Traditional dog beds
Just because your dog enjoys the rugged outdoor life doesn’t mean they wouldn’t enjoy a store-bought dog bed. In fact, many beds are designed specifically for outdoor use.
When shopping for a new dog bed, keep an eye out for fabrics advertised as waterproof or weather-resistant. These materials will withstand rain and other weather conditions much better than soft, plush beds.
Long-stem grass hay is the best natural type of doghouse bedding that is available in most regions. Some dog owners think that grass hay and straw are the same, but the only thing they really share is that they are both plant material. Straw is the stem of individual wheat plants. It is hollow and, because of its structure, much more brittle than grass hay. Straw breaks down quickly under a dog, creating a pile of straw dust. Indeed, it is better than nothing, but if used, it should be changed every few days.
Many dog owners believe wood shavings make comfortable doghouse bedding. But try sitting in a beanbag chair for 30 minutes. After you’ve moved around a little bit, your butt ends up on the floor, and all of the cushioning effect of the chair’s beads is around you rather than under you. It is the same reason that wood shavings make poor bedding material for your dog. Whatever started out in the doghouse under your dog has now moved to the side of him, rather than providing him comfort and insulation from the cold.
Being in the doghouse doesn’t always have to be a bad thing. But if you aren’t using the right kind of doghouse bedding, it can be.
Conversely, grass hay will retain its structure much longer than straw, creating much less dust. The best grass hay suitable for dog bedding comes from warm season grasses such as Big Bluestem and Indian grass. Cool season grasses such as Smooth Brome and Timothy also work very well. Each one of these varieties makes a very nice nest that will surround the dog, allowing him to hunker down with comfort in the coldest of weather. Straw will do this, too, but for a much shorter time while exposing your dog to far more dust.
So what is the best dog bedding that provides the comfort and insulation your dog deserves? Many dog owners use wheat straw with the assumption that it is the best doghouse bedding material. They are wrong.
Halls Hay Wheat Straw Bedding
Straw makes suitable bedding for dogs in outdoor kennels and can be an excellent insulator in cold weather.
This sun-cured wheat straw is produced without any added preservatives.