Take a minute to watch a sleeping dog. Do you notice how rarely she stays absolutely still in her bed? Sometimes she’ll stretch, sometimes she’ll curl and sometimes she’ll lie on her belly with all four legs outstretched. If comfort for a dog is important our choosing the right one for her is essential.
Buying a bed is not just something you have to do when you first get a dog. It should be a time for consideration of the nature of the dog you own; of her bone structure, her weight, her size (of course), and her fur type. Also, a bed should be washable, for your sake and your dog’s. Your dog relies on you for comfort, so don’t let her down!
When choosing a dog bed, take your time
Naturally, when choosing a dog bed to last, you can’t do so by the size of a puppy. Once your dog stops growing you can more easily gauge what size is needed to allow her to either stretch out or curl up. Remember, dogs belonging to the same breed, their size can still differ, and of course not every dog is (shall we say) as healthy as it should be. Here are a little guideling to help you choose your dog's future bed:
- Bichon Frise: 18-inch (length of bed)
- Cocker Spaniel: 26-inch
- Dalmatian: 34-inch
- German Shepherd: 40-44-inch
Your dog’s sleeping behaviour determines the shape of the bed you buy so make a point of learning about what makes her the most content. Some dogs feel more comfortable when they are curled up into a little ball and some even like to hide. If your dog prefers to tuck herself away you should get a bed that is oval or round, or even one that includes a little igloo.
If your dog enjoys stretching out for sleep you should look for a larger rectangular bed. A similar type of bed for a dog that suffers from arthritic aches and pains is called for. She will find it easier to get on and off a bed that is flatter and with no sides.
As well as infinitely washable a dog bed should be made from comfortable material, inside and out. The outside of a durable dog bed is usually made from polyester, faux fur or suede. Within the outer cover there should then be an inner liner made of a waterproof material; this inner liner should ideally be filled with either foam or cotton solids. Comfort is not the only quality we should consider when choosing a bed. If you own a large dog you will want her joints and limbs to be well supported when she lies down, so buy one that is appropriately padded or even filled with memory foam. Ignoring such a basic necessity will increase the chance of her suffering nasty medical issues in later life, which take their toll of finance and emotion.
Where is the best place to put a dog’s bed?
Once you have a dog bed think about where it is best to place it. Better yet, ask her where she is most comfortable. Somewhere quiet where she can sleep undisturbed? Somewhere close to the family where she can feel included? Take heed also of the winter advice of the British Veterinary Association and make sure her bed is not near any cold drafts.