How to Choose A Dog Bed
Tips to Choose the Right Dog Bed the First Time!
Dogs are creatures of habit & enjoy sleeping in the same spot, it is important that you choose the right bed!
There are several factors you need to consider when selecting a bed for you dog or dogs.
- Size - The bed must be big enough and strong enough to match your dog's breed, but not so big that you waste money on unused bed space. Carefully measuring your dog will assure the proper fit.
How to Measure: Measure your dog once standing up; from tip of nose to base of tail and also from floor to shoulders or head. If you will be buying a mattress dog bed, add 12 inches. This will give you an approximate width and length for a flat dog bed. Measure your dog another time in his favorite sleeping position; perhaps his length when fully stretched out, or his diameter when curled into a ball. For nest and ball-type beds measure the length of your dog while he is curled up. Measure from the top of his head to the point where his tail meets his hindquarters, and then add 7 to 9 inches.
The right size dog bed will match or be slightly larger than your measurements. Beds that are too small may not be comfortable for your dog. You want to allow room for growth, if you dog is still growing, and you want to allow room for movement regardless of whether your dog is still growing or if he's already at maximum size
- Climate & Local Weather - You will need to select a dog bed that can stand up to whatever Mother Nature throws at it.
Will you want your dog bed to provide warmth in the winter or provide air circulation in the summer?
Will you being using this bed outside in a dog house or on a front porch?
What are the seasonal temperature ranges where you live?
Heated mats -Have you ever wondered why your pet seeks out the sun spot in your house to nap? Their body temperature is higher than yours and while your air conditioned home is just right for you, it is not for your pet. 102°F is the ideal body temperature for cats and dogs. Since a pet's fur acts as an insulator. We have thermostat beds that senses when the unit reaches this temperature and maintains it for comfort. Body temperature warmth eases muscle pain and encourages circulation for active or arthritic pets. It’s why many vets recommend & use Outdoor Heated Bed in their clinics & prescribe them for recuperating pets.
- 3. Shape & Style - The shape and style of the dog bed should be determined by the size and sleeping habits of your dog. Pay close attention to their favorite sleeping positions and locations.
Does your dog enjoy sleeping in a sunny spot in the morning and by the bed in the evening? You may want a bed that can be easily moved about the house and fits the decor in several rooms.
Choose a bed that matches the room where your dog spends the most time sleeping, usually where ever the family spends the most time.
Keep in mind the height of the beds. Small dog or dogs with arthritis may have a hard time climbing up onto a platform or furniture type dog bed.
How to Select the Basic Shape:
Dog bed come in several different shapes;
- Round nests
- Donut, Bolster or cuddler beds
- Burrowing, round fluffy balls or pillows
- Rectangle, round and flat mattresses
- Sofa shaped furniture
- The Many Types of Dog Beds
Dogs come in all different breeds, sizes and temperaments. The dog bed that is right for a small pampered pooch may not be the best bed for a large working dog. There are almost as many types of dog beds as there are dog breeds. Observe how they sleep, do they curl up or stretch out. Here are some descriptions of the most common dog beds and their intended use:
Pillow or Cushion Dog Beds - These are the most common dog beds in use. They come in round, square and rectangle shapes and many different sizes to fit any breed. There is a multitude of fabric and color options to choose from. Most beds are stuffed with either poly foam, or foam and cedar chips blend, which acts as a natural flea repellent. Some dogs may not like the smell of the cedar chips or may have an allergic skin reaction to the scent, so if your dog has a history of skin ailments or you are buying a bed for a puppy you may want to avoid beds with cedar ships or cedar scent. See our Selection of Round and Rectangle Cushion Dog Beds
Orthopedic Dog Beds -Orthopedic dog beds are specially designed for dogs with arthritis or other joint problems such as hip dysplasia, and for senior citizen dogs regardless of their health problems. Expect to pay a little more for an orthopedic dog bed as they are generally made of higher quality materials than standard dog beds, such as high-density, medical-grade foam that provides more support and comfort. Some beds even include electric heating pads to provide soothing warmth which helps to relieve joint pain. Waterproof or washable fabrics may be needed for older dogs that are incontinent. See our Selection of Orthopedic Dog Beds & Mats.
Nest Dog Beds - Nest dog beds may also be referred to as cuddler or donut dog beds. These dog bed types get their name from the fact that the bedding, usually a deep, soft pillow or foam cushion, is surrounded by a wall made of some sturdy material such as stuffed fabric, wood, plastic, or wicker. Your dog curls up inside the bed and the walls of the bed provide warmth, comfort and privacy. These beds are great for cold climates or for dogs who like to curl up for warmth. Many dogs feel more secure in an enclosed, den-like area and nest beds may have a calming effect.
