For a good 8 hours or so, we lay our backs and the rest of our body on the soft, cushiony warmness of a comfy mattress so that we’ll feel more refreshed when we wake up. There really is a huge difference between sleeping on a hard surface and the cushiony comfort of a mattress bed. It is not surprising, therefore, to extend this comfort feel to our pooches. After all, these furry mutts are our best friends. So, they really do deserve their own bed. Other than comfort, dog beds also come with different purposes either to support an elderly dog or to warm a sick pooch. The point is to choose a dog bed that is appropriate for the breed of canine that you have including its temperament, health status, and general behavior. You can start with these best dog beds that are the result of an extensive research we’ve conducted to help you make the right decision.
Dog Bed Buying Guide
Buying a bed for your pooch can be daunting especially for newbies. There are so many questions that you may have in mind that you want answers to before you’ll make the decision to buy one. Of course there are plenty of online resources that will provide you with such answers, but you’ll have to search for these individually. As such, we’ve prepared this dog bed buying guide to answer some of the most common questions that potential dog bed buyers have. Hopefully these will help you arrive at a better-informed decision.
Why Does My Dog Want to Sleep on a Bed?
You might be inclined to think that dogs don’t necessarily need beds for them to sleep on. After all, there are no mattresses and similar stuff in the wild, right? However, more than mere comfort, there are actually several reasons why your pooch happens to want to sleep on its own bed.
- Keeps them warm
Wild canids often seek shelter in caves and other similar geological features. While you won’t see them gathering sticks and bushes to create a nest like birds, they will nonetheless gather together to keep their bodies warm. Unfortunately, domesticated canids don’t have the luxury of caves or the number of fellow canids that they can snuggle up to to keep them warm. They may have kennels and crates to serve as their caves, but there won’t be anything to protect them from the cold floor. This is where doggie mattresses are helpful especially those that come with built-in heaters. There are also beds that come with high wall panels which effectively shield them from the cold draft. They can easily curl up in these manmade nests to keep them warm and comfy.
- Provides privacy and security
While doggie mattresses are hardly the kind of shelter that you have in mind that will give your pooch privacy and security, it nevertheless provides them with something that they can say their own spot in your home. This is their private space and as such they will try to value it in much the same way as you don’t want anyone else to enter your bedroom.
- Cushions painful joints
Articular problems are a common concern not only among senior doggies. There are also breeds that are more predisposed to hip dysplasia, arthritis, and other problems of the joints and bones. The issue is not so much in the existence of these health conditions but rather in the degree of discomfort or pain that these problems bring. Sleeping or lying down on a hard surface such as floors can compress these organs leading to significant pain. This is especially pronounced in bony prominences where the bones or joints are located very near the surface of the skin. Examples of these will be the spinuous process of the backbone and the pelvic bones. This can also be worsened by obesity as the weight of the pooch’s body effectively presses against these structures and sandwiches them against the hard floor. Cushioning the other side of these body parts can help lessen the effect of pressure.
- Prevents injuries
There are a number of doggies that really love sleeping on the bed of their human masters or even on the sofa or couch. Large canine breeds should have no problems jumping in and out of these pieces of furniture as their relatively longer legs will help cushion the impact of jumping. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said of smaller canine breeds. Jumping in and out of high furnishings can lead to injuries if in case they happen to make a mistake. Because pet mattresses are at most 5 to 6 inches thick, it is low enough for doggies to safely get on them and out. At any rate, the risk for injuries will be very minimal compared to staying on the human bed.
- Manages shedding and pet dander
It is very rare to see a dog that doesn’t shed its hair or release dander into the air. Now, if you don’t get a pet mattress, where do you think you will find these dander and loose hair? More often than not, you’ll see these on your carpet, on your couch or sofa, maybe even on your bed. The point is that if you give your pooch its own bed, at least it will concentrate its loose hair and pet dander in this furniture. Of course there will still be some in other parts of the house, but majority of it will be on its mattress. This makes it even easier to clean and vacuum.
