My Puppy Destroyed Her Bed. Now What?

In a recent post in a puppy behavior group, virtually everyone said the ONLY solution to this problem is to take away all beds until puppy “grows out of it.” I couldn’t disagree more. The lasting impact of a puppy being uncomfortable while alone can be catastrophic. Anyone who’s ever dealt with canine separation anxiety knows what that feels like. I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy.

IMG 0166

Your puppy’s health is paramount. Obviously if they swallow a piece of foam that blocks their intestines that isn’t healthy. In fact, it’s life threatening without emergency surgery.

Being severely stressed when alone is equally life threatening, in my experience. Average dog owners quickly become overwhelmed when living with a puppy or dog who panics when they’re alone. It’s understandable why so many people surrender dogs with serious Separation Anxiety to shelters and rescues. Sadly, in today’s climate, even young puppies are in danger in shelters, due to unprecedented overcrowding.

Not having a bed in the crate prevents a puppy from destroying anything. No destruction = nothing to swallow.

No bed can also mean a puppy is less comfortable, which makes alone time more likely to result in negative associations with being alone. That’s a recipe for separation anxiety in the making. 

Thankfully there are appropriate beds that don’t pose a health threat to your puppy! It isn’t an either or proposition.

Beds for Anxious Chewers

I highly recommend the K9 Ballistics crate pad for your crate and puppy pen. I’ve recommended this chew-resistant pad for years. I’ve never known of a puppy or dog shredding one of these. I know of 2 cases out of a couple of hundred where the puppy teeth pierced the nylon cover but the destruction ended there.

Kuranda Beds suspend puppies in hammock-like comfort. My dogs love theirs. The Kuranda chew-proof aluminum frames stand up to the abuse of dog kennels and shelters. They’re virtually indestructible and are guaranteed for 1 year.

IMG 4165 1

I have 2 PVC Kuranda beds that have lasted 20+ years without a hole or other sign of all the digging and chewing that comes with puppy play school days. 

Effective enrichment utilizes puppy brains in ways that reduce pent up mental energy and anxiety. Chewing & ripping is a common way puppies release stress. There are many enrichment activities that can offer your puppy that release so they don’t take it out on their bed.

I don’t advise my clients to confine puppies on a hard surfaces. In my experience, doing so is playing with separation anxiety fire. 

The less comfortable your puppy is when they’re alone, the less likely they are to be calm. The less calm they are alone, the greater the chances that will become distress or much worse.

Follow me for puppy behavior recommendations on Instagram and Facebook: @SantaMonicaPuppyCoach.

Dee Green has been a professional dog trainer and canine behavior consultant for more than 20 years. She specializes in puppies up to 18 months, and fearful, anxious and reactive dogs of all ages.

Accessibility Tools