When it comes to purchasing a dog bed, you might be surprised at just how much choice is actually out there, and it might be a little harder than you thought to find one that suits both your own personal tastes and the needs of your four-legged friend.
Remember that a dog bed is an investment in your dog’s happiness and health, so make sure to take your time, and don’t compromise on quality to save a bit of money.
Here are some of our top tips when it comes to buying a bed for your dog.
Just like with humans, a dog will love a soft and warm fleecy fabric, although this might be unsuitable for a larger dog with a longer coat, as they could get too warm.
Instead, you might want to opt for another material such as leather, which would also be easier to clean, and won’t get all damp and wet after a walk. (This guide from PetMD is helpful for how best to wash a dog bed).
There are two main styles of dog beds, the high sided ‘donut’ beds and the longer, flat, mattress beds.
Donut style beds are more suited to smaller dogs who like to curl up in a ball, but for a larger dog, you’ll probably want to opt for a mattress which will allow them to spread out and lie comfortably flat.
They’re also much better in the summer months as they allow air to circulate fully around the dog’s body and keep them cool.
No matter how big or small they are, dogs love some lovely soft cushioning. However, if they are on the larger side, or perhaps if they’re getting a little older, it might be a good idea to buy them something with a little more support. For example, check out this memory foam dog bed from Avondale Pet Luxury.
Remember that just like humans, dogs move around a lot in their sleep, so it’s important to make sure that their hips and shoulders are fully supported at all times.
All dog beds will naturally flatten over time, but a good quality one should retain a good level of ‘bounce’ for a long period of time.
You’ll soon know if you’ve bought a cheap, low-quality mattress as it will quickly become lumpy, or the filling will be pushed to the side, which will provide uneven support and insulation.
To work out the correct size for your dog bed, measure their height to the top of their shoulders and their length from the chest bone to the base of the tail, allowing a few inches either way for a guideline on the optimum size bed for them.
However, if you’re ever in any doubt, we’d always recommend that you opt for one which is slightly bigger than you think you might need.
As a guideline, for smaller dogs such as terriers, spaniels, dachshunds and such, we’d recommend a small bed of around 80 x 70cm.
For larger dogs such as Labradors, border collies, and boxers, we’d go with something bigger, such as 110 x 75cm, and for a much larger dog such as a German Shepherd you’d need something closer to 140 x 90cm.