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Crate training has many advantages for you and your dog, as we’ve explained elsewhere. One of the most important aspects of that training is for the crate to be comfortable, and that means you need a crate pad. The plastic tray on the bottom of a wire crate is hard, and thin enough that all but the lightest dogs can feel the wire bars underneath when they lie on it. So you need to add something that’s going to be pleasant to lie on for long periods of time if you want your dog to feel that their crate is a welcoming space.
If it fits, a typical dog bed can work just fine, but there is an array of crate pads and beds made specifically to fit in standard wire crates. If your dog is a chewer or digger, choose your dog bed carefully; to a certain kind of dog, a stuffed fabric bed is just another toy to disembowel. There are options that are specifically designed to be tough, or if your dog is more sedate, you have a range of choices with different levels of cushioning and a variety of fabric types.
The article will look at a variety of crate pads available in various materials, styles, and at different prices.
If you just want something super simple to add a layer of comfort, this is a good basic crate pad. The “reversible” just means that the top and bottom are the same except for color, unlike many of the others on this list. It’s plain colored on one side and has a paw print design on the other. Although not advertised as chew-proof, reviewers seem pleased with its durability, regarding both how it stands up to washing and to the dog.
- Comes in a wide range of 8 sizes from 18 to 54 inches
- Machine washable and dryer safe
- Synthetic fur fabric
Another basic crate pad, but with more cushioning and a nonstick surface on the bottom, from a reputable company at a bargain price. In two of the colors, the soft synthetic fabric has an attractive swirl pattern. Not recommended for chewers, so this isn’t the choice for the dog who enjoys destroying beds.
- Seven sizes from 18 to 48 inches
- Three colors
- Machine washable; recommended lie flat to dry
Another fairly simple, nice-looking cushioned pad that has a lot of fans. Reviewers love this pad for its nonslip bottom surface that keeps it from sliding around on the plastic crate tray, and there are many comments about how much their dogs love it as well. The fabric is fleece with an attractive quilted texture, and the filling is a thick cotton.
- Four sizes, 27.5 to 47 inches on Amazon, two others from the manufacturer
- Four colors
- Machine washable (cold) and dryer safe
Some dogs like to curl up against the side of a dog bed. Your best bet for these dogs might be to use a regular dog bed that fits your crate, but this is another possibility. It has four flaps on the side that you fold up against the sides of the crate to produce a bed with soft edges. While it only comes in four sizes, the style gives it a lot of leeway to fit different size crates, although you’ll get a different amount of side cushioning as well. Note that it does not come in very large sizes and does not provide a lot of cushioning on the bottom.
- Comes in sizes from 14 to 37 inches
- Fleece fabric
- Non-slip bottom
- Machine washable
This bed is filled with a three inch thick layer of memory foam for cushioning and support. If your dog has joint problems or other pain, or is just a princess that needs a super soft place to lay, this may be the bed for you. The removable cover is microsuede and machine washable. One reviewer reports that after two years, “the bed inserts are still fluffy and the washable cover is still fully functioning.” Although this is not listed as a crate pad, the manufacturer states that “Our beds are also made to fit perfectly inside most generic dog crates.”
- Seven sizes, 17 to 52 inches
- Four colors available
- Cover removes with zipper
Similar to Brindle’s other bed but with some additional features, this one is thicker and has a waterproof layer beneath the cover. The filling is 2 inches of memory foam and 2 inches of high density support foam. This extra cushioning and the waterproofing makes this a good choice for a senior dog with incontinence issues and who needs extra comfort for those senior aches and pains, if one of the three sizes works for you.
- Comes in six colors
- Three sizes, 22 to 46 inches
- Note that it is not designed to be chew-proof
Heated beds that precisely fit a range of crates are tough to come by, but if you don’t want to use a separate heating pad or risk a chewer around electrical equipment, you can try the K&H Self-heating crate pad. It reportedly radiates the pet’s body heat back to it. Some reviewers scoff at the self-heating claim but quite a number report it’s warmer than a regular bed. The slit covers allow the pad to fit in a crate even if it’s a little too small.
- Six sizes, 14 to 54 inches
- Three colors
- Microfleece fabric
- Non-slip bottom
To some dogs, stuffed, fabric-covered beds are just another toy to disembowel. While some are tougher than others, there are also designs that get around the problem in another way. This one has a unique design with a metal rim. Rather than putting it on top of the tray at the bottom of a wire crate, you remove that tray and place this directly on the bottom of the crate. Because the dog can’t get at the edges of the fabric, they can’t chew on it. If you have a digger, of course, scratching on the pad is still possible, but this gives you a fighting chance.
- Comes in five sizes, 29×18 to 50×33
- Two colors, black or gray
- Also allows maximum headroom since it’s not placed on top of the tray
- Indoor/outdoor use
- 120 day warranty
Another approach if you’ve got a serious chewer is to use an elevated bed. Instead of using cushioning to get your dog off the hard plastic crate tray, this style lifts him off it, kind of like a hammock. Because the edges are inside the metal frame, they’re not available for chewing. While this one is generally well reviewed, there are owners who report their dogs were able to put a hole in it, so do remember that nothing can be guaranteed dog-proof with every single dog.
- Five sizes, 30 to 50 inches, and four colors
- Clean with a damp cloth or hose
- Liquids don’t leak through to the floor
- No assembly required
- 180 Day Chew Proof guarantee
Kuranda also makes an elevated metal frame bed that is designed to be chewproof. It comes in one size smaller than the K9 Ballistics, and a longer warranty, which lasts for a full year. Kuranda has a program that donates beds to shelters, so they have a lot of experience with their product under tough conditions.
- Five sizes, 25 to 50 inches
- Four colors
- Supports up to 100 pounds
- Needs to be assembled
If you’re looking for a fashionable look and natural materials instead of toughness, check out Molly Mutt. Their crate pads are stuffed with California-sourced 100% natural wool that’s warm in the winter and cool in the summer. They’re well-known for the range of attractive fabrics used for their dog beds.
- Six sizes, 24 to 54 inches
- Nine fabric patterns
- Cover is machine washable; insert must be hand washed