Any responsible dog owner wants to keep their furry friends comfortable, and many will turn to wood shavings (mulch) to cover areas of the backyard, the dog house or a dog run.
When doing so, you get an absorbent material that keeps the pup warm in winter and cool in summer, but the question lingers – is mulch safe for dogs, and if so, what type of mulch is safe for dogs? Knowing what to look for is always right, and shopping for wood shavings and other mulch products is no exception.
Not all materials are ideal for pets, so let’s have a look at some of the best products for the dog owner who wants to provide a safe and comfy resting place for their fur friend.
Related; Igloo dog houses.
- Certified content. This article has been fact-checked and verified by our veterinary advisor.
Approved By: Dr. Sara Ochoa, DVM
Notes from our DVM, Sara Ochoa: “When first using mulch make sure your dog isn’t sneezing. Certain mulches will make some dogs sneeze due to the strong smell.”
View The Best Mulch For Dogs Below
1. Pet’s Pick Cedar Bedding
When looking for the best mulch for dogs, you are likely to come across this quality cedar bedding. No products found. is ideal for covering the inside of a dog house, a dog run or to use in the yard, and it is produced with your dog’s wellbeing in mind. It is a dog-friendly mulch that has been carefully screened to remove dust (which could cause allergies), and a unique drying process has been applied to ensure ultimate absorption and odor control.
It is a cedar mulch dogs will love to curl up in; and that will keep them both warm, comfortable and dry, and the chips are lightweight and easy for both owner and dog to deal with.
+ Lightweight and odor free
+ Carefully dried to remove harmful bacteria
+ Keeps the designated area dry and warm
+ For dogs, horses, and livestock
Why We Like It – This pet-friendly mulch is made especially for dogs and other animals, and it is processed to fit the needs of our furry friends. Not only is it toxin-free, but it is also extremely absorbent and comfortable for pets to lie in.
2. Amish Aromatic Red Cedar Wood Shavings
Mulch and dogs make a great combination, as it is a material that keeps bad odors at bay, while also providing a comfortable resting place for your pup. This red cedar log product is made by the Amish – hence produced in the United States, and it is 100% natural and environment-friendly. Amish Aromatic Red Cedar Wood Shavings has no preservatives and no chemicals, and it is great for keeping insects (such as moths and ants) away. Why invest in artificial materials when you can provide your furry friend with real quality wood chips?
+ Made by the Amish
+ 100% biodegradable
+ Produced in the United States
+ Naturally keeps bugs away
Why We Like It – Is mulch poisonous for dogs? No, not when purchasing a natural product such as these US-produced cedar wood chips! It is all-natural and biodegradable, and kind to both your dog and mother earth!
3. Premier Pet, Press-Packed Bedding
By giving your dog safe mulch to sleep in, such as this natural press-packed product, you don’t only do them the favor of providing a comfortable resting place, but you also keep creepy crawlers like ticks and fleas away. This material is a natural flea and tick repellent, which comes as a surprise to some, and it keeps the sleeping area clean, odor free and free from potentially harmful insects. The product can also be used for small caged animals, and horses and other large animals. It is ideal for dogs that live outside, or that spend time out, and it dries quickly if getting wet.
+ Anti-flea- and tick
+ Keeps the area dry and cozy
+ Ideal for both small and large animals
+ High quality at an affordable price
Why We Like It – Whether you have an indoor dog or a dog that lives outside, fleas and ticks present a huge issue in many areas, and by purchasing these wood shavings, you take a step in the right direction when it comes to combating bloodsuckers.
4. 100% Natural Cedar Shavings
This is a safe mulch for dogs that is great for both outdoor- and indoor use, and it is also long-lasting, and it keeps the area smelling fresh. 100% Natural Cedar Shavings can be used for any pets, or arts and crafts, or why not as an air-freshener? The versatility of wood shavings makes it ideal for any home, with or without pets, but we dare guarantee that it will be extra useful for dog owners since their pups will love it. The size of the shavings is small enough to create a comfortable sleeping space, and it accommodates to the weight of your dog as he or she lies down.
+ Small, medium and large bags
+ Good sized wood shavings
+ Great for keeping the air fresh
+ No mold, moist or bugs
Why We Like It – An advantage when buying this mulch product is that it can be used for your dog, but you can also use any left-overs for decorative purposes indoors, as they give off a pleasant cedar scent while also looking rustic and charming.
5. Rubberific Rubber Mulch Bagged Brown
A dog eating mulch can be a problem, and many pet owners have discovered that the urge to chew on it may lessen if choosing a rubber mulch. Why do dogs eat mulch? Good question and a likely answer are that they like the taste of traditional wood mulch, but they might not like rubber quite as much. Rubber mulch and dogs can be a great combination; the material is 100% non-toxic and safe for pets, and it tends to trigger less of a desire to chew.
