding? Do you use a crate and if so, is the bedding different in there than outside of it?

With the exception of one pillow type dog bed, all of the bedding we have is from thrift stores. We have about five or six children's sleeping bags that were as cheap as 50 cents to $3.99 each. They are a great fit in the big crate and folded in half (four layers of comfort!) in the smaller crates.  

Brook uses adult incontinence pads in her crate. (it's okay that I tell you that, she knows she has a tiny bladder) Again, a thrift store find for 75 cents to $1.25 each. They are wonderful because they are very absorbent and the top layer of material stays dry so she's not laying in wet. Prior to finding the pads, I used puppy training pads but being plastic they were slippery and just bunched up, being useless.

There are also some receiving blankets that I have sewn together with a layer of quilt batting inside to make a small sleeping pad for Hiker on top of the dog bed pillow. Hiker is the only one who isn't crated but she loves her crate (there is no door attached).

Hiker looks like the princess from The Princess and the Pea!

Callie has the mattress from a free standing hammock. Our neighbors were tossing it out since the hammock frame was broken and asked if we might be able to use the mattress. Yes! It's not overly thick but folded in half makes for a great bed and surprisingly, it washes and dries very well.

For an extra layer of comfort, I've taken pieces of carpet, trimmed the edges with duct tape to prevent fraying and use that as a crate liner with bedding on top. A bonus in doing that is that at night there is no noise of nails on the plastic crate liner since it's now covered in carpet and also, the bedding doesn't slide around as much.


I've also lined the crate in the car with carpet. That black plastic tray liner gets scorching hot in the summer and cardboard was getting mushy all the time after the dogs would go swimming. Also, the cardboard was too slippery for the bedding to stay in place.

If you have a minute, let us know what you use for bedding.  Either here in the comments or leave a comment/link and tell us on your blog.

23 comments:

  1. My family seems to have an endless supply of old couch cushions, so that's what Beamer has in his crate. My parents make curtains for a living, so they always have discarded fabrics. My mom sews covers for the couch cushions using the discarded fabric and we change it whenever it gets overly dirty. The other dogs aren't crated, but they have dog beds scattered around the house.

    You put a lot of effort into making your dogs comfortable. Kudos!

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    1. I look at it from the point of view that since they have to be crated for so long when I do work (3-4 days a week) they should be comfy!

      Nice that you've got a source of material. Do you get a good deal on curtains too? I go the inexpensive route and use thrift store sheets to make curtains. Hey, it works for us!

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  2. I'm afraid Rita is terribly spoiled... Her bedding is mainly our bed! I keep a sheet over the bed for when she's on (which is pretty much part of every night and part of every day). For when she's just laying around the house, she has an Orvis bed that my sis ordered for her dog, but he didn't like it. We are having some yard work done, and once that's completed, I have an old mattress topper (one of those really fat 4 in. thick kinds) that I sliced into big pieces. I'm going to get some outdoor fabric and cover them over to make dog beds. (Figure I'll have spares for when the one gets warn out.)

    But I've only got one dog to clean up after so not tons of laundry to do with her. Your crew is so gorgeous. Love all their pics! (but wouldn't really wanna have to do their laundry....) :)

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    1. Hey, there is nothing wrong with a dog in the bed! That happens at our house all the time. It's just that some (Callie, Breeze and Forest) do better crated.

      I like the idea of the mattress topper, we've got an old one and I was thinking of doing something similar. Cheap and creative!

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  3. We do have crates. Roxy had one, but has graduated to the rest of the house. We DO have beds, but we hardly use them. We sleep on the couch (it's covered with a sheet), floor, tiles, carpet....wherever we want. Sounds like you have some great ideas there for beds.

    XXXOOO Daisy, Bella & Roxy

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    1. It always seems that the couch is the spot rather than a dog bed! Since they have to be crated, I want to be sure they're comfy but given the choice, it's the couch every time.

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  4. I like scratchy, old, wool blankets that I find at estate sales and thrift stores. Once they are washed and felted, they are thick, indestructible, and can be cut to any size you need without edging them. Or you can fold them in half, stuff them, sew up the sides, and use velcro on one edge to zip open for re-stuffing or washing.
    I use one as a throw on the bed and another one to cover Ray's futon. The upside is they really hold onto the dog hair so it doesn't get all over everything else. The other benefit is the blind dog likes the feel of it under his paws and will "look" for it when it's on the bed.
    I've never paid more than $5 for one and have to resist buying all that I see. I think they're very useful.

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    1. We have a wool blanket that blind Breeze uses as her mat for eating. As you said, she knows the feel of it and will wait there for her meals. I agree with you that the thick wool blankets are great for holding the fur, but what a pain when it comes to washing and drying. Yuck!

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    2. No, no, you're missing the point. If the blanket isn't already felted (shrunk all to hell), throw it in the washer and dryer to felt the wool into a piece of indestructible fabric that can be cut without binding and cleaned like every other piece of fabric, i.e. washed in the washer and dried in the dryer. That's the good thing about the blankets and why they are easy to get cheap. People think they need to be dry cleaned or washed in cold water and air dried so they avoid them. But if you purposely felt the wool (shrink it) to begin with, no extra care is required. Wool is an amazing thing. It can hold up to 30% of it's weight in water and still feel dry to the touch. A nice attribute when dealing with dogs with small bladders.

