Part of keeping your dog happy and healthy means providing it with a comfortable place to sleep and rest. While as many dog owners know dogs can and will sleep just about anywhere whether that means the floor, couch, chair, or even your own bed. However, they really require a spot of their own where they can feel not only relaxed but feel safe as well. Because all dogs and wolves are den-living animals it’s natural for them to sleep in a space which is slightly confined and that they feel is their own.
Dog beds function to fulfill this need which helps them to feel safe and secure. In the wild, dogs and wolves also sleep on soft surfaces like soil or matted down grass. When dogs lie or sleep on hard surfaces in our outside or homes like tile or cement, for long periods of time, they tend to develop painful sores on their legs and joints. These sores many times go unnoticed even if the dog is in a lot of pain. Dog beds offer a soft spot to sleep but also the support needed for dogs’ bodies and joints.
Support is even more crucial with older dogs, dogs which are overweight, and dogs that have physical problems. These dogs not only need support but have a high risk of injuring themselves when trying to jump up onto the couch and other high up places in search of a soft place to take nap. The risk is even higher when the dog is jumping down or off.
Knowing you could have very easily prevented an accident like this is a very horrible feeling after the fact, and often ends up being way more expensive than if you had purchased a dog bed in the first place. Dog beds are also a great way to keep dog hair off of your furniture and in one concentrated spot. This makes it not only much easier to clean but is also great for people with pet hair allergies.
Questions You Need To Ask Yourself When Purchasing Dog Beds
-How big is my dog now and if it’s not fully grown, how big will it get?
This will determine the size of the bed you need to purchase. If you own a puppy or dog that is not yet fully grown make sure you know about how big they will get and purchase accordingly. It’s also a good idea to measure your dog and know about around much it weighs or will weigh when it is fully grown to help you estimate the size of the bed.
-How does your dog sleep?
Some dogs love to sleep all stretched out while other like to curl up, all dogs are different no matter what size or breed. Measuring your dog while in its favorite sleeping position or at least taking it into consideration will also help you when you are deciding not only on the size of the bed but on the type of dog bed you buy.
-Where are you going to put the bed?
Where you are going to place your dog’s bed can have an impact on the material and along with the type of bed you choose. A dog bed that will be near a door for example, might get cold drafts and should therefore be a material or type that keeps your dog warmer. Dog beds which are going to be used for an outdoor dog must be tougher than ones used indoors as well as water resistant and so on.
-Does your dog have any special problems, requirements, or preferences?
Always take into consideration any physical problems or other problems your dog may have. Your individual dog’s likes and dislikes are important too. Some dogs need more support than others or prefer to sleep on certain materials. Or your dog may even like to chew on a particular material, so taking these into account will really help you choose the best dog bed for your own dog’s needs.
-Do you want it to match your home?
While many dog owners don’t really care about this question, it is something to consider because with the endless variety of dog beds on the market with a little searching you are sure to find a dog bed which your dog not only loves but which compliments your homes interior as well. There are dog beds for every style and preference.
Top 3 Tips For Purchasing Dog Beds
1.Buy quality and buy once.
It’s always smarter to buy a quality dog bed. Cheap dog beds will need to be replaced and in doing so will often be more expensive than purchasing one good quality bed the first time.
2.Make sure the bed is both washable and durable.
Being able to wash your dog’s bed is a must. Not will a dirty dog bed start to smell but attract unwanted pests as well. Cheap dog beds will rip when washed, sometimes only after one time. Quality dog beds are ones which are tough enough to not only to handle a good washing but also your dog occasionally mouthing or chewing on the bed as well. If you can’t clean it and it’s not tough don’t buy it.
3.Know your dog.
Keeping your dog’s individual preferences and sleep style in mind will help you choose the best material, style and size for your dog. Remember you know your dog more than any sales person does so go with what you think will work best for your dog.
Dog Bed Sizes
Dog beds are sold in all sizes from small to extra large to fit every type of dog. The size of the bed is most often described by its dimensions in inches or centimeters depending on what country you live in, as well as the weight of the dog it can accommodate. These are just a general guide, remember its more important to keep in mind your dogs individual sleeping style(and measure your dog in that position) as well as how big it will be when it is full grown when choosing a dog bed. Keep in mind that there are no standard sizes, so what is medium for one brand might be large for another. The chart below is typical of what you will see when shopping for dog beds:
Different Types Of Dog Beds
Mat/pad dog beds:
The simplest as well as the most inexpensive dog beds are mats and pads. While they don’t offer all the cushioning of other options, they still can be very comfortable. They have many other advantages too like being easier to move than larger beds, they can be used inside your dog kennel, crate, or carrier, and are easily washed and dried. Most models are also easily rolled up making them great for travelling as well. Because they are so inexpensive, many dog owners actually purchase more than one of these and place them in their dogs’ favorite spots in different rooms of the house.
