Dog beds come in all shapes and sizes. They can be inexpensive or high-end, fancy or simple, homemade or manufactured, and everything else in between. So how can you choose the right dog bed for you pet when there are just so many out there? Here are a few things to consider.
First, is it for the long-term or the short-term? There are dog beds that are designed for only one night because they are used primarily as a cage or dog bed only. The best bet for a long-term, comfortable bed is probably a dog bed with a foam core and an interior made of a quilted textile, such as cotton or wool. These types of beds offer the most support because they conform to your dog’s body shape and can easily be cleaned.
Second, consider your dog’s size and weight. You don’t want to purchase dog beds that are too large or heavy for your pet. However, you also don’t want a dog bed that’s too small. It should be no smaller than the longest part of your dog’s legs, usually between the knee and the ankle. Ideally, the dog beds should be no smaller than a standard human bed. If your dog gets up in the middle of the night because he can feel his bones rubbing against the mattress, then you know you’ve found the perfect bed.
Third, consider the structure of the dog beds. Some have a shallow “bump” within a deeper “cage.” Other dogs may sleep just fine in a flat bed with no “bump.” Still others require two individual pieces of furniture in order to snuggle comfortably. If your pet tends to roll in and out of beds easily or likes to sleep on his back, you may want to get a “cage” type of bed.
Fourth, look for a company that offers free shipping. If you’re paying for the dog beds anyway, you might as well get some of the cost back. Many of the major manufacturers like Toile, Purina, Tidy Bed and others offer free shipping when you spend over a certain amount. The companies make the beds available so that owners don’t have to go out and do all the shopping themselves.
Fifth, look for company that makes “water-resistant” dog beds. The higher priced beds are usually made from vinyl and not from something more durable like canvas or cotton. If your pet loves to swim and likes to snuggle in close, then you’ll want a bed with a waterproof interior. Most dogs don’t mind getting wet, but they do mind being soaked. A vinyl-coated bed is less likely to soak up water than a polyester-coated bed. You might even find the less-expensive vinyl coated models to be less-expensive than the more expensive models made from canvas or other materials.
Sixth, check to see if the bed you’re looking at is comfortable for your dog. Some dogs enjoy sleeping on beds that offer a little bit of padding. If your dog is a high-end breed or has special needs, such as low back pain or arthritis, you’ll probably want to get a dog bed with extra support. Also consider if your dog will use the bed to turn around on his or her stomach. Beds that allow your dog to sit upright instead of lay down are often better choices because they provide a little bit more comfort for a dog who gets tired sitting down.
Finally, if none of these options work for you, then think about what types of dog beds are available for other breeds. Many of today’s breeds have unique needs that can be addressed by pet-friendly furniture. Many medium sized dogs like the Chihuahua or Dachshund don’t need the same kind of heavy, uncomfortable beds that many larger breeds do. Smaller breeds can often use a sturdy platform that’s easy to clean and maintain. Whatever your budget and whatever your style, there are options for pet owners of all shapes and sizes.