Some dogs like some beds better than others but don't carry that too far. Most of the dogs I've owned over 30+ years have both curled up and stretched out often in the same night. Make sure any bed you buy is long enough so your dog can stretch out as the mood takes him.
The only dichotomy I've seen is that some dogs are burrowers and some aren't. If your dog likes to sleep under blankets or rugs, you have a burrower.
Things to consider before buying a bed:
- Memory foam mattresses for older dogs and dogs with arthritis or hip dysplasia
These beds don't put pressure on sensitive joints and conform to your dog's body. The high end manufacturer of Tempur-pedic beds now makes beds for dogs but the smallest size starts at nearly $300. There are less expensive options.
- Removable, machine washable covers
Protect your dog from bacteria and your household from doggy odors by washing these weekly. There are whole beds that are advertised as being machine washable. They are but in my experience do not wear well and certain types can clog your washing machine over time.
Make sure the cover is a fabric that will wear and wash well. Some come treated to repel stains. It's easy today to find washable ones in suede, denim, microfiber fleece, or cotton. Fill them with your favorite stuffing.
If you travel or camp often and take Fido, consider a lightweight bed that will pack easily but still provide comfort to your dog.
You may not want to get your dog a Tempur-Pedic Dog Bed if you can't afford one for yourself! There are still some other good but less expensive choices in memory foam.
We can thank NASA for memory foam and the Tempur-Pedic company for perfecting a manufacturing process that's still the gold standard in memory foam beds.
Memory foam is ideal for older dogs and dogs with hip or joint problems. It cushions joints while providing even body support. These also are easier for older or very small dogs to get in and out of.
If Tempur-Pedic bed prices are out of your range, try a The SymphonyPillow by Tempur-Pedic which makes a fine bed for small and lightweight Toy breeds.
A less expensive line of memory foam beds are made by Simmons under the Comforpedic name. This was a family owned business that mattress giant Simmons acquired.
You can read lots of arguments on the web about which bed is better - Tempur-Pedic or Comforpedic - but the latter one is clearly less expensive. I don't like it as well as Tempur-Pedic, but it's significantly less expensive.
For more information on memory foam dog beds, click here to read my article.
Click here Memory Foam Dog Beds for beds in all price ranges.
Does your dog tunnel under the covers on your or his bed? Some dogs love to sleep with their heads covered. Some owners wonder how they're able to breathe and more than a few people have lost sleep checking on their dogs during the night.
This style, however, makes the dog feel secure so don't fight it. The one in the photograph is a good example of this type although these rarely have removable covers.
Click here for more examples of this type.
In my experience, more small dogs like this type of bed than any other.
If your dog likes to lie on the sofa with his head on the arm, this is his style. These dogs feel secure with the back bolster and the sides help keep out drafts.
Look for one with a cut-down side to make entry and exit easy for dogs with short or old legs.
I prefer the hard plastic style so I can use any type of mattress and replace as necessary. The hard plastic is pee and chew proof, easy to clean and never wears out. I added a Bone Dog pillow for my dog.
The only caution is to not get something too flexible so your dog can't position himself well. Some beds are so soft that a dog is almost sliding down one side or the other and has trouble getting in and out of it.
Click herefor more examples of this style.
If your dog hogs your couch or bed, he may enjoy a large flat bed that lets him spread out. It's so sweet to see a dog sleeping his fore and back legs crossed.
The one shown here also is an orthopedic one that the publication from Tufts University Veterinary School rated highly.
This is not your grandfather's old egg-crate orthopedic mattress. It may not be as soft as you're expecting but most dogs love it.
Might as well get two uses: let him sprawl and help his joints at the same time. Another nice dog in this style is the Dog Whisperer by Cesar Millan Blue Microtec Gel Fill Orthopedic Napper
Add a Bone Dog pillow for extra comfort.
Click here for more choices in this style.
I don't like temperature controlled beds. Small dogs shouldn't be living outdoors or in cold or hot rooms. Thermostats provide the best temperature control for small dogs.
Heated beds run the risk of burning dogs whose senses are dulled by age or illness. If you want to put a heating pad with cover under your aged dog for a while, that's fine. Do watch for skin irritation or redness.
I'm not recommending, however, that you leave a heated pad or heated bed on all night with no supervision.
Cooling beds usually use gel fillers or ice (that's a mess as it melts). They're Ok for short periods. If you live in a hot climate and don't have air conditioning, you and your dog will suffer. Don't kid yourself.
There are products your dog can wear to help keep him cool as he walks outside. I prefer those to the beds.
Of course, not everyone agrees with me. If you want to check these types of beds with reviews from users, click here
Raised beds can be used outdoors as lounge chairs while the family, including Fido, is in the backyard or by the pool.
They keep him off the floor and away from crawling insects and other creatures.
Some people like to use these for their dogs year round indoors. If your dog likes it, it's fine with me.
Cots, however, may be difficult for older, arthritic dogs or dogs with very small legs to navigate.
The one pictured and most others are easy to keep clean - just hose them down periodically.
They're also (usually) easy to disassemble so they're good choices if you take your dog with you on trips especially camping trips.
Click here for more examples.
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