Best bedding For An Outdoor Dog Kennel

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Many dogs enjoy spending some of their time outdoors in your backyard. To provide your dog with shelter from the elements and shade from the sun’s harmful UV rays, your pet needs a dog kennel. To ensure that the kennel is warm and comfortable, your dog’s kennel needs a bed.

But what’s the best outdoor bedding for dogs? What are the best materials for dog kennel bedding? And does your dog need a bed in his kennel?

Read this guide to discover the best outdoor bedding for dogs.

Best Beds For Outdoor Kennels

In this part of our guide, we’ve sniffed out 15 of our favorite beds for use in outdoor kennels.

1. K&H Pet Products Original Indoor/Outdoor Covered Elevated Dog Bed

KH Pet Indoor Outdoor Covered Elevated Dog Bed

This elevated dog bed provides your pet the ideal space to relax and chill out. 

The bed is made from 600 deniers, water-resistant nylon fabric to resist the elements, and features a sturdy metal frame to support your pup. The bed has a cover to protect your dog and create a cozy den-like experience. Mesh windows and an open entrance ensure excellent air circulation.


  • Water-resistant
  • No tools are required for assembly
  • Strong metal frame


  • Not suitable for dogs that chew

2. Frisco Dog Bed

Frisco Indoor Outdoor Deep Dish Cuddler Bolster Bed

The Frisco dog bed can be used indoors and in an outdoor kennel.

The deep dish style and high bolsters encourage your dog to snuggle up and sleep. The bed is made from water and mildew-resistant coated polyester and is machine washable for easy cleaning. 


  • Water and mildew-resistant polyester cover
  • Machine washable for easy cleaning
  • Snuggly, deep bed for comfort


  • Not suitable for dogs that chew

3. Furhaven Quilt Top Cooling Gel Convertible Dog Bed

Furhaven Quilt Top Cooling Gel Convertible Dog Bed

This bed is perfect for a dog that loves to sprawl out and relax. The bed has a cooling layer of memory foam gel to provide pressure point relief on stiff joints and is set on an orthopedic foam base.

The bed top is removable and can house additional heating or cooling pads, depending on the weather.


  • Water and mildew-resistant poly-canvas fabric
  • Low-profile design for easy in and out
  • The removable top can house additional heating or cooling pads


  • Not suitable for dogs that chew

4. Petfusion Outdoor Elevated Dog Bed

Petfusion Outdoor Elevated Dog Bed

This elevated outdoor bed is made from water and tear-resistant 100% polyester fabric that’s comfy and breathable. Both the liner and bolster cover are machine-washable, and there’s a protective cover to shield your pet from the elements.


  • Liner and bolster cover are machine-washable
  • Protective cover protects your pet from sun, wind, and rain
  • Non-skid feet give excellent stability


  • Not suitable for chewers

5. Aspen Bedding

Aspen Bedding

Wood shavings can make an excellent bedding option for outdoor dog kennels. Aspen Bedding’s wood shavings are recyclable and compostable, contain no additives, and are free from potentially dangerous fibers that could harm your pet.


  • Safe and free from additives
  • Recyclable and compostable
  • Low dust content


  • Some dogs might eat the bedding

6. Halls Hay Wheat Straw Bedding

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.


  • USA-grown and packaged
  • No preservatives
  • Natural insulator and highly absorbent


  • Only available in limited quantities

7. La-Z-Boy Bailey Indoor/Outdoor Sofa Dog Bed

La Z Boy Bailey Indoor Outdoor Sofa Dog Bed

This sofa-style dog bed can be used indoors and outdoors. The fabric is made to resist water, mildew, mold, and fading, and the elevated design helps to keep your dog cool during hot weather.

To clean the bed, simply wipe it with a damp cloth. 


  • The elevated design promotes good airflow and cooling
  • Wipe clean fabric
  • It can be used indoors and outdoors


  • Quite expensive compared with similar items

8. HowHom Elevated Dog Bed With Canopy

HowHom Elevated Dog Bed With Canopy

This elevated dog bed comes with a detachable canopy that offers shade from the summer sun while allowing excellent air circulation to provide cooling.

