Does your dog have a habit of destroying his crate pad? If so, a tough and chew proof mat could be a solution – although be aware that a truly “indestructible” crate bed doesn’t exist (yet).
There’s nothing more frustrating than waking up to find your dog has ripped up his crate bed…again.
Whether destructive behavior is caused by anxiety, teething or boredom, most crate pads simply aren’t designed to withstand a determined attack.
For this reason, bed manufacturers have started to produce chew proof pads. These have tough and durable exteriors, and may be a good choice if you’re tired of spending money on replacement mats.
It’s very difficult to find a truly “chew proof” or indestructible crate pad though. In fact, I’ve yet to see a pad that a determined chewer couldn’t rip. The best indestructible mats last much longer than regular alternatives, however, so you have more time to address the underlying reason for the destructive behavior.
To help you make the right choice for your pet, I’ve put together a list of the best indestructible dog crate pads for chewers and diggers. But before we get to the list, what makes a crate pad worthy of being called “indestructible?”
Tough pad for mild or moderate chewing
My top pick for a durable pad is the K9 Ballistics Tough Mat. It has a strong rip-stop exterior for greater durability, along with a machine washable design and 120-day single replacement warranty.
Regular mats are made with microfiber or cotton exteriors. These are soft and comfortable, but most dogs can rip them apart without much effort.
In contrast, “chew proof” mats are made with stronger external materials, such as nylon or canvas. Many also have features such as hidden zips or waterproof covers to increase durability.
These beds are strong, but certainly not indestructible, unrippable or unchewable. For this reason, they often get poor ratings on shopping sites from owners of dogs that have destroyed them.
This misunderstanding is due to poor advertising. Many mats are listed as “chew proof” or “indestructible,” but “chew resistant” is a much more accurate term. They can withstand mild or moderate chewing, but won’t hold up to a determined dog with a strong jaw and sharp teeth.
That means it’s important to have realistic expectations. We’re not looking for a completely indestructible mat, but one that’s more resistant to digging and chewing than others. Here are features that can make a difference:
Strength isn’t the only consideration though. The pad still needs to be comfortable, reasonably priced and the right size for your crate. It should also have a machine washable design. No-one wants a dog bed that can’t be washed!
Be aware that crate beds and pads aren’t as supportive as thick foam beds. If your dog has a joint condition, such as hip dysplasia or arthritis, an orthopedic bed is a better option.
Tip: If your dog is a heavy chewer, check out my page about chew-proof dog beds. Unlike crate mats, some of these beds are virtually indestructible. You may also want to read my guide to chew proof dog leashes.
There’s a deeper issue if your dog regularly destroys his bed or crate pad. A chew proof design is a useful short-term solution, but it’s more important to solve the underlying reason for destructive behavior.
Common causes include separation anxiety, boredom, crate anxiety or lack of physical exercise. Your dog may also be spending too much time in his crate or kennel.
Listed below are five of the most durable pads and liners. None are indestructible, but they are more challenging to destroy than the average bed. Make sure you read each mini-review to find the right option for your pet.
The K9 Ballistics has a rip-stop and chew-resistant ballistic cover. This is excellent for resisting scratching or digging, as the rip-stop material stops small holes from becoming larger. The cover is also waterproof, which is useful for incontinent dogs or puppies.
K9 Ballistics offers a 120 day warranty. You can request a single replacement if your dog damages the bed during this time. You can only ask for one replacement, however, which may not be much use if your dog has destroyed the first bed in quick time, but it provides extra peace of mind.
An interesting feature of the Tough Crate Pad is the sealed design. You can’t remove the 1.5″ polyfill interior stuffing, as there’s no Velcro or zipper enclosure. This means there are fewer weak spots or chewing targets. You can still machine wash the entire bed on a cold cycle, as the stuffing is suitable for washing (unlike foam beds).
You need to have realistic expectations of this bed though. Like all mats, it’s not going to hold up against a powerful dog that’s determined to destroy it. It’ll last longer – but that isn’t much consolation if your pet rips it after a few days rather than a few hours! It’s also one of the most expensive crate pads on the market.
