Choosing the right bedding material for your pet's doghouse is essential for the dog's good health and comfort. Think about your local climate and the dog's general heath when you are deciding which material to use. Extra padding may be necessary if your dog is suffering from age-related problems such as arthritis, and if you live in a cold climate, you will want material that will help hold the dog's heat and keep it warm. Bedding choices vary widely but blankets and quilts are not a good selection, as they retain moisture and mildew.
Using bedding made from fresh cedar shavings will help keep down flea and tick infestations, although the natural repellent found in cedar oils will diminish over time. Changing the shavings regularly will keep the bed soft for your pet and renew the pest repellent oils. You can leave the shavings loose or use a fabric bag or bed containing the shavings. Be aware that some dogs are allergic to the oils in the cedar and may experience itchiness and hair loss, according to Vetinfo.
You can spread loose straw in the doghouse but should keep in mind that you will need to change the straw frequently to prevent mold, mildew and parasites. Straw can come from a farm infested with parasites or bacteria, and there is no way to disinfect it, so using straw is only recommended if you are sure of its source. If you choose straw, spread the straw at least four to five inches thick and change it at least weekly.
You can use polyester filling in your refillable dog beds. Polyfill retains its shape better than cedar shavings and it is more resistant to mold than straw. Polyfill is not biodegradable so its disposal can be problematic for the environment, but as it can be made from recycled products and recycled after use, it can be a viable choice for bedding.
Covering a foam pad with moisture-resistant material will make a shape-conforming bed for your dog. Sleeping on a foam pad will be comfortable for an older dog that is experiencing joint or bone problems. A foam bed retains heat well and you can remove the cover for washing to prevent odor buildup and pests.