Your dog probably spends a lot of time stretching, sprawling, napping, and playing on his dog bed. He may even spend entire nights snoozing away on it. If your pup spends any amount of time in his dog bed, you’ll want to ensure that it provides adequate comfort and support.
When it comes to dog beds, there is no size that fits all. The needs of a 3-pound Chihuahua will differ significantly from a 100-plus pound Great Pyrenees. In addition, young puppies will have different comfort needs than a senior pet with arthritis or other medical conditions.
Need help choosing a pet bed for your dog? Check out these tips for finding a dog bed tailored to your pet’s unique needs.
1. Know Your Options
Before selecting a bed for your pet, consider what options are available. Today, there is a wide selection of dog beds that offer different features. Some of the most common types of dog beds include:
- Mattress Pad Beds – The most commonly seen type of dog bed on the market is the mattress pad bed. These pet beds are typically rectangular in shape and consist of a thick mattress made from foam, loose cotton, or other filling material.
- Orthopedic Beds – Senior pets can benefit from an orthopedic bed. These beds are generally constructed of comfy memory foam that helps soothe achy bones and joints.
- Donut Beds – If your pup loves to cuddle, a donut bed may be the right choice. These beds are usually round and made from soft, furry material just right for cuddling.
- Cave Beds – Many breeds enjoy beds that allow them to go under the covers for warmth or security. Cave beds typically have a flap of fabric that acts as a “blanket,” allowing your dog to retain warmth, feel protected, and obtain privacy.
- Elevated Beds – An elevated pet bed may be right for dogs that have difficulty getting down to the ground or like to chew traditional pet beds. Elevated beds usually have a metal frame and a sleeping area made from canvas or other durable, woven fabric.
2. Choose a Size
Dog beds generally come in sizes ranging from extra-small to extra-large or sometimes even larger. However, not all of these standard sizes have the same measurements. For example, a “small” dog bed from one brand may span 18-inches in length while a small bed in another brand may be only 15-inches.
Many manufacturers will provide examples of breeds for each size category to help you determine what size bed will be best for your pet. It’s important to choose a size large enough to allow your dog to lie down in a natural position without hanging off the side of the bed.
3. Find Adequate Support
When it comes to support, not all dog beds are made equal. While young, healthy dogs may do well sleeping on a pet filled with polyfill or foam, older dogs may need more support. Memory foam is often recommended for senior dogs as it offers more plush and will not flatten as easily as loose cotton or other materials.
4. Consider Ease of Cleaning
Dogs can be messy even under the best of circumstances. From saliva and urine to food crumbs and pet hair, it’s inevitable that the bed will need to be routinely washed. Look for a pet bed that allows for easy cleaning, such as a bed with a removable cover that can be thrown into the wash.
If you plan on using the bed outdoors, consider a bed with a weatherproof cover that will resist water. Cots and futons are often recommended for outdoor use and can safely be used on porches and decks.
5. Pick a Color and Design
Color and design are also important considerations when choosing a pet bed for your dog. Many pet owners desire a pet bed that blends well with the rest of their home. This may mean picking a color that matches the sofa or a design that complements the rest of the room.
In some cases, you may want the pet bed to contrast with the rest of the room. For example, if your living room has many neutral colors, you may want a pop of bold color or a wild pattern, such as zebra stripes.
Signs It’s Time to Replace Your Pet Bed
It’s important to know when to replace a dog bed. Regularly cleaning your pet’s bed can help extend its lifespan. However, no matter how well and often you clean the bed, it will ultimately need to be replaced. Some signs that it may be time to replace your dog’s bed include:
- Stains – Stains can often be removed when they are dealt with immediately after they occur; however, this is not always possible. Once stains set in, they can be difficult to remove. While a few small stains are not cause to immediately get a new pet bed, too many stains can be an eyesore.
- Wear and Tear – If your dog’s bed starts to succumb to wear and tear, consider replacing it. Wear and tear can lead to rips in the fabric that allows stuffing to fall out, potentially causing a health hazard.
- Sizing – If you purchase a pet bed when your dog is young, you’ll likely need to upgrade it once he grows larger into adulthood.
With so many pet beds on the market, it’s never been easier to find one that meets all of your dog’s unique needs. Be sure to do your research and find a dog bed that will provide just the right amount of space, support, and comfort.