Heated Dog Bed





Introduction: Heated Dog Bed

About: I love to stay home as much as as I love to travel, I've been to 49 states (missing Alaska) and 31 countries. I have two wiener dogs now and a cat. We all live together in a house in the woods. With no roaches.

My wiener dog Possum Bean is a show stopper because of his unusual color. But all of the attention he gets has a downside because people have just about petted most of the fur right off of him. He shivers from even the slightest cold weather, so making a heated dog bed for him was the answer. Yes, I am kidding about about the petting part, he actually suffers from "Dachshund pattern baldness", probably because of his color, and he really does get easily cold, but lots of dogs would appreciate a nice warm heated bed.

Step 1: Supplies

  • Small heating pad (available from most Drug Stores and online, but be sure that it does NOT have an auto shutoff feature, your dog will be ever so unhappy to be cold again after 2 hours. I like the ones with 3 heat settings but Possum Bean only likes the highest setting)
  • 2 pillowcases, standard or king, but both the same size
  • An old wool sweater or a piece of felt or wool about 2.5' x 1'
  • Sewing machine
  • Sewing stuff - scissors, pins, thread, seam ripper etc.
  • Basket that is about dog sized (optional but it looks nice)
  • Stuffing - polyfill, wool, old socks. Maybe the guts from an old pillow.
  • Cold dog, less than the size of a standard or king size pillow

Step 2: Sew One Pillowcase Closed

Since you have two pillowcases, use the less nice one for this part because it will be hidden. The second (nicer) pillowcase is going to be used to cover this one so that it can be removed for washing.

Step 3: Making Your Pillowcase Into a Box Style Pillowcase

A box-style pillowcase allows for more stuffing in a better shape for a dog to sleep on, but it is by no means mandatory. It does make it easier to use your other pillowcase to enclose this one because when you are finished making it box-shaped it will be smaller.

Taking all 4 corners, one at a time, measure them about 5 inches or so perpendicular to each corner and mark with a pencil because you will be sewing right on that line. This is harder to explain than it is to understand - looking at the pictures will make it clear.

Step 4: Make a Hole for Stuffing

Along one of the long sides of the pillowcase, rip open a seam so you have a way to get the stuffing in. You don't need a way to get the stuffing out again because you are going to be covering this bed with the other pillowcase that will be coming off for washing.

Step 5: Stuff, Pin Seam Closed, and Sew Closed

Stuff it more full than you think it needs to be, it looks better and probably is more comfortable. If you put your head on it and it feels firm, it is probably the right amount of stuffing. I have found great stuffing in high-end pillows at thrift stores for very little money. The pillow cover may be out of date but if it's stuffed w/ feathers or down it will usually have a pillowcase with a zipper that you can unzip and read the label. If it smells good...well it can be cheaper than buying stuffing.

Step 6: Cut Away the Vinyl Covering to the Heating Pad

Mine was pretty old so the vinyl was discolored. I had some scraps of thick wool around to use as a cover for the heating element but you could use an old wool sweater or anything that can take the heat and not be a fire hazard or give off noxious odors when the heating pad is turned on.

Step 7: Make a Cover for the Heating Pad

Sewing the heating element to the cover is a good idea so you can see where it is when you sew it into a pocket later on, you won't be sewing across any wires because you will know where the outline of the element is. Fold the wool over and sew it closed. Remember to leave room for the cord to plug it into the wall .

Step 8: Stuff Your Box-style Pillow Into the Other Case

Place the wool covered heating pad between the two pillows. The wool case it's inside of will protect your pet from too much heat whereas just a thin pillowcase would not offer as much protection. I did try putting the wool covered heating pad underneath the stuffed pillow but it didn't transfer enough heat to warm Possum.

Step 9: Insert Dogs and You Are Done

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37 Discussions

Great idea, at the same time there is one thing you might consider: Water. By removing the vinyl covering you are removing the moisture barrier for the electronics. Dogs bring in moisture on their paws, and in some cases when they are very old, make their own right in their own bed. Yes, there may be some plastic coating to the heating elements, however it will wear over time. The vinyl covering is a good first line of defense against moisture and wear. Just something to think about.

5 replies

Oh dear, do you think I should remove the instructable?I removed it because it moved all around until I was able to sew it down. If it is unsafe I will take it down, let me know.

U could also use allergen-proof waterproof pillowcases. I get them cheap at places like TJMaxx, Ross Dress For Less, Tuesday Morning, Big Lots. There not vinyl or plastic.

I was only suggesting an improvement. Only you can judge whether it is safe for your usage. I think it is fairly common knowledge that people use instructables at their own risk. I wouldn't take the instructable down, there is value in sharing. Perhaps just put a disclaimer or something at the end. Look at other instructables that have disclaimers and draft something similar. I think instructables terms of use has one already there, you might check.

Disclaimer: these are things I would do, you should use your own judgment and act responsibly. (Humorously and seriously at the same time lol)

I think you take the idea for what it is - a good way to make a great bed for your pets and keep them warm. I think the individual needs to decide what safety features to add/remove. When I adopted my second Dachshund, he chewed up my wicker storage containers but now he sleeps in a wicker bed. We gotta be responsible pet parents and teach our little monsters to not chew on things that aren't chew-approved! :) GREAT instructable!

My dog needs that when her goes to sleep

hello, i bought the heated pet mat for my inside dog. she is a boston terrier who is always cold. i placed it inside of her pet bed in my bedroom on the floor instead of the wooden floor. i was wondering if this is safe.. the bed is made of soft furry fabric and refillable stuffing. i also wanted to know if the red light is supposed to flash when on. they dont give u very good instructions in the box.

3 replies

I have no idea. I think the red light might be flashing 'cause you have to unplug it and plug it back in, it might be one of those stupid things that goes off after 4 hours. But my 'ible is about making a heated pet bed, so I can't help you on the one you bought... but just use your common sense, is it getting warm? Is it staying warm?

well my dog doesn't like to lay on it at all.... it says i have to unplug it when not in use. so it doesn't turn itself off. yes it stays warm.


Oh what a cutie pie! Hmm, does your dog know it is under the bed? I'm glad you didn't get a stupid one that turns off.

Your baby is colored like a Weimaraner, he is so beautiful. I sleep with heating pads because of my back and have to wrestle for space all night long. Hopefully if I make this they will use it. Thanks!

Such a cute puppy! I love this idea, too. My youngest cat is really small and always cold, so this would be great for her when I can't hold her. :P

1 reply

Just found this, Ninzerbean...great idea and awesome execution, as usual by you! It wouldn't work for our Romeo, however, he demands body heat when available. When not, he is in the bed or on my chair.

2 replies

I was just thinking of you the other day - how nice for you to stop by. Your Romeo is sooooo cute! Thank you for the compliment, since the "following" thing is nn the fritz it is impossible to keep up with what my friends are doing.

Hi Nina, gone but not forgotten! I don't need to tell you that the dogs are wonderful, absolutely amazing to have and care for. Re the "following" thingy, I noticed that as well, and found that if I go to my "you page" it shows all friends recent posts. Of course I forget to do that, but remembered this morning and that's how I found your post. And thanks for your kind remark about Romeo...he is truly a lover!