Is Straw Bad For Dogs?

correct answerThe Short Answer is:

If the straw is used as bedding in an outdoor dog kennel it will keep your dog warm and comfortable. Although straws are generally safe for dogs they should be changed very often since they tend to break down very quickly.

In this research you will know the answer to the query “Is Straw Bad For Dogs?“.

For many pet parents keeping an outdoor dog kennel warm especially in very cold weather can present a challenge.

And if you are truly concerned about how to properly insulate your dog house with something inexpensive and easy to get then you have probably thought of straw. 

However you’re also worried about the safety of straw for dogs right?

Straw has been used as bedding for animals for centuries now and it is still used today.

There are different types of straw and not all of them are safe for dogs since straw is the stalk of grain crops. 

As a dog bedding material certain types of straws are suitable for dogs. If you’re considering using straw as bedding in your outdoor dog kennel read on to learn all there is to know about straw bedding.

Is straw good for a dog house?

It is possible to spread straw in the doghouse to a thickness of 5 inches so that it provides adequate heat and insulation for an outdoor dog kennel.

The use of straw as bedding however requires caution and great care.

If not handled properly straw can contain parasites and bacteria and should be purchased from a reputable source. 

When purchased from a good source straw can be a good choice for dog kennels. It is recommended that straw be changed every week when used as bedding.

With a dog blanket and straw insulated and comfortable bedding can be made.

To make the blanket a dog blanket is spread over the straw to make a soft comfortable and warm bed. The straw is evenly spread on the floor to a thickness of about 5 inches.

Four types of straw used for dog bedding

Straw consists of the dry stalk of cereal plants such as barley wheat rye rice oats sorghums etc. Straw comes in different types depending on the cereal crop its made from and not all of them are used for bedding. Below are the most common straw bedding options.

Wheat Straw: Straw bedding is one of the most common types used for bedding livestock and outdoor dogs. This is the dustiest straw but its also the warmest and does not flatten as quickly. In addition wheat straw isnot a good absorbent but its relatively easy to handle.

Barley Straw: A cheap type of straw barley straw does not make a good dog bedding but its one of the cheapest you can find. Barley straw is also not suitable as bedding for horses or other livestock. This is due to the long prickly awns of barley straw bedding causing intense skin irritation.

Oat Straw: The straw is soft and more absorbent than wheat straw making it a good bedding material for livestock. Nevertheless it isnot quite the best choice for dogs because just like barley it tends to cause itchiness. Aside from this concern oat straw is also quite expensive due to its value as horse and cattle feed.

Pine straw: A straw dog kennel is an excellent option for outdoor dog kennel bedding. Although pine straw is safe and comfortable for dogs its a poor absorbent so it has to be changed quite often. 

Is straw bad for dogs to eat?

Chewing is one of the favorite pastimes of dogs. Dogs simply cannot go a day without chewing and this is especially noticeable in younger dogs who are still growing and exploring their surroundings. 

There is a lot of energy in these dogs and they will do almost anything for fun. If you have a bored dog in a kennel with straw bedding chances are they will chew on the straw to occupy themselves. Dogs will eat grass chew on plaster and basically chew on anything they find interesting so if straw bedding is on their list of interesting things to chew on you can not stop them. 

It may not hurt your dog if there is a little straw but a lot certainly will. Your dog may experience digestive distress or intestinal blockage if they consume too much straw. It may be an indication that your dog needs more exercise and fun activities in their daily routine if they chew straw all the time. 

If you want to help them burn off some energy you can have them exercise more or give them chew toys or raw bones to chew on. Put an end to the straw bedding problem by simply replacing it with something they would not be as interested in.   

Hay vs straw which is better for a dog house?

Hay is cut and dried grass whereas straw is the dry stalk of grains and cereal crops. Straw and hay can both be used for dog house bedding but they have different properties that affect how well they perform. The straw tube is yellow dry hollow brittle and breaks easily into straw dust. It is a poor absorbent brittle and a poor absorbent. 