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    3. I never thought of it as an option for the little bladder! The blanket we have is from Ikea (I got it at a thrift store) and it's already felted, perhaps I should cut it. I find that it's so bulky and somewhat annoying to wash and dry. I shall get out the shears and hack away! Breeze doesn't need all that much for dining on.

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  5. Blueberry's bedding is my bed and the couch. Although I do have a fleece blanket that covers the couch. I have a dog bed for her but she seldom uses it and she is not a fan of the crate so I don't force the issue - she's completely trustworthy in the house so that's a bonus!

    Love how creative you are! In the past I have used hand-me-down comforters for the crate bedding for my other dogs. Dogs aren't picky - they just need a soft place to sleep and they are set! :)

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    1. Ah yes - the couch! As you have seen, the couch is a favorite spot for everyone in our home. I too have various blankets that protect the couch and of course, there are pillows for the weary heads to rest on.

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  6. We use a simple rug-type bed in the bottom of a crate. Our vet uses the same kind of bed so we just imitated the vet's setup. I love your ideas... except that young Shyla would chew a sleeping bag to shreds :) We'll imitate you after she grows up. (R is mature enough that he always has the run of the house and doesn't use a crate anymore).

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    1. Once in a while Callie gets in a mood and will rip at her bedding. There are a couple of sleeping bags that have been repaired but are still usable.

      I still find it interesting that in our home only Hiker isn't crated but she loves her crate. There are times that Forest will lay in it and she'll pace and whine. She is so reliable.

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  7. Kaya & Norman just sleep on my bed or the couch. I've never crated them but if I did I like your sleeping bag idea! They do have several memory foam beds that they use when they are chewing on bones or resting outside. I bought the dog bed covers from Target and got the memory foam for free on Craigslist!

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    1. Now that Breeze is fully house trained, we are back to having bedding on the living room floor. For some reason, she would always pee on the thick, fluffy bedding! Odd since I never used pee pads for her.

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  8. We have lots of old comforters or blankets that get folded up together to go in crates. Only our foster is crated currently. We have bought the dog beds from Costco--so cheap and fluffy and they love them. I also have a couple beds from Target I got cheap. Other than that they love to lay on the couch especially if we throw blankets on the couch. Braylon sleeps in our bed 75% of the time and the other 25% she tries to get Hades to sleep all night in one of the dog beds with her. He used to get up and move but lately he's been staying by her side all night. :)
    We haven't used anything too unconventional but sleeping bags are a smart idea.

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    1. I've gotten away from the purchased dog beds since they are difficult to wash. (just last week, Hiker threw up all over hers). I brought down an old comforter from the bedroom to wash and dropped it on the living room floor. Within minutes, three dogs were on it. So of course, I washed it and put it back on the floor and got another one for the bedroom.

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  9. We borrowed a crate from our local humane society when we adopted Wrigs for use during his heartworm treatment. As I recall, I put an orthopedic dog mattress in the crate and topped it off with a folded comforter. Apparently, Wrigs thought it was pretty comfy because he would often rest in there voluntarily. We no longer have the crate, but now we have cushy beds all over the place and most of them are topped with comforters. Wrigs also has the option of sleeping on the couch or our bed, of course!

    When our geriatric dog, Imelda (now deceased) became unable to get up on our bed, we purchased a dog house for her and set it up in our bedroom! We created a little den for her and she seemed to like it a lot. We put an orthopedic dog bed and blanket in there for her when it was cool and a Canine Cooler thermoregulating pet bed when it was warm. I don't even remember now why we chose to get a dog house vs. a crate, other than we simply thought she's like it better. :-)

    Susan and Wrigs

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    1. A dog house in the house - I Iike that idea! I'm picturing it from a decorating point of view (not that our home has any "day-core" but I could see that really working). That would be ideal for our Hiker since she loves her crate which has no door. Fancy trim and maybe a little window box of plastic flowers (that the other dogs could take out and chew on) I might actually do this.

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  10. Riley uses an orthopedic mattress in her crate when she's had surgeries (all too frequently...sigh!). ;) My sister actually uses a baby crib mattress for her big dogs. We find them at yard sales all the time! They make great dog beds if you have the room in your house for them.

    Elyse and Riley

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    1. Let's hope that Riley is finished with her surgeries!

      I've thought of a crib mattress for the dogs but always envision them dragging it through the house. Maybe once Breeze is older and not so much into the silly puppy antics of grabbing anything she can and wandering around with it.

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  11. We have 2 Kuranda beds in the kitchen, they're the same type of bed that a lot of shelters use. Maggie is a terrible shredder, I don't want to add up how many towels, blankets and beds she destroyed before we got the Kuranda. Duke tends to shred things and swallow them; he threw up some pretty big chunks of towel once, so he's banned from fluffy bedding too. They get to sleep on the couch or dog beds in the living room when we're home to keep an eye on them. :)

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