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When it comes to sleeping, dogs are just like humans – they have their preferences. And those wants and needs for comfort aren’t static. Much like yours, they change over time. To find the ideal dog bed for your canine companion, you should consider breed, age, size, coat, and habits. These elements all play a role in the best shapes, structures, and materials for your pet to sleep soundly. Also, ask yourself if you need an outdoor dog bed that’s waterproof or a comfy indoor one.
What You Need to Know About Dog Beds
A quick search on the internet shows you just how many dog bed designs there are. These days, manufacturers make them as cute as your animal. They’re built like miniature sofas with bone pillows, chaise lounges, dresser drawers, and canopy beds. You can buy them in novelty designs: a slipper, a race car, a hot dog bun, a donut. Some, like tee-pees, are foldable or collapsible, while others you can blow up and deflate to take camping with your pet.
But what’s most important is how the bed makes your dog feel. The materials – plush versus mesh, for instance – determine whether or not your pet will actually want to sleep there. So will the height and depth of the bed. In addition, take into account how your dog sleeps, both during the day and at night. A Lhasa Apso who lives in a warm climate may not want to snuggle into the mouth of a shark for a snooze, and an older Labrador Retriever with achy joints can’t climb the stairs of a bunk bed. Dogs who like to sprawl versus those who curl up in tight spots and tuck their noses in their tails also have specific preferences.
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Best Orthopedic Dog Beds
With a firm, dense, memory foam mattress, this easy-to-enter orthopedic dog bed says “cozy” to older dogs who have aching muscles and stiff joints. The cushioned bolster provides excellent support for the head, legs, or whatever your dog prefers resting on them. Reviewers have commented that the bolsters are tight and don’t fall down, a problem with some other beds of this sofa style. Some verified reviews note that the zipper allows mischievous dogs to get at the filling, but many customers note the durability of the suede cover, which is machine washable and resistant to dogs who like to scratch and dig their nests. Price: $69-$169 depending on size
With a mattress pad filled with memory foam shreds (instead of it being one solid plane), this bed conforms to your dog’s body and eases the pressure on arthritic joints, dysplastic hips, and hot spots. Easy to carry and move, the bed also works as an inviting liner for a crate. Some owners mention great endurance, even after years of use and machine washing, although others, whose dogs are chewers, disagree. Many verified purchasers note that their dogs took to the bed so fast that they had barely unrolled it. A few also mention a smell, but others say that’s easily eliminated by leaving the bed in the sunshine for a few hours to air out. Price: $24-69 depending on size
This premium dog bed is, according to buyers, one of the best on the market for older, larger dogs. The memory foam base, which contains a soothing cooling gel, is sturdy enough for some real heavyweights, keeping them from sinking through the mattress to the floor. Like many others, it has a waterproof liner – but just in case accidents happen during laundry day, the memory foam is also infused with activated charcoal to keep it smelling fresh. Owners report that the bed is terrific for sprawling pets, and many comment that their dogs have given up climbing on the couch in favor of this bed. Detractors note that the mesh bottom and some of the stitching doesn’t wear as well as the rest. But if your dog doesn’t use it as a toy and you’re gentle with the vacuum, you should have an excellent experience. Price: $82-170 depending on size
Best Dog Beds for Cuddlers
Perfect for dogs who like to burrow, the oversize rug-like structure of this bed replicates the mother’s coat. And like a mother dog, it has both soft and more rigid parts to provide comfort and support simultaneously. Some say that the base doesn’t have enough padding for larger dogs, but owners with dogs who love to curl up and nest swear by it. The cover is easy to remove and wash, but be sure to dry thoroughly or the fluff could turn – much like a dog’s coat that needs grooming – into mats. Price: $32-115 depending on size
With a variety of materials available – faux suede, linen or corduroy – and a plush foam lining, this indoor tent is easy to match to your home design. It not only contains the snuggle-happy dog for a nap, it’s easy to transport for travel. Dogs in multi-pet households who like to eat their snacks without interference also appreciate the privacy this tent affords. Verified purchasers say this bed is terrific for naturally shy or skittish rescue animals. And while a few customers note that the materials don’t stand up to the wash as advertised, others say that super-soft structure maintains its form for the long term. Price: $27-35 depending on size
Easiest and Most Durable Dog Beds
Laundry friendly, this easily maintained bed can also line a crate. Plush and snug, its flat surface allows large breeds to stretch out or several smaller dogs to rest together. Owners like the unobtrusive but stylish ombre gray color, and appreciate the non-skid backing, which keeps the bed in place and discourages canine-provided wear and tear. Others report that dogs who don’t like thick, cuddly cushioning and supportive bolsters seem to enjoy these beds more. While some say that the cushioning thins in the middle after a while, the material will fluff up again if you wash and dry it. Price: $9-39 depending on size
Elevated dog beds are a great choice to keep your dog cool and dry, and this bed is practically chew-proof. Verified purchasers note that even dogs who have tried to turn this into rawhide have failed. It can even survive the elements, including rain and snow. The exterior frame is hard plastic and the interior is Cordura, a canvas-like fabric so that the dog’s pads and nails can grip it without shredding it. Although it looks like a trampoline, the bed is tight, not bouncy, and generally supports the weight of the dog without sagging. A downside, users say, is the assembly, and that after time, the frame might warp. In addition, the material actually makes a scratchy noise when your dog moves on it. As a bonus, though, the fabric is also quick to clean. Price: $74-129 depending on size
Dog Bed FAQs
- Do dogs need a bed?Just like humans, dogs need beds for multiple reasons. Not only do dog beds greatly benefit the joint health of canines, but they also offer a safe place where dogs can go to unwind and feel comfortable. Plus, having your dog sleep in one place makes cleaning easier for you.
- What is the most durable dog bed?All types of dog beds can be durable if made with the right materials. If you have a very destructive dog, a raised bed made of aluminum may be the best option.
- Do dogs prefer hard or soft beds?The ideal dog bed is a perfect blend of soft yet firm. Your dog’s individual needs will determine what dog is a perfect fit. For example, soft, memory foam beds are best for senior dogs with aging joints but harder beds may be better for adult dogs.
- How do I keep a dog from destroying their bed?The best way to keep your dog from destroying their bed is to exercise them regularly and keep them stimulated with interactive toys. You may also need to upgrade your dog bed — look for “chew-proof” and “durable” as key features.