How to Waterproof a Dog Bed

Dogs need clean dry beds for their health. Most dog beds are made with an outside cover and inside padding. The outside cover should be removable and washable. To help keep the inner padding dry, you can add a waterproof liner between the pad and the cover. If a dog throws up or piddles on the bed, just wash the cover, clean or replace the waterproof liner, and the dog can go back to a dry bed. A dog bed can made waterproof in these easy ways.

Emergency. For an emergency waterproof liner, get a sturdy garbage bag. A heavy-duty tear-resistant 90-gallon bag may be needed for a large dog. Remove the dog bed cover. Put the bed padding loosely inside the garbage bag. Fluff or smooth the padding, tie the garbage bag shut and put the bed back in the cover. Be sure the knotted end of the garbage bag is at the side of the pad so the dog is not sleeping on the knot. Replace this with a more durable liner for long-term use.

Space blanket. A space blanket or survival blanket is a quick and inexpensive waterproof liner. These thin foil-type blankets are available in outdoor, hardware and discount stores. Remove the bed cover and wrap the space blanket all around the padding. The blanket is usually about 50 inches by 80 inches so it will overlap. Use duct tape or packaging tape if desired to seal the blanket around the pad. Re-cover the bed. Some dogs will not sleep on the bed because of the crinkly foil sound and you may need to use another type of liner.

Bubble wrap. If your dog needs a liner only on top of the bed, bubble wrap is quick and easy to use. Lay a strip of bubble wrap over the bed with extra overlap. Use scissors to cut the bubble wrap to size. You may need to cut two or more strips to fit the bed. Tape them side-by-side for a smooth wide pad. Use duct tape or sturdy packaging tape. Put the bubble wrap liner between the dog cover and the bed padding. This protects the pad but does not absorb liquid. Wipe it off as soon as it gets wet. Bubble wrap may make your dog too warm so use it only as a temporary solution.

People pads. Chemists, medical supply shops and Internet stores carry incontinence pads. These pads come in many sizes and styles. They are waterproof and have quilted, smooth or padded surfaces. Incontinence pads come in disposable and in washable styles. Choose an absorbent pad that wicks liquid away from your pet's body. If you choose a large quilted or well-cushioned pad, it may be comfortable enough to be used on top of the cover.

Baby bedding. Check baby departments for waterproof baby bedding. Look for a waterproof baby blanket or mattress pad. These covers do not feel like plastic. Choose one that is washable, hypoallergenic, and breathable. You do not want it to trap body heat that may cause skin infections.

Piddle pads. Pet stores and kiddie stores carry piddle pads. These disposable pads are waterproof on one side and padded on the other. The pads come in different sizes and are excellent when you only need to cover the top sleeping area of the bed. They absorb liquid on the padded side, making clean-up easier. Just replace with a new pad.

Crate pads. Many pet stores carry waterproof liners for crate or kennel pads. These pads are washable and come either as flat pads or full covers with zippers. Some are highly absorbent and soak up the fluid. They can be machine washed and dried for reuse.


Puppies, older dogs and sick dogs are especially likely to need a waterproof bed. For a sick or incontinent dog, keep extra disposable and washable pads. Use them wherever the dog likes to sleep during the day. A wet liner should be removed so the dog does not get soaked in urine and become infected.


If your dog is a bed-chewer, do not use plastic or bubble wrap that can be ripped in small pieces and swallowed. Whenever a dog destroys its bed, take away the chewed parts immediately to prevent choking.

Things You'll Need

  • Dog bed
  • Garbage bag
  • Space blanket
  • bubble wrap
  • Crate pad
  • People pads
  • Baby bedding
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About the Author

Phyllis Benson is a professional writer and creative artist. Her 25-year background includes work as an editor, syndicated reporter and feature writer for publications including "Journal Plus," "McClatchy Newspapers" and "Sacramento Union." Benson earned her Bachelor of Science degree at California Polytechnic University.