As a dog owner, you may already be familiar with the Kong brand name as one known for great dog chew toys. So you might think that a Kong dog bed would also make a great purchase based on the manufacturer’s reputation.
It seems that would not be a wise conclusion to jump to.
We’ll explain in this article what the problems with a Kong dog bed are, why you probably should avoid getting one, and give you an alternative solution for a good bed that we really like – and think you will too – for your dog (or puppy), based on our research and the reactions of other dog owners who have made similar purchases.
Kong Chew Resistant Heavy Duty Pillow Bed
Let’s first look at the standard Kong pillow bed, which is available in different colors, such as red and grey.
Kong says that this model is meant for large breed dogs, but that wouldn’t stop us from using it with medium-sized and small breed dogs, if we thought they could make good use of it.
It makes sense to us that, if you have a small dog, he could still use a large bed. It’s not like he’s going to get lost in it. On the other hand, if you have a large dog, you’ll want to get a large enough bed, so he doesn’t have significant parts of his body hanging over the edges.
In a hurry?
Chew-Resistant Fabric Is Not As Good
If you have a dog that likes to chew anything and everything, you must understand that this bed (cover) is only chew-resistant, not chew-proof. Think of an item that is considered water-resistant. You would expect that it would keep water out for a time, but not forever. Eventually, it will give up, and the water will seep in.
In much the same way, a chew-resistant bed will defend itself for a while, but sooner or later a persistent dog will be able to tear through the material. At that point, the bed is done for.
You either need a better bed or a better-behaved dog – or both. We’ve seen a suggestion that you should monitor your dog, related to his chewing of the bed. That doesn’t seem realistic though. You shouldn’t have to watch your dog as he goes to take a nap on his bed.
Machine Washable Cover Is Good
There is a removable cover that is machine washable. You dog may have an accident on it at some point, so it’s good to know that machine washing is an option.
The bottom side of this cover has a non-slip surface so it should stay in place. This is especially nice if you’re not going to be putting it inside any kind of cage or housing area.
The zipper for removing the cover is also on the back side. If you don’t let your dog flip the bed over, he shouldn’t be able to get at that zippered area.
We’ll take a look at one more Kong bed before giving our final evaluation and then the alternative.
Kong Plush Lounger Dog Bed: Similar Features
The Kong Lounger Bed has the same basic properties as the heavy duty pillow bed mentioned above.
The manufacturer says it is durable yet comfortable. The question, of course, is just how long it will remain durable.
This bed, which measures 39 inches long by 29 inches wide by 4 inches high, is also rated chew-resistant. (See above again for our thoughts on that qualification.)
This bed’s cover is also machine washable. It has a water resistant liner that will help – for a time – to keep the inside dry if your dog has an accident or something like a water dish is spilled on it.
Some shoppers have noted that you can get this same bed for significantly less at PetSmart, compared to the Amazon price. We wonder whether it’s worth the purchase even at the lower price, so let’s dig into that aspect now.
Should You Really Avoid Kong Dog Beds?
While we have nothing negative to say about Kong chew toys, we must side with many Kong bed purchasers who have felt like they wasted a lot of money on one (or more) of these products.
Being chew-resistant just isn’t good enough, if you have a less-than-perfect pet who likes to get his teeth into everything he can. When one of those items is a bed that you expect him to use daily, bad things are going to happen.
Some Owners Like Kong Beds
Those owners who said they loved their dog’s Kong bed are few and far between.
It seems likely that they have dogs that just don’t take to chewing (and destroying) property all that much. Whether this is due to training or the character of the individual dog or a general feature of the breed as a whole, it’s hard to say.
Our Suggestion Related to Kong Beds
The point is that it sounds like many, if not most, dogs are going to have their way with a Kong bed, and you’ll end up shopping for a new one – probably sooner than later.
So should you avoid buying a Kong dog bed? Let’s just say that we think there are better options, like the K9 Ballistics bed we’ll talk about next.
K9 Ballistics Nearly Indestructible Dog Bed (unique RipStop fabric)
One of the specifications you might like the best about this K9 Dog Bed is that it comes in five different sizes. With the caveat mentioned above, you can choose a bed only as big as you need and not have to pay for one larger than is really necessary.
All five beds are 5 inches high. The table below gives their length and width in inches.
Chew-Resistant vs Chew Proof
Let’s be honest here. There is no such thing as a totally chew-proof fabric – at least, not one that you would want to make a dog bed out of.
K9 Ballistics says that this bed is “nearly” chew-proof, which means that, like all other dog beds, it is really only chew-resistant.
That said, this bed has a much better reputation among owners than the Kong beds. It will take your chew-happy dog much longer to rip through this bed than the 2 Kong models mentioned above – if he ever manages to do so.
Extra Tough Bed Cover (best overall)
So what you want to know most about this bed is if it will stand up to your dog better than a Kong.