The strong metal structure has four anti-skid feet for stability while being lightweight and portable.


  • Quick and easy assembly
  • Waterproof surface for easy cleaning
  • Detachable canopy and anti-skid feet


  • Velcro comes undone if the dog is heavy

9. Frisco Outdoor Wicker Dog House & Bed

Frisco Outdoor Wicker Dog House Bed

Frisco’s Outdoor Wicker Dog House and Bed is the perfect solution for dog owners looking for an outdoor kennel for their pets.

The dog kennel is made from synthetic rattan, iron, and PVC, so it’s weather-resistant and ideal for outside use. There’s a waterproof, easy-to-clean cushion bed to keep dogs warm and dry.


  • Waterproof, removable bed
  • Cozy spot for your dog to nap
  • Well-made, high-quality product


  • Best for large dog breeds

10. Coolaroo Steel-Framed Elevated Dog Bed

Coolaroo Steel Framed Elevated Dog Bed

This elevated dog bed from Coolaroo is available in various colors and sizes.

The bed is made from breathable high-density polyethylene to eliminate hot spots. The off-ground design provides excellent airflow all around the bed, keeping your pet cool and comfortable.


  • Robust powder-coated steel frame
  • Cover fabric is resistant to mildew, fleas, mold, and mites
  • Well-made, high-quality product


  • Challenging to assemble for some users

11. The Green Pet Shop Cool Pet Pad

The Green Pet Shop Cool Pet Pad

Keeping your dog cool when he spends time outside can be challenging if you live in a warm region. 

This pressure-activated, self-cooling pad works when your dog stands or lies down on it. The pad is designed to absorb your dog’s body heat, effectively reducing his temperature without the need for refrigeration, water, or electricity. 

To clean the pad, simply wipe it clean.


  • It can be folded for easy portability
  • Hand washable for easy cleanup or simply wipe clean
  • It fits most standard-sized kennels and dog crates


  • Not good for dogs that chew

12. K&H Pet Products Bolster Pet Cot Elevated Dog Bed

KH Pet Products Bolster Pet Cot Elevated Dog Bed

This elevated dog cot is made from heavy-denier, waterproof fabric and includes a fluffy bolster for comfort and security.

The bed is quick and simple to assemble without the need for any tools, making this a great choice for travel and camping. Although the frame is lightweight, it’s also sturdy and has been tested and found suitable to hold dogs over 200 pounds in weight.


  • Comes in various sizes and two colorways
  • Removable cover is machine-washable or simply hose off outdoors
  • Quick and easy to assemble


  • Not suitable for diggers or chewers

13. Cheerhunting Outdoor Dog Bed 

Cheerhunting Outdoor Dog Bed

If you want a large, comfortable dog bed that you can take with you on vacations with your furry friend, the Cheerhunting Outdoor Dog Bed could be ideal for your needs.

The bed is machine-washable for convenience and easy cleaning, and the fabric is claw-resistant.


  • Water-resistant cover
  • Suitable for very large dogs
  • Includes a handy carry bag


  • Only available in a large size

14. Pestell Pet Products Easy Clean Pine Bedding

Pestell Pet Products Easy Clean Pine Bedding

This odor control shredded pine bedding can be used as adequate bedding for an outdoor dog house or kennel.

The soft, comfortable material is highly-absorbent, easy to clean and use, and 100% biodegradable. 


  • Odor control bedding
  • 100% biodegradable
  • Highly absorbent


  • Only available in a small size bale

15. Small Pet Select – Pine Shavings Chicken Bedding

Small Pet Select Pine Shavings Chicken Bedding

Although this product is intended for use as chicken bedding, this outdoor-friendly bedding can also be used for your dog’s kennel.

