As a sheep farmer, spinner, knitter and general lover of wool, I know what a wonderful fiber wool is.
And I utilized that amazing fiber to help my best friend, Bayou, a coon-hound mix with very little hair and a thyroid problem deal with the coldest winter in history.
My family and I live on a small sheep farm in upstate New York. It’s an old farmstead with a house built about 1850. It’s a challenge to keep our old home warm in the winter, especially during last winter – the coldest winter ever recorded in history.
Our dog also was having a challenging winter. Bayou had a hard time getting and staying warm - even inside the house. He would be curled up on his bed and you could see him visibly shake, most likely because our old house’s floors are cold. Seeing his discomfort I took matters into my own hands and deconstructed his dog bed. I took out the pathetic looking polyester fill pillow and made a new mattress filled with our own wool.
What a difference this made! Bayou no longer shivers and loves sleeping on his wool filled bed. Even the cats join him at times.
Wool makes a wonderful fill for dog beds. It’s like sleeping on a real mattress. If our dogs could talk, I’m sure they would advocate for wool-filled beds! I could tell from how my dog acted, that this was a winner for him!
Why Is Wool Special?
Wool is a protein fiber that retains a constant moisture level. When the air is dry it releases moisture. When the air is moist, it absorbs moisture. This natural evaporation and cooling system creates heat. This is why wool keeps you warm in winter and cool in summer.
Wool Regulates Heat
Wool reflects your own body’s temperature and is insulating. On a cold day a wool filled bed will keep your pet warm.
Older dogs often suffer from arthritis and aching bones and joints. A wool filled dog bed provides cushion and support helping to ease pain.
Dust Mites Hate Wool
Dust mites like warm and damp places. Because wool keeps the humidity level low, dust mites stay away.
Wool Is Anti-Microbial and Anti-Bacterial
Wool fiber is covered in tiny scales that resist germs and dirt and won’t pick up smells.
Wool Is Fire Retardant
Because of it’s natural moisture content, wool is slow to burn. You get a natural fire retardant without adding toxic chemicals to the fiber.
Wool Is Biodegradable and Renewable
Wool lasts a very long time, but is ultimately biodegradable. Old wool can be used as compost in the garden keeping it out of landfills. And its a renewable source. Sheep are sheared at least once a year.
Caring for Wool Mattresses:
A washable outer cover is essential for dog beds. This allows you to clean the outer cover. A wool mattress can be spot cleaned and aired out in the sunshine to refresh the wool.
We all want what’s best for our dogs and the environment. Wool bedding is a superior fill that provides adequate support and warmth to your pets and it’s better for the environment. Seek out wool bedding for your pets. You and your dog won’t be disappointed.
Cecilia Tkaczyk is a sheep farmer and dog lover in Upstate New York. She sells wool filled dog items and owns a fiber store called CeCe’s Wool Farm Store, 169 Main Street, Esperance, NY 12066. Check out her wool filled dog beds at www.ceceswool.com.