There are hundreds of dog beds to choose from when looking online and in pet stores, however it is important to very carefully weight the following factors when selecting the correct one for your dog.
While some characteristics may seem obvious at first glance, as you dog start using the bed you will find that other factors may be more important that they initally seem. For example, the look of a bed may seem important, however, if your dog is a breed that is a tough chewer and they begin to attemp to gnaw at the bed, you will find that durability ultimatley is more important than design.
When selecting a dog bed, breed is an important factor to keep in mind. Some dogs are in hearantly curious so they may find pleasure in ‘digging’ at their bed. If you dog is getting up in years and needs more support, an orthopedic bed may be a better option. Should your dog be a large breed, having foam or ‘over stuffed’ plolyfill may be what you should be looking for.
Below, I have listed five of the most important factors when selecting the perfect dog bed. Take into consideration your dog and rank each one to help narrow down the perfect place for your pooch.
The patterns and colors that dog beds come are made is virtually limitless. Whether you are trying to find a bed that will coordinate with the room it will be in, or if you would like the bed to blend in with it’s surroundings, you can find hundreds of options when it comes to colors and prints. Beds mostly come in solid colors, although you can find an increasing availability of prints in muted or bold schemes. For the most part, the bottom and sides of the bed usually are made of coordinating colors to the top, which is the most visible. While the top of the bed may have a pattern or contrasting color, often the sides and bottom are not of the same design.
Beds range from lightweight fabrics all the way to ultra-durable canvas-type cloth. Mostly, beds are made from synthetic materials like polyester and nylon, however there are some cotton and fleece available. Durability is very important to consider if your dog is a heavy chewer, or has anxiety, or separation issues. If they are left at home alone during the day, they could use the bed as a tool to take out their anxiety, which ultimatey leads to its destruction.
The inner fluff of the bed comes in three categories, PolyFill which is like ‘plastic hay’; long thin strands of plastic that are usually contained in a second, inner pouch, the second filling type is foam and can be in an ‘egg crate’ form, either in one piece or broken up pieces, and the last type is ‘other’ which could be cocoanut husk, cotton scraps, or cedar chips. All types have their pros and cons. The most common filling materials are polyfill and some form of foam. Polyfill tends to compress over time making for a bed that flattens. Foam can be made from many different densities with the most dense foams keeping their shape the longest. Selecting a foam filling may be the best option for large breeds.
A consideration should be made as well if an orthopedic bed is needed to provide extra support, or if the dog using it like to support their chin on a raised side. Also, for dogs that like to curl and sleep in corners (or pressed up against a human), they may like having a U-shaped raised edge along the back and sides of the bed.
Shape and Size
One of the most important factors should always be matching the size of bed to the dog that will be using it. The folks at www.Make-Your-Own-Dog-Stuff.com have a great page on correctly measuring your dog for the prefect fit. I would say it’s never wrong to be liberal with your measuring. Your dog may add a few inches (or pounds) as they age and it is good to give them room to grow into.
Beds also dont’ come in just rectangles. There are many other options including circles (for dogs who like to curl), bone-shaped beds, chaise lounge shaped beds, and even beds that look like rugs – to blend in more naturally.
Ease of Cleaning
Some dogs are prone to drooling while sleeping, others may experience an accident as they age, sometimes they will bring food or other soggy toys to bed which require that the bed is occasionally cleaned. Often beds will have a removable cover which can be washed in the regular machine laundry, while others are made from waterproof materials.
In closing, the ‘perfect dog bed’ is the one that they seek out and use, and that lasts a long time. Using the factors above can help you identify the correct bed your dog will be sure to love.