How to Choose the Perfect Dog Bed

Most dogs will sleep almost anywhere when the urge to stretch out and catch a few Zzzzz’s hits them. But the right dog bed does a lot more than offer comfort. It supports growing or aging joints and muscles, gives them a sense of security, and a much-needed place to get a few minutes of peace and quiet.

Every dog needs a bed to call its own, whether it’s a house pet, stays outdoors, or is a working dog. Your dog spends more time sleeping than you do, and a hard floor doesn’t give him the support he needs. Even if he has his own spot in your bed, it won’t provide the same sense of security and comfort that he needs. It’s also better for you not to worry about rolling over on your four-legged sleeping partner.

If you don’t let your dog sleep in your bed and you’re forever trying to keep him off your furniture, a dog bed will solve the problem. Cut down on dog hair and tracked-in dirt on your furniture and extend the life of your upholstered sofas and chairs.

What Kind of Bed Is Right for Your Dog?

There are several factors to consider when choosing a dog bed. Your dog’s personality, sleeping habits, age, health issues, and habits are some things to consider. Let’s start by looking at your dog’s sleeping habits.

One way to determine which type of bed to get is to observe your dog’s sleeping habits. Does he like to stretch out or curl up in a little ball? Does he stay in one position while sleeping, or move around? These are your dog’s sleeping preferences, and they aren’t likely to change.

Round or oval-shaped beds take up less space and they provide adequate room for dogs that like to stay in one position. Rectangular beds give your dog more room to stretch out, roll over, and get comfortable.

If he likes to stay away from the family and sleep in a small space, an indoor dog house might be a good choice. These houses double as a bed and many are portable. They help dogs that are anxious or nervous get a little privacy wherever they go.

Another option for small to medium dogs that deal with anxiety or just like to cuddle is cuddle caves. A good way to tell if your dog is a cuddler is by watching his behavior in your bed. Does he like getting under the cover, or stick strictly with lying on top of them?

Does your dog like to sleep with his head elevated? A bolster style bed or sofa provides the soft support he needs to keep his head comfortably elevated.

Another personality trait to consider is your dog’s tendency to chew things up. The last thing you want to do is invest in a great bed only to have your dog dig in and take all the stuffing out! If you have a problem chewer, buy a tough bed that’s chew resistant. Not only will this prevent your dog from tearing up his new bed – but also protect his teeth when he gives it a good try!

If your dog is an “opportunistic chewer”, it might be enough to avoid beds with exposed zippers, tags, or piping. If there’s nothing there that’s too easy to get hold of, they might not be tempted.

The Right Dog Beds for Pups and Seniors

Even new puppies need a bed of their own. They give them the warmth they need when living away from the rest of the litter for the first time. Your dog’s breed will also determine how much additional warmth he needs. A short-haired breed like a chihuahua might benefit from a heated bed or self-warming bed. A long-haired dog or one with a double coat like a husky might do better with a mat.

When buying a dog bed for a puppy, you have two options. The first is to buy a cheaper bed that suits their needs and small size now and invest in a better quality bed when they’re older. The second option is to go ahead and buy a good bed that is large enough for them to grow into. Keep in mind that while you can reasonably predict your dog’s size once it reaches maturity, you can’t really predict any personality traits.

As your dog enters his senior years, he might suffer from many of the same ailments that people do. It might be time to invest in a new bed to help your dog stay more comfortable and get relief from aching joints.

All the other features to consider for a dog bed should still enter into your decision. But those features should be combined with orthopedic memory foam. These beds support your dog’s joints and boost circulation. They can even prolong your dog’s joint health and save you some money on vet bills. More importantly, an orthopedic memory foam dog bed can alleviate the symptoms of arthritis that many dogs experience during their senior years.

 Just make sure you invest in a good quality of memory foam bed. Otherwise, the material will go flat quickly and won’t do what it’s supposed to do. Choose a bed with a foam that is at least 4” thick. If you choose a dog bed with an inner core, make sure the outer layer of memory foam is at least 2” thick. Avoid beds made from shredded foam for seniors.

When Is It Time to Buy a Senior Bed?

Every dog breed differs with those that are larger often having the shortest life spans. That means a large dog becomes a senior at the age of 5 or 6 years while a smaller dog might not be a senior until it’s 10 or 12.

Look up your dog’s breed so you know what to expect. Be aware of changes in your dog’s behavior. If he suddenly stops enjoying walks or going on adventures, get him checked out by the vet.

The Right Size Bed for Your Dog

Many dog beds are recommended for dogs of a certain size (small, medium, etc). The problem is that most of us don’t know which category our dog fits into. There are even fluctuations in size between different dogs of the same breed. The simple way to get the right size bed is to measure your dog from the tip of his nose to the tip of his tail. The bed you buy should be at least this length. In addition, get a size that is appropriate for your dog’s weight.

  • Small – for dogs up to 40 pounds
  • Medium – for dogs up to 60 pounds
  • Large – for dogs up to 120 pounds
  • Extra Large – for dogs over 120 pounds

Choose a bed based on your dog’s largest dimension. For example, if his length is appropriate for the small-sized bed but his weight is 45 pounds, go with the medium-sized bed.

What If You Have More Than One Dog?

Most resources suggest getting each dog its own bed. But some dogs prefer to share. If your dogs snuggle up to sleep or they’re used to sleeping together in your bed, consider getting a large enough bed to accommodate them both. I’ve had one extra-large bed that’s had as many as three dogs on it at one time and a few cats to boot! Which brings me to the topic of outdoor dog beds.

These beds are much more difficult to find than almost any other type. But let’s be honest, a lot of people have dogs that stay outdoors at least part of the time. Search for a weather-resistant bed to put in your dog’s kennel, on the deck, or anywhere he enjoys relaxing outside. Your dog should always have a better option than lying on hardwood or on the cold ground.

Do your research before you buy your dog’s bed and find the best choice for all the different features that set your four-legged friend apart. Shop from the dog beds at Gold Dog Whistle for all of your dog bed needs.

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