When selecting a dog bed for your favorite pooch, you not only want a bed that's comfortable for him, but you also want to consider what's suitable for your dog's personality, sleep behavior, play disposition and health. If your dog has age-related discomfort or other health conditions, it's best to check with your veterinarian before purchasing a dog bed.
Think about how your dog likes to sleep. If he enjoys burrowing under a pile of blankets and pillows, he'd be well-suited for a sleeping bag style of dog bed that lets him burrow deep inside between two layers like a pita pocket. A dog who enjoys sleeping in the corner of a couch or chair will appreciate a three-sided bed that lets him rest in the corner while keeping his back and rear warm. If your dog sprawls and stretches while he sleeps, consider an overstuffed, flat bed that resembles an extra large cushion.
Consider how durable of a dog bed, and dog bed cover, your furry friend needs. For example, some dogs are prone to making nests out of their beds by pushing, scratching and pulling the fabric. In this case, you'll want to choose a covering made of denim or khaki rather than flannel or soft cotton (which could easily rip when he paws the fabric). You should also consider how reinforced the interior bedding is. If your dog loves to "de-stuff" his toys, he'll probably do the same to his bed unless there's a sturdy protective layer of material covering the inside cushion.
Take into account the age of your dog when choosing a dog bed. Some dog beds are filled with craft-store fluff and stuffing, while other beds are specifically designed to assist aging or ailing dogs. If your dog is older and suffers from arthritis, a bed made from memory foam mattress could help ease his discomfort. Memory foam offers firm, comfortable support for fragile, aging joints while insulating your dog's body heat from the cold floor. Note that memory foam won't fare well if your dog persistently paws or chews on his bed.
Consider the permeability of the entire dog bed based on your pooch's needs. If, for example, your dog drools generously or is prone to urinating in his sleep, you'll want to choose a bed with a washable cover and a vinyl-covered cushion inside. Many dog beds have an outer covering made from fabric and a pillow-like interior that cases the stuffing; both of which would make bodily fluids and their odors extremely difficult to remove.
- Take your pup with you to test out his new bed before making the purchase. You want to be sure he has enough room to stretch his legs. If you're buying a dog bed online, be sure to read the reviews.
- Test the zipper around the bed cover to see how easy it is to remove and replace. Also, ask about replacement covers and the availability of covers in more durable fabrics.
- Read the materials label on the dog bed and bedding cover to make sure it doesn't have anything that will cause an allergic reaction or sensitivity in your pet.
Christina Bednarz Schnell began writing full-time in 2010. Her areas of expertise include child development and behavior, medical conditions and pet health. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in international relations.