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Cheap 'n' easy dog bed

Filed Under: home decor, sewing, pets

Have you noticed that pet beds cost an arm and a leg? Like this one from LLBean or this one from Drs. Foster and Smith ($119-$199!). Or how about this one for $89.99 -- are you kidding me, Petsmart?! There are cheapies out there, but many of them are sewn into their covers and, hence, not machine washable. Ick.

As an experienced pet-mama, here are my requirements for a good pet bed: 1) inexpensive, 2) durable, 3) a color that hides grime, and 4) easy-to-remove, machine washable cover. If you have access to a sewing machine, consider a simple DIY pet bed like this one. Just use a cheapo bed pillow for stuffin' and use whatever fabric you like for the cover. Bonus: you can buy fabric that matches the rest of your decor.

What I love about these instructions is that the designer, Candace, keeps it super-simple and affordable. You're basically sewing a big open-ended pillow-case. No fussing to attach a zipper, velcro or button closure. For a bigger dog, you can use multiple pillows. However, in that situation you will have to have something to hold them all together in one unit. Here's what I do to make my own DIY beds for larger dogs: I use an inexpensive under-bed storage bag. Choose one like this, made of fabric that breathes, not a plastic one. Stuff the pillows into that, zip it closed, and stuff that bag inside your homemade cover. Voila! Your dog will be in hound heaven.


  • John

    I bought the Whitmor underbed storage pieces from Walmart as suggested... 2 of them because I have 2 dogs. 12 hours after I put them together they were shredded and ripped to pieces. The fabric is way too thin on the top and the zipper aspect attracts the dogs to chew it for one reason or another. I would suggest another method, maybe one that doesn't involve zippers.

  • Lydia Deamer

    Whiile making your own dog bed is a great idea, be careful of what kind of zipper you use. Dogs like to chew and zippers are no exception. Many are made of zince, zinc alloy or are zinc coated to prevent corrosion. Zinc is poisonous to dogs and will kill them. I know as I speak from experience. My miniature dachshund died of hemolytic anemia caused by zinc poisoning after he swallowed a zipper pull. The emergency vets removed the zipper from his stomach, so we know that is what caused the poisoning. Be real careful what use use in making your bed. Your dog is depending on you to be knowledgeable on their behalf on what is safe for them to be on or around.

  • diane.rixon

    Hi Lydia, Thanks for that cautionary note. How sad about your little dog. I'm so sorry that happened. Yes, I agree you have to be careful and anyone making/buying a dog bed for their canine should think through the safety aspect. Thanks again for sharing your story.

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