How to Choose a Dog Bed

Sealy Lux Quad Layer Large Autumn Brown

Does your dog have his bed, or does he share yours? Even if your dog likes to cuddle up with you on your bed or your couch, he still needs a place to sleep that is all his own. The main reason for this is that dogs typically sleep more than two times the length of time humans sleep. Your dog can sleep anywhere from 12 to 14 hours or more per day! For this reason, a comfy dog bed purchase may prove to be an even tougher decision than buying a bed for yourself. 

Giving your dog his bed that is made just for him will provide him with a place that belongs to him, providing him with a sense of security, and will also keep the amount of his hair building up all over the rest of your furniture down. There is a lot to consider when choosing a bed for your dog, and there are so many options available that it can be overwhelming. 

“What Kind of Dog Bed Should I Get?”

Dog on Couch

When you go shopping for your next dog bed, there are several things to consider. Everything from your dog’s age and weight to his preferred sleeping habits will factor into your decision. Additionally, think about your preferences for your dog’s bed, including how much space you have for the dog bed, how much you are willing to spend, and how much time you are willing to spend on cleaning the bed.  

Your dog’s breed and coat will be a factor in his sleeping preferences and what kind of bed to get. If you have a dog with a thick coat like a Siberian Husky or an Alaskan Malamute, your dog may prefer sleeping on the cool tile floor versus any dog bed. This sleeping preference is because these dog breeds are built for cold weather. Most other dogs will be more comfortable with at least some cushion on which to sleep. 

Is It Washable?

Milliard Quilted Zipper
Milliard Quilted Zipper

There are so many different kinds of dog beds to choose from. With so many shapes, sizes, and styles to choose from, there is a bed for every dog. Out of all the things to consider, washability is probably the number one factor. 

It is essential to be able to wash your dog’s bed regularly. Dog beds naturally get dirty and stinky. Regular washing will keep your dog’s bed free of odors, fleas, and dirt. A lot of dog beds are not able to be washed but will come with a removable and washable cover. It is a good idea to clean your dog’s bed (or at least the cover) at least twice per month. For some dog beds, it is recommended to wash it more often, up to once per week.  

Beds for small dogs can typically fit into a standard front load washer (the kind with no center agitator). Beds for larger dogs may not fit in a conventional washing machine. If you have a large dog, you may want to look for a bed that has a removable, washable cover. 

Best Types of Dog Beds

Crate Mats & Pads for The Lazy Cuties and Portability

MIXJoy Dog Bed Crate Pad
MIXJoy Dog Bed Crate Pad

Crate mats and pads are primarily made to protect your dog from the hard surface of the floor or dog crate. Additionally, mats can be used to provide an extra layer of comfort on top of a couch or bed that will also help to prevent damage to furniture. Another great thing about mats is that they can be used to extend the time between washings of your dog’s main bed to prevent the buildup of allergens and parasites. Dog mats are great for travel and lining crates. 

Elevated Dog Beds for Summer Heat, Hot Weather, and Cooler Sleep 

Veehoo Elevated Dog Bed
Veehoo Elevated Dog Bed

Elevated style dog beds are typically made with durable material that is attached to a PVC, metal, or wooden frame that allows your dog to sleep elevated up off of the ground. They are also easy to clean. These beds are ideal for warmer weather because they have breathable material that provides your dog with airflow. 

Loose-Fill Dog Beds for Full-Body Sleep Support and Play

Majestic Pet Chevron
Majestic Pet Chevron

Loose-fill beds have cotton or polyester material. If you purchase one of these beds, make sure it comes with a removable and washable cover. If you put the whole bed into the wash, the filling tends to clump up and break apart, leaving your dog’s bed full of odd-shaped lumps and bumps. 

Sometimes these beds will say the whole bed is machine washable on the label, but even so, it may be best to wash the cover to make this type of bed last longer. It is a good habit to check the filling when you remove the cover to clean it. You can find polyfill or cotton batting at most craft stores. Once in a while, you may want to add more filling or replace the old filling altogether. The loose-fill bed is suitable for an inexpensive option. 

Memory Foam Dog Beds for Super Comfort, Arthritis Care, and Joint Pain

The Dogs Bed Orthopedic XL
The Dogs Bed Orthopedic XL

There are a lot of luxury dog beds available on the market today, including those with orthopedic memory foam, egg-crate foam, and human-style mattresses. These beds can run you hundreds of dollars if you are looking for a large bed, and if you are looking for one that will match the high-end decor in your home. However, you can find many excellent memory foam beds for lower prices too. The lower-end memory foam or egg-crate style beds will likely be less decorative, but still just as functional. 

Younger dogs typically do not need the firmness and support of memory foam. These beds are an excellent choice for older dogs that may be suffering from arthritis and joint pain. These dogs are the ones that would benefit most from having the support of a memory foam mattress. 

Dog Beds With Heating Elements for The Winter and Cold Weather

K&H Pet Products Deluxe Lectro Soft
K&H Pet Products Deluxe Lectro Soft

Some dogs have trouble maintaining their body heat. Smaller dog breeds and dog breeds with lean body types like Greyhounds, in particular, have this problem. Additionally, older dogs and those that are chronically ill may have trouble regulating their body heat as well. For these dogs, you may want to purchase a heating element for your dog’s bed (or a bed that already has a heating element built-in). 

The important thing to look for in a heating element is to make sure it is UL approved and safe for pets. Make sure you follow any directions for the use of the heating element carefully. Many heating elements are NOT safe for chewers or dogs that are prone to accidents.

