Is It OK to Put a Dog Bed in a Crate?

When it comes to creating a comfortable and secure environment for your dog, one question that often arises is whether it’s appropriate to place a dog bed in a crate. The answer is yes, it is perfectly fine to put a dog bed in a crate, and doing so can provide several benefits for your dog.

Why Put a Dog Bed in a Crate?

A dog bed in a crate can serve multiple purposes:

Cozy and Safe Place: Dogs naturally seek cozy spots to relax. A soft bed in the crate provides a snug space, resembling their den in the wild, where they can feel secure and at ease.

Better Sleep: Quality sleep is essential for dogs’ well-being. A comfortable bed supports their body, relieves pressure on joints, and encourages restful sleep, ensuring they wake up refreshed and energized.

Feels Like Home: Crates might seem intimidating to some dogs, but adding a bed can make it feel more familiar and inviting. It becomes their own personal space, akin to their favorite resting spot at home.

Easier Training: Comfortable surroundings make crate training more effective. Dogs are more likely to accept and enjoy spending time in their crate when it’s equipped with a cozy bed. Plus, it can help with potty training by encouraging them to keep their sleeping area clean.

Familiar Smells: Dogs are comforted by familiar scents. By adding a bed to the crate, your dog’s scent permeates the fabric, creating a comforting environment that reduces stress and anxiety.

Good for Travel: Bringing along their familiar bed and crate during travels can ease dogs’ anxiety in new environments. Having their cozy bed with them provides a sense of security and home comfort, making the journey more enjoyable.

Choosing the Right Dog Bed for a Crate

Selecting the perfect bed for your dog’s crate is essential for their comfort and well-being. Here’s what to consider:

Size Matters: Measure the interior dimensions of the crate to ensure the bed fits snugly without leaving too much room for your dog to chew or nest.

Durability: Opt for a bed made from durable materials that can withstand scratching and chewing. Look for reinforced stitching and tough fabrics that can handle rough play.

Comfort: Choose a bed with adequate cushioning to support your dog’s body, especially if they’re prone to joint issues or arthritis. Memory foam or orthopedic beds are ideal for older dogs or those with special needs.

Washable Covers: Look for beds with removable, machine-washable covers for easy cleaning. This helps maintain hygiene and keeps the crate smelling fresh.

Temperature Regulation: Consider your climate when selecting a bed. In warmer weather, choose a bed with breathable fabrics to prevent overheating, while heated beds are suitable for colder climates.

Non-Slip Bottom: To prevent the bed from sliding around inside the crate, opt for a design with a non-slip bottom. This ensures your dog stays safe and comfortable while resting.

Waterproofing: If your dog is prone to accidents or spills, consider a bed with a waterproof liner to protect against moisture and odors. This makes cleanup a breeze and keeps the crate dry and hygienic.

Chew-Proof Options: For dogs with a tendency to chew, look for beds specifically designed to resist tearing and puncturing. Chew-proof materials like ballistic nylon or PVC can help prevent destruction and extend the bed’s lifespan.

Best Dog Beds for Crates

Here are some recommended dog beds that are well-suited for crates:

1. Big Barker Crate Pad

Designed specifically for larger breeds, the Big Barker Crate Pad is a fan favorite. Its robust construction and high-quality foam guarantee that it retains 90% of its shape over a 10-year period, making it a wise long-term investment. The bed is engineered to support the joints of big dogs, which is crucial for their well-being. It fits a variety of large crates and is easy to clean, ensuring that your dog’s sleeping space is always fresh.

2. K&H Self-Warming Crate Mat

For dogs that feel the cold, the K&H Self-Warming Crate Mat is a godsend. This mat reflects the dog’s body heat using a unique self-warming material, providing warmth without the need for electricity. It’s particularly suitable for short-haired breeds or homes that tend to be cooler. The added comfort can help reduce anxiety and provide a snug environment for your pet.

3. P.L.A.Y. Pet Lifestyle Crate Pad

If you’re often on the move with your pet, the P.L.A.Y. Pet Lifestyle Crate Pad is an excellent choice. Lightweight and portable, it doesn’t skimp on comfort. The pad is made from high-quality materials that are both durable and machine washable. It’s also eco-friendly, made from recycled plastic bottles, making it an ideal pick for environmentally conscious pet owners.

4. Diggs Snooz Crate Dog Pad

The Diggs Snooz Crate Dog Pad stands out with its tear-resistant fabric and memory foam construction, providing both durability and comfort. The removable, washable cover makes maintenance a breeze. It’s designed to fit perfectly in the Diggs Revol crate but is versatile enough to be used in other crates as well. This bed is particularly recommended for dogs that need extra joint support.

5. MidWest Homes for Pets White Fleece Dog Bed

A classic choice, the MidWest Homes for Pets White Fleece Dog Bed offers a soft and cozy fleece surface that most dogs will appreciate. It’s available in various sizes to fit any crate and is machine washable for easy care. While it may not offer the same level of support as some of the more premium options, it’s an excellent value for the price.

Tips for Introducing a Dog Bed to a Crate

If you’re introducing a bed to your dog’s crate for the first time, here are some tips to ensure a smooth transition:
– Familiarize: Before placing the bed in the crate, allow your dog to become acquainted with it in a familiar space. Place the bed in an area where your dog spends a lot of time. This helps your pet associate the bed with their daily routine and comfort zone.

– Positive Reinforcement: Use positive reinforcement to encourage your dog to use the bed. You can do this by placing their favorite treats or toys on the bed, rewarding them for approaching and using it. This creates a positive association with the bed, making it more likely they will feel comfortable using it in the crate.

– Gradual Introduction: Begin by placing the bed in the crate for short periods while your dog is likely to be calm and relaxed, such as after a walk or meal. Gradually increase the time your dog spends in the crate with the bed, always ensuring they feel safe and comfortable.

Additional Tips:

– Comfort is Key: Ensure the bed is the right size for the crate and your dog. It should be cozy enough for them to curl up but spacious enough to move around.

– Maintain Routine: Keep your dog’s routine consistent during this transition to avoid any additional stress.

– Patience Pays Off: Every dog is unique, and some may take longer to adjust than others. Be patient and continue to use positive reinforcement.


Incorporating a dog bed into your dog’s crate can significantly enhance their comfort and well-being. By choosing the right bed and introducing it properly, you can create a positive and nurturing space for your furry friend. Remember, every dog is unique, so it’s important to observe your dog’s preferences and adjust accordingly. With the right approach, a dog bed in a crate can be a wonderful addition to your dog’s daily life.