K9 Ballistics notes that they originally used Kevlar (known for its exceptional strength and impenetrability) for their beds but found it wasn’t strong enough. So they made something even stronger! A fabric called ‘Ripstop’.
We think that fact, along with the many positive reviews from current owners, testifies to the fact that the K9 Ballistics bed is one that you would be pleased to own for a good, long time.
The “Ripstop” fabric is machine washable, making it easy to clean. The cover resists dirt and grime, as well as smelly odors that can accumulate, even if your dog never has an accident. You can clean it with just a damp cloth or hose. For a deeper clean, you can toss it in the washing machine on a cold cycle. Rather than putting it into the dryer though, you should just let it air dry.
This dog bed doesn’t use any glue so it won’t degrade or flatten over time, whether your dog is huge or tiny.
Orthopedics For Your Needy Dog
The bed’s foam is made of “CertiPUR-US” material that K9 Ballistics says they cut themselves in their US manufacturing facility.
According to the CertiPUR-US site … https://certipur.us
“CertiPUR-US® is a certification program administered by a not-for-profit organization. CertiPUR-US certified foams are:
- Made without ozone depleters
- Made without PBDEs, TDCPP or TCEP (”Tris”) flame retardants
- Made without mercury, lead, and other heavy metals
- Made without formaldehyde
- Made without phthalates regulated by the Consumer Product Safety Commission
- Low VOC (Volatile Organic Compound) emissions for indoor air quality (less than 0.5 parts per million)”
CertiPUR-US foam is used in items, such as mattresses, made for humans, so it’s something your pet will surely appreciate as well.
The foam in this K9 Ballistics bed is sturdy enough that your dog won’t sink through to the floor, even if he is one of the largest breeds.
It’s also gentle enough that, if your dog has problems with arthritis or other joint ailments, it will comfort his weary bones, giving him a soothing place to rest and sleep.
K9 Ballistics’ Dog Bed Warranty
K9 Ballistics offers a 120-day warranty that states, “If your dog damages the bed (including by chewing, scratching, nesting, or digging) we will replace the dog bed cover free of charge.”
That should give you a good deal of comfort, knowing that your purchase is protected for a full 4 months. It’s likely that, if your dog is going to get into a fight with the bed, he’s going to do it within that time frame. You are going to notice any damage he might start to inflict on the bed in time for you to invoke the generous warranty.
Unlike the Kong beds, there are no zippers and no interior seams in the K9 Ballistics. This helps make it difficult for your dog to get at the innards.
Water Resistant to Handle Those Inevitable Accidents
This bed also comes with a water resistant (again, not waterproof) lining. This prevents moisture from seeping through to the mattress. Note once more that this may not last forever though. If you spot a spill or an accident, you should take care of it as soon as possible.
If your dog has incontinence problems, you’ll want to pay extra close attention to the bed so you can clean up quickly as needed. If you do, the foam should last for a very long time, no matter what condition the cover and liner are in.
Most dog owners don’t bother with bed covers which make your dogs bed more comfortable or easy to clean. However for the winter it is a good idea to use a warm cover to keep them warm over those cold winter months.
You don’t need to use a cover with the beds we recommend as they are easy to clean. We have found with our dogs that we only need to clean their bed once every 4 – 6 months. However that depends on how much your dog likes to roll around in the dirty stuff, whatever that maybe. Many dogs just roll around in the grass so no problem there!
Final Verdict about the K9 Ballistics Dog Bed
As you can obviously tell from reading the above, we highly recommend the K9 Ballistics dog bed, especially in comparison with either of the two Kong dog beds at the top of this review.
If you still decide to try a Kong model, we wish you success. But don’t say we didn’t warn you if things turn out badly.
No dog bed is perfect, and there are other brands that are good too, but we think you will be very pleased with the K9 Ballistics model.
What to Look for in a Dog Bed
You may have a dog that likes to climb onto your bed with you. Why is that? What does he like about your bed? It’s probably some of the same things that you like.
You should, therefore, try to match the bed you buy specifically for your pet to his preferences.
Does he like the floor? Then maybe all you need is a mat.
Does he like the freedom of a hammock? There you go.
Does he prefer the warmth of a mattress? That’s when you need to get a little more specific about features.
You want to get a mattress you can fully wash – not just wash the cover or liner. You need to be able to get rid of dirt, fleas, and other grit regularly. There is also the option of buying special flea and tick sprays that will destroy these nasty little critters. Your dog will thank your for this … no more scratching during the flea season.
It shouldn’t have straps, buttons, zippers, or piping that he can easily grab with his teeth or paws.
The bed should be water repellent (at least) to help control odors.
You want the materials to be non-toxic, and the bottom of the bed should be non-skid.
When you find a mattress that matches all of these qualifications, you’ve found something special that both you and your pet will love. If it’s also made of fabric that your dog can’t readily chew through, then you’ll have one that you’ll both appreciate for a long time.