Nothing beats the loyalty and love that we get from our canine companions. When you look in that little face, see those eyes drowning in your own it just tugs on your heart. So when it comes to finding a pet bed for your dog, naturally only the best will do.
But there are so many types to choose from. Which dog beds are best? And which should you pass on by? Take some tips from our guide to finding the perfect bed for your precious furbaby.
How do I find the right bed for my dog?
Dogs come in all shapes and sizes, but they come with different personalities too. Knowing how your dog prefers to sleep will go a long way in helping you choose the right bed.
- Is he a snuggler? Do you find him burrowing under covers and curling up close beside you? A plush pet bed is probably a good choice.
- Is she cold natured? Get one with a sherpa fleece bed lining (you can toss in a flannel shirt or fleece blanket too).
- Dogs that like to stretch out and are more on the warm natured side may prefer a pet pillow.
- If you crate your dog, you will want a bed with good padding. If the crate is the right size, their bed will fit in just fine. It is also a good idea to drape a blanket or cover over the crate to create a den-like atmosphere. This is especially helpful for most high strung or nervous dogs.
What is the right size bed for my dog?
Your dog should be able to stretch out in his bed without any part hanging over. He should have room to turn around, stretch out, curl up, and even bring a couple of toys to bed with him if he wants. In short, the bed should be comfortable.
Think about what you look for in a comfortable bed. Would you like a mattress that is so short your feet hang off the end? Probably not. Sure, your dog would likely adapt because that is just what they do, but that's not really fair. Give him a bed he will love one that fits him just right.
What are the best materials for dog beds?
Dog beds come in all different types of material. Some are very practical; others, not so much. While you want something that is attractive and fits with your decor, you also need to think about practicality:
- Is the material washable?
- Can you just drop it in the washing machine when it gets dirty?
- Does it dry quickly?
- Is it durable?
- And most importantly, is it comfortable?
Canvas, denim, and ripstop nylon are all durable fabrics that are popular pet bed materials. However, when you are thinking about comfort, sherpa fleece and microfiber are two great choices. All of these materials are available in many different colors so matching to the decor in your home should be fairly easy. If you can't find a comfortable bed that works in the room, opt for neutral colors. It isn't worth sacrificing quality and comfort for something cute.
How thick should a dog bed be?
This pretty much depands on the weight of your dog. The standard recommended thickness is at least 4 inches. However, if you have a large dog, you'd want to consider 6 or 7 inches of of quality foam to offer your dog good support and comfort.
What pet beds are best for allergies, arthritis, and other conditions?
If your pet has any medical conditions like arthritis, anxiety, hip dysplasia, or allergies you want to find beds that accommodate their special needs. Dogs with joint and bone pain benefit from beds that offer more support. Several manufacturers offer dog beds made from memory foam or special foam that is designed to offer extra support for their joints.
Dogs that suffer from anxiety or that are high strung often do well with a bed that is deep and soft, like a nest. They can sink into it and feel safe.
For dogs with allergies, hypoallergenic fillers do a great job of keeping dust mites and mold spores at bay. Polyester fiber has long been the go-to filler for dog bed makers because it's lightweight, washable and inexpensive. It's important to note though that polyester fillings tend to clump quickly and do not offer adequate support for heavier dogs. For larger breeds, hypoallergenic foam fillers seem to be a better choice.
A common condition among old dogs is incontinence. Most dog beds have a washable cover, but to protect the mattress, look for beds with a waterproof liner. A waterproof bed also goes a long way in making your life easier when you're in the process of housetraining a puppy… or have a large dog that drools a lot.
How do I keep my pet's bed smelling fresh?
Dog beds are a decor item that are as functional as they are attractive. They are multipurpose, pieces that will be used on a regular basis. Your dog will go outside to do his business. When he comes in he may have muddy paws, or he may have just rolled around in a perfectly stinky patch of grass. Even with regular and frequent shampoos, dogs can smell and their bedding can hold those odors.
Cleaning your pet's bed is pretty simple, but there are some things you need to consider. You should avoid perfumes and dyes found in most laundry detergents. They can make your pet sick. Castile soap is a nice, neutral cleaner that is very effective. It is available with essential oils added so you can get a nice smell too. (Pet tip: The orange essential oil castile soap is very effective in killing fleas).
All laundry detergent has a formula called All Free and Clear with Odor Relief. It gets rid of even stubborn puppy odors and leave the bedding soft. They also have free and clear dryer sheets so you can avoid all the stuff you don't want your dog exposed to but still get his bed clean and fresh.
Choosing a dog bed doesn't have to be a stressful event, but finding the right one for your pet is important. Just remember, your dog is an individual, just like you. They can have preferences and aversions just like people. This means you may have to try our a few beds before you happen upon the perfect one. Once you find it though, your dog will be very grateful.