“What Size Dog Bed Do I Need?” – Finding The Right Dimensions For Your Pup

Milliard Quilted Sizes
Milliard Quilted Sizes

There is no standard-sized dog bed. Every brand sizes their beds differently. However, there are some general guidelines you can use to get an idea of what size may fit your pup best. 

Typically, small beds will fit dogs that weigh from 1-42 pounds. Medium-sized beds will generally fit dogs up to 60 pounds. Large beds will fit dogs up to 120 pounds. And, finally, extra-large or jumbo-sized beds will typically fit dogs larger than 120 pounds. 

Using these guidelines can be helpful when choosing a bed online. Additionally, you may want to read the fine print on the product description and reviews from other customers. Many times you will find the answer to whether it will fit your dog in these descriptions. 

When looking for your dog’s next bed, the first thing to consider is how much your dog weighs. Make sure to measure your pup. The best time to measure him is during nap time. Next time your dog is asleep, use a measuring tape to measure from the tip of your pup’s nose down to his tail. Then measure from the top of his head down to his paws. If your dog likes to sleep curled up into a ball, you may want to measure the length and width he takes up from the longest and widest parts of him as he is curled up. 

The size and weight of your pup is the first thing to consider. There are several other factors to consider regarding size and space. You will want to think about where in your living space you intend to keep his bed. For instance, are you going to need a bed that will travel easily? Do you need a dog bed that you can keep in any room of your house, pack up in a car, or put in your dog’s kennel? 

What Dog Bed Shape is Best for Your Pup?

Best Friends by Sheri Lux
Best Friends by Sheri Lux

It is no surprise that dog beds come in many sizes. They also come in a wide variety of shapes! If your pup likes to curl up in a ball to sleep, a circular bed may be the right fit. On the other hand, if your dog likes to sprawl out on his side or his back, you may need a rectangle bed. If your dog likes to curl up sometimes and sprawl out others, you may want to get one of each, or a rectangle bed with a pillow top. 

What Is Inside Your Dog’s Bed?

Dog Bed Material

Dog beds come in a variety of materials and fabrics. Not every option is right for every dog. Polyester fill is standard in a lot of inexpensive dog beds. This material is excellent for a lot of dogs because it is super soft and fluffy. Another more expensive material is memory foam. Beds with orthopedic memory foam are ideal for older dogs or dogs that suffer from hip dysplasia, arthritis, or any other joint pain. 

What Style Dog Bed Should You Get?

Furhaven Pet Dog Bed
Furhaven Pet Dog Bed

In addition to the basic rectangle or round shapes, dog beds come in a variety of different designs. Many dog beds have bolsters designed to give your dog a supportive head and neck rest. Bolster style beds typically have one lower, open wall and three raised bolster sides. This design is not only great for support, but it is also great for giving your pup a sense of comfort and security. 

The pillow top is another excellent style of dog bed. You can get the pillow top style in both round and rectangular dog beds. If your dog likes to burrow in, curl up, and hide in his own cozy little space, you may want to opt for a wraparound style bed. These beds are called “cave” beds because they are shaped like a cave, with a complete enclosure except for the opening in the front for your pup to climb in and out. 

What Else Should You Consider Before Buying a Dog Bed?

What Else Should You Consider Before Buying a Dog Bed? 

Okay, so you’ve got your list of things to consider when choosing your next dog bed. From your dog’s weight and size to his sleeping habits, and your planned location for the bed, you have a lot to think about. 

Is Your Dog a Chewer? 

There are a few additional things to consider, so save some room on that list. For one thing, is your dog a chewer? If so, you will want to look for a dog bed that is chew-proof or at least chew resistant. Usually, if a dog bed is chew resistant, it will say so on the label. Chew proof dog beds are typically made with durable materials like k9 ballistic or strong canvas. 

Do You Have an Older Dog?

Snoozer Orthopedic
Snoozer Orthopedic

Does your dog have arthritis or joint pain? In that case, you will likely be looking for a dog bed that is made with orthopedic memory foam. If you have an older dog, he may be prone to having accidents. You may want to get him a dog bed with a waterproof liner and a waterproof throw to protect your furniture as well. 

Taking Season Into Consideration – Spring, Summer, Fall, and Winter

You may also want to consider different dog beds for different seasons. Some dog beds are designed to keep your pup warm in the winter, while others are made to keep him cool in the summer. Some dog beds claim to do both, but these are few and far between.

Other Points To Consider When Choosing Dog Beds

Dog with stairs

Even when you give your pup a bed of his own, he still may want to cuddle up on your bed or couch from time to time. If this sounds like you and your dog, there are some things to consider. For instance, if you have a small dog or a dog that has a hard time jumping up or down from your bed or couch, you may want to get some steps to help him get up and down safely. You can find steps made of sturdy plastic, wood, or metal. Look for steps that have a non-skid base for traction. 

Now you know what to look for in your next dog bed!

Sarah is not only a pet owner but loves animals of all shapes and sizes.

One Comment

  1. Jesse Ford Reply

    I like how you mentioned that dogs need a place of their own to sleep although they may love cuddling up with their owners. My wife and I are thinking of looking at extra large dog beds because we noticed the other day that our canine outgrew his and isn’t comfortable sleeping on it anymore. It seems like a good idea for us to think about getting a bed from a reputable supplier that can adequately fit our pet lab so he can sleep and be as comfortable as possible.

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