Grasses that have been dried produce hay which looks like a thin stem. Hay is a much better absorbent and retains its structure for much longer than straw. The material is not brittle and does not break down to form dust. Long stem grass hay also beds down softer and better than straw making it the best bedding for dog houses. 

Obviously hay is better bedding than straw since straw does not bed down well and as the dog moves around in the kennel the straw bedding is pushed from side to side. In addition to lasting longer hay provides better insulation for dogs when used as bedding. Due to its ability to hold more water than straw it is also likely to become wet causing discomfort to the dog which is why it needs to be changed frequently. 

As often as possible dog bedding should be changed so that your dog always has a comfortable and cozy nest with enough warmth. Hay bedding can last a little longer than straw so it should be changed at least once a week.

Is hay harmful to dogs?

Hay makes excellent outdoor dog bedding because it provides a warm and cozy bed for your pet. Grass hay is especially suitable for dog bedding as it is inexpensive and environmentally safe. 

However dead plant materials have the potential to effectively harbor microorganisms such as harmful bacteria and parasites that can cause serious illnesses to dogs. 

If you plan to use hay to bedding your dog make sure that you buy high-quality hay from a reputable source and replace the bedding as often as possible. You should never let your dog lay on wet bedding because this could expose him/her to cold which can be harmful. 

In addition wet hay will encourage the rapid growth of microorganisms. As a result hay can become moldy which can cause serious health problems. Your dog can also suffer digestive distress if he consumes large quantities of hay. The downside of hay is that it has some drawbacks and must be handled carefully when used as bedding in an outdoor dog kennel.

Other outdoor dog kennel bedding options

Other than straw and hay there are other materials that can be used to make a warm and comfortable bed for an outdoor dog kennel such as wood chips and shavings typically made from cedar or pine. The shavings are finer pieces of wood whereas the chips are made from small chunks of cedar or pine. 

Using thin wood shavings is better because they bed down better and provide a more comfortable bed for your dog. It is not a good idea to feed cedar chips to puppies who love to chew since they will chew the coarse wood chips which can cause digestive distress or blockage. 

Cedar bedding for dogs

There are many reasons why cedar shavings make excellent bedding for dog houses. Cedar shavings provide your pet with a comfortable and well-insulated bed. Cedars best quality is its smell which is an effective insect repellent and deodorant. 

The main disadvantage of using cedar chips is this as well. Because cedar has a strong smell it can cause allergies in dogs with respiratory problems so it should never be used as bedding for dogs with allergies. Donot give your dog cedar bedding if he has a serious allergy. 

Pine shavings for dogs

It is a good option for dog houses because it is comfortable warm it is a fairly good absorbent and it also dries out quickly. Just as cedar shavings deodorize pine shavings keep bad odors and insect pests at bay. When pine shaving is purchased from a reputable company it will be free of bacteria and parasites. 

What is the best bedding for dogs?

There is no such thing as too soft or too hard bedding for dogs. It is possible for dogs to develop joint problems and body aches if their bedding is too firm or too soft. If your dog is stiff in the morning or after sleeping for hours then their bedding may be uncomfortable and cause them discomfort. 

An orthopedic dog bed is the best bedding for dogs this is best used indoors although there are some good dog beds designed for outdoor use. At least five inches of memory foam and a layer of orthopedic mattress should be in the best dog beds. There are elevated dog beds that come with a waterproof canopy as an added layer of protection. Your dog will be satisfied with an excellent and durable dog bed regardless of whether he lives indoors or outdoors.

Wrapping up

If the straw is used as bedding in an outdoor dog kennel it will keep your dog warm and comfortable. Although straws are generally safe for dogs they should be changed very often since they tend to break down very quickly. Similarly hay is a good bedding for the dog house both of which should be sourced from a reputable farm to avoid exposing your dog to any contaminated farm by-products that can cause serious infectious diseases. Wood chips and shavings from cedar or pine are other options for warm and comfortable dog house bedding. 

If you want to read more about dog health tips read here: Dog Health Tips and Tricks.

Is Straw Bad For Dogs? (Watch Video)

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