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How to Choose a Dog Bed Perfect for Your Fido

As you enjoy cuddling on the bed, your pooch might be looking for the same. Dog beds are great for such occasions, but you need to know how to choose a dog bed of good quality and perfect fit for your pet.

You’d be surprised how many different dog bed types there are available for our canines to enjoy today. The most popular types range from indestructible dog beds to orthopedic dog beds to beds for small dogs and large dogs, dog crate beds and simply cheap, affordable dog beds that fit pet parents on a budget.

There are probably just as many different kinds of beds offered to dogs as there are for humans. With so many choices, it’s important to know how to choose a dog bed for your Fido, how measure him and what type of pet bed will work for the breed.

Why should you buy a dog bed?

I’ve been using pet beds for a long time and my dogs love their space and their beds. Here’s a list of reasons why you should buy your dog a pet bed.

Benefits of having your dog sleep on his or her own bed:

  • Insulation. It’s cooler in summer and warmer in winter for the dog.
  • Preventing injuries. Dog beds ensure that your pooch won’t be jumping everywhere and anywhere, potentially opening himself/herself up for different injuries.
  • Security. Dogs love to have their own place and feel safe, secure.
  • Cushioning. Dog beds provide support for your pet’s joints and bones.
  • Controlling hair. Shedding dogs isn’t the best deal, but when they sleep on the bed, in the same place, you know the source of all that dog hair and dander.

THE GUIDE: How to Choose the Perfect Dog Bed and Why It’s Important

How to Choose a Dog Bed for Your Fido

So how do you choose the best pet bed for your dog and how do you know whether your Fido will be comfortable in it?

How to choose a perfect dog bedFirst, create a list of things you’re going to need to do before you make the final purchase. That includes:

  1. Decide on dog bed construction
  2. Decide on dog bed type
  3. Choose your price range
  4. Consider your pet’s breed

In addition, you also need to think about your dog’s sleeping style (how much your dog moves, what positions he/she sleeps in, etc.), your dog’s size and activity level, and of course your home decor – nobody wants an ugly tattered bed in a luxuriously looking living room.

Sometimes, factors such as your dog’s age, current health status, daytime behavior, and breed can also be considered. It all depends on how much research you are prepared to do, so if you wish, you can always put this all into a list and then start coming up with ideas for the best pet bed for your dog based on those criteria.

Now, let’s cover the basics: constructions of dog beds and what goes into them (and the differences), as well as types of dog beds available for purchase. Prepare yourself to be surprised.

EXPERT INTERVIEW: Health Benefits of Dog Beds (Podcast)

Different Constructions of Dog Beds

How your dog’s bed is constructed will determine many things: how comfortable it is, how “orthopedic” and joint-friendly it is, how much your dog is going to like it, how long it will last, when it will flatten (most of them do), and so forth. It’s important to have at least the basic understand of three most popular dog bed fillings:

  • Foam
  • Polyfill
  • Baffled Polyfill

Some beds use only one of the three, others make combinations. True best pet bed for dogs will use a combination of the best materials and even add some additional stuff that we won’t be covering here today.

Remember that if you’re having your dog sleep on your own bed (which you shouldn’t), or if your dog’s bed is raised, elevated or simply somewhere higher off the ground – don’t let them constantly jump on and off it, it’s bad for your pet’s joints. Get a good set of dog steps for bed to ensure that your pooch maintains healthy joints.

Foam dog bed stuffing

Foam is by far the best filling. Dog beds filled with high-quality high-grade foam will provide the most optimal support for your pet as well as perfect level of depth and durability.

There are regular foams, medical-grade, orthopedic foams and so forth, and those can be used in pretty much anything: beds, mats, pads, cuddlers, boxed beds, etc. Foam is definitely the best choice in terms of quality, and is highly advisable for arthritic dogs or aging pets.

Here’s an example of a foam dog bed from Brindle:

BRINDLE Soft Memory Foam Dog Bed

Polyfill dog bed stuffing

Polyfill stands for polyester fiber filling, and this is what they put into certain beds, but mostly mats, pillows, sleeping bags, quilts and similar bed stuff for the purpose of insulation.

This high-loft fibers material today is very often made out of recycled materials which you can re-recycle again, so it’s a “green” choice for all those environment-friendly dog owners. There are higher and lower grade polyfill-stuffed beds, and the price usually reflects that.

Here’s an example of a polyfill dog bed from American Comfort Warehouse:

Extra Stuffed Polyfill Dog Pillow Bed

Baffled Polyfill dog bed stuffing

This is a certain type of polyester fiber filling that deserves its own mention. Dog beds that use isolated or baffled polyfill material for stuffing will often have a pet on raft of interlocking polyfill tubes.

This design of individual chambers will prevent all kinds of shifting and bunching of the internal dog bed materials, and ensure support and comfort for anyone who’s lying on the bed.

