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Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Dog Beds for Labs

Every once in a while, I get a question from one of our blog readers that just speaks to my heart. It is kind of like "been there, done that" and because of my experience with the Lab Brats, I would like to think I have become a little wiser in my not-so-old age. It was a comment from yesterday's blog with a question thrown onto the end that I knew I had to answer.

I wouldn't trade Diesel in for anything! This weekend he had a bad case of gastroenteritis - he ate part of his bed. If you have any tips on how to get him to stop eating his bedding - please share! We spent $400 on him this weekend for medication, special food, a new bed,(which he chewed up again) etc. And nope - removing the bed and putting towels doesn't work either - he LOVES towels! ~Kate

I hear you loud and clear Kate! Dakota destroyed one bed when she was a pup and I was away on business and Cheyenne is not allowed to have a bed!

Dakota's incident was a simple way of telling me that she was not happy that I went away for a few days. My husband called to tell me that she was getting sick and my business trip was called short so that I could come home and take care of her; the only way a dog mommy can. It was a simple one-time thing and she now has no problems with dog beds.

Well, alright, she has one problem with dog beds - Cheyenne. We cannot even have a dog bed in the house because Cheyenne wants to always see what's inside. Remember, Labrador Retrievers are hunters by nature and although Dakota doesn't show this type of behavior, Cheyenne is all hunter. Cedar chips, foam, fluff; you name it and she wants to get her mouth on it. Needless to say, our house will continue to be without dog beds for some time because, quite frankly, it is too expensive to keep replacing them.

So what do we do? No, our precious dogs do not sleep on the hard cold floor nor do they sleep on any "people" furniture. I found a quick and cheap way to give them their beds and keep Cheyenne from temptation. Quilts! We hand our bedroom quilts down to our dogs when we are done with them and fold them twice over to make a nice large and comfy square for the Lab Brats to sleep on. Dakota has an old king size quilt and Cheyenne has an old queen size quilt. They were just hanging around and we decided to try and reuse what we already had instead of replacing their beds with expensive dog beds.

The best thing is that if you don't have an old quilt, you can buy one at the local thrift store for cheap. Whether you have a hand-me-down quilt or a new one, make sure it is one that you have slept on or with for a while and has your scent all over it. Do not wash it before giving it to the Lab so that your scent is still on it. This will help deter the dog from destroying it as well. Nothing gives them more pleasure then being close to you.

Since Labs generally like to "fluff" their beds (at least Cheyenne does), the quilt can withstand a lot of fluffing and even some chewing on the ends. Also, because it is relatively thin and Cheyenne can "fluff" it until it is the normal queen size, she thinks she is getting inside the bed and has no desire to tear it apart. In her own way, she is tearing it apart since we find it sprawled out all over their bedroom floor every morning. All we have to do is refold it to the square shape to "make the bed" and it is done. No mess, no expensive replacements, and no trips to the vet for a Lab being its curious self and ingesting some of the bedding accidentally (or intentionally).

And, when you travel, just slip the quilt into your car for your pup to lay on and it has a sense of home, with its scent on it, to keep your pup feeling safe and calm. *wink*

PS - We do not mean your grandmother's hand-sewn quilt. We mean a nice inexpensive comforter that you can get at any store. Sorry for the confusion - I am originally from the East Coast and we have a habit of calling things by different names then most people. (laugh)

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Blogger Kate said...

Thanks so much for the advice! Last night, we put a fleecy blanket that we used to keep on the couch in Diesel's crate. He got in, and didn't lay down right away. I think he was looking for his comfy bed! We keep his crate in our bedroom, and I could hear him all night moving around. I think it's not quite enough padding, so I will try an old quilt and see how he does. I believe I have one in the spare room, so I'll throw it on our bed for a few days, and then give it to him. But before I do - do you mean like QUILT QUILT - like a handsewn quilt, or do you just mean a comforter? Because I have a "comforter" but not an actual QUILT...
Thanks so much again! It's so nice to know that others go through this too! I was looking into the Kuranda beds... but they are SOO expensive... and I don't know if it's worth it. Plus shipping to Canada is very expensive also...


October 17, 2007 9:45 AM  
Blogger Shannon said...

You are most welcome and you are definitely not alone. :)

I mean quilt like comforter quilt. Sorry, my family always called it a quilt but it is a comforter like you get in the bed-in-a-bag packages. Nothing special like your grandmother's hand-sewn quilt please! I would never recommend that for a dog that destroys things. LOL

Good luck and keep us posted!

October 17, 2007 5:25 PM  
Anonymous Joanna said...

Somthing I found very useful for a lot of items was the bitter apple spray. Beds, shoes, wooden furniture, etc. Anything that my lab displayed an interest in chewing got a quick spray, and it kept her chewing destruction at a minimum. Good luck!

November 08, 2007 3:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

ok so...i have a 6 month old lab named buddy...all he ever does is chew dog beds up also. chew chew chew. we have gone through 5 beds since CHRISTmas and no luck. they're gone in 2 seconds. we've tried "tear resistant" or "dura-ruff" and nothing works; especially if it has a zipper! so you say that comforters are good?!??? that's interesting...i might try that. i hope it works!!!

April 29, 2009 10:42 AM  

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