Maryland Pet

Buying A Dog Bed – A Guide For Buyers

A dog bed is a very important investment for your dog, and is something that needs thinking about. Dogs are our best friends, a family member and a big part of our lives. We do everything we can for our dogs, to make their lives as happy and as comfortable, and often as luxurious, as possible; and a comfortable secure bed is a big part of that. There are so many different beds on the market, from the traditional plastic beds, to the Kong dog bed, to memory foam mattresses, but which is the best? Which one suits your dog? Well let’s go through a few pointers to help you choose which type of bed you should be looking at.

The shape

Take a look at how your dog sleeps. Are they curled up like a croissant, or are they stretched out as long as possible? Do they like to lie on their back with their tongue hanging out, or with their head resting on a pillow or an arm rest? Dogs, like humans, have different sleeping positions, and once you know how your dog sleeps that will help you decide on the shape and the size of the bed you need. If your canine friend likes to sleep coiled up, then an oval or circular bed might be more suitable, and they may prefer to have a bed with higher sides to feel more secure and protected. If they like to sleep stretched out then a mattress type bed might be the one for you. There are beds that have a built-in pillow or rest at one or both ends which will suit the dog that likes to have their head resting slightly higher up. 

The size

Now that you know your dog’s sleeping position, and you have gauged what shape of bed may be needed, we can start to look at the size of bed that you need. The bed needs to be such that your dog can easily be comfortable curled up, but also that they can stretch their limbs easily, and be able to stand up and move around.  As there are so many different brands and types of beds out there, each type will usually have its own way of sizing their beds, and often have a sizing guide to help you, this sometimes involves measuring your dog in different ways.

The filling

One of the most important functions, if not the most important function of a dog bed is that it is comfortable, and the material the bed is filled with is integral to this. Dog beds come filled with different materials, from polyester to memory foam. Smaller breeds like a Miniature Pinscher may be very comfortable in a polyester filled bed, whereas a much larger dog like a German Shepherd will need something much sturdier. A dog bed needs to provide comfort, but it also needs to provide protection between the hard floor and your dog’s body, particular the more bony, prominent areas like the elbows and hips. Therefore, ensure the bed you are purchasing is padded enough for your dog.

The covering

Dogs are wonderful animals, and they have a zest for life that is inspiring. This means they love to get involved in everything, and will often come back to their bed dirty or wet from a fun adventure. For this reason, it is integral that the bed you choose is easy to clean. A bed with a removable covering is ideal, or for smaller beds one that can be put straight into the washing machine. This will help to keep both your dog and their bed clean, smelling fresh and hygienic. If you dog loves to chew everything, then it is worth looking at a bed that has a chew resistant label, this should help give you peace of mind that you won’t return from work to find bits of dog bed scattered around the house. Waterproof beds are available, these are a good option if you go travelling with your dog, or if they love to swim. These types of beds will stop the filling becoming soiled, and will also help to protect your flooring from becoming damp.

Your dog’s specific needs

Dogs come in all shapes and sizes, and they will all have individual needs. Some dogs overheat easily, for example large dogs made for colder climates like Samoyeds, and some dogs that are often cold, like the Italian Greyhound will need very different types of beds. Beds are available with linings that either reflect heat to keep the occupant warm, or cooling mats to help dogs that are more prone to overheating. There are beds available that are kept off of the floor on small stilts which allow the air to circulate underneath, and keep the bed cooler for those fluffy breeds. Anxious dogs may prefer a high sided bed, or an igloo type that will help them feel secure and covered, and this will help them relax. Older dogs, or those with painful joints might prefer a lower bed that is easy to step off of and on to. An orthopaedic mattress may be more suitable in this instance, as it provides extra comfort for those companions who find it more difficult to get settled. 

Where to place the bed

Once you have chosen a dog bed, you must next decide where in your home it is to go. It shouldn’t be in a busy thoroughfare like a corridor as they won’t be able to relax, somewhere a little quieter would be ideal. It should not be somewhere that is very hot, but equally not somewhere that is too cold.  You know your dog best, so you know where they feel most comfortable. You might like to consider having different types of bed in different areas of the house to allow your dog to have a choice of where to snooze. Once you have taken into account your dog’s personality, size, preferences and needs, choosing the right bed should be easier for you. Get your dog a comfortable bed, and they will love you more than they already do!

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