Just like humans, canines need a good night's sleep in a comfy bed of their own after a long day. Typically, dogs will sleep between 12 and 14 hours a day, and if they're still a puppy, up to 18-20 hours of sleep. This means that for your dog to get proper daily rest, they need a space that allows them to sleep without interruptions. This can be difficult, especially for busy families.
The perfect bed for your canine depends on several factors like their overall behavior, age, and health needs.
To help you in your search, we've listed 7 things to look for when shopping for dog beds and why you should invest in a suitable sleeping area for your furry companion.
What to Look for in a Dog Bed
With so many options in the market, it can be challenging to determine which dog bed to get, especially if your pet is dealing with particular health conditions. Here's what you need to keep in mind to make shopping easier.
#1 - Size
For your pup to sleep well, it should be able to lie comfortably on the bed in a neutral position. Sure, a large breed may look cute and comfy all curled up in a small dog bed, but the size restricts them from stretching their legs out they won't get adequate rest.
#2 - Shape
Once you've measured your dog's size, analyze how they sleep. Canines have four sleeping personas: curlers, burrowers, sprawlers, and leaners.
"Curlers" enjoy being enveloped by their beds, so round or oval donut beds are perfect for their needs.
Similarly, "burrowers" like being surrounded, but to the extreme, they typically bury themselves under blankets, mattresses, pillows, or anything to get under the covers. If your pet enjoys sleeping under sofas or blankets, a cave-style bed will suit them.
"Sprawlers" are almost the opposite, spreading their legs out in all directions. These dogs generally enjoy rectangular mats or a roomy pad.
Finally, "leaners" are dogs who love to sleep with their body or head leaning on walls, furniture, or your leg while you watch a movie together. If you have a leaner at home, we recommend a bolster-style dog bed or a dog couch.
#3 - Material
The material matters and is another crucial factor when shopping for the perfect dog bed. Obviously, you want a bed for dogs made of non-toxic materials. But surprisingly, you should check the label as many manufacturers are looking to make an easy buck at the expense of your dog. This is especially vital if your dog tends to chew on things or is allergic to certain products.
As an aside: if you love camping with your dog, it's best to invest in a bed made using sturdy material.
We recommend natural, waterproof, and fire-resistant beds to ensure they last a long time. Additionally, your area's climate determines what kind of fabric is best.
In colder states, we would look for heavier fabrics like Berber or fleece beds. On the other hand, if you live in a hotter area, faux suede helps keep your dog cool in the hot weather.
#4 - Texture
Dogs are pretty heavy sleepers, but a bed's texture can still determine the quality of their sleep. For instance, dog beds for older dogs come with memory foam to help them cope with painful joints. Conversely, younger pups love fluffy beds that make them feel snug.
For pets that suffer from health conditions like arthritis and hip dysplasia, we highly recommend soft foam material that soothes aches and minimizes stress on pressure points.
#5 - Maintenance
This can be a hard one because you can't easily teach a dog to make its bed. Hey, if you can, we'd love to know how you did that! But because canines can be pretty messy, so you might need something easy to clean. Easy maintenance means machine-washable beds or covers.
There are also beds with built-in absorbent pads for older dogs or puppies that tend to wet their bed.
Ensuring your dog's bed is clean protects them from fleas and mites that carry diseases. To prevent flea eggs and other parasites from staying in your pet's bedding, rinse them out regularly on a hot cycle in the washing machine and hang them outside to dry.
#6 - Non-slip bottom
Slippery dens and beds (like a kennel) can threaten your dog's health. If your canine tends to run through or jump around in their bedding, they could end up tearing a ligament. Dog beds shouldn't slip. Use a non-slip mat or a bed with rubber bottoms to prevent a harmful accident.
#7 - Special-need
Depending on if your dog has medical needs, you can purchase different types of unique dog beds, such as orthopedic dog beds, heated beds, cot-style beds, and travel beds.
Orthopedic beds for older dogs support their joints with the help of medical-grade foam, perfect for dogs recovering from a serious surgery. Also, heated beds are great if your pet suffers from arthritis. Finally, travel and cot-style beds are portable mats for your dogs that come in handy if you travel with them often.
Why Quality Beds for Dogs Are a Must-have
Whatever your reason for investigating the best bedding for dogs, the benefits of a quality bed can be far-reaching, affecting their mood, affection, and physical health.
Dog beds are an excellent investment that helps you provide your canine companion with a better quality of life.
If your dog is undergoing a repair surgery like a TPLO procedure, consider a Lick Sleeve as an alternative to the cone. For more information on how you can help your dog recover better, visit our blog here.