The soft bedding is 100% biodegradable, making it ideal for use in your compost heap once you’re done with it in your dog’s kennel. The shavings are 99% dust-free for easy breathing for your pet, and natural odor control prevents your dog’s kennel from becoming smelly.


  • Odor control bedding
  • 100% biodegradable
  • 99% dust-free


  • It tends to clump when damp

What’s The Best Material For Outdoor Dog Bedding?

Unlike indoor dog beds, outdoor bedding can quickly get really dirty, and cleaning it is often problematic.

Here are a few practical alternatives you might want to consider for your furry friend’s outdoor dog house.

Wood Chips

A layer of wood chips or wood shavings can make excellent, effective outdoor dog bedding. This type of bedding provides support and cushioning for your pet and can help to keep an outdoor kennel warm in cold, damp weather.

However, make sure that you use safe, dog-friendly wood, such as pine, aspen, or cedar shavings. The wood chips mustn’t be sharp or so small that your dog could chew and eat one. 


Hay bales

You can use hay, straw, and Indian grass as effective bedding for your dog’s outside kennel. All those materials are cozy and soft and provide excellent insulation for the kennel during the winter and fall when the weather is cool and damp.

The main potential issue with using straw and hay as a type of doghouse bedding is that it can harbor fleas. You can also end up with a pile of straw dust if the product you choose is not high-quality. Straw readily soaks up small amounts of moisture, potentially leaving your dog on a damp bed.

Old Carpet or Bedding

The bedding materials you use are not going to be visible, and your dog isn’t precious about how his bed looks as long as it’s comfy. So, old blankets, linens, duvets, and even pieces of carpet are acceptable bedding choices for an outdoor kennel.

The main drawback to using these materials as a choice for kennel bedding is that a chewer will quickly make short work of them.

Elevated Dog Beds

Elevated dog beds can make an excellent choice for dogs that spend time outdoors in warm regions.

These beds resemble a sturdy hammock, bringing your dog up off the floor. This form of bedding is an excellent option for dogs that suffer from joint pain or stiffness. An elevated bed offers great air circulation, keeping your dog cool in warm weather.

Elevated beds are constructed of heavy-duty fabrics that are super-simple to clean and are quick-drying, too.

Traditional Dog Bedding

You can buy excellent dog bedding that’s designed and constructed for outdoor use.

When you’re looking for comfortable doghouse bedding, look for weather-resistant or waterproof fabrics. These bedding materials will resist the worst of the weather much better than plush, soft beds.

Unsuitable Outdoor Kennel Bedding

There are a couple of bedding types to avoid that we don’t consider to be suitable for use in outdoor kennels.



Although you might think it would make a good softer bedding choice, sawdust is actually a very poor bedding material for dogs.

Unlike wood shavings and wood chips, sawdust is very fine and dusty. The particulate will clump in anywhere moist, such as your dog’s eyes and nose, and it’s extremely messy, too. Long-haired dogs will end up with their fur full of sawdust, meaning that you’ll spend hours trying to brush away the tiny fragments of particulate bedding.


Newspaper can be used as bedding for dogs in a pinch, and it can be a good choice for whelping dogs and puppies since it’s easy to throw away and replace when soiled.

However, newspaper print can stain your dog’s fur or skin, and some dogs tear up their bedding with delight, leaving a horrendous mess for you to clean up.

Final Thoughts

Did you enjoy our guide to the best bedding for outdoor dog kennels? If you found the article interesting and helpful, please share it!

Many dogs enjoy spending time outdoors, and a kennel or dog house is perfect for providing your pet with shade and shelter. However, comfortable bedding is also important for your dog. There are several options for bedding aside from store-bought dog beds, such as straw, wood shavings, and even hay.

What kind of outdoor doghouse bedding material does your dog prefer? Tell us in the comments box below!

Meet our writer

Alison Page was brought up with dogs and various other pets! For a few years, Alison worked as a Practice Manager in a small animal veterinary clinic. Alison is now a full-time writer, specializing in creating articles on the care and training of dogs, cats, and fish.

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