Your dog needs a place that they can call their own, where he feels safe, protected and at ease. The right dog bed will give your dog a soft and comfy place to rest. This becomes more and more important as your dog gets older. Just because your dog can sleep anywhere, this doesn’t mean that they should. Your dog needs a place where he can sleep at night and nap during the day. A dog bed that does what it should will act as a barrier from the ground that may be too cold or too hot. Having a dog bed may also help keep your home a little bit cleaner. The bed becomes a place where pet hair and odor can collect, instead of all over the rest of your house. Considerations When Selecting a Dog Bed Take a good look at your dog when he is sleeping to see how he or she likes to sleep. Some dogs like to stretch out, while others prefer to be all curled up in a ball. Your dog may like to burrow or have something to lean against. Pay attention to the way that your dog sleeps to choose the style of bed that is right. Think of how large your dog is and how active he is. A dog that is large and active will need to have a bed with a durable composition with a thicker, stronger cover on it. A smaller dog may just need a cozy little nest. If your dog is outside a lot, you may benefit from a bed that has a removable, washable cover in case his feet get muddy. When choosing a style of dog bed, there are a few things to consider. First of all, you need to be sure and choose a bed that is large enough to accommodate your dog’s entire body when they are stretched out. Cesar Milan recommends measuring your dog and then choosing a bed that is at least 5 inches longer and wider than your dog. The second thing to consider is how easy it will be to clean your dog’s bed. A water-resistant bed is ideal. If your dog will be sleeping outside, select a bed that will be resistant to environmental challenges such as mold and fungus. Look for a bed that is made of quality materials. Choose a Type In your search for the perfect dog bed, there are many types for you to choose from. A bolster dog bed works great for larger breeds. They are enjoyed by many dogs because they have the same padding as a simpler bed but they have a bolster along of the back of the bed that gives support for the dog’s head. The only disadvantage is that bolster beds tend to be more expensive than the rest. A bolster bed will also take up more space than the rest. Another type is called a nesting dog bed. They are like laying on a big round pillow. They allow your pet to sink deep into a high-walled nest. These are great for smaller breeds. When you pick out a nest bed, take into consideration the quality of the material it is filled with to make sure that your dog will be cushioned from hard surfaces. If you have an older dog, he or she may benefit from an orthopedic dog bed. They are designed to protect aging joints. They give a maximum amount of support with foam or a box spring. They are thick, durable and comfortable. Orthopedic dog beds are also relatively expensive to purchase. A simple padded bed is the category most dog beds fall into. They have a pillow stuffing and a material cover. More affordable than the rest, padded beds are available in a variety of sizes and designs. If you choose a padded bed, just be aware that the stuffing may wear out before you know it, not giving your dog enough padding in the long run. Making Them Feel At Home in Their Bed Some dogs may not take to their beds right away. It is relatively simple to introduce them to their new bed. To help your dog get more comfortable, use positive reinforcement and be sure to never use their bed as a place to punish them. You can begin by cuddling with them on the bed and hiding some dog treats on the inside. You can also give them a new bone to enjoy while on their bed. Each of these positive acts will help let your dog know that the bed is their new safe haven.