Buying a dog bed can be a tricky business.
Here are 10 things to consider to make sure you get the right one for your pal.
- Do they like to "nest"?
- Is your dog a chewer?
- Curled Up or Stretched Out?
- With Sides, or Flat bed
- Interior Design
- Does it need to fit in a crate?
- Age - from Puppy to Senior, your dog's needs will change
Breed ∼ your dog's characteristics are strongly influenced by their breed and this is true in sleep as well as when they are awake. One of the most common breed sleeping habits belong to Terriers and some Hound breeds (particularly short-haired sighthounds). Many like to be covered or to "tunnel" or "snuggle" in to their beds.
Size ∼ this is linked to breed but there is also variation within the breed. Dexter is a 5 year old, male Boxer but he's quite a small one - weighing in at 28kgs whereas some of his Boxer friends are much bigger than him. And with breeds such as mini-Schnauzers, some can be nearly as big as our beloved, Charlie the gorgeous Standard Schnauzer. Labradoodles, Golden-doodles and others come in even more shapes and sizes. The advice we always give is, if your dog is between two sizes, go for the bigger one (as long as it will fit in the space you have for it). This is particularly important for soft lounge beds (those with padded sides) as these often mean that the internal dimensions are quite a bit smaller than the external ones.
"Nesting" ∼ This isn't reserved for expectant doggy mothers. Dexter loves to do this. He digs down in to a bed and get underneath the bottom cushion, if there is one. This means he often ends up lying just on the bottom liner, which is usually not padded. If your dog does this too, maybe a flat bed without a removable inner cushion might be the way to go.
Chewing ∼ If your dog is a big chewer, you might not want wicker or wooden framed beds, which can be a bit more tempting than a material bed and if nothing else, don't look as nice once they've been seen to by some determined doggy gnashers. Having said this, wicker was our biggest selling style of dog bed in 2015 and we haven't had any reports of them being chewed.
Curled or Stretched ∼ if a dog bed isn't comfy, it won't get used but taking a look at how your dog chooses to sleep most of the time can give you some strong hints as to which style of bed might be best for them. Some dogs curl up in to the tightest ball whilst others like to stretch right out as though they own the place (mentioning no names, Maisie).
Sides or Flat ∼ a dog that likes to curl up will also quite like to feel as though they are fully protected by the bed so one with sides (a lounge bed) will probably suit them. But, if your dog is a more confident stretch-out kind of pooch, a soft, flat bed can be right up their street. Flat beds have the added benefit of letting you see more of their dreamy doggy antics as well - who doesn't love they way they wag their tails, run and even bark in their sleep?
Interior Design ∼ We're not saying this is more important than comfort, but it is your house, after all. And with so much choice available, why not pick a bed that fits with your personal style as well as your woofer's? From real leather to faux, cotton to wool, raised, flat, round, square, sofa style, patterned or plain, there's a size, shape, material and design to fit your home somewhere.
Does it need to fit in to a crate? ∼ crate training your dog can be brilliant for them and you. It gives your dog their very own safe place if things get too much for them, or life gets a bit noisy when they feel like a snooze and it's great way to teach them it's OK to relax and just be calm when they are puppies as well as saving your furniture from doggy destruction when you are out. If you have a crate, there a number of options for beds. All will have to fit through the door so a soft bed is best and after that, it's down to your dog's preference of a lounge bed with sides, a flat cushion, or a simple Vet Bed which can be cut to size.
Age ∼ From pup to gorgeous golden oldie a dog's needs change throughout their lifetime. Puppy beds need to be not only smaller but also have a waterproof cushion and washable covers - some even have a pocket that you can put a clock in as the tick-tock sound can be comforting for some pups. A senior dog might need a raised bed if they find it difficult to get up from a bed on the floor. Raised beds can also keep your dog out of the way of any drafts, making them a bit cosier (and keeping older joints warm).
Washability ∼ a washable bed is great (if we had a separate washing machine, that would be even better!) Make sure you can wash the inner cushions as well as the covers, or that the inner cushion is waterproof, in case of accidents. Regular washing can also help if you've got a dog that's prone to itchiness (use a kind washing detergent as well) as this stops the build up of dust and mites that could irritate our dog's skin. Plus, it also helps to minimise any of the less welcome doggy aromas.
Making the right choice of bed for your dog is an important one so, if you're thinking of buying a dog bed and need some advice, we'll be happy to help (even if you don't buy it from us).
If you're not sure whether to go for a snuggle style bed, a wicker basket, flat round or lounge bed or even a wooden framed or leather sofa style bed, call us free on 0800 644 4662 for advice.
And if you've got an old bed to get rid of, your local shelter will probably be only too grateful to receive it for one of their dogs.