10 Ways to Repurpose Your Old Dog Bed

When it's time to replace your pet's dog bed, there are several creative and practical alternatives to throwing it away. You can repurpose it by donating it to shelters or friends, cutting it into pet toys, using it for road trips, making a DIY floor cushion, recycling its materials, transforming it into a garden kneeler, or using the stuffing to fluff pillows. It can also serve as a backup bed for visiting pets, minimizing waste and giving it a new purpose.

As humans, we don’t expect our very first bed to last us our entire lifetime. So why would we expect our pets to have the same bed their entire lives?

Sometimes, a pet outgrows their current dog bed. Or maybe the dog bed itself is starting to look a little too shabby. These are times when a new dog bed may be needed.

What does that mean for the old dog bed, though? If you find yourself wondering, “What to do with old dog beds,” then you’re in the right place.

This article will explore creative, fun, and unique ideas for repurposing dog beds and giving them new life so they don’t end up in a landfill.

What to do with your old dog bed

1. Bring it to grandma’s house

If you spend a lot of time visiting your parents on the weekends—or perhaps your furry friend stays with them when you travel for leisure or work—then you may be hauling a lot of things back and forth from your home to theirs.

A far easier thing to do is bring your old dog bed to your parent’s home (or whomever pet sits for you) and leave it there so you have one less item you have to pack for Fido when you’re away.

2. Cut it up into pet toys

You can give your old dog bed a second life by cutting it up into pet toys. Many pet toys are mostly made of fabric, so when you’re wondering what to do with old dog beds, grab a pair of scissors and get creative.

If your dog loves a good game of tug-of-war, then make a tug-of-war toy or braid three strips of fabric together from that old dog bed and make a braided dog toy for a good old game of fetch.

3. Donate it to an animal shelter, rescue organization, or vet clinic

A lovely answer to the question of how to recycle old dog beds is to donate them to an animal shelter, rescue organization, or veterinarian clinic.

Many of these places are always looking for supplies like old dog beds. You can even consider dropping it off at Goodwill.

4. Give it away to a family member or friend

If you have a co-worker, family member, friend, or neighbor who’s adopting a dog, then consider giving that old dog bed to them to reuse for their newest pet.

Figuring out how to recycle old dog beds doesn’t have to be a challenge, especially if you have other people in your life who love dogs just as much as you do.

5. Keep it for road trips

Whether you’re taking a weekend away or going on a week-long road trip with your furry best friend, keep that old dog bed for those road trips. Everyone wants to be comfortable in the car, and that includes your pet.

6. Make a DIY floor cushion

Sometimes you spot your dog curled up on their bed and think to yourself, “That looks super-comfortable.” Well, why not try it out for yourself and repurpose that old dog bed into a DIY floor cushion?

Whether it becomes a new addition to a cozy corner of your home for a reading nook or you make it your meditation pillow, your old dog bed can also work for you to enjoy as well.

7. Recycle the materials

Wondering how to recycle an old dog bed? Depending on the fabrics your old dog bed is made from, you may be able to compost parts of it or recycle it.

Biodegradable fabrics include:

  • Abaca
  • Bamboo
  • Cotton
  • Hemp
  • Jute
  • Lyocell (aka Tencel)
  • Ramie

However, you’ll want to make sure your fabrics are 100% made from any of these materials before adding them to your compost bin.

When in doubt, stick to recycling them, and always check with your city and state recycling laws to confirm which materials can be recycled.

8. Transform it into a garden knee pad

If you’re an avid gardener or planter who finds themselves contemplating the question, “What to do with old dog beds,” then consider transforming them into a garden kneeler to use while working in your backyard garden.

Whether you find yourself planting, tending, or weeding, give your knees a break with some soft and welcomed cush from that old dog bed.

9. Use the stuffing to plump up your pillows

If that old dog bed—including the inside stuffing—is still in good condition, then repurpose the stuffing to fluff up your pillows.

If you don’t want to use the stuffing for actual pillows you sleep with, then consider the throw pillows throughout your home. You can give them a second life by getting creative with an old dog bed.

10. Utilize it as a back-up option

If you have family and friends who frequent your home with their pets—or perhaps you’re the one who does a lot of pet sitting for others (how kind of you)—then keep that old dog bed for backup in case your dog has company.

After all, they should be a gracious host or hostess as well, right? You may even need that old dog bed for your own dog if their new dog bed is being washed. You never know when a backup may come in handy!

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What should I do with an old dog bed?

Instead of simply tossing that old dog bed in the trash, recycle it or repurpose it. Some ideas include donating it to an organization, giving it to someone getting a new pet, or recycling the materials to make new pet toys for your dog to play with and enjoy.

Can I reuse a dog bed?

Absolutely! You can easily reuse an old dog bed. You can keep it at a family member’s home who frequently pet sits for you, keep it for road trips with your dog to still use, or use it to host other dogs you may be pet watching. You can even get creative and transform an old dog bed into a DIY project for items you can use around your own home such as a garden kneeler.

When should I throw away my dog’s bed?

If your dog’s bed is visibly out of shape, has rips or tears, or if your pet has stopped using it because it no longer supports their needs, then it’s time to get a new dog bed. Even if none of these apply, a good-quality dog bed should be replaced approximately every two years. Here are seven signs it’s time to replace your dog bed.

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