As any dog lover will attest, dogs can fall asleep pretty much anywhere; comfort doesn’t seem to be as important as the reassurance of your presence. That said, it’s important that man’s best friends have their own dog beds.
A dog bed is a space that is exclusively your dog’s: a safe place. Making him sleep in a bed (and not yours) means that you are still the pack leader and not being submissive, which is important for setting the boundaries of your relationship. A pet bed will have been specially created with the dog’s needs in mind, thus can provide support where needed – sleeping on the floor is not healthy.
There are a wide variety on the market, incorporating a plethora of features or based on a theme – if you can think it, a like dog bed probably exists. With such a lot to choose from, how do you know which one is right for your dog’s needs?
Well, worry not; here’s a brief list of dog beds and what sort of animal they might best suit:
Crates with in-built beds are a good idea when you are trying to train / acclimatise young, new or naughty dogs. However, they also help to make the dog feel safe and secure. How often will your dog rest under a table or chair? Crates should be lined with machine washable bedding and feel nice and snug. A vinyl cover is a good idea as it will settle the animal and prevent it from being disturbed by external distractions. If you have a puppy, you should probably consider getting a crate rather than a dog bed.
Perfect for small dogs or those that sleep curled up. The high sides keep draughts out and provide extra security for your dog. The material is typically machine-washable. These beds are great for anxious dogs or those that shed excessively, as it keeps dog hair ‘contained’ to some extent.
Mini mattresses / cushions / duvets
Perfect for dogs that sleep stretched out. These days, such dog beds are made with a fibre that retains its shape and doesn’t go uncomfortably lumpy. These are great as they can easily be positioned against a wall or wherever your dog likes to sleep, meaning they’ll get a great night’s rest.
Fluffy-lined, soft beds
A nice, comfy, fluffy bed might look extremely comfortable, but in the summer time can become very hot. In addition, some models can resemble fluffy dog toys and therefore might end up being chewed by your confused dog. They can also be absorbent and harder to clean. That said, if you have a little, short-haired dog that tends to be cold, this could be the perfect option.
Raised / outdoor dog beds
Durable, waterproof and not a chewy temptation, raised / outdoor beds are easier to clean, cooler and less absorbent. They can be used inside and out. The elevation allows air to circulate underneath, thus they could be ideal during hotter months.
A car, a ship, a caravan, a four-poster – all of these are examples of wacky beds that dogs with character might enjoy. All crafted with care, they are a great way to make a statement and providing your dog is comfortable, it probably won’t care that you’re taking lots of photos of it to put on Facebook!
No stranger to a bed of her own, dog-owner and all-round animal lover Lauren Sutton writes this post on behalf of online pet accessories provider Easy Animal. Read similar tips and stories on Twitter @easyanimal.