Dogs don’t like to feel as if they’re being snuck up on, especially when they're trying to sleep, and the popular bolster bed, with its high back, gives them a safe, cozy haven. This type is also great for dogs who like a nice pillow to rest their weary heads. Plus, it prevents drafts and protects the walls. To see our Bolster & Donut Beds click here.
Burrowing Dog Beds - Some dogs enjoy the comfort of snuggling into the sheets or just simply hide under sheets of cloth. If your dog belongs to the shy and timid type, then getting a burrowing dog bed seems to be the ultimate choice to allow your furry pal to continue enjoying the coziness of hiding in between sheets in the comfort of his very own bed. If your smaller dogs or puppies do not sleep well, then the problem most probably lies in the exposure of their bed. Do your dog a favor by helping him or her sleep soundly and comfortably in a burrow dog bed. Your dog will love you for the security and warmth they get from such beds.
Dog Bed Mats - Mats are generally the most inexpensive dog bed option. They are usually a thin layer of foam covered by a waterproof or washable fabric. Mats work great in kennels or crates and help cushion your dog from a cold, hard floor. The latest mats are now available with high-grade memory foam and some even offer cooling properties from high-tech materials. Due to being flat and lightweight, most mats travel well. Heated mats keep them toasty warm on those frightfully cold days and nights.
Travel Dog Beds - Travel dog beds run the gamut from sleeping bag roll ups to travel mats that fit easily into kennels or carriers for travel on trains and airplanes. Cot-style beds are nice for dogs that spend a lot of time outdoor or visiting kennels. It keeps them cooler in summer and off the drafty floor in winter. More traditional-style cushioned outdoor beds are made of tough polyester and resist mildew and fungus.Most travel dog beds are machine washable and fold into a compact size when not in use. Many feature carry bags, handles or waterproof fabrics for outdoor use. There are even dog beds that are specially designed to fit bucket or bench seats in your car for taking your dog along on a road trip.
Outdoor beds and tents - A wide range of outdoor beds, from deck or boathouse beds to cot style to keep your pup off the ground and for camping.
Designer Dog Beds - Designer dogs beds or custom made dog beds are designed like small pieces of furniture and prices can vary based on materials. Sick of sharing your furniture with your dog? Why not get him his own chair or sofa to stretch out and nap on? Sure, they're expensive. But aren't they worth it? We have a selection of Designer Dog Beds that is make some tails wag! Many are made like small sofas with wood frames covered with commercial grade foam and custom fabric options. Other beds are made from polished wood, such as canopy or day bed styles, and can fit any decor from rustic to colonial. There are also wrought iron headboards and footboards, and even hammock-style dog beds. Many are custom ordered or hand made, expect to pay higher prices and wait several weeks for delivery. See our selection Novelty Beds or Furniture Style Dog Beds
- How to Select the Right Filler Material
Your basic dog bed filler choices are either solid foam, or stuffing. Since the type of filling that you choose will impact your dog's comfort, you should make an informed decision that takes into consideration your dog's size, age, and health. Inexpensive dogs beds often use cheap foam that can flatten out within several months. It is worth while to pay a little more for a quality bed that will last several years.
Poly-fill dog beds are stuffed with little pieces of foam. There are different types of Poly-fill to choose from. You want to make sure that your dog bed uses "high-loft" which means that it will not flatten out and lose its "spring" over time. Also make sure that you choose a dog bed style that uses "baffled chambers" which keeps the fill evenly distributed throughout the bed and keeps it from shifting to the outer edges as your dog snuggles in for the night.
Solid foam dog bed mattresses are best for large breeds and older dogs who are still in good health. If your dog has arthritis, or any back or hip problems, then you need a medical-grade, orthopedic foam dog bed. The two key issues when choosing a solid foam mattress are firmness and density. Just like your mattress, the firmness determines how hard or soft the mattress is, while density determines how much "bounce" is in the mattress A good quality solid foam dog bed mattress will have a higher density and more firmness.
- How to Select the Right Dog Bed Cover
Turn the old bed into a new one with a new cover. Dogs can be messy so make sure that your dog bed cover is up to the challenge.
- Choose 100% machine-washable fabrics that can be removed from the mattress when it's laundry time.
- Choose a durable fabric that can stand up to sharp toenails.
- Make sure that the seams are double-stitched.
- Fabric should be stain-resistant! Many of the new sofa-type dog beds can be purchased with a washable slip cover and are worth the extra money.
Your dog's health and comfort depend upon his getting a good night's sleep. Make an informed decision when you purchase a dog bed and your dog will benefit for years to come!