There is no better time than the winter to cuddle up in a cozy bed, and our dogs enjoy it too. Because dogs spend so much time sleeping, having a warm bed for your dog is an important detail to take care of. Even if you share your bed with your dog, there will be times when you would prefer not to. When it comes to dog beds, there are options that are similar to those offered for people. With so many types of dog beds on the market, it may be hard for you to decide which is best for your Princess.
How can you be sure to choose the best bed for your dog? The first step is to consider what type of dog you have, of course. While your dog can’t offer up his opinion on the matter, you can get a good idea of which one will be best by looking at his age, size and habits. Decide up front how much you are willing to invest on the perfect bed for your pooch.
Cleanliness Is Key
There are dog beds in shapes, styles and sizes to fit every dog, and every home décor. However, not all dog beds are created equal. The reason is that some are washable and some are not. This should be the main factor you consider when buying a dog bed. This is because in order to control fleas, odors and dirt, your dog’s bed or at least its cover should be washed a minimum of twice a month. Consider the size of your washer and whether the dog bed will fit in it or not. If you have to take it to a laundromat to wash it, chances are it is never going to get washed at all. A good choice is a bed with a cover that zips on and off to make things easier.
Types of Dog Beds
Great for dogs on the go, mats are usually used to provide a minimal amount of protection from surfaces such as hard floors or bare crate bottoms. You can also use mats to prevent damage to furniture and beds by adding this extra layer. Mats can also be laid on top of pet beds to prevent having to wash them as often. While mats are very handy, most dogs require a better permanent solution. Mats work well for travel situations and for keeping furniture cleaner.
Although hammocks are easy to wash, their lack of padding doesn’t exactly equal optimum comfort. This type of dog bed generally consists of a sturdy fabric stretched over a metal, wood or PVC frame. While a hammock is not ideal, it does do the job of keeping your dog off of the cold, hard floor. Young dogs in warmer climates may be served well by this type of bed.
Just like a big pillow, loose-fill beds require a bit more care than other types of dog beds. This is because particularly in less expensive beds, the fillers may break down or bunch up over time. Most commonly filled with polyester, cotton batting that is sometimes organic is also available. Shredded cedar or foam beads may also be used to fill the bed. Only buy a loose-fill bed if it has a cover that can be removed for washing. Even if the bed itself says it can be washed, doing so will break down the stuffing and leave spaces in the bed that are void of padding. To keep the bed plump and comfortable, you may choose to add some filling material from time to time that you can find at a local craft store. Loose-fill beds are ideal for young dogs in warmer climates. With that being said, the more high-quality versions may be more than adequate for older and arthritic dogs.
Mattress and Foam Beds:
An egg crate foam bed is a relatively inexpensive choice and easy to find. However, it is a different story when it comes to brand-name mattresses. Particularly for big dogs, if you choose a brand-name bed with high-end design to match your décor, be prepared to pay hundreds of dollars for it. These types of beds are relatively firm and are ideal for dogs who require more orthopedic support. Older dogs and arthritic dogs may benefit from a memory foam bed that they can sink into a bit.
Some dogs may require a little extra effort to keep them warm in the winter months. Small dogs and dogs with thinner bodies are two examples. Dogs with lighter coats and chronically ill or arthritic dogs would also benefit from added heat. A heating element for the bed will do the trick. Just make sure it has been labeled safe for pets and UL approved.
And there you have it. Knowing the needs of your precious pets will help you buy the right dog bed that gives them optimal care and comfort.