How to make a dog bed waterproof

If your dog has a bed they already love but it is not already waterproof then it can pose a problem for owners who constantly need to clean it or worry that it will start to degrade in quality and not be the same bed they once loved.

Some reasons why making a dog bed waterproof are:

  • An elderly dog has suddenly become incontinent
  • The dog has recently been neutered and they’ve become incontinent
  • A new puppy has arrived and the bed is not waterproof
  • You have an active pooch that constantly gets wet and dirty causing a headache to clean
  • Dogs with stomach problems who are prone to diarrhoea

We would at first recommend all owners to purchase a waterproof dog bed in the first instance as they are ready-made and you can avoid doing any DIY on your existing dog bed.

We have a page dedicated waterproof dog bed reviews but to save you time the one we recommend is the PetFusion.

But, if you’d rather find a way to save money and convert your existing dog bed so that it can become waterproof then follow these simple steps

a wet dog

4 steps to make a dog bed waterproof

Before we start, not every bed can be converted to being waterproof. The kind that we want to work with are those with removable covers and that the foam/sponge inside can be accessed to. Beds with a removable and washable cushion would be fine.

The key is to make the foam waterproof rather than the entire bed as its the foam that can get damaged by water and rarely is the foam/sponge washable too if it gets wet it will have to dry by itself and the smell of urine can linger forever.

Step 1 – Clean the dog bed

We are going to be applying a sheet to the dog bed eventually but it’s always best to start any DIY project by having a clean product to work with. If the existing bed has a removable cover then throw it in the washing machine and use a dustpan and brush or a vacuum cleaner to remove all of the debris underneath.

Step 2 – Apply a plastic liner to the foam or the main part of the bed

You can use any kind of liner here, as long as its waterproof material such as PVC. We would honestly recommend using bin liners as they are cheap and can be replaced over and over again easily at little cost. 

Other alternatives to bin liners which may be a little tougher are polythene dust sheets or damp proof membrane sheets. Some people have even gone as far as to use shower curtains.

If you have a bed with removable covers then all you need to do is apply the liner to the foam part as you can always wash the covers after an accident but the foam will always stay dry and intact.

Seal it up with any kind of water-resistant tape. These are also cheap.

Step 3 – Add a space blanket

To keep the blanket nice and warm and to add further protection to the liner we recommend adding another layer on top of the liner – a space blanket. You may know these as emergency blankets and commonly used by people who run into trouble in the great outdoors.

Space blankets are also waterproof which will protect the bed even further and protect the inner liner from being clawed and scratched, they also add another layer of softness.

Step 4 – Put the covers/blanket/cushion back on

Once the inner foam or the entire bed is wrapped and sealed with the liner and the space blanket then it’s time to put the covers back on or a dog blanket to hide the waterproof liners you’ve created to make it look like a normal bed again.


Depending on the toughness of the sheets, the waterproofing you have added to the beds should last a long while as the bed’s covers and blankets should protect it from being ripped up. If you find your dog has a tendency to dig and rip all the time then replacements may be often but the cost is relatively low. Again, in this instance purchasing one of our recommended best waterproof dog beds may be the best course of action.

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Last update on 2021-09-27 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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