Here’s an example of a polyfill dog bed from One for Pets:

One for Pets baffled dog bed

Learn About the Types of Dog Beds

There are primarily six categories from which you can choose your future dog bed:

  • Classic dog beds
  • Bolster dog beds
  • Orthopedic dog beds
  • Dog beds for travel
  • Dog beds for nesting
  • Hammock beds
  • Dog sleeping mats and pads

Most people will usually choose classic dog bed or bolster dog bed, or occasionally, if they feel the need for it and worry about their dog’s health, pet owners might drop a few extra bucks and get a decent orthopedic bed that will take care of your dog’s joints and back.

RELATED: Types of Dog Bedding – Mats, Beds, Pillows and Sofas

Classic dog bed

This is your very basic, regular mattress-type of dog bed that comes in a variety of sizes, designs, colors, shapes, and made out of different kinds of materials, all of which are manufactured to meet certain needs of your dog.

There are expensive ones, very expensive ones (such as luxury dog beds) and more affordable, regular, economical polyfil dog beds and solid support foam models. If you look around, you’ll find chew resistant, waterproof and all kinds of other -proof dog beds.

Here’s a popular classic dog bed from Pet Dreams:

Ultra Soft & Reversible Crate Bedding

Orthopedic dog beds

While slightly more expensive, orthopedic dog beds are worth every penny (if you buy the right one!) These pet beds are built to slow down deterioration of bones and joins in your aging dog by providing the best possible support for their bodies.

Certain types of dog beds, like the Big Barker mentioned below, come with ultra-expensive designs and foams; other orthopedic dog beds will have medical-grade foam alongside box springs. Most veterinarians will recommend one of these 9 times out of 10.

The obvious winner of not only orthopedic dog beds but simply a best pet bed in general is none other than Big Barker 7″ Pillow Top Orthopedic dog bed for larger dog breeds. We’ve previously reviewed the Big Barker and you can read the full review or watch the video below.

FULL BREAKDOWN: Big Barker Dog Bed Review

Bolster dog bed

Most bolster dog beds (or donut dog beds) are used with medium to large, or even extra-large dog breeds. Although, you’ll find plenty of dog owners who love to spoil their smaller canines or even puppies with these beds.

Most of them are low-profile, similar to nesting dog beds, and they come in a variety of different styles: from half-bolsters to a complete 360 degree bolster support, which puppies love. Certain brands will have either removable pillows, or built-in pillow pads. Even I can sleep in one of those!

One of the more popular bolster dog beds is from K&H:

Travel dog bed

Certain best pet bed for dogs can travel with you! These dog bed kits will have everything you need for an easy travel and adventure while also providing your pooch with a great sleeping place.

Car liners, roll-up sleepers, patio dog beds, and even any weather cots: those are different types of dog bedding which you can take advantage of when traveling with your pet. Perfect after a long day’s journey!

My favorite travelling dog bed is the Kurgo Wander Dog:

Nesting dog bed

You don’t necessarily have to buy a new best pet bed for your dog when she is pregnant, but it would be very helpful for your dog and very nice of you. These dog beds for nesting provide your female Fido with certain degree of depth, so that your dog can feel safe, comfortable and secure while sinking deep into a high-walled nest of a bed.

Normally, you’ll see smaller dog breeds using these, but if you look around, you can find something for most medium to large sized dogs.

Here’s a great example of a perfect nesting dog bed from Snoozer:

Hammock dog beds

Hammock style dog beds aren’t best for arthritic dogs, naturally, as they don’t provide the support that foam-based dog beds would. However, these elevated dog beds are very easy to clean and care for, and while a few of them take a little more to set up (for some beds, you need something to attach the hammock to. Other hammock beds come with metal/wood frames setup already), it’s really not that complicated at all.

Most of the best hammock dog beds are designed to use for cars. The material holding your dog is always sturdy and durable, and most hammock dog beds frames will be either wood or metal (occasionally, PVC). It’s great to pick up the dog either off hot or cold floor, but it’s best for warmer climates.

Here’s our review of one of these types of hammock dog beds:

Mats and pads for dogs

Lastly, such things like sleeping mats and pads for you dog also exist if a dog bed is not an option. This is a quick, sure and cheap way to turn your dog’s “corner” into a more comfortable “place” of their own.

Some of those dog mats look really stylish, and usually provide sufficient support for the dog. Some of those are also made with same foam as regular dog beds, but they have less of it stuffed into the pad, ergo, it’s cheaper.

A good example from Comfort Pet:

You’ll need to wash your dog bed

A quick tip here. At this point you already know what construction types of dog beds exist, and what categories you have to choose from. With that being said, I believe one of the utmost important factors about choosing a dog bed is how easy it is to clean it, and even wash the dog bed. Let’s talk about this for a second.

Never buy a bed that you cannot wash (or at least wash its cover).

Dogs are dogs – they get dirty, smelly, bring bacteria, fleas and other nasty stuff that you don’t want around your house. Dog beds must be washed, and with some, all you’ll ever need to wash is the dog bed cover. How often? I would say at least twice a month would be a good. The very lazy ones wash it monthly, but your dog must really be a princess of cleanliness.

If you have any more tips on how to choose the best pet bed for your dog, let me know in the comments below and I’ll be sure to add your advice to the article for others to read!

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