What to Consider When Buying a Dog Bed
Now that you have a fairly good idea and appreciation as to why your doggie would love to have its very own sleeping pad, it’s time to get to the real stuff. Choosing the best dog bed should really not be that difficult especially if you have a fairly good idea of what you’re looking for. To help you make the right decision, here are a few things you might want to spend some time considering.
- How your doggie sleeps
This is one of the most fundamental considerations when buying a canine bed. The manner in which your doggie sleeps can be a significant factor in the type of mattress you will need to get. For example, if your pooch is a curler, meaning it loves to curl up like a shrimp or a fetus, then getting something like a nesting couch should be desirable. However, if your doggie loves to really stretch its body and legs as far as possible, then you will need a mattress that has unusually larger space for your doggie to do so. If your Fido is quite active in bed, meaning it likes changing its position every now and then, then an appropriately sized mattress should be on top of your list.
- Doggie health concerns and age
If you have a pooch that doesn’t really have any health issues, choosing a canine mattress is pretty straightforward. However, if your Fido happens to have a health condition such as obesity, joint problems, and musculoskeletal issues, then you’ll need to think about getting a more appropriate bed. Similarly, senior dogs and puppies will often require significantly different types of mattresses. Factor, too in your decision your pregnant bitch or even a lactating dam. The latter will need something more spacious to nurse its litter.
- Activity level and strength
We simply couldn’t leave this one out. The activity level and strength of your pooch will come in handy in the choice of material for the canine bed. For really strong and heavy mutts you will need a mattress that can stand to their weight as well as possible scratching and nipping behavior. The bed must be chew-proof and scratch-resistant if you want it to last many years. If you’ve got a rather sedentary doggie, then any material will do.
- Bed’s location
Even before you start buying a pet bed, make sure you have a clear idea of where to place it. Will it be in the living room or the family room? How about the kitchen or perhaps the bedroom? The thing is that you need to consider the primary purpose of the canine mattress. If it is only for resting not sleeping, then perhaps a quiet corner in the living room will be sufficient. But, if the intention is for the bed to be used as a sleeping pad, then consider putting it in an area where there is less traffic, no distractions, and have plenty of walls to keep your pet warm. Technically, this is going to be their bed in your home.
- Style of bed
There are many styles of canine sleeping furniture. There are those that look pretty much like the mattress we have in our bedrooms. There are also those that resemble the sofa bed or couch in the living room. Some are loungers or mini bean bags. There are also elevated or raised dog beds that allow for the more efficient movement of air for greater comfort. There are also beds that come with different materials especially the cushioning. Canine beds that serve to keep your pooch warm can come with built-in thermal insulators. It is critical to consider the type of bed that your pooch can really benefit from.
Not all canine mattresses will give your pooch the kind of comfort it needs. Some may be soft and cushiony but they don’t provide protection against draft. Some may have superior padding yet doesn’t have any waterproofing capabilities. Some will also allow for the air to freely circulate yet its level of softness is nowhere near cushiony and padded mattresses. There are also those with bolsters or mini pillows to maintain the alignment of the canine spine. You may want to invest in several covers or even heating pads. The thing is you’d have to look at the individual needs of your pet so you can decide how you can best provide comfort to it.
What Material is Best When Buying a Dog Bed?
The material used in the construction of the dog bed is an important consideration before making a purchase. Unfortunately, the choice of material is actually dependent on a host of factors including the activity level of your pooch, its general temperament and style of sleeping, and its tendency or predisposition to chew or scratch. Additionally, you might want to factor in ease of cleaning and the level of comfort it provides your mutt. Here we’ll be presenting some of the more common materials used in the manufacture of canine beds. We will look at the cover first.
- Fleece – Inexpensive material yet has the capability to retain body heat, making it an exceptional choice for dogs living in colder climates.