Raised dog beds:
Raised dog beds are an excellent choice for outdoor dogs. These beds give them a chance to sleep in comfort above the ground and dirty soil as well as out of the path of annoying pests. Of course they work indoors too. Many raised dog beds are extremely durable, UV resistant, and chew-proof. Some are even made with special fabric to keep your dog cool. Raised dog beds are always light weight and very easy to wipe clean.
Pillow dog beds:
Another simple option, pillow beds are just like a big pillow for your dog to sleep on, but specially made for dogs of course. They are usually either square or rectangular in shape. Unlike mats or pads where you wash the whole thing in the washing machine with the majority of pillow beds you just wash the removable zip off cover. Because they offer more room and are not enclosed by walls these are great for dogs who like to sleep in any position and especially if they like to stretch out while sleeping. You can find them in a variety of colors, patterns, and with pictures as well. Many models come with handles making them much more convenient to move and carry. Some of these are also tough enough to be used outdoors. In choosing a pillow bed it’s important to find one which keeps its fluffiness and does not flatten out too much over time or with the weight of your dog.
Nest dog beds:
Some dogs like to be curled up in a snug spot which totally surrounds them almost like a nest. Nest dog beds(also referred to as donut or bagel beds) do just that with their raised walls or bolsters(soft pillow walls). They keep your dog comfortable and surrounded by soft material in a circular or oval shape just like a bird’s nest but comfier. Perfect for the dog that prefer to sleep in a small space and also for dogs that like to circle around before lying down. However, if you do want this type of bed and your dog likes to stretch its body out when it sleeps, simply purchase a size or two larger than is recommended for the size of your dog so it will have room to do so.
Heated dog beds:
Making sure your dog is warm in its bed is especially important for dogs that are sick, older, have short hair, or suffering from joint or arthritis pain. There are actually 2 different kinds of heated dog beds for owners to choose from:
1)Self-warming dog beds do not require any electricity they actually radiate your dogs own heat back to it by using a two layer fabric system keeping your dog warm from its’ own body heat.
2)Heated dog beds are plugged in and performs like a heating pad or electric blanket. With these you can control the exact temperature, however they are not recommended for dogs that love to chew for obvious reasons.
Cooling dog beds:
For dog owners who want to keep their dog cool cooling dog beds are a great option. These are especially good for dogs that live in areas with high temperatures, hot summer months, or dog breeds that tend to over-heat. They are also perfect for the dog that loves to exercise or run because they are a great way to cool down after vigorous exercise. Cooling dog beds don’t use any electricity to keep your pet cool, they actually use water or a coolant. With the water filled type you simply add the amount of water recommended for your specific model and as your dog is relaxing or sleeping the excess body heat is evaporated in the air from the cooling effect of the water inside the bed. These beds have strong and durable exteriors keeping the water in that are still soft enough to be very comfortable for your dog. Beds which do not use water but instead a non-toxic coolant, do not require you to fill them yourself they have the coolant already inside. This coolant can keep your dog cool for hours by directly absorbing their extra heat.
Luxury dog beds:
Because dog beds are relatively inexpensive, it’s easy to pamper your pet by purchasing one that is extra soft, comfy, or large. With so many types of beds available luxury dog beds aren’t really one type of bed, but are the top-of –the-line beds which offer your dog the most comfortable sleeping spot available. There are outdoor chaise lounges, mini-couches, big extra comfortable fleece beds, and memory foam dog beds just to name a few. There is nothing wrong with spoiling your pet by giving it the best and most comfortable place to sleep.
Orthopedic dog beds:
Yes, there are even orthopedic dog beds for man’s best friend as well. They use memory foam and are perfect for older dogs. They can help to ease the pain of dogs with arthritis, joint problems, hip dysplasia, or make a super-comfy bed for a pampered pooch. These memory foam dog beds adjust to the shape of your dog relieving it from both the stress and pressure on its joints and body. They most often come in a rectangular shape just like a real mattress yet smaller. Of course there are other shapes available as well and some even come with sewn in cushions which serve as a pillow. Many are actually hypoallergenic making them a great choice for dogs with allergies or very sensitive skin. If you are purchasing this for an older dog make sure you select one with a water-resistant outer or internal cover to protect the foam from any doggie accidents as tends to happen with age.
Dog bunk beds:
These are great for owners who have 2 dogs and of course make for a fun conversation when you have guests. They look and function just like a miniature bunk beds. Most dog bunk beds have steps which allow your pooch to safely walk up to the top bunk without having to jump. Many dog owners love these because with their height they allow your dog to sleep next to you on the same level as your bed but not actually in it which helps to keep dog hair out yet still allows your dog to feel close to its master. There are even lighter weight travel models available to keep 2 dogs sleeping in comfort even when on the road.
