Raised dog beds have orthopedic design, providing off-the-floor comfort and reducing pressure on the joints. As your Ginger ages, preventative care is good policy; a firm, pliant surface several inches off the hard floor will increase her longevity. A comparison of two leading brand names will aide your decision.
The Integrity of Structure
Kuranda and Coolaroo dog beds are both sturdy. Yet, in this category one emerges clearly superior. With thick PVC and aluminum frames, and wide bases, Kuranda beds don't fall apart. Additionally, they have a protective lip, except for the Classic Cot, that covers the edges where the cover attaches to the frame, making the beds virtually chew-proof. The easy-to-assemble Coolaroo dog-beds, on the other hand, with its insectoid legs that curve away from the body of the bed, have less tensile strength than the Kuranda's. The narrow-gauge aluminum and steel Coolaroo frames are strong and easy to assemble and disassemble. While this makes for easier transport, they are also known to pop apart at the joints. It's important to note that Coolaroo dog beds, to the chagrin of many customers, don't have a protective lip to protect the cover.
Picturing Ginger on Canvas
It must be said that both companies offer durable covers for their beds. Coolaroo actively advertises the breathable, mildew-and-insect-resistant covers; Kuranda emphasizes its vast collection of colors, sizes and cover materials. In truth, both dog bed companies provide hypoallergenic covers for your dog to rest on, standard. Kuranda offers more cover choices than its competitor, each with its own strengths but pricier overall. Big picture, each has a market niche: Coolaroo dog-beds are more cost effective, while Kurandas are at least marginally more durable.
Accessorizing Your Diva
If you want more than a flat surface for Ginger, both companies offer accessories to make their dog beds warmer and more comfortable. Kurandas have nifty accessories, like pads and slipcovers, which come in a wide variety of styles and colors. Coolaroo options are limited, particularly from an aesthetic point of view, and cheaper. The accessories category goes to Kuranda. If you have the money to spare on accessories, then you should get the ones you want. And in this case, you're more likely to find that with a Kuranda.
The Price Is Right
Beds by both makers are comfortable enough. Comfort isn't really an issue. The real issues here are that the Kuranda is more expensive and the Coolaroo isn't as sturdy. The Kuranda goes for about $50 to $275; the Coolaroo goes for about $40 to $100. At the low end, the difference is negligible; but at the high-end the differences diverge sharply. This gives some advantage to the Coolaroo, particularly if budget remains an important consideration.
If your Ginger likes to chew and flounce about like a fish out of water, then the Kuranda is the choice for you, regardless of price. You save money in the long run by buying a high-quality product the first time out. However, if she prefers snoozing in the sun for hours on end with a little Brahms playing in the background, go for the Coolaroo. No reason to pay for features she doesn't need. Assess your dog's needs and your priorities properly, then make a choice, penny-wise or otherwise. As Ginger would tell you, "measure twice, cut once."
Christopher Lapinel blogs for the Johnson Attorney's Group. He also writes his own blog at bluestonewriter.com. Lapinel holds an MLitt in creative writing from the University of St. Andrews and taught English composition at LaGuardia Community College.