For many dogs, their bed is an important part of their lives that helps with relaxing, unwinding and gaining some personal space away from humans and other animals. It may be tempting as a dog owner to allow your pooch to carry out their naps in your bed or on other items of furniture around the house, but as a dog bed offers suitable support to your dog and a sanctuary for them during downtime, it’s important they have one.
A dog can spend a significant amount of time in their bed, and as a beloved member of your family, your furry friend needs a bed that they’re happy and comfortable with. But how exactly do you choose the correct bed for your dog?
In this blog, we take a closer look at choosing a dog bed and offer tips on how to pick a bed that’s perfect for your pooch.
Do dogs need beds?
On average, dogs spend between 12 and 18 hours of the day in dreamland, so a bed that’s comfortable, supportive and suits their needs is key for any dog. It’s only natural that your four-legged friend may choose to take power naps beside you on the sofa or even spend moments sleeping in your bed, but a dog bed is an important asset in any dog’s life and it is often recognised as their own environment for having time by themselves, relaxing and unwinding after a long day causing mischief.
Other benefits to dog beds include:
- Contributing to health and comfort
- Easing feelings of stress and anxiety
- Improving the training process
- Offering quality sleep
- Preserving condition of human furniture
- Preventing behavioral issues
- Providing arthritic support
How many dog beds should a dog have?
All dogs should have at least one bed, but if your dog spends time in different rooms, providing multiple beds can mean that they feel more comfortable in each room and are less inclined to jump on human furniture.
If you have more than one dog, it would be advisable to provide a bed for each of them. However, if they tend to snuggle up together, it could make sense to choose a bed that’s big enough to support both of them.
How to pick a dog bed
Choosing the right bed for your dog can be a difficult task, especially as there are so many different options available. Fortunately, you can use a few key factors to pick out the best option for your dog based on the breed and size of your dog and what their needs and preferences are.
How big should a dog bed be?
Size plays an important role in deciding the correct bed for your dog. If you have a Daschund, an extra large bed designed for sprawling out may be excessive, just as you would be lucky to fit any part of a Doberman in a small igloo bed.
It should be relatively easy to see whether a dog bed would be the correct size for your pooch based on the size of the bed. However, if you want to check that it’s suitable, you could consider measuring your dog. To do this, wait until they are sleeping and measure them in centimetres from their nose to their back paws. You should then add around 25 centimetres onto the measurement you’ve taken and a bed with a similar length should be ideal for your furry friend.
Do dogs need soft beds?
Dog beds are available in a selection of different materials, so it’s important you choose the most suitable option for your dog. A dog bed needs to be firm enough to offer support to your dog but comfortable enough to make them feel cosy and relaxed.
For puppies, a super soft dog bed with sides to prevent them from tumbling out will make them feel more settled, especially if they’ve recently moved into your home. However, this type of bed may be too small to fit a larger dog, and as older dogs may struggle to get out of a bed that’s particularly spongy, a dog cushion would be more fitting, and it would help to support their ageing joints.
How long do dog beds last?
Whether your dog is prone to bringing snacks to bed, walking mud all over their bed or scratching at it and kneading it until it feels exactly right, it’s to be expected that it will become damaged and eventually require replacing. A dog bed’s lifespan could be several years if it’s a good quality or a matter of weeks if it’s not.
However, you can extend the time you use a dog bed by washing it as instructed on the label and cleaning away any food or dirt as soon as it comes into contact with it. Dogs are messy creatures by design, but it’s a shame to let them ruin a perfectly good bed, especially if it’s one they’re particularly fond of.
How often to replace dog beds
As dogs are unpredictable, it’s not always easy to anticipate when they will do something that totally ruins their bed. It may be in good condition for several months before they pull out a thread while scratching it and end up accidentally ripping it open and pulling out all the stuffing. Unfortunately, if this happens, it’s unlikely that you will be able to fix it and the best solution will be to replace it entirely with a new dog bed.
However, you may be wondering when you should give up on your pooch’s bed and invest in a new one. Situations where you should consider replacing your dog bed include when:
- It smells and repeated washing isn’t removing the nasty odour
- It’s infested with fleas and nothing is working to remove them
- The stuffing is falling out, the material is ripped and it’s totally beyond repair.
What dog bed to buy
So, when it comes to identifying the best dog bed for your furry friend, consider their wants and needs and match it with an option that ticks all the right boxes. If your dog is large, check that they’ll fit in the bed. If they’re prone to scratching and digging in their bed, make sure the material is strong enough to withstand this level of wear and tear. If they’re old, pick a bed that’s designed to support them effectively.