Even so, if you’re looking for a tough and durable crate mat, there really aren’t many better options.
Considering the lower price, I think the TuffutLux provides excellent value. The cushion is soft and comfortable, while the strong exterior is a match for many dogs.
It’s also water resistant to protect the polyfill cushion. Don’t expect it to stop a full “accident” – this isn’t the right bed for incontinent dogs – but it helps keep the interior dry.
There are some drawbacks though.
Unlike the K9 Ballistics, you can remove the polyfill stuffing. While I’m sure some people like being able to wash the cover separately, the zipper is a weak spot on this crate bed. The exterior cover also creates a quiet crinkling sound when a dog moves on it. This usually isn’t a problem, but if you have a nervous dog or your pet sleeps in your bedroom, this might not be the best mat.
On the plus side, the bed is covered by a one-time replacement warranty if your dog damages it.
A useful feature of this bed is the corner design. These fold to get a snug fit in any crate. It’s also machine washable and has a padded design for added comfort.
There are a few reasons it’s only #3 on this list though. While the padding isn’t too thin compared to other crate mats, you’ll probably want to add a blanket underneath. I also don’t think it’s as durable as the K9 Ballistics, as the seams are weak spots that heavy chewers can target.
This comparison isn’t completely fair though, as the K&H is much cheaper. If your dog is a light chewer, it’s an affordable option that’s worth considering.
It’s built with the company’s “Chew Guard Technology.” This is effectively an internal mesh attached to the cover, which helps prevent tearing. It also has reinforced seams.
Don’t expect it to withstand heavy or even moderate chewing though. It just isn’t strong enough. For light chewing and digging, however, it’s stronger than a regular mat.
Other plus points include a machine washable design (cold cycle), bolsters for added comfort, and a 30-day one-time replacement guarantee. The goDog also has a non-skid bottom, which can make dogs feel more secure.
Should you buy it though?
If your dog is a light chewer or digger and likes to sleep on a bolster, the goDog could be a good option. It’s less durable than the other options on this list though, so don’t expect it to last long against a determined attack.
Note: Like most mats on this list, the goDog should be allowed to dry naturally. It’s not suitable for tumble drying.
An upfront warning: the Big Barker Pad is NOT chew proof. So, why is it on this list?
Despite not being listed as chew proof or indestructible, the Big Barker is a durable pad with a tear-resistant cover. It’s not a great choice for chewers, but can withstand digging and nesting.
It’s also much more comfortable and supportive than the average crate mat. Instead of a thin layer of polyfill, the Big Barker has 4″ of orthopedic foam. The top 2″ is comfort foam, which molds around your dog’s joints and reduces pressure points, while the bottom 2″ is support foam to prevent sinking through to the floor.
Aside from comfort, the Big Barker is also great for dogs that suffer from joint pain. If your pet has hip dysplasia, arthritis or other joint issues, it’s probably the best crate bed on the market. Big Barker also has a reputation for producing high-quality foam beds, so it’s unlikely to flatten over time.
Other advantages include the machine washable cover, American manufacturer and heavy-duty zipper. It’s also waterproof, so accidents can be wiped down without staining the inner mattress.
The cover isn’t strong enough to withstand chewing though. The zipper could also be a target for chewers, which is why I’m a fan of the zipless K9 Ballistics pad.
Another drawback is the price. Big Barker products are excellent quality and made in the US – but you pay a premium for this. For diggers, it’s one of the best crate beds on the market though.
Most crate mats aren’t designed to handle chewing or digging. They tend to have cotton or microfiber exteriors, exposed zippers and weak seams. If your dog is destructive, most mats are unlikely to last long.
While 100% indestructible or chew-proof crate beds don’t exist, there are a wide range durable options that can withstand mild or moderate chewing. Here’s a quick overview of my top picks:
You should also think about why your dog is destructive in his crate. Is he bored? Does he spend too much time locked away? Or does he suffer from separation anxiety? No bed can last forever against a determined or destructive dog, so solving the underlying problem is essential.
I hope this article has helped you choose the best chew proof crate pad for your pet. If you have any questions or comments, please use the comments form below.