As a dog owner, you have watched your dog fall asleep most anywhere. From basking in the sun on the sidewalk or keeping cool on the hard tile of the kitchen, your dog might seem comfortable and content. Although most dogs will sleep wherever they please, it’s always nice for him or her to have a comfortable and safe spot to snooze the day away.
You may be wondering if your dog needs a bed. A bed can act as a quiet and safe space and can keep your canine out of your bed. Some dog owners, who let their dog sleep in their beds, suffer from poor sleep and other sleep disorders; it’s good for everyone if your dog has his or her own bed.
Depending on the age of your dog, he or she may sleep between 12 and 20 hours a day. Imagine if you slept the day away on a hard and uncomfortable surface. Your quality of sleep would be poor, and your body would be stiff and achy, too. Even if your dog isn’t sleeping, there’s a good chance that he or she is lying around. Why not offer a comfortable spot of his or her own?
Fortunately, most dog beds on the market are comfortable, it all comes down to selecting the right one for your dog.
Many of the dog beds you see at your local pet store or big box store look like an oversized pillow. Most of the time these types of beds are suitable for all kinds of dogs, but they can be a no-no for dogs who like to chew. If you give a pillow style bed to a chewer, you run the risk of frequent messes, accidental ingestion of materials, and spending a lot of money on replacements.
Fortunately, anti-chew bitter spray can keep your dog from chewing up any type of bed whether it’s a pillow style or a sturdier cot. Don’t be afraid to pick a bed that will be most comfortable for your pup.
If the tag on a dog bed doesn't state that it's constructed of organic materials, then it’s safe to assume that it contains some amount of flame retardant chemical. Although flame retardants are intended to slow down the burning process (in the event of a fire), it will not automatically keep your dog safe.
In fact, the flame retardants on dog beds and other furniture can cause health problems for you and your pup. If you are looking for a bed made of non-toxic materials, you will come across some made from recycled materials, organic cotton or silk, and even hemp. The choice is up to you, and while the price tag might be higher, you won’t have to worry about the health of your household.
You can get the top of the line dog bed, but if it’s difficult to clean, it’s probably not the best choice. Even if your dog stays relatively clean, the bed will most likely need occasional cleaning.
Read the washing instructions before you buy and make sure you have the right equipment for cleaning. Is your washing machine large enough? Are you satisfied with spot cleaning?
Just like your bed, your dog’s bed should be comfortable and spacious enough for him or her to sprawl out. If you have a puppy, you should either purchase a bed that he or she can grow into or plan on buying another one once he or she is full-grown.
Most dogs like to feel cozy and secure, but they also like space to stretch. Select a size that caters to your dog’s preferences.
Even though your dog is happy to sleep anywhere, it wouldn’t make sense for most people to put his or her bed under the kitchen table or the center of the living room.
Pick an area that is free from foot traffic, but comfortable and a good temperature. If you live in a small space, consider a corner bed.
The more simple the model, the better. Some fashionable or “cutesy” dog beds have buttons, straps, and other decorative items that can be damaged and swallowed. Consider purchasing a bed with anti-slip material on the bottom to prevent your dog (or even you) from injury.
If your dog sleeps in a kennel or crate, make sure you select a bed that will fit properly and doesn’t make the space hazardous.
It’s not uncommon for senior dogs to have arthritis, mobility issues, and even occasional incontinence.
Choosing the right bed, such as an ortho bed, and giving your dog joint supplements will help keep him or her sleep comfortably throughout the day.
Unlike us humans, your dog may not show much interest in a new bed, particularly if he or she has never slept on one. If you are replacing an older bed, your dog may be slow to accept it as it has odd smells and feels unfamiliar.
Give your dog some time to get adjusted. Put his or her favorite toy or a treat on the bed and encourage him or her to spend time in the new bed. If he or she refuses the bed, consider covering it with an old blanket (which may hold familiar scents) and see if he or she takes to the bed.
Before you purchase a bed, check out the return policy. Even if you’re sure that your dog will love the new bed, it may be the wrong size or something broke. If you have purchased a bed and you can’t return it (but your dog won’t sleep on it), offer it to a fellow dog lover or donate it to your local animal shelter.
Taking the time to shop around for the right dog bed can make your pup happy, safe, and healthy.