Overwhelmed by all the dog beds to choose from?
We got ya’ covered, read on.
We all know how important a good night’s rest is for humans, and it’s just the same for our dogs. Our four-legged furry friends deserve a comfortable bed for their naptime, but with so many different varieties of dog beds on the market, it can be confusing and hard to choose the right one. It’s an important decision and one that you want to get right for your pooch.
This definitive guide to dog beds will tell you everything you need to know before you purchase, including how to figure out the right size and shape of dog bed for your particular breed, and several other crucial checklist items that will help you make the best decision.
One issue that should be a consideration for any type of dog bed purchase is your dog’s physical needs. If they’re suffering from joint pain or have other medical needs, there are certain types of orthopedic dog beds that can provide some much-needed comfort for your dog as they sleep. Most brands will tell you upfront whether their beds provide this kind of assistance.
It’s hard to go wrong with buying a dog bed, and every pooch is unique so what might be a good choice for one pet may not necessarily be the best choice for another dog. And you also need to weigh your own needs, including setting a budget for the maximum you are willing to spend.
They say to let sleeping dogs lie, and if you follow the comprehensive guide to dog beds below, you’ll be able to make sure your pet gets the best possible place to rest.
Finding The Right Size Bed For Your Dog
You don’t want to get a dog bed that is too small for your pooch, but on the flip side you also want to avoid paying extra for a very large bed if it’s not necessary.
The first step to take is measuring your dog when it’s sleeping, so that you can get an accurate take on their full stretched-out posture to make sure that they’ll fit the bed. Even if your dog often curls up in a ball to sleep, you will still want to measure them fully extended in case there are times when they want to stretch in their bed for a nap.
It’s easy to get your dog’s dimensions; simply use a tape measure or something similar to get the length of their body from their nose all the way to the back where their tail begins, and then take the measurement from the top of their head down to their paws. Use these dimensions as an initial guideline for being able to tell whether a bed will fit your dog. Most dog begs for sale online include the size in the description to help you figure this out.
Generally speaking, for smaller dogs (weighing less than 40 pounds) you’ll want to get a dog bed that’s roughly 20 inches by 30 inches in size. For medium-sized dogs that weigh between up to 60 pounds the best size bed is around 25 inches by 35 inches in size. Large dog beds are at least 30 inches by 40 inches and are for dogs that weigh up to 120 pounds. And extra large dogs — think of fully grown huskies as an example — that weigh 120 pounds or more are going to want a bed that is at least 35 inches by 45 inches and possibly even bigger than that.
There are dog beds made for literally every type of canine, whether it’s a tiny but comfortable bed like the Velvet Bolster Cat & Dog Bed that is perfect for a chihuahua or other smaller pooch, or whether it’s a much larger bed with steel frames to support the weight of a much bigger dog. Whatever breed you own, you’ll be able to find a suitable bed.
As you’re browsing different dog beds using these measurements, if you have any reservations that the bed you like might be too small you should err on the side of caution by buying a slightly bigger size. It’s better that your pet has more room versus not enough room.
If you need to get a large dog bed but are worried about them taking up too much space in your house, there’s an easy solution. Simply buy a collapsible dog bed that can be rolled up and stored — a good example is the Chuckit! Travel Pillow Dog Bed that can not only be stashed away as necessary, but can also be taken with you and your dog on vacations and other trips,
Deciding Which Shape Of Dog Bed Is Most Appropriate
Once you know the right size of dog bed to get, another important consideration is deciding which shape of bed is going to be right for both your pet and your home.
Think about where you plan on putting the bed, and bear that in mind while shopping. If you have a tight space of sharp angles then you’ll probably want to get a rectangular or square bed that will slot in easily. Something like the FurHaven NAP Deluxe Orthopedic Pillow Dog Bed with removable cover is simple yet elegant and can be placed in any room in your house or apartment.
Square or rectangular beds are also ideal for those dogs that plop down and stretch out fully when it’s time for sleep, because it gives them the maximum possible surface area. This ensures that your dog will be able to sleep well without falling off the edge of the bed.
Alternatively, you might want to consider an oval or round shape for your dog’s bed. This can be a good choice if your dog likes to walk around in circles several times before laying down and curling up in a ball, because the round bed shape will fit their body well.
If you’re looking for a round or oval bed, you might want to consider the Best Friends by Sheri Cozy Cuddler Covered Dog Bed that features faux fur and comes with a blanket that you can use to cover up your pooch on particularly cold days or if they need the extra warmth for medical reasons.
Oval or round dog beds can also work in any room in your home, and there’s an almost countless list of different colors you can buy if you’d like the bed to match your home décor.
There are even some fun and quirky round dog beds available online, including a bed that looks like Minnie Mouse’s ears topped with her signature red bow with white polka dots. The Disney Minnie Mouse Covered Dog Bed is just one of many examples of something unique to get your pet that combines a fun piece of furniture with the right level of comfort for your dog.
Choosing The Right Material For Your Dog Bed
Another important consideration you need to make when trying to find the right dog bed is picking the correct material that will be the most suitable for your breed.
Dog beds are made from several different types of material, and some can be more suitable than others if your dog has certain medical needs. Softer materials that provide support to your dog’s body can be invaluable if they have orthopedic issues.
Also remember that larger dogs will likely need beds that have more filling and padding in order to provide adequate comfort, whereas smaller dogs can use beds with less fill material.
