Need Help Designing a Dog Bed

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heza

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Okay, so I have a senior dog with really bad hip problems who must have an orthopedic foam bed. However, she is the type of dog to dig in her bedding, circle, and then lie down. As a result, she ruins $100 beds fairly regularly, and we have to break this cycle. We've been unable to get her to stop digging and clipping her nails doesn't seem to help, so we figure the best thing to do is to just make our own semi-indestructible bed.

We know where we can source good foam. I'm having an issue, though, selecting cover materials. I'm looking for a fabric that is very durable and will be somewhat resistant to the digging, while still being comfortable enough to sleep on and safe to machine wash and dry.

Any ideas?
 

Tazlima

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Denim maybe? You could cobble something together out of old jeans.
 

cornflake

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Sail cloth? A double cover with like an oilcloth or plastic interior, covered in burlap or something, covered by a removable sailcloth or denim?
 

heza

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I hadn't thought of denim, but that makes sense. I've been saving jeans for projects, but she's a big dog so it's going to be a big bed. I'm afraid piecing together on the top would get the seams ripped, so I'll have to get it on a bolt. But! I was going to make the cat a matching bed at the same time, so I might use the old jeans for his bed (he is smaller and not a digger).
 

heza

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Sail cloth? A double cover with like an oilcloth or plastic interior, covered in burlap or something, covered by a removable sailcloth or denim?

Like a 3-ply bed cover? Maybe... The idea has merit because for the digging, it's not so much the ruination of the covers that bothers us... it's that damned expensive foam, which she just keeps digging out in bits and pieces until she hits floor. And then the cat eats everything he finds, so we have to be super vigilant about it. So yeah, some sort of foam protector under something more comfy sounds prudent.
 

heza

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Also, leave a space inside the bed for a warming pad.

We give her warming pads outside in the winter, and I know it's good for her arthritis, but honestly, being as thick-furred as she is, she would probably opt for the tile if her bed was toasty. Also we have to limit the number of unsupervised cords available to the cat. He also chews through everything he finds.

Although, it might be something she'd appreciate when she's much older. She's a senior dog now, but not like, old, yet. Her needs will probably change. Good forward thinking!
 

cornflake

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Like a 3-ply bed cover? Maybe... The idea has merit because for the digging, it's not so much the ruination of the covers that bothers us... it's that damned expensive foam, which she just keeps digging out in bits and pieces until she hits floor. And then the cat eats everything he finds, so we have to be super vigilant about it. So yeah, some sort of foam protector under something more comfy sounds prudent.

Yeah -- I was thinking like, a mattress pad-type interior, with oilcloth or plastic, to keep a moisture barrier, in case, then a burlap (with just a flap/slit that doesn't need fastening, because it shouldn't need to come off often but could if he shredded it, and you could slip a heating pad inside) in case he dug past the cover, because it's cheap and tough, then a tough-but-washable/layable removable cover layer. That way you've got the foam more protected and you've got time to figure out/make up a new cover if he starts destroying the outer one.
 

frimble3

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If the dog is determined to dig - it seems to be a 'thing' with some dogs, the digging and circling - how about making a dog-proof (denim of whatever) cover for the expensive foam, then adding a topper of something 'diggable', a sack of cheap foam chunks, or crumpled newspapers, etc, to satisfy the urge to feel something moveable under it's feet?

Same idea as providing a cat with litter to scrape in it's litter-box. It's hard to fight instinctive behaviour.
Check with the vet, of course, to see if it would negatively affect the hip.
 
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MaeZe

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My dogs do the same thing, one of them even digs around until she's under the covers including her face. :tongue

I put a couple big beach towels over the dog begs and they usually stop their circling/digging at the dog beg level.

The dog beds aren't dig-able because they have zippered covers.
 
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Jason

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My first thought was also denim or sail cloth. You could also do canvas or fire hose material. I recently spent more than I should have on a pair of Duluth Trading Company cargo pants and I absolutely love them! Repurposed fire hose fabric and so comfy! My dogs can't dig through then but end up sleeping on the floor on top of 'em! :)

So maybe something like that?
 

heza

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Yeah -- I was thinking like, a mattress pad-type interior, with oilcloth or plastic, to keep a moisture barrier, in case, then a burlap (with just a flap/slit that doesn't need fastening, because it shouldn't need to come off often but could if he shredded it, and you could slip a heating pad inside) in case he dug past the cover, because it's cheap and tough, then a tough-but-washable/layable removable cover layer. That way you've got the foam more protected and you've got time to figure out/make up a new cover if he starts destroying the outer one.

