Most dog owners are used to these lovable creatures curling up snugly or stretching out nonchalantly for a well deserved nap.
It usually happens right after an energetic game of catch, or shortly after the dinner bell has rung. It's “their” time – time for them to retreat to their own space and sleep to regain their strength and liveliness. Every dog I've ever owned has picked a spot where they feel most comfortable and secure enough to nod off into doggy dreamland.
If you want you dog's rest to be as productive as possible, the correct dog bed can be a great gift for your lovable pooch. Depending on the size and age of the pet and of course on their breed and especially on their personality, there is a large range of dog beds we can choose from.
1. How much are you willing to spend?
You can, of course, go the cheapest route and make your own dog bed. Just find or build an appropriate sized wooden box, and place pillows and blankets in it. Instant pet bed! Crude, but effective. Most people, though, are unwilling or unable to do this on their own, so they turn to pet supply stores with their a huge assortment of dog beds available. It's just a matter of setting a maximum price you are willing to spend, and then follow the next set of tips to narrow it down to the perfect choice.
2. What is your dog's “sleeping personality”?
If your dog is a “curler”, a squarish or roundish pillow type of bed should work fairly well. Or, possibly a sofa style (with sofa arms and back). Does your dog sleep on it's belly or its back? Then, take a look at the more rectangular mattress style bed. If your dog is a sprawling sleeper, with its front legs going off in one direction and hind legs going off in another direction, then a larger mat should be excellent.
3. Small? Medium? Large? Enormous?
Obviously, you don't want a huge pillow bed swallowing up your Chihuahua, or forcing your Great Dane to sleep on a small sofa-style bed. Your dog's size is an important consideration. Regardless of your dog's size, be sure to pick out a bed that is slightly larger than your dog's outline when lying down. Allow for room for growth, especially in puppies. Heavier dogs need more padding, so look for thicker padding there.
4. Hair and dirt everywhere!
Dog beds that are made with removable and washable covers will make your life easier when it's time to clean the bed. Dogs get dirty, and tend to transfer that dirt to whatever they touch. The dog bed will definitely get dirty – and probably smelly – so it is important that you can easily wash it anytime. Machine washable is the easiest, and the material should be appropriate for your dog's fur. (Avoid velcro:))
5. Odor eaters
If your dog is not the allergic type, cedar is a good choice for the filling. It repels fleas and absorbs odors. Cedar also has a calming effect for many pets – for some reason if makes them feel happier and less stressed. To be on the safe side, you might want to check that you don”t have an allergy or sensitivity to cedar either!
6. Where, oh where, has my little dog gone?
Location for the dog bed is something to consider as well. Where will you put it? Some dog beds are OK for inside locations like bedrooms or family rooms. Others are best for outside use like on a porch or deck, depending on the weather, of course. Larger beds need room, smaller beds can be squeezed into a corner if necessary. Regardless, the choice of location should provide your pet warmth in the winter and cool air circulation during the summer. Be prepared to re-locate the bed based on climate and seasonal conditions – Alaskan winters winters are cold, Australian summers hot, etc.
7. Quality and durability
Can the bed withstand chewing, sharp claws, sticks, toys, mud? Be sure to select a bed that can stand up against the test of time. A washable dog bed cover made from a durable fabric in a color that complements your walls and furniture is the ideal. Special needs and elderly dogs can also benefit from heated dog beds and orthopedic foam dog beds.
Your dog will definitely appreciate his own bed in his own little space. The health and well-being of your dog will depend not only on diet or exercise but also on how much comfortable sleep and rest he gets.
- Snuggle Up: Pets in Your Bed(petcarerx.com)
- Dog Bed DIY(bowandme.wordpress.com)
- 21 Pet Beds That Won't Ruin Your Decor(brit.co)
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