Cedar Chip Dog Beds: Benefits and How to Care For and Clean Them

Cedar Chip Dog Beds: Benefits and How to Care For and Clean Them
Dog beds are everywhere.

There’s almost always one at the front of the pet store when I take Maggie out for a trip to get more treats.

They come in all different sizes and materials, but I’ve never actually bought one before.

The thing is, how can you know which dog bed is right for your dog?

There are so many kinds of dog beds, including the popular cedar chip dog bed.

The cedar chip part of the name made me think it was for outdoor dogs only, but that’s not true.

Here’s everything I’ve learned about cedar chip dog beds and why people like them so much.

Benefits of Cedar

My first thought was that all dog beds were filled with cotton.

It seemed like the obvious filling, but cedar chip dog beds take bed filling to a whole new level.

It Banishes Pests

Cedar moth bug resistant hangers chips for dog beds

It’s the same reasoning behind using cedar hangers to keep moths off your clothes

There’s no getting around it—bugs and dogs go hand in hand.

The little critters may try to get a ride in your dog’s fur or even make a home out of it when you least expect it.

Besides giving your dog flea and tick medication, plus bathing them regularly, what fills their dog bed could actual repel bugs.

Cedar chips emit aromatic hydrocarbons known as phenols. You can recognize these phenols by the earthy smell that cedar chips have, but bugs find it repulsive[1].

Specifically, cedar chips repel:

  • Fleas
  • Ticks
  • Fire ants
  • Moths
  • Snakes
  • Cockroaches
  • Rats

While bugs and pests will have to find a new home elsewhere, your dog can rest easy on a bed filled with cedar chips.

It’s Eco-Friendly

Dog parents who try to live a green lifestyle don’t have to worry when it comes to cedar chip dog beds.

They’re super eco-friendly!

First, the cedar tree can grow almost anywhere, so any that are chopped down can be grown right back up[2].

Why use cedar chips as dog bed filling biodegradable eco friendly

Another green aspect of cedar chips is that they’re biodegradable.

If your dog were to use a cedar chip bed every day and you needed to replace it, the chips wouldn’t harm the environment by being left to decay naturally.

In fact, you could even use the old cedar chips to fill your soil composting container and break down your own waste along with your dog’s[3].

It Absorbs Moisture

Cedar chips are naturally dry, but they absorb moisture like a sponge.

That means that if your dog goes to sleep after taking a bath or going swimming and they’re still damp, their dog bed will absorb the excess moisture and release it the next day.

Along with absorbing moisture, it’ll contain odors.

You won’t have to worry about dealing with that wet dog smell if your pup can lounge on a cedar chip bed.

Some dogs are also naturally more stinky than others.

It has a lot to do with their dental hygiene and how well they get groomed around their butt.

Giving a stinky dog a cedar chip bed is another way to help make them and your house smell better without spending a ton of money.

How to Care for Cedar Chip Dog BedsKaytee red cedar pet bedding easy to clean resists bugs moisture controls odors

The best way to care for cedar chip dog beds is to pay attention to how they smell.

The odor is what repels bugs and indicates fresh chips.

If the bed is filled with old chips, it’s likely that the filling will get moldy and not be of any use.

At this point, you will need to replace the chips with a new, fresh batch.

Keep a note on your calendar or in your planner to remind you when it’s time to check the cedar chips and possibly replace them.

Depending on where your dog’s bed is located in the house or outside, and how much they use it, you could need to replace the chips as often as once a month.

How to Clean Cedar Chip Dog Beds

Kennel care cedar chips for dog cat horse bedding naturally aromaticCleaning cedar chip dog beds is one of the easiest things you can take care of.

Because of the filling, the beds often have a vinyl or other tough fabric that forms the interior layer of the bed.

The outer layer is the fluffy, colorful part that your dog sleeps on. That should be easily removable from any cedar chip bed and put in the washing machine.

If you feel the need to clean the interior fabric, you’ll have to empty out the chips before you put that in the washing machine too.

You may only need to do this as often as you replace the chips themselves, since the outer layer will be where all the stains and smells attach to.

Where to Find Cedar Chip Dog Beds

Finding cedar filled dog beds may be a bit trickier than just going down to your local pet store.

Most of the time, you’ll have to find your dog’s bed online or order from a store’s catalogue.

This is because stores want to get these beds out as fresh as possible, so sitting on display on a shelf isn’t the ideal storage situation.

Many dog owners find that it’s super easy to make the dog bed themselves.

Cedar chip filling can be bought at most hardware stores or online, and then all you need is the bedding case.DIY dog bedding pillow case cover waterproof liner fill yourself with cedar chips

Crafty dog parents can make two bedding cases at home with a sewing machine, as long as the interior layer is something that can’t be chewed or broken through.

You can also go the super easy route and get a pillowcase with a zipper on it.

Zip the pillow case up once it’s filled with cedar chips and then put a fluffy pillow cover or slip over it for extra comfort.


Now that I know that cedar beds exist, I can’t believe I didn’t see them more often as I was growing up.

Many of my friends’ dogs had dog beds, but they were always super flat and not very comfortable for the dogs.

Cedar chips are basically a dream dog bed stuffing!

They absorb moisture, repel all the common bugs you find on or around dogs, and they’re biodegradable.

If you haven’t tried out cedar chip bedding for your own dog, now may be the time. It could be their new favorite thing to snuggle on at night!


  1. https://www.northernstar-online.com/cedar-natural-rodent-bug-control/
  2. https://www.hunker.com/13404701/pine-vs-cedar-mulch
  3. https://homeguides.sfgate.com/soil-composting-cedar-chips-78507.html
About the author

Emily Pierce

Emily Pierce is a self-published novelist, award winning short story writer, and freelancer. When she’s not writing, she enjoys baking and making clothes for dogs.