Dog couch beds:
Another great conversation piece, many dog owners buy their dog their own mini-couch to keep them off the real one. They are an affordable way to give your dog its very own couch and usually don’t cost more than $100. Dog couches come in all sizes, styles, and materials from faux leather or rattan to leopard print.
Travel dog beds:
It’s always nice to have a comfortable place for your dog so sleep when on vacation, camping, or just going for a long drive. Most travel dog beds are either foldable and have handles, or come with a stuff-sack which you stuff the bed into and also functions as a convenient carrying case. Some beds even fold and then zip up making them a bed and carrying case in one! Many even have pockets or pouches so you can bring your dogs favorite toys with you on your trip! Travel dog beds are also great for the backs of SUV’s and on top of car seats and can really help to control dog hair. It’s always important to make sure the bottom of the bed is made from a durable and water resistant material if you plan on using it outdoors.
Cute dog beds:
There is a huge variety of cute dog beds made in almost every shape you can imagine. Some are not only cute but hilarious. You can find beds which look like fruits, baby baskets, all types of cars, mini-houses, circus tents, giant shoes, and even sharks with open mouths. Typically these are made for small dog breeds.
Tough dog beds(for dogs that love to chew on everything):
Some dogs just chew on everything, including their beds. And many dogs will actually mouth their bed(almost like they are nursing) until they fall asleep. Yet others think that their bed is also a toy to be played with, chewed up, and tossed around. If you own a dog like this, you need a tough dog bed. Tough dog beds like these will be double-stitched, have reinforced corners, and are made from extremely durable materials. They are available in all types like pillows, nests, and even orthopedic.
Outdoor dog beds:
Unlike beds used indoors outdoor dog beds need to be both water resistant to deal with rain as well as tough enough to deal with outside conditions. Materials that are UV resistant are always a plus because the Sun can cause many materials to fade much faster than they would indoors. Most beds used outside are either raised dog beds which keep your dog off the ground or very durable pillow beds. Some even come with their own canopy to provide shade for your dog.
Top Dog Bed Brands
It is always smart to purchase the best brand that you can afford and dog beds are no exception. Cheap dog beds not only tend to fall apart when washed, but can’t handle daily use for very long. There are quite a few outstanding brands to choose from and here are some which have proven their excellence with millions of satisfied customers and happy dogs .
Orvis dog beds:
One of the most well known brands is Orvis. They have been making quality beds for a really long time and while they are a little more expensive than other beds, they will last for years to come. They offer a huge variety of types and styles in a wide array of great looking patterns and colors. Unlike many other companies Orvis offers a 100% satisfaction guarantee, you can return any bed after any length of time if your not satisfied for a full refund. They also make it super-easy to exchange beds if you order the wrong size or simply want to change it for another one.
Kuranda dog beds:
Specializing in quality raised dog beds that are also chew-proof, Kuranda really makes excellent products. They are all very durable and easy to clean. Kuranda also offers replacement fabrics and parts so you will never have to purchase a new bed! Kuranda dog beds are perfect for dogs who need orthopedic support and are easily tough enough to be used outdoors as well
Scruffs dog beds:
These are luxury dog beds all the way. Featuring a large list of collections and styles to choose from Scruffs dog beds are a quality product that also looks fantastic. They have everything from pillows, self-heating beds, to travel beds all made from quality materials like faux leather, suede, corduroy, willow wood, and more. A favorite is their giant Grizzly Bear Bed that looks like a huge Grizzy paw with faux fur and suede that provides a ton of comfy space for even the largest of dogs.
Coolaro dog beds:
Australia is known for its harsh conditions and extreme heat, and this Australian company is well-known for blocking out the Sun and keeping people, pets, and plants cool. They use the same technology from their patented outdoor shades and patio covers which allows cool air to pass through while blocking out harmful UV rays, in their Coolaroo dog beds which are guaranteed to keep your pooch feeling good. These beds are also resistant to mildew, mold, odors, mites, and fleas.
- If you’re unsure between 2 sizes always go with the larger, you’re dog is better off with a little more room than not enough.
- You can make a temporary or DIY dog bed by using an empty drawer filled with old cushions or pillows.
- Another super-easy DIY dog bed can be made by cutting the top off of an old suit case and stuffing in a cushion.
- If you have a dog flea treatment spray, spray it on your dogs bed as well to keep fleas out of your dogs favorite spot
- If your dog is still a puppy you can save money by purchasing the size dog bed that it will grow into instead of having to keep buying new ones as it outgrows them .
- If you own multiple small or medium size dogs, single large dog beds are a great way to serve as one bed for multiple dogs.
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