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Have you ever chosen a brand new, ultra-soft dog bed for your pooch, only to find that your dog would rather lay anywhere else but the brand new bed? Choosing the right dog bed for your pet may seem like a simple task, but it can become a lot more complicated than you think!
Consider the fact that the average dog sleeps between 12 - 14 hours every day (some older dogs or puppies may sleep for ever longer!) and suddenly you’re picking the spot that your dog will spend most of its day in. Just like humans, every dog has its own preferences when it comes to beds.
We’ve put together some bed-buying guidelines to help you find the perfect bed for your dog’s specific needs:
1. What Size Dog Bed Do You Need?
Size is one of the most important factors when it comes to choosing a bed for your dog; you want a bed that is large enough for your dog to comfortably stretch out on and to curl up into. As you probably guessed, the size of your dog bed has everything to do with the size and length of your dog, especially when he or she is stretched out.
First, measure your dogs back, from the nose to where the tail starts (1)
Secondly, measure the front legs from shoulder to the foot (2)
Thirdly, measure the rear legs from the top of the leg to the foot (3)
The following simple equation will give you the measurement of your completely stretched-out dog: (1+2+3) - half of 1. Most dog bed descriptions will give you measurements of the dog bed, so make sure that your dog will fit onto these measurements when completely stretched out. Dog beds generally range from size small to extra-large, so you’re sure to find the perfect fit for your dog.
2. What Shape Dog Bed Do You Need?When going to sleep, does your dog walk around in circles before it finally plops down into a comfortable position? This indicates that your dog may best suit a rounded dog bed, like the Wagworld Cosy Cup.
If your dog lays on its side with its legs sprawled out, then a rectangular-shaped dog bed, like the Rogz Lekka 3D Pod, will best suit your dog’s spacious sleeping habits. Rectangular dog beds are also best-recommended for older dogs who can no longer curl up into a ball easily.
3. What Design Will My Dog Need?This is all about the structure of the dog bed, and your choice here will be largely influenced by your dog’s behaviour.
Mattress Beds: These are best suited to larger breeds, who need a lot of space to sleep comfortably. Mattress beds like the Scruffs Eco Mattress may be the right fit for your dog if he or she sleeps in a sprawled out position, and needs a little extra wriggle-room.
Nesting Bed: These are ultra-comfy beds with raised edges that are suitable for dog’s who like to curl up and cuddle into their beds. If your dog likes to feel enclosed, then a nest-like dog bed is perfect for keeping them feeling safe and comfortable.
4. Does Your Dog Have Special Needs?Dog beds are made and filled with different materials to suit the specific needs or your dog, so it’s best to understand your dog’s needs and select a bed that best-caters for them:
Memory Foam: Orthopaedic dog beds are generally filled with memory foam that conforms to your dog’s specific body shape. These beds help to relieve pressure and pain from the spine and joints. Memory foam dog beds, like the Sealy Cushy Comfy Dog Bed are not only for dogs with joint problems, but can be beneficial to all dogs who require a little extra support.
Waterproof Dog Beds: This is the perfect solution for any dog who enjoys swimming or playing in the dirt and mud. Waterproof dog beds are easier to clean, and are often machine washable. Their easy-to-clean feature also makes them suitable for female dogs in heat, or puppies and older dogs who suffer from incontinence or aren’t-quite house trained just yet.
Anti-Chew Dog Beds: Does your dog enjoy chewing and tearing apart anything it can get its paws on? If so, an anti-chew dog bed, like the Scruffs ArmourDillo Chew-Proof Dog Bed, may be the perfect solution for your pooch. These beds are made using anti-rip fabric that is durable enough to take on your dog’s teeth, and should last much longer with your dog.
Self-Heating Beds and Blankets: These beds are made using a layer of reflective foil between the quilted polyester fibres and the foam of the bed. This foil reflects your pets body heat, providing them with some extra insulation. Self-heating beds and blankets, like the Scruffs Self-Heating Thermal Pet Blanket, are ideal for pets with shorter fur in cold climates, puppies or pets that are ill, as well as dogs with arthritis - as the heat provides some additional comfort and warmth.
With so much variety available, selecting the right dog bed can become quite confusing for any pet parent! It’s always best to observe your dog’s behaviour and really think about what features your pooch will benefit from most.