Young puppies are more prone to making messes in their crates and ripping up their bedding than older dogs so start small and inexpensive.
Needs Bedding: Tiny, Bony, Thin Coated, Hairless, Heat Seekers.
Typically: Tiny toy breeds, any of the short haired sighthounds, Doberman pups (who may whine and moan dramatically without a soft place to curl up), Weimaraners, Vizsla.
Does NOT Need Bedding: Cold seekers, Heavy coated, Mega chewers
If your pup splays out on tile flooring, shoves bedding aside to nap on the metal bottom or shreds everything in with him than he neither wants nor needs not benefits from bedding. Most pups I raised have no bedding for the first 6-9 months. Sometimes longer.
When I use bedding, here’s what I usually use: Fleece. Fleece is less prone to shredding into thready messes than fabric or towels and washes and dries in a flash. And I use it folded in half so it is just large enough for the pup to curl up on.
K-9 Keeper Sleeper Crate Pad
This sort of bed is my next choice. Comparatively inexpensive and easy clean up. I buy as small as I can as I find that minimizes some chewing.
Who Needs a Crate Mat: Skinny, Comfort-Seekers, Bony, Tiny and Any Non-Chewer
Dogs are uncomfortable without bedding clearly need it. These are fewer than you might think. All other dogs may enjoy it or, more importantly, you may enjoy them having it. And why not? Pip probably doesn’t “need” bedding but she likes it and I like seeing her curled up and comfy.
Who Does NOT Need It? Chewers, Rippers, Cool-Seekers, Sprawlers
Some dogs neither want nor benefit from crate mats of any kind. If they destroy them then don’t let them practice any more. That’s a skill dogs enjoy way too much – try to nip that one in the bud if you can. For experienced or determined rippers and chewers, no fabric bed holds up which is why I don’t like chew resistant beds here. Outside the crate, maybe. In the crate? Nah. Save your money.
Here are some easy, washable crate bed options.
Midwest Quiet Time Paw Print/Fleece Reversible Pet Bed
P.L.A.Y. Pet Lifestyle and You Crate Pad
OLDER DOGS/SORE DOGS
Who Needs Orthopedic Crate Beds? Almost all older and/or sore dogs.
When unsure, select a supportive, sturdy bed that isn’t too poofy. (Poofy can make it a challenge for older dogs or sore dogs to get up. Judge your own dog.) Waterproof is a big plus as dog’s age. Like us, they can have less control over their body as things start to decline. Never be angry at them for this, please, it is quite beyond their control.