Some people do not give the choice of a dog bed much thought. They just pick whatever is cheapest or fits with their décor. While some dogs are content to lie down anywhere for a nice little snooze, others are more picky. It doesn't make sense to spend money on a bed that your pet refuses to use.
Since your dog could end up spending 14 hours per day (or more) in her bed, the choice deserves some careful consideration on your part. Here are some things you should keep in mind to find a bed that your dog will love and you can live with.
Whether you have a large breed or a small breed, the dog bed you choose should be sized appropriately. Large-breed dogs usually like to sprawl as they sleep, so you should choose beds that will accommodate them . A small dog can use a large bed more easily than a large dog can use a small one, but that doesn't mean that size is not a consideration for a small dog. Not only is a large bed for a small dog a waste of money and space, but small dogs typically like to curl up in a bed that surrounds them closely.
To determine the length or circumference of the bed you should buy, measure your dog's length while he is in his usual sleeping position, from nose to tail. Then add another eight to 12 inches to be sure that he has enough room to move around in his sleeping space.
The exception to the rule about not choosing a large bed for a small dog is if your pet is still a puppy and will grow up to be much bigger than she is now. Rather than buying a bed that is sized to your puppy that you will have to keep replacing as she grows, you should choose a bed that fits the size you expect your puppy to be as an adult. When in doubt, it is better to get a dog bed that is too large rather than too small.
If your dog is a senior, that needs to be taken into consideration as well. He may need an orthopedic bed made of high-quality foam to provide extra support to his painful arthritic joints. Like human beings, dogs can become incontinent as they age. If your elderly pet is prone to accidents, you should find a bed with a waterproof liner made of a washable material.
Every dog has individual sleeping habits. Some dogs like to turn around several times in a circle before they finally lie down. These dogs may feel more comfortable in a round dog bed . Some dogs like to burrow down and make a little sleeping den for themselves. These dogs like the more cave-like feeling of a covered dog bed . Still other dogs like to lean up against something that supports their heads while they sleep. These dogs should have a bed with raised sides or a bolster around the outer edge to provide the necessary support.
However, it is not only your dog's sleeping habits that you need to take into consideration but what she might do to the bed while awake. Some dogs like to indulge their instincts for digging or chewing as they get ready for bed. These dogs need a bed made of a strong, sturdy material that can withstand the abuse that your dog might subject it to.
Some dogs, particularly those with thick, long coats, tend to sleep hot. These dogs may benefit from beds that have cooling properties. On the other hand, some thin-coated dogs can become too cold while they sleep and need some extra insulation. These dogs may need a bed with a fuzzy lining or maybe even a fleece blanket for added warmth.
The inside of the bed can make as much different as the outside, for both your pet and you. For example, if being eco-friendly is important to you, you should look for a dog bed made from recycled and sustainable materials . If your dog has allergies, you should look for one that is hypoallergenic.
As precious as your pooch is, he may have a certain smell that is unappealing to you. A dog bed made from cedar chips can make this much easier to live with. After your dog has rolled around on the aromatic wood chips all night, you may find that his scent improves considerably in the morning.
For purposes of hygiene, flea control, and the health of your family as well as your dog, it is important to keep your pet's bed clean. It is a lot more convenient if the bed is machine washable, but some beds are too large or are filled with a material that a wash cycle would damage. At the very least, you should look for dog beds with a removable lining or inner core that you can put into the washing machine, which makes your life a lot easier.
Remember that your dog is dependent on you for all of his needs. While it is not fair to buy him the cheapest bed you can find without taking his needs into consideration, it is also not good to blow your budget on an expensive bed and not have anything left over for the other necessities.
Don't get carried away and buy a more expensive dog bed than you can afford. Instead, determine your budget and shop around for a good deal.