Is Straw Bad For Dogs? – Hay Vs Straw

Are you concerned about which straw is better and safe for your dog? Indeed, you are. This article will provide you with detailed information about the types of straws used for dog bedding, the difference between hay and straw bedding, and whether straw is good or bad for dog bedding.

Being a dog owner is similar to being a parent. You are worried about everything related to your pet. Especially when the winter season arrives, you have to provide extra care to your dog as he may catch a cold and become ill.

Dog bedding is of particular importance in this regard as it will provide comfort and protection to your dog from cold weather. Dog owners are using straw bedding worldwide. Continue reading to know more about straw dog bedding.



Straw provides warmth, comfort, and insulation to the dog. However, straw is not a good option for a dog house or dog bedding.

It can be a choice to consider and adopt for outside dogs. If you use a straw for dog bedding, you should do this with great care and attention. Here are some reasons why we say this:

Firstly, straw breaks easily. Being easily breakable, a bunch of straws will soon be a pile of straw dust. Resultantly, both your dog and your house will be rendered dirty.

Secondly, they are frequently used for livestock. Straw often becomes a suitable habitat for parasites such as lice, fleas, bugs, and mites. This can cause diseases to your dog.

Thirdly, they are also contaminated with microorganisms such as bacteria that can cause diseases.

Given these facts, you can use straws outside or below the dog house instead of using them inside the dog house.


There are many types of straws depending upon the type of crop they are obtained from, e.g., rice, barley, sorghum, wheat, etc. We are discussing four main types of straws here that are widely used for dog bedding.


Pine trees are the source of pine straws. These trees shed their needles which are then used for various purposes. It is one of the most acceptable, widespread, and comfortable options for dog bedding. However, it is not a sound absorbent.


Barley straws are obtained as a by-product of barley processing. It is one of the cheapest straw options that you can get. However, you would not choose barley straws as they are highly uncomfortable and cause skin irritation and problems.


Wheat straw, the most commonly used type of straw bedding, is obtained as a by-product of wheat processing. Wheat straws are not a good absorbent and are also the dustiest straws. However, they are easy to handle and do not flatten quickly.


Oat straws are obtained from plants and are one of the most expensive bedding options. Although it is softer than wheat, it causes irritation and itchiness to dogs’ skin.


Dogs have a habit of chewing everything they see. They will also surely eat straws. In this case, there are two conditions: Firstly, if your dog is eating a significantly less amount of straw, it won’t cause harm to your dog. Secondly, if your dog is eating too much straw, it will surely start causing some problems. Eating too much straw can cause intestinal and gastric blockage and gastrointestinal distress.

If you want your dog to stop eating straws, you should probably provide him with something else, for instance, toys or raw bones. You can also indulge your dog in healthy physical activities such as exercise and playing.


Being a dog parent, you would be super confused about what to choose for your dog’s bedding. Is hay better for a dog house? Or, should you choose straw for dog bedding? Before going for the answer to these questions, let us first understand what hay and straw are. This will help elaborate their structure and functions.

Although both straw and hay can be used for dog bedding, the difference in their properties determines their performance in dog house bedding.

Hay is the grass that is cut, dried, and stored. Hay is commonly used as animal feed. It gives nutrition to the animals. Talking about the use of hay in dog house bedding, it has properties that help it qualify as dog bedding. Hay is not brittle and does not break quickly. Moreover, it is a better absorbent.

Straw, on the other hand, is a by-product of several kinds of cereal like wheat, oat, barley, etc. Straw is dry, long, and hollow. Its properties are contrary to that of hay. It is brittle and not a good absorbent.

Now let us compare which one is better for dog house bedding. Hay is a better bedding option for dogs as it does not break easily and lasts longer. The mess is less, and the insulation provided is better.

Straw is not a good option for dog house bedding as it breaks easily and does not absorb moisture.

However, as hay is more absorbent, you have to change it if it gets wet. Dry hay lasts longer than straw.


Dog house bedding is a concern for every dog owner, especially in winters. As various types of materials are prevalent for dog house bedding, you have to choose wisely. People frequently ask questions about straw bedding.

Although being used by many people, Straw bedding is not suitable for dogs. If you want to go for a long-lasting and comfortable option, you should go for the hay bedding.

Hay bedding provides better insulation and lasts longer. However, it also absorbs more moisture than straw. You have to change hay bedding if it gets wet.

We hope that this article was helpful and informative for you. We wish you a happy dog house bedding shopping for your dog.

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