Finding a rubber mulch dogs won’t eat is more comfortable than finding a wood mulch they will stay away from, which makes this alternative worth a try. Rubberific Rubber Mulch stays in place even when it is windy, does not decompose and bugs tend to stay away from it (which gives your dog a break even in pest infested areas).
+ Long-lasting and does not decompose
+ Good option for dogs that chew on wood
+ Non-toxic material made from recycled tires
+ Helps retain moisture in the soil below
Why We Like It – An alternative to cedar shavings or pine mulch, which may work well for pet parents with dogs that like to chew on anything that smells like wood. It is made from recycled materials is another plus.
6. International Mulch Company NS8RW Redwood
Using mulch for dogs is an excellent way to keep them warm during winter, chilly during summer and overall comfortable and at ease. This pet safe mulch is made with recycled rubber – free from toxins – and it is a way for any environmentally conscious dog owner to care for the planet while also giving their much-loved pup the comfortable space of their puppy dreams.
No products found. is a safe mulch that can be used for dogs all sizes, and it may have some additional benefits for dogs with allergies; due to it minimizing the accumulation of dust as well as the growth of fungi and moss.
+ Safe for dogs and children
+ Good for the environment
+ Beneficial for dogs with allergies
+ With a 5-year warranty
Why We Like It – More dogs are presenting signs of allergies, and it is essential to help with both prevention and relief. This material is not proven to reduce this, but it is likely it might due to lessening the accumulation of dust molecules. Not only is rubber mulch safe for dogs, but it might also be beneficiary especially for dogs with allergies.
7. Pestell Pet Products Easy Clean Cedar Bedding
Having trouble finding the ideal bedding material for your furry best friend? Then perhaps this high-quality cedar mulch is the answer? Pestell provides softness and comfort to dogs, cats, guinea pigs, birds and more, and it can be used both outdoors and inside the house. It can be hard to know what mulch is safe for dogs, but a natural option such as these wood shavings is always a safe bet! The material soaks up moist – preventing both lousy odor, mold, and bacterial growth, and it keeps bugs and insects away from your fur baby.
+ Comfortable and soft
+ Prevents bacterial growth
+ Ideal for dogs and other pets
+ Easy to add, remove and change
Why We Like It – Processed and delivered from within the United States – the company behind this wood chip product guarantees quality at a low price. It is non-toxic and all natural, making this cedar mulch safe for dogs, hamsters, canaries and any other large, medium and small animal.
8. Northeastern 216009 3200 CU. in Cedar Bedding
Your pup will love these cedar chips, regardless of whether you choose to use them for their dog house, for the fenced-in area where they play or somewhere else. And, if you have ever worried about what would happen if your dog ate mulch – don’t sweat it, as this product is non-toxic and natural.
The Northeastern Aromatic Red Cedar Bedding is manufactured in the United States and comes in a big enough package for it to last long, and it is incredibly soft and comfortable for dogs once it has been properly spread out on the ground.
You also won’t have to worry about suffocating the soil below, as this material allows air to slip through! This is also great for ventilation during summer, to keep your pup nice and fresh, and in winter the cedar bedding works like insulation from the cold.
+ Great for insulation during the winter months
+ Smell-free and easy to change when needed
+ Provides a soft and cushioned surface
+ Manufactured in the United States
Why We Like It – You get a lot for your money when buying these wood chips, and it still has the quality of a much more expensive product. No bad odors and it only takes minutes to scoop it up and change it when needed.
9. Kaytee Red Cedar Bedding
Dogs are family members, and people who understand this manufactures these cedar log shavings. They have been carefully filtered and clean to minimize any dust or wood debris, which keeps your home and the area where the product is used as clean as possible.
This will help maintain a healthy pet and reduce the risk of allergy symptoms, while also keeping the house or yard looking spotless. A quality product that lasts a long time and that reduces unpleasant pet odors thanks to drying quickly even after it rains.
+ All-natural Aspen Shavings
+ Minimizes dust and wood debris
+ Gentle for people and pets with allergies
+ Great for dog house insulation
Why We Like It – Many people have the idea that mulch makes everything dusty, but it is the opposite! The Kaytee Red Cedar Bedding mulch minimizes dust and is therefore beneficial for pets and pet parents with dust allergies and sensitivities.
10. Vigoro 0.8 cu. ft. Rubber Mulch
Is rubber mulch safe for dogs? Yes, and you want to get a quality product such as the No products found.. It has an impressive 12-year color guarantee, which means it will retain its vibrant earthy brown color for many years to come, and it withstands the elements (sun, rain, etc. etc.) with flying colors! Your pup will love to play around in these recycled rubber bits, and they couldn’t ask for a more comfortable place to take a nap or sleep for the night. It is safe, fun and stylish looking, and it fits any yard or outdoor space (including the inside of a dog house).
+ Safe material for playtime and resting
+ Does not attract bugs and insects
+ No need to change it every year
+ 12-year color guarantee
Why We Like It – One of the best things about this rubber mulch is that it is long-lasting, which means you don’t have to redo it every year as you might with wood shavings. The manufacturer is so sure of its product that they provide a 12-year color guarantee, so by purchasing this you save both time and money in the long run.