Finding the correct material is also a necessary step because certain materials might have an adverse impact on your dog. Polyester and some other synthetic materials that are used to make dog beds can hurt your pet’s scent, so you want to avoid that for hunting dogs.
- Memory Foam
Much like memory foam beds for humans, dog beds made with memory foam “remember” your pet’s body and the material will bend over time to provide the most ideal support. This makes memory foam beds invaluable for dogs suffering for orthopedic problems. Memory foam also helps to ensure a decent night’s sleep for your pooch because the material helps to keep their body at a normal temperature. One of the more popular varieties available is the FurHaven Ultra Plush Luxe Lounger Memory Foam Dog Bed that has an ergonomic design that contours to your dog, and has a removable cover.
- Polystyrene Pellets
These are small pellets that are used to provide the filling for dog beds, and can be used either for dogs with orthopedic problems such as joint pain, or for dogs without any medical issues. Think of a bean bag that humans use for an idea of the texture that these pellets create. Dog beds that use polystyrene pellets as their primary material will conform to your dog’s shape while also providing additional heat. They’re a good all-round material for beds and come in a large number of shapes and sizes.
- Cedar Chips
This is another type of filling material that makes for a comfortable and warming dog bed regardless of whether your dog is suffering from any joint pain or other medical problems. They have a pleasant aroma and can also help to repel insects, but that same smell can make it harder for your dog to be able to smell. You should also check in advance of buying whether your dog has a potential allergy to cedar chips, because if so then these beds might cause rashes or itching on your pet.
- Polyester Fill
When you buy a bed that’s made with this material, you’re getting a very soft and warm bed but one that doesn’t have any special advantages for dogs that have medical issues or other unique needs. However, it is hypoallergenic, meaning it’s unlikely to cause an allergic reaction, so that can be a benefit for many homes. The Frisco Sherpa Rectangular Bolster Dog Bed is a popular make of dog bed with this filling.
The materials listed above are among the most popular for dog beds, but there are additional materials available as well. Be sure to closely read the descriptions of the beds that you’re interested in before deciding which type of dog bed to buy.
Figuring Out The Correct Style Of Dog Bed To Buy
Much like the fact that there are many different materials from which dog beds are made, you also have a pretty wide range of choices for which style of bed to buy.
There are some pros and cons of most styles that are currently available, so what might be right for one dog could be the wrong choice for a pooch of the same size if they have specific special needs. Thankfully, most online vendors give clear descriptions of the beds that they are selling, and make it possible to find beds by searching for specific styles.
In addition to picking a style based off what your dog needs, dog beds also come in differing styles that may or may not be suitable for certain rooms in the house. If you need a bed for the garden, you might want to buy an elevated dog bed that keeps the mattress off the ground. Or if you need an orthopedic dog bed, there are several to choose from.
- Orthopedic dog beds
These are specially designed beds that aim to reduce the problems your dog might be having with their musculoskeletal system. If your pet has joint pain or other orthopedic problems they might have trouble being able to sleep comfortably in a regular dog bed. Orthopedic dog beds help to address this problem with designs that provide the support your dog needs. Among the most popular brands is the Petmate Antimicrobial Deluxe Orthopedic Pillow Dog Bed. The foam filling offers carefully tailored support for your dog’s body.
- Elevated and cooling beds
As indicated by the name, elevated beds are those that typically have a frame keeping the mattress a certain distance above the ground. This provides a cooling effect because of the extra ventilation, and so elevated dog beds and cooling dog beds typically mean the same thing — such as the great Petmaker Elevated Dog Bed that’s great for large and very large dogs to stretch out on comfortably.
- Heated beds
The Aspen Pet Self-Warming Bolster Dog Bed is among the many different types of heated dog beds available, so called because they provide additional warmth for your dog thanks to a special lining that reflects your dog’s own natural body heat.
- Covered beds
As the name suggests, these are beds that have covers — imagine a tent, but for dogs. It provides them security and warmth, such as the Frisco Igloo Covered Dog Bed. These tend to be on the smaller side. Their tiny sizes make them so cute and match perfectly to pint size fur babies! Igloo style beds can also be great hideaways for shy pets that like to have somewhere they can retreat to for a nap.
- Bolster beds
Along with orthopedic dog beds, bolster beds are specially designed to help take strain off your pet’s joints. This gives dogs suffering from musculoskeletal problems with some relief while they sleep. They have a firm base, often with additional support for your dog’s back. Here is one your pup might love. The K&H Pet Products Pillow-Trop Orthopedic Bolster Bed. This wonderful dog bed features additional support for his body, and gives him a place for resting his little head.
- Dog couches and dog sofas
Think of these as mini versions of sofas humans might buy for their living rooms. They have similar styles with arms and back support but designed for your dog’s ideal comfort. They are typically best for small and medium sized dogs, but perhaps not great for very big dogs. The Enchanted Home Pet Brisbane Sofa Dog Bed is a bed that looks like a high-end leather sofa. This can give any pooch a dignified touch of class!
Picking The Right Dog Bed Will Take Time But It’s Worth It
Although it may seem like there’s a lengthy checklist to consider when trying to find the right dog bed, rest assured that all the hard work will be worth it. The correct bed will provide your pet with outstanding comfort. Having your checklist will give you peace of mind. Dogs need support and warmth for their body while they sleep. Couple that with being aesthetically pleasing in your home, and you have a win win!
Much like humans choosing our own beds, finding the right dog bed is a process that requires some careful deliberation. A little extra work on the front end will keep your dog’s tail wagging for nights to come.
Kritter Kommunity Contributor