Have you brought home a new dog bed for your pooch only to find that she won’t set foot on the cushion’s soft, plush surface? Before you donate the bed to your friend’s canine companion — or your niece who loves your using dog beds as makeshift trampolines — consider that there may be a fun, affordable way to make your dog’s bed feel like a restful place for your pup at the end of the day. Here are some ideas for making her new bed her favorite place to be in your house.
If you have an older dog with arthritis, muscle pain, or simply the lack of physical flexibility that comes with old age, fancy beds that are raised high of the ground may not be your best bet for enticing your canine companion to adopt a new style of sleeping. A flat, yet comfortable orthopedic bed like this one from FurHaven that’s only slightly raised will ensure that your pup is comfortable and well-supported throughout his golden years. This bed features support walls as well as a removable cover that is machine washable.
On the other hand, you may have a young puppy that has recently left the comfort of her mother’s soft fur to come to live at your house. Though she’s fitting in nicely otherwise, she may be uncomfortable on a regular dog bed at night because she’s used to being surrounded by other puppies as well as her mom. If this is your pup’s case, try getting a plush Burger bed that’s closer to her size to see if she settles in more comfortably at night. She will have the benefit of her own cave-like room with a soft, plush interior.
Some dogs simply will not sleep on a dog bed — until they try a bed that’s more like a human cot than a cushy pillow. Raised beds offer good back support, a designated sleep space, and most importantly for dogs with a lot of fur who live in warm climates: A cooled-down, temperature-regulated surface. Don’t worry about traveling far away from home and not being able to pack the cot for your pup: there are alternatives like this one from Hyper Pet that can be easily packed up and taken with you.
Flat toys are all the rage for some dogs. There are flat foxes, flat owls, flat raccoons , and more! These toys are ideal for dogs who get a little overzealous with their ripping and shredding at nighttime (or any other time), as there is no stuffing inside the toy to spread around the house. Your pup will think of the new flat toy as a friend to cuddle with, transport, and chew on without fear of accidentally eating fuzz.
A great standby is a toy that looks like a bone (and let’s face it, what’s cuter than an adorable dog with a toy bone)? Check out this winter-themed stuffed bone toy from Zanies if you’d like to get your pup something traditional for the holidays. Similarly, if you’re looking for a comfort toy to keep your pup occupied and less alone in the bed, you should consider a toy that looks like another animal. Some dogs, like little kids, love dinosaurs, fish, turtles, or anything with a face. Purchase a nighttime comfort animal for your pup like this little dinosaur from goDog or this adorable bear from Zanies .
Though you wouldn’t want to ruin your pooch’s diet by pouring treats all over the bed every night, a few treats tucked into a toy will not spoil her appetite. Let her cuddle with her favorite toy and enjoy her favorite treat at the same time. If this doesn’t work but you think that she could be enticed with a treat-based ritual, check out the next tip for more in-depth suggestions.
If you want your dog to enjoy going to sleep in his or her new space but he’s hesitant to try it out, consider that he might just need some time to get used to it. Dogs, like humans, love rituals and find comfort in doing the same thing at the same time every day: Surprise your pup by putting a favorite treat on the new bed and see if he enjoys the space after doing this for a week or so.
If this practice encourages your pup to try out the new bed, reward him by continuing the ritual indefinitely. If he starts going to it on his own without the need for a reward, you can be sure that he has found a love for the new bed all on his own. Plus, you don’t have to treat your pup with anything unhealthy or full of empty calories: check out these 100% dried sweet potato treats from Canine Caviar, or this salmon “cigar” chew from Wild Eats for healthy alternatives.
While it’s sometimes difficult to understand why a dog does not immediately take to a certain bed, toy, food, or treat, it’s often as simple as getting her used to the idea of the new object. Try the above suggestions and remember to consider her personality in the process. For more products and advice that will be sure to make your pooch’s life more comfortable, visit Baxter Boo's high-quality selection of pet paraphernalia .