- Flannel – Known for its superb absorption capabilities, flannel is also preferred for its more versatile thermoregulatory properties. It can keep your pooch warm in winter and cool in the summer.
- Faux suede – While it may be a bit tough to clean, faux suede is nonetheless revered for its durability and strength, although not as much as true suede.
- Microfiber – This type of cover material is well-regarded for its antimicrobial properties and can be a great material if you’re more concerned about the health of your mutt.
- Vinyl – These are exceptionally sturdy and durable and are perfect for persistent diggers, scratchers, and nibblers. It’s also great for folks who may have an obsession for keeping things clean.
- Nylon – Nylon materials are abrasion-resistant and provide a great option for those canines with skin allergies or even sensitive skin.
Next, we’ll examine the types of fill used in such canine furnishings.
- Foam – These provide exceptional support to your pet’s body, especially memory foam. However, there are also foam chips and pellets that allow for greater softness and comfort for your pet pooch.
- Fiber fill – Also known as polyester fill, fiber fill is often used in stuffed toys and pillows. It provides a certain level of softness that you won’t see in any other type of fill. If you’re after your doggie’s comfort, fiber fill is often a great option.
- Wood chips – Yes, there are still doggie beds that use wood chips. Aromatic chips are especially noted for their ability to repel fleas while also absorbing pet odor. The problem is that they’re really not that comfy and soft to lie on.
- Recycled bedding and/or fabric – These are very inexpensive materials used as dog bed fill. These may not be as comfy or soft as fiberfill but they do provide ample support, just not as efficient as a memory foam.
Does My Dog Need an Orthopedic Dog Bed?
If you have a mutt that has problems with its mobility such as painful joints or even hip dysplasia, getting an orthopedic dog bed is often necessary. The unique design of this type of bed relieves some of the pressure on the joints while affording a more comfortable sleep. It is also effective for skinny and bony pooches.
What Size of Dog Bed Should I Get for My Pet?
The size of the canine bed should be at least 6 inches larger on all of its sides compared to the actual size of your mutt. This means you have to measure the height and length of your pooch. If, for instance, it measures 15 inches tall and about 20 inches long, then you know that you need a pet bed that is at least 21 inches wide and 26 inches long. If you’re in doubt, it’s always better to choose a larger one.
Which Fabric is the Best Option for a Destructive Dog?
If your pet happens to be a mighty chomper, you’d really have to go for chew-proof or indestructible materials in its canine bed. Ordinary fabrics simply will not cut it. Choose ballistic-grade or even military-grade fabrics such as 1618 denier nylon or even ballistic vinyl for the toughest chewers in your pack.
What Fabric is Easiest to Clean?
Just as vinyl fabrics are best when it comes to highly destructive chewers, it is also the easiest to clean. If you don’t like the idea of plastic, then nylon fabric should be your second choice, although a lot of the different fabric materials used in dog beds today can be easily machine washed.
What Fabric is Best for a Dog with Allergies?
Human allergic sufferers often use silk for their beddings to help minimize the impact of skin allergies. Unfortunately, it would be impractical to use silk for a dog bed, although it is not entirely without merit. If you have a pet that happens to have allergies, your best choice for a fabric will be either nylon or vinyl. Some would also advocate for the use of organic cotton fleece although the main issue is in dust mites getting into the tight spaces of the woven fabric.
Our dogs deserve to have the best and most appropriate bed for them to rest, feel more secure, keep warm, heal their bodies, and event prevent injuries. Choosing the most appropriate bed will thus, take into consideration your pet’s age, activity levels, sleeping behavior, and general health as well as the location of the bed in your house, its style, and the level of comfort it brings. It is also critical to look for the best possible material for your pet especially if it has allergies, has musculoskeletal problems, or is simply a tenacious chewer.
Overall, if you keep all these things into consideration and add our list of the best dog beds in the market, you’ll eventually find the most appropriate sleeping mattress for your canine friend.