A good night’s sleep starts with a good bed. That’s as true for your dog as it is for you.
As any dog owner knows, a dog sleeps both night and day. Puppies and older dogs sleep as much as 18 hours out of 24, according to the American Kennel Club.
So what is the best bed for your pooch? That’s going to depend on size, age, mobility and how your dog sleeps (curled up or sprawled out). Be sure to measure and weigh your dog before shopping. Don’t get a too-small bed just because your pup likes to curl up. Everyone needs to roll around now and again.
Also consider where the bed will be — living room, mud room or bedroom. With so many styles available, it’s easy to have your pet’s bed complement your decor.
Here are some specifics to consider:
Beds for older dogs
Older dogs often have aching joints. They’ll have trouble climbing stairs and jumping into their favorite sofa or chair as they age. That’s good news for your furniture but it also means investing in a good orthopedic bed. One with a bolster attached provides a comfortable spot for dogs that like to sleep with their heads propped up. Some orthopedics can be quite firm so find one that conforms to your dog’s body, easing the pressure on arthritic joints and bad hips.
For burrowers and cuddlers
Consider a big faux fur pillow for these dogs. Look for one that has some support on the sides but basically lets your pooch imagine it’s back in the litter pile or nestled up to mom. Another option are pup tents — enclosed dome spaces with a soft lining but without the poles, stakes and hassles of a real pup tent. Small dogs tend to like these cave-like beds or those with high sides.
If your dog is outside a lot or is just hot-natured, considered a cot. These raised beds look like a rectangular trampoline but without the bounce. They are also fairly chew resistant. Look for one with a hard plastic frame. These beds also give dogs an elevated view of the world and takes them off a cold floor in winter. A bonus? It’s easy to clean.
A word about bed covers
You’ll want a cover that is machine washable and with fabric that will hold up well if your dog decides to scratch or dig a bit to get the bed just right. Plush fabrics may be too hot for dogs in warm climates. If you go with faux fur or anything that resembles a shaggy rug be sure to dry it thoroughly after washing. If not, it ends up matted and looking dingy. If your pet runs hot, find a mattress that contains a cooling gel. Mesh fabrics don’t hold up well if you’ve got a chewer and scratcher. And finally, be sure the cover or inside liner, if there is one, is waterproof.
Let’s talk about decor
Yes, you can get a dog bed that mimics a human’s bed with headboard and footboard. Or one that looks like a piece of furniture — end tables, for example — that you can use like crates. You can get a cute wicker basket with a comfy pillow. These are all adorable but are often destroyed by dogs that chew, gnaw or scratch. These are particularly bad choices for puppies.
One final note
Dogs are social creatures. They want to hang with their family, so rather than drag a bed from room to room, consider getting more than one bed.