One of the essential requirements of any pet is for them to have a relatively comfortable home. While some would argue that exotic pets need a home that is as close as its natural environment in the wild, for the more domesticated pets like dogs and cats, a more comfortable contemporary housing is needed. For dogs, a crate or kennel would suffice. However, for absolute comfort especially for dogs who are already in their senior years or are already suffering a variety of musculoskeletal problems, the most appropriate dog bed must be provided for them.Let’s go right into how to pick a dog bed
Dog beds come in a variety of types, sizes, and component materials. Some are excellent for warmer environments while some are designed specifically to keep your dog warm in cold weather. Some are composed of ordinary foam while others integrate memory foam and egg-crate foam in the construction. Some also provide mattress beds for dogs. Technically, if humans require different beds for a variety of reasons, dogs too often command the same level of bed selection. However, the question remains how one can pick the best or most appropriate bed for his dog.
How to Choose a Dog Bed Size
In choosing the best bed for your dog, it is often important to consider the size of your dog. As a rule of thumb, dog beds should be the right size for your dog; meaning, if you have a small dog, then get a small bed. If you have a large breed of dog then get a larger bed. However, it is not as simple as that because you will also have to consider the sleeping habits of your dog as well as where you are going to use his bed.
If you require a dog bed to be placed inside your car to give him a more comfortable ride during those lengthy out-of-town weekend trips, a small dog bed might suffice unless, of course, you have a large breed. You also have to consider the size of your vehicle. If you have a truck, then you can perhaps invest in a medium-sized dog bed to be placed on the flatbed. If you own a car, then that means you need to have a dog bed that can be conveniently placed on your rear passenger seat. Otherwise, you can simply skip the whole bed thing and put on a thick blanket for your dog to lie on instead.
If you require a dog bed to be used in the park or simply one that you can bring with you on the go, then a roll-up dog bed should suffice. This can be conveniently unrolled wherever you may be to provide an instant comfort zone for your dog.
If you want a dog bed for the house, then there will be several things you need to consider. If you want the dog bed to stay in a permanent place, then investing in a large and very comfortable dog bed will be a great idea. However, if you expect to constantly change the location of the dog bed, then you might want to choose a smaller and lighter, yet equally comfortable version of the dog bed.
Next is for you to consider how your dog actually sleeps. If your dog likes to curl up with his nose covered by his tail, then a small yet very cozy dog bed should suffice. Measure your dog in his curled-up position and make the necessary adjustments to come up with the measurement of your dog bed.
If your dog sleeps like he doesn’t have a care in the world, meaning he sleeps sprawled out, then you need a much bigger bed that should take your whole dog’s frame from his outstretched legs and tail and his hyperextended neck and head. If your dog is very restless in his sleep, turning every so often, you may need to get a much bigger dog bed almost similar to the one you choose for a dog that sprawls asleep.
Now, if your dog sleeps more like a human on its back with its neck extended and its tail straightened out, you will need a dog bed that is rather long to accommodate the longitudinal axis of your dog. You can measure the tip of your dog’s head right down to its tail to determine the size of the dog bed you have to get.
Now, if your dog is just like any other dog or that you simply do not have time to observe your dog’s sleeping habits, the following are typical guidelines when you want to choose the size of bed for your dog.
• For teacup-sized or miniature dogs like Chihuahuas and Toy Poodles, you can get a 16×21 inch nesting bed or a 30×36 inch pillow bed.
• For small dogs like Shih Tzus, Lhasa Apsos, and Pugs, you can get an 18×23 inch nesting bed or a 30×36 pillow bed.
• For medium-sized dogs like Cocker Spaniels and Australian Shepherds, you can get a 21×28 inch nesting bed or a 36×45 inch pillow bed.
• For large breeds of dogs like Golden Retrievers and English Setters, you can get a 24×36 inch nesting bed or a 45×52 inch pillow bed.
• For extra-large breeds of dogs like Great Danes, Saint Bernards, and Mastiffs, you can get a 28×43 inch nesting bed or a 45×52 inch pillow bed.
How to Make a Homemade Dog Bed
Because dogs have their own unique personalities, they may not necessarily be fond of commercially-available dog beds. Additionally, some of the leading brands in dog beds can literally set you back by several hundred dollars. Although there are relatively inexpensive choices, you are often a lot better off making your dog his very own dog bed.
There are plenty of instructional videos on YouTube detailing the different steps necessary to make a homemade dog bed. What is more interesting is that these dog beds are very easy to make and you only need a couple or so of materials and you can make your dog his own personalized dog bed. However, it all depends on what kind of dog bed you would like to make. The easiest will be the elevated form of dog bed that resembles a hammock designed for dogs who are in warmer regions. The other type of dog bed will be the soft-sided mattress bed which will require some sewing and stitching.
If you want a hammock type of dog bed, you only need to make a structure that is similar to the frame of a table – 4 legs and 4 arms secured together at the joints. The resulting frame is then covered in a clothing material that should be soft and non-irritating to your dog’s skin. Some use cotton while some use a mesh that is almost similar to a net. The smaller holes allow for air to circulate from underneath the bed to bring comfort to your dog.
