How to: Make a Replacement Pet Bed Filler

When we got Jak last month, I thought I was being oh so smart by getting a dog bed with a removable cover. The theory was that I could just take off the cover, give it a wash, and be good to go again. Well, that’s true except in the case of accidents where the whole thing gets soaked through. Next time I’ll make sure to get a cover that’s water proof as well as removable. Ah well. Hopefully we have dealt with the last of the pee issues.

We’ve found that Jak has some separation anxiety issues starting about a week and a half ago and consistently messes in his crate every time we leave or go to sleep for the night. Usually within 15 minutes of us leaving too. Gross.

I had to toss the whole inside filler because there was no way to clean it, it was soaked through. I did actually try, but it just shredded the “fabric” that the stuffing was contained in. Bah.

Time to pull out the sewing machine and make my own.

It was surprisingly easy, so I thought I would share this with you, just in case you have a pet with a bed that needs a new inside.

First: Measure your dog bed cover. Mine is 36″ x 60″. (Jak is a huge dog.) Add 8″ to the length and width to allow for the stuffing. I honestly skipped the width part because I didn’t want to sew on a panel of fabric. My fabric was exactly 36″ wide.

Second: Cut two pieces of fabric that size. The seam allowances will make it slightly smaller so it fits well. Prewash and dry them so they don’t shrink if you have to ever wash the inside. (I used muslin because I have a bolt of it and it’s cheap.)

Third: Round up a pile of polyfil. I have a whole box that I had purchased wholesale years ago. I was on a knit plush kick and was going through bags of the stuff. Of course as soon as I got the 5 lb box, (just think about how much polyfil it takes to measure 5 lbs!) I stopped. Ha. Anyway, it took about 2 pounds to fill Jak’s bed. But it’s pretty huge.

Forth: Sew it. It’s a big rectangle, so just stitch around the entire thing, leaving one side open. I used 1/2″ seam allowances and did a straight stitch and then a zig zag stitch over that. Extra sturdy was the idea. Turn the whole thing right sides out and stuff with chunks of polyfil. You only need to fill it loosely, don’t pack it.

Last: Tuck the open edges under and sew shut. Make sure to lock the stitches at the beginning and end so it doesn’t unravel. Shove into the freshly washed cover, zip it shut, and give back to your pup.

Oh and happily, after figuring out that it’s not a house training issue, we’ve been able to work on it. We’ve figured it’s a combo of three things – schedule change, irritable bowel syndrome (I kid you not), and separation anxiety. Poor guy. But hey we are on day 2 of no messes, whew! Yeah Jak! That’s a good dog!

Happy crafting!

9 thoughts on “How to: Make a Replacement Pet Bed Filler

  1. Next time add some cedar shavings to themmix and you have some flea pevention as well!

  2. Nice post…might also want to consider making the inner pillow out of impervious material so that the bodily fluids don’t soak through to the stuffing and the outer can just be laundered and inner just wiped off… My dog used to have incontinence problems and I needed to find easy cleaning solutions. The vet might also be able to prescribe some meds to help with the separation anxiety. Once the dog is less stressed, his inflammatory bowel might get better. Some dogs get so stressed they can really blow with some nasty, bloody diarrhea. Maybe this will be helpful:

  3. My dog’s separation anxiety amounts to chewing her bedding and eating it! It’s pretty terrible for her digestion I’m sure! Even if she has 3 chew toys in her crate she still chews the bedding. I’m hoping she’ll reach a point when she outgrows this, then I can make her a new bed! :)

    1. It’s so hard to deal with and sometimes they grow out of it, and sometimes it intensifies. Jak’s thankfully doing better now, but maybe it’s more I’m doing better. I did a lot of research on it and have been working on alone training and having a nice strict schedule – eat at 8:30, crate from 10:30 – 2:30, walk at 4pm, eat at 5pm, out at regular times. And I’ve been sleeping out in the living room on the couch while he’s in his crate for half nights every other night or so. Geesh. he’s a great dog, but I’ll be happy when this is 100% over with.

  4. Oh how I wish I had seen this post 2 1/2 years ago! :) I went through probably 3 beds before we found one my dog wouldn’t tear apart like a huge chew toy! Such a good tip for all dog owners to have in their pocket!

  5. I’d recommend making it out of a waterproof mattress pad- we have a twin sized one we frequently put over couch cushions which works for sick and incontinent pets and children. The first layer absorbs the liquid, and then there is a not so crinkly plasticy layer that protects the mattress/cushions. Good to have on hand, and I think would also be easily sewn as a pillow.

  6. Hey, this is brilliant! It never occurred to me this was possible…and I’ve had dogs for what, 8 years now? (Think how many dog beds I’ve gone through!) Another great post, Kristin!

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  8. I always cover the inner pillow with a plastic bag! Works great after the dog gets used to the sound! :)

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