Ah-hah. I see now. An inner time-buying cover. That makes sense too.

If the dog is determined to dig - it seems to be a 'thing' with some dogs, the digging and circling - how about making a dog-proof (denim of whatever) cover for the expensive foam, then adding a topper of something 'diggable', a sack of cheap foam chunks, or crumpled newspapers, etc, to satisfy the urge to feel something moveable under it's feet?

That's an interesting idea. The topper would have to be durable too, to keep the cat from getting any foam or newspaper to eat.

My dogs do the same thing, one of them even digs around until she's under the covers including her face. :tongue

I put a couple big beach towels over the dog begs and they usually stop their circling/digging at the dog beg level.

The dog beds aren't dig-able because they have zippered covers.

*shakes fist at sky* But what are they made of??? Lol. We also have zippered covers over the beds... she's just a very determined digger and makes it through the material eventually. The beds with the faux lambs wool stuff are useless--she's gotten holes in those within two days of use. The last one we bought was a Serta made of upholstery grade fabric we thought would hold up better. It did last a year, but it was frustrating that the cover went before the foam support degraded.

I might actually try the towel idea.

My first thought was also denim or sail cloth. You could also do canvas or fire hose material. I recently spent more than I should have on a pair of Duluth Trading Company cargo pants and I absolutely love them! Repurposed fire hose fabric and so comfy! My dogs can't dig through then but end up sleeping on the floor on top of 'em! :)

So maybe something like that?

I wonder how large I can buy Duluth Trading Company pants in...
 

Jason

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I think you can get that material in bolts as well - check Amazon and niche it boutique outlets. :)
 

frimble3

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I wonder how large I can buy Duluth Trading Company pants in...

I think you can get that material in bolts as well - check Amazon and niche it boutique outlets. :)

If you have no luck finding it elsewhere, try sending a few pictures of mangled dog-beds to Duluth Trading Company, and ask if they would sell you some. Who knows, they might give you some use it in an ad. 'World's Toughest Dog Bed'?
 

Tazlima

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I wrap a blanket over my dog's bed, too. I do it because it's easier to wash a blanket than the entire zipped cover, so I can just toss the blanket in the wash once a week and clean the "real" cover less often, but reading this thread, it could help with this problem, too. Dogs circle and dig to arrange their bed comfortably, so maybe if there were an upper layer of blanket he could adjust to his heart's content, the bed underneath would be spared?

For sources of discount denim, I'd hit up the local thrift shop and find the biggest items I could (fingers crossed for a denim muumuu).

Lol, you ought to post pictures of your final result!
 
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heza

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If you have no luck finding it elsewhere, try sending a few pictures of mangled dog-beds to Duluth Trading Company, and ask if they would sell you some. Who knows, they might give you some use it in an ad. 'World's Toughest Dog Bed'?

I'm a little heart broken, now, because I looked and they actually do make a bed out of the fire hose material. But it's too small! There's a tiny bit of google evidence that they might have made a bigger one in the past, but don't any more.

I wrap a blanket over my dog's bed, too. I do it because it's easier to wash a blanket than the entire zipped cover, so I can just toss the blanket in the wash once a week and clean the "real" cover less often, but reading this thread, it could help with this problem, too. Dogs circle and dig to arrange their bed comfortably, so maybe if there were an upper layer of blanket he could adjust to his heart's content, the bed underneath would be spared?

For sources of discount denim, I'd hit up the local thrift shop and find the biggest items I could (fingers crossed for a denim muumuu).

Lol, you ought to post pictures of your final result!

If I do end up successfully sewing something, I'll definitely post pics! (Also, I'm just laughing about denim muumuus now.)
 

blacbird

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she is the type of dog to dig in her bedding, circle, and then lie down.

So she's like any other dog. This is simply normal behavior. Don't attempt to stop it. Make the bed with as tough a cover material as you can make work, then cover it with a loose old blanket or two. She will stir those up, no doubt, but only to achieve her comfort level, and you can always remake the bed, just as you do your own.

Unless you are me, who commonly doesn't overworry about making the bed, because the cats like it rumpled for their daily afternoon naps. And they do the same curl-around routine that dogs do. They're just not as big as some dogs.

caw
 

frimble3

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I'm a little heart broken, now, because I looked and they actually do make a bed out of the fire hose material. But it's too small! There's a tiny bit of google evidence that they might have made a bigger one in the past, but don't any more.



If I do end up successfully sewing something, I'll definitely post pics! (Also, I'm just laughing about denim muumuus now.)

Don't laugh, I've seen denim maxi skirts that would probably suit your needs.
 

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