Mulch For Dogs Buyers Guide
When you have a dog, it can be hard to plan for how to adapt your yard to your furry friend, but a great option is to cover the dog’s designated area with mulch. Mulch is gentle on the paws, it protects the soil below, it is surprisingly comfortable to lay in, and it does not require much maintenance. Knowing what mulch to get is another question, however, because not all mulches are suitable for dogs.
Is mulch toxic to dogs? The answer is simple – it depends on the type of mulch. Cocoa bean mulch should be avoided at all costs if you have a dog, for example, as it could have toxic effects if ingested. Just like dogs shouldn’t eat chocolate – they also shouldn’t eat cocoa bean mulch.
So, what are the alternatives? You probably have a million questions echoing in your mind; Is red mulch safe for dogs? Is black mulch safe for dogs? Is rubber mulch safe for pets and people in my household? The good news is that there are simple answers, and below are some of the mulch types that are recommended for dogs.
Mulch made from the bark of pine trees (pine bark mulch) is a commonly used bedding material for dogs. A quality product will be completely free of toxins, all natural and comfortable for your pup to sleep in, and it aids the growth of plants by retaining moisture as well as protecting the plant from both cold and heat. The same applies to dogs, and it works well to cool them down during hot summer months and to keep them cozy and warm in winter.
Is mulch terrible for dogs when you pick a pine product? Not at all! An interesting fact is that pine nuggets take longer for nature to break down than thinner pine shavings or needles, and the result is that you won’t have to change the mulch as often.
Is cedar mulch safe for dogs? Yes, it is, and it is known to have natural bug repelling qualities! Unpleasant insects like the much-disliked ticks and fleas do not enjoy cedar as a place to reside, and they tend to avoid it as much as they can. This can be hugely beneficial for dogs that spend a lot of time outside, as it is highly unlikely either of these two bug types will thrive in such living conditions.
While these chips are not toxic in any way, they may at times cause an upset stomach if consumed, so cedar might not be the best option for dogs that like to chew. Some cedar mulch has been dyed red, and this dye is entirely harmless to pets.
When trying to decide what mulch to go with, many pet owners discard rubber mulch before even thinking it through. The truth is, rubber mulch is one of the best products for dogs and other pets! Is mulch dangerous for dogs when it is made of rubber? Not in the slightest. A fun fact is that rubber mulch might be less attractive for a dog to chew on when compared to wood shavings, and it is also incredibly easy to clean.
Rubber does not absorb moisture, and you can hose it down to get rid of puppy urine and dirt, and then your mulch will be as good as new! Another benefit is that rubber mulch will often last much longer, and you won’t have to waste time and money on changing it quite as often.
Why should I buy mulch for my dogs?
For anyone who has ever been to a playground, they may have noticed that the ground is often covered in the mulch. This has mostly to do with safety, as it is soft and comfortable to fall on, and this in itself explains why it might be beneficial to use for dogs as well. Dogs and children are similar in many ways, and they like to run around, roll over and be a little silly. Mulch keeps the ground soft and cushioned, which prevents injuries.
When it comes to dogs, the best way to use mulch is in the yard where the dog spends time, or inside the dog house where he or she rests. It keeps the area warm in winter and cools in summer, and it helps lower the risk of tick and flea infestations.
Why is my dog eating mulch?
If you notice that your dog chews on mulch more than you feel comfortable with, you must first consider that the dog might be bored. Is the dog getting enough exercise? A lack of exercise and boredom can lead to unwanted behaviors, so take a look at your pup’s exercise routine if you want to reduce their mulch eating habits.
You might also want to consider providing them with chew toys and natural treats, to have them direct their desire to chew elsewhere. They might even be eating mulch merely because they like it, but if so, try to give them something better to chew on, plus plenty of exercises.
Is dyed mulch safe for dogs?
Dyed mulch is commonly occurring, especially when it comes to cedar mulch which is often dyed red, but the good news is that it is not harmful to dogs. The dye is safe and non-toxic and can be used for all types of pets, and children. There is no good reason for choosing a dyed product, however, and you might want to consider going with a natural mulch instead.
Using mulch is a great way to prepare your yard for a furry friend, as it keeps them safe and comfortable at the same time, regardless of the weather. Choosing a quality product is essential, and you will find many good options when searching online. Give your dog a chance to roll around in softwood shavings or cushioned rubber mulch, know that it helps them keep an average body temperature all year round.
If you are willing to change your mulch when needed, and if you enjoy using natural materials – go with pine or cedar mulch. If you prefer mulch that does not need to be changed very often, on the other hand, and that can be hosed down easily – then recycled rubber mulch is the right choice for you.
Did You Know?
Mulch is a natural insulator for both plants and pets, and it works efficiently to protect from both heat and cold. Learn how to make your garden more pet-friendly.
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