If you require a softer nesting bed version, you can just buy an ordinary square pillow and sew some dog bed covering. You can also cover pieces of rectangular foam with decorative clothing and use these panels as siding for the pillow. The pillow becomes your dog’s mattress and bed while the foam-filled siding serves as your dog’s bed rails which he can use to place his head on. You will need some degree of knowledge and skill in needlework to pull this one out.
If you have an old suitcase, one which you no longer use, you can turn this into an instant bed for your dog. You can leave the luggage cover open and give it some decorative elements. You can then place a soft pillow on the main compartment of your suitcase, add in your dog’s favorite toys, and voila, you already have a fully repurposed suitcase just for your dog.
If you have an old wooden table or even an old TV console, you can also turn these into dog resting cubicles. You can repaint the old table, turn it upside down, and use the bottom portion of the table as the frame for your dog’s bed. Put on some pillows or even several layers of blanket and your dog can have his own very unique dog bed. For the old V console, make sure to remove all electronic components so that you only get the box itself. Give it a thorough cleaning, repaint it, and add some pillows and blankets and you now have a posh-looking dog bed no seller on eBay nor Amazon can ever match.
Cost of a Dog Bed
Commercially available dog beds can cost you a fortune. The dog bed can cost anywhere from $1,279.99 to $1,773.68. Bligmania Luxus Dog Lounge is the world’s most expensive dog bed at a whopping $17,719.50 as sold on eBay. The dog lounge is of German origin, specifically designed for Koko von Knebel, and showcases a dog bed cover of 95,000 Swarovski Crystals. You might be inclined to think that the Swarovski crystals will hurt your pet but its designer and manufacturer claims that it is actually beneficial for your pet because it provides a steady massage-like effect on your dog to help improve circulation and induce greater relaxation. Its filling is also made of anti-allergenic and antibacterial materials to command such a high price.
The most expensive dog bed listed on Walmart is MaxComfort’s Comfort Nest Memory Foam Bolster Dog Bed by Wayfair at $1,279.99 to around $1,773.68. The cheapest on Walmart is a $5 19×15 inch Soft Spot Rectangular Cuddler Pet Bed. The cheapest on eBay is a 99-cent Fleece Dog Bed.
There are of course other dog beds in the mid-range. You just have to read expert and customer reviews on the different available products so you can get the best deal for your dog. For starters, you can check out Petmate’s Microban Deluxe Pillow Bed for only $42.65 or even the American Kennel club’s Casablanca Round Solid Pet Bed for only $14.99. You can also check out MidWest’s Quiet Time Fashion Pet Bed for only $23.99 and Majestic Pet Cotton Bagel Bed with Sherpa for $80.99. The point is there are great dog bed products in the market that will not necessarily be very expensive.
Nonetheless, if budget is such a big deal, then you might want to instead spend time rummaging through your belongings in order to make your dog his very own bed yourself. At the very least, you are not only being practical, you are also showing your dog just how much he means to you when you create for him a very personalized dog bed.
Best Beds for Small Dogs
Smaller dog breeds will often require a smaller dog bed, obviously. Their sleeping patterns are also a lot more curled than they are sprawled. As a general rule, the dog bed should not be very large for your pet as it can create a sense of insecurity in your dog. A good-sized bed should be one where your dog can still stretch out. And since the body surface area of small breed dogs are generally smaller, they tend to be more susceptible to cold so choosing a walled dog bed or a nesting bed should be a major consideration to keep air drafts out.
The round nesting bed is considered as the best type of bed for small dogs. Because small dogs love to curl when they sleep, the rounded shape of these beds naturally conforms to the arched back of your dog. And this is where the raised siding of the nesting bed comes into play, providing your small pet dog with the necessary support to keep him conveniently and comfortably curled up. American Kennel Club’s Casablanca Round Solid Pet Bed and Aspen Pet’s Round Bed Animal
Print Pet Bed are excellent choices.
Heated dog beds are also a must have for certain small breeds of dogs especially those living in cold climate conditions. These types of dog beds provide continuous heating for your dog simply because their small bodies are not really that efficient when it comes to retaining body heat. K&H Thermo Snuggly Sleeper and K&H Self-warming Lounge Sleeper Square Pet Bed are examples of heated dog beds for small dog breeds.
The snuggler type of bed is more like a nesting bed but with a dome or cover to provide your dog with the utmost privacy, comfort, and warmth especially on chilly nights and the bitter cold of winter. Snugglers provide excellent security for your small dog while he is napping. Examples of snuggler dog beds include Halo’s Hooded Snuggler, Snoozer’s Luxury Cozy Cave Dog Snuggler Bed, and Fairhaven Pet’s NAP Ultra Plush Hood Pet Bed.
Memory foam beds are also excellent for small breeds of dogs especially when they have problems with cold temperatures. These dog beds are typically thicker and hence provide greater warmth for your dog. It not only conforms to the natural contours of your dog’s body, the memory foam also retains your dog’s body heat to make it more comfortable to sleep on. Examples of memory foam dog beds include Brindle’s Soft Memory Foam Dog Bed with Removable Washable Cover and Milliard’s Premium Memory Foam Dig Bed with Antimicrobial Waterproof Non-slip Cover.
