Dog beds – who knew how wide a variety of dog beds existed in the market? You name it, if there’s a possible need for a different type of bed, someone will manufacture and market it. Most dogs like having their own special place to comfortably lounge on. Humans like to indulge their beloved doggy family members and having a special place helps keep dogs from constantly being underfoot.
Dog beds come in a wide variety of shapes, sizes, fabrics, designs and colors. Some dog beds lie flat on the floor; others are designed like cots, sitting on PVC piping just off the floor.
When shopping for a dog bed, consider where you want the bed to be. Does it need to fit inside a dog crate? Then you need to measure the interior of the crate to be sure that the bed you select will fit inside. Likewise, if you have a particular corner of the room you want the bed to be located at, measure the corner’s dimensions to see how large the bed can be.
Before going shopping for your dog’s bed, spend some time watching how your dog likes to rest, chew on toys/treats, and sleep. If your dog likes to stretch out, then buying a bed that is too small will leave parts of your dog hanging uncomfortably off the bed. Worse, if your dog loves to hang out by lying down to chew on treats such as bones and hooves, then you run the risk that while most of your dog might be on the dog bed, your dog’s mouth and the bones he chews on might be on your floor or carpet.
Other dogs prefer to curl up when they rest; sometimes it is just a preference, other times it is a way for dogs to retain body heat. Dogs that tend to curl up might prefer a bed with a partial or full bolster, so they curl up within the comforting confines of the bolster; if the area the bed is located at tends to be cool during winter, it may help your dog to keep warmer too.
Another consideration when looking at dog beds is whether or not your dog might benefit from an orthopedic type of bed – one that provides a certain level of support for older dogs or dogs with arthritis. After all, the bed should be comfortable for your dog, so that he enjoys it as his special place. Most of the “orthopedic” dog beds are comprised of memory foam; as your dog settles in to use the bed, the foam molds itself to how your dog is laying down, providing support where he needs it most.
Carefully consider the construction of the dog beds you are looking at. Very inexpensive dog beds often have a fiber-fill stuffed interior, with the exterior cover permanently sewn on around the stuffing. While these are typically very cheap beds, they also tend to need replacement more often than better-made beds. This type of bed is difficult to wash and dry properly. Should your dog have an accident – whether by vomiting, urinating or defecating on the bed – it is pretty much trashed at that point. Better beds have an external cloth cover and an impermeable inner cover over the interior stuffing. The interior cover protects the stuffing; the removable external cover allows for easy washing and drying.
If your dog spends a lot of time outdoors, consider having an indoor bed and an outdoor bed. Be certain when purchasing a bed for outdoors that the bed is designed for use in all sorts of weather; it is highly unlikely that your dog will want to lie in a bed that is soggy from rain or snow. For exterior beds, all-weather cot-style Kuranda beds are a great alternative. Typically, these beds are easy to wash, by simply hosing them down as they are.
As already mentioned, dog beds come in a wide variety of colors. There are fancy designer beds, some even look like miniature human beds, divans or couches. Of course, in general, the fancier the dog bed looks, the more expensive it is. Before investing large sums of money for a fancy bed, consider whether or not your dog is likely to chew the bed. Dogs that enjoy ripping rip stuffed animals apart have a tendency to treat bed stuffing in a similar fashion, especially if they get a bit bored. Besides the obvious waste of money if you buy a bed that your dog is likely to rip apart, there is also the risk to the dog. Some dogs ingest some of the fiber fill when they rip apart stuffed animals and bedding; the fiber fill potentially could cause problems with the dog’s gastrointestinal system, such as a blockage. If you discover your dog is destructive with such beds, do not buy that type of bed for your dog.
By knowing your dog’s personal habits, you are more likely to purchase a bed that both you and your dog will love and appreciate for years to come.