How to choose a dog bed 

Written by Bekki Welch RVN
June 4, 2023

Dog beds allow rest. Your dog can likely be very active and energetic but just like for us a good sleep is really important. Giving your dog a comfortable, safe, and supportive place to sleep have many advantages for you and your dog. We know how important and energising a good restful sleep can be and making sure your dog has a good rest can also help to promote good health for them . 

Among the benefits of a good quality bed is simply comfort; ensuring your pet has somewhere comfortable and soft to rest can promote relaxation and restful sleep. Anyone who has tried to sleep in an uncomfortable bed will know this feeling. Did you know it’s more hygienic for you and your dog if they sleep in their own bed? Dogs that sleep on floors or carpets can be more prone to skin issues. Beds provide them with a hygienic place to rest and they also keep fur and pet dander in one place making it easier to clean if anyone in the household has any allergies. Elderly dogs and those with mobility issues benefit from insulated padded bedding to protect them from cold surfaces and to provide joint support .  

There are a large range of bed options available from pet shops, retailers, vet clinics and online. It’s important to consider a few factors about your pet and the bed before making a purchase. 

Dog bedding considerations 

Size – dogs love to sleep in all kinds of positions but your dog’s bed should be large enough for them to fully stretch out on. This will depend on how big your dog is, but you should allow enough room for them to curl up and stretch out comfortably. 

Material – bedding should be easy to wash/clean to help keep them hygienic. If your dog enjoys getting muddy and wet, you could consider a waterproof cover. Beds should be padded, soft and comfortable for your dog to lay on. Larger breed dogs may benefit from a memory foam type bed to support their joints as the extra support can decrease stiffness and improve mobility. 

Shape – dog beds come in lots of different shapes. Flat mattress style ones are great for laying out flat whereas oval or round shaped ones are good if your dog loves to curl up. Basket style beds with higher sides can help keep your dog warm and cosy from any draughts. Beds should have at least one low side so your dog can easily get in and out, especially in elderly dogs or those with underlying mobility issues. Each dog will have their own preference, if possible, it’s good to give your dog a couple of options.  

Durability - If your dog likes to chew anything and everything try to ensure you’ve got a durable bed for them – plastic or material stuffing in beds can be extremely dangerous for dogs if chewed and swallowed, with many reported cases of foreign bodies being fabric and filling.  Check bedding regularly for damage and remove any fabric that is torn or chewed immediately.  

Special considerations 

  • Senior dogs and dogs with mobility issues (arthritis, joint problems, etc) could benefit from having an orthopaedic or memory foam mattress. Keep it free from loose blankets and toys to prevent any trip hazards. 
  • Anxious or nervous dogs sometimes enjoy the secure feeling of hiding away an igloo type bed. 
  • Dogs should have access to a bed that is quiet and away from busy family life such children or loud noises. They may also appreciate another bed in the family area like the living room for when they want to spend time with you.  

Dog bedding options are almost as varied as dogs themselves and the variety can be huge. If you consider your dog's lifestyle, preferences and needs you should be able to provide them with a loved and enjoyed bed for them to rest in. 

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