The bolster dog bed is almost similar to the rounded dog bed except that these types of dog beds are particularly useful for dogs who prefer sleeping on the sofa often next to their masters. Bolster beds provide both protection and security for your dog so he won’t fall off your couch or sofa. Examples of bolster dog beds include K&H Bolster Sleeper Brown Dog Bed, Majestic Suede Bagel Dog Bed, and K&H Bolster Couch Mocha Dog Bed.
Best Dog Bed for Puppies
Getting your puppy his own bed is quite a little bit different from getting one for your adult or mature dogs. Why? You will only use the puppy bed for a few months before your dog reaches his full adult size. By then, you will have to purchase an entirely different dog bed again; unless, of course, your dog is a small breed, then you might want to invest in a round dog bed, a snuggler, a heated bed, or even a bolster and memory foam bed instead.
Technically, your puppy will have almost the same bedding requirement as any small breed of dog. However, what is an, even more, important consideration will be the level of warmth your puppy will obtain. While small dog breeds may not have bodies that are efficient in retaining heat, this is significantly heightened in puppies because their thermoregulatory mechanisms are still pretty much in its infancy. This simply means that puppies are more vulnerable to extremes of temperatures. As such, dog beds that have heated pads will be most beneficial to puppies.
Additionally, the relatively thicker insulation of memory foam beds will be excellent. You can also try a sofa or bolster dog bed with high sidings or even a snuggler to keep out drafts and ensure all-night warmth for your puppy.
Masione’s Pet Bed Sofa House Mat Pad for Puppy, Pecute’s Plush Bed House Cushion, and American Kennel Club’s Box Weave Solid Cuddler would be great for your puppy. Colorful houses Princess Bed Design Soft Suede Puppy House Bed or the more upscale Princess Diamond Luxury Puppy Sofa Bed with Washable Leather by Garden Pets might also interest your puppy especially if you want to pamper them a bit. For optimum warmth however, you may want to try K&H’s Lectro-Soft Outdoor Heated Bed, Pawhut’s Indoor Electric Heated Dog pet Bed, K&H Self-Warming Lounge Sleeper, or Best Friends by Sheri’s OrthoComfort deep Dish Cuddler in Sherpa.
Best Dog Bed for Large Breeds
If you have a Saint Bernard, a Mastiff, or even a Great Dane, your choice of bed dogs might not be as extensive as those for smaller breeds. If you own a Labrador, a Retriever, a Golden Retriever, or even an English Setter, then your choices might be a little bit expensive. Now, if your dog has an orthopedic problem, your concern will be more on the protection of his bones and joints. In such cases, you will need a dog bed that is constructed of memory foam or some other canine orthopedic-designed material.
Additionally, you will have to check if your dog already has problems with thermoregulation. Larger breeds of dogs are able to retain heat more effectively than do smaller breeds. However, if they are sick, this thermoregulatory capacity is temporarily lost. As such, you may need a heated bed also for your larger dog. Furthermore, you would want a very durable dog bed so you won’t have to replace it every now and then.
Gale Pacific’s Coolaroo Elevated Cot Style Pet Bed with Knitted Fabric is excellent for dogs living in warmer climates. The raised bed allows for better aeration for the dog’s underside, reducing the risk of overheating especially during the hot summer months. Other excellent cooling dog beds for large breeds include K&H’s Original Pet Cot, AmazonBasics’ Elevated Cooling Pet Bed, and K&H’s X-Large Cool Pad. For absolute comfort for your large dog, you can try Majestic Pet’s Suede Bagel Dog Bed, Pet Fusion’s Ultimate Dog Bed and Lounger, Armarkat’s Pet Bed Mat, Hidden Valley’s Corner Bolster Dog Bed, and Dog Bed King USA’s American-Made Large Cuddler.
Big Barker’s 7-inch Pillow Top Orthopedic Dog Bed is excellent for extra-large dogs that may have issues with arthritis and other joint and bone problems. Many dog owners call Big Barker as one of the best dog beds for large breeds. Milliard’s Premium Orthopedic Memory Foam Dog Bed with Antimicrobial Waterproof Nonslip Cover, Laifug’s Solid Memory Foam Orthopedic Dog Bed with Waterproof Cover, Wild Olive’s Lattice Orthopedic Pet Bed, and Pet Support Systems’ Extra Large Memory Foam Orthopedic Dog Bed are worthy alternatives to Big Barker’s orthopedic dog beds.
Getting your dog his bed requires an understanding of his needs. Small breeds and puppies generally require warmth while larger dog breeds, as well as those who are already old and suffering from musculoskeletal problems, can benefit more from memory and orthopedic foams. If your dog is generally healthy, you can create a dog bed yourself. However, because there are also excellent dog beds for under 50 dollars, it might be a lot more practical to just buy the best and most appropriate bed for your dog. After all, your dog is more than just your best friend.