You know what they say — you spend a third of your life in your bed. Well, your dog probably spends even more time in bed than that. It’s his only piece of furniture. And it needs to be as sturdy, comfortable, and well-designed as your bed.
Choosing the right bed for your best friend can be bewildering, though. There are so many styles, shapes, and sizes of dog beds available on the market, and many of them have features you might not understand. These tips will help you pick out a bed your dog will love — and with any luck, he’ll like it so much that he stops hogging your mattress at night.
1) Choose the Right Size
Perhaps it goes without saying that your dog’s new bed needs to be appropriately sized so he can fit into it comfortably. Most dog beds are sized accordingly:
- Small beds for dogs up to 40 lbs
- Medium beds for dogs 40 to 60 lbs
- Large beds for dogs 60 to 120 lbs
- Extra large beds for dogs larger than 120 lbs
2) Consider How Your Dog Likes to Sleep
You need to make sure that the dog bed you choose will be large enough for your dog to stretch out and sleep comfortably in. Measure your dog while he is asleep, and also while he’s awake and standing. If your dog sleeps stretched out on his stomach, measure him from the tip of his nose to his rump. If he sleeps in a ball, measure the ball from side to side and top to bottom. If he sleeps on his back, measure him from the crown of his head to his rump. If he sleeps on one side, measure him from the crown of his head to the pads of his front feet, as well as from the crown of his head to his rump. Use these measurements to make sure you’re getting the right size bed for your dog’s sleeping style.
3) Accommodate Your Dog’s Special Needs
There are so many different kinds of dog beds because dogs, like their humans, dogs have a range of individual needs, depending on their age and medical conditions. Consider what your dog needs from his bed — older dogs who aren’t getting around as well anymore or who are experiencing arthritis pain may prefer an elevated bed or a heated bed to ease joint pain. Elevated dog beds are also good for warmer climates, as are cooling dog beds. You can even buy hypoallergenic luxury dog beds for dogs with allergies.
4) Washability Is Important
Whether your dog sleeps outside in a kennel or in your master bedroom, you need a dog bed that can be easily cleaned. When buying a crate or kennel for your dog, avoid carpeted floors — even carpets that can be removed will need to be vacuumed, shampooed, and dried in the sun regularly.
Look for a dog bed that has both a washable mattress and cover. Fleas, dust mites, and other insects and parasites can burrow down into a mattress, and fleas will lay eggs in the dog bed, so you’ll need to be able to wash it regularly to both keep your dog clean and protect him from parasites.
5) Security Is Important
You should avoid dog beds that have straps, buttons, buckles, or piping, especially if your dog likes to chew. Heated and cooled dog beds with batteries or electrical cords can be dangerous for dogs that like chew, too.
But it isn’t just your dog’s safety that’s important when choosing a dog bed — your dog also needs a bed that he can feel secure in. For some dogs, a tent bed or a bed with high sides can help them feel more secure. Others like an elevated bed that gives them the chance to survey their domain in comfort.
If you want your dog to love his bed as much as you love yours, you need to consider his unique needs and what he likes from a sleeping area. Give him what he needs to feel safe and be comfortable, and he’ll pick his bed over yours every night.