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How to Choose the Perfect Dog Bed

It's important that your dog is given their own bed, because this will be the place of their own. Learning how to choose the best dog bed for your pup will ensure that you select the type that will be comfortable, durable and a perfect fit specifically for your individual pet.

Picking the Best Dog Bed for Your Pup

Knowing how to choose the perfect dog bed will save you from having to replace worn out beds 2 or 3 times each year. While high quality dog beds are more expensive, they can save you money in the long run. On the other hand, the perfect bed for your pet doesn't have to be an expensive brand, and there are other more important factors to consider.

If you're trying to pick an appropriate bed for your pooch, there are at least six things you need to keep in mind:

  1. What are your dog's length and height measurements?
  2. What style/color bed will match your home's decor?
  3. Where will you be putting the bed?
  4. What material is the bed made of?
  5. Will it be easy to clean?
  6. What type of features does your pet require?

I'll go into all of these things in more detail below. Unless you're on a strict budget, price should not be the biggest factor in your shopping experience. And you can certainly find cheap dog beds for $20 or less that might just be the perfect fit for your pup.

The only reason to buy a more expensive brand is due to their high quality materials, therefore making the bed more durable and increasing longevity. Let's do the math: if you spend $20 every three months to replace a cheap dog bed, you're spending $80 each year. If you could spend $200 on a high quality pet bed with a 10-year warranty (like Big Barker, for example), you're essentially saving about 8 years' worth of spending.

How to Choose the Best Dog Bed

How to Choose the Perfect Dog Bed

If you can bring your dog shopping with you, that's the easiest way to find the right fit. You can give your pup a chance to try out different pet beds, which will also help you choose the right size.

However, most people shop for dog beds online, because prices are generally much cheaper. Consider the below six aspects, and you'll have your pooch relaxing on their new pet bed in no time.

1. What Are Your Dog's Measurements?

As I demonstrate in my video, you'll need to measure your dog before shopping for a new dog bed. Using a fabric tape measure, you need to measure his height and length, which I've demonstrated here.

Let's say your dog is 30″ long. Then you'll need to buy a bed that is at least 36″ long. This will allow your pet enough room to stretch out without falling off the bed.

Also, be sure to measure the dog's height, and purchase a dog bed that is at least the same height as your pet.

If you have multiple dogs, are they going to be sharing the bed? For example, my dogs love to snuggle up together, but not all pets enjoy sharing their sleeping space. If you expect yours to be sharing the bed, then estimate the size of that bed that's needed to hold multiple dogs.

What Style/Color Dog Bed Will Match Your Home's Decor?

2. What Style/Color Bed Will Match Your Home's Decor?

Not the most essential thing, but some pet owners may want to consider it. Maybe you don't want to choose a dog bed that's going to stick out like a sore thumb (or maybe you do). Either way, think about the style of your home and which type of dog bed would look best with the rest of your home decor.

For example, if your home is decorated with neutral colors, you probably wouldn't want a brightly colored dog bed with a bold pattern.

Also, think about the space that you have available around your home. Maybe you've got room for a large elevated bed, or maybe your home is a small apartment and a coffee table with a built-in dog bed would be a better option.

3. Where Will You Place the Dog Bed?

Are you going to be leaving your dog's bed in a stationary place or moving it around your home? My dogs have multiple beds, but we didn't start out that way. We've purchased one dog bed at a time over the years, and before we had multiple beds, we had to move them around.

For example, during the day, my dogs would like to lay in the office with me, so I'd leave the bed in there. On nice summer days, they enjoy laying in the sun on the porch, so I'd have to take the bed outside like this. Having multiple beds has solved this problem.

If you cannot afford to buy multiple dog beds right now, you may need to move your pup's bed around for a while. If that's the case, buy a lightweight bed and the one that is easy to take from room to room by yourself.

If you take your dog traveling in a car frequently, you may want to find a bed that will fit easily in your vehicle, like the Backseat Barker. All of this is to say: think about where and how you'll be using the pet bed before making your purchase.

What Material is the Bed Made Of?

4. What Material is the Bed Made Of?

This is the most difficult part choosing the best dog bed for your pets. This is also the variable that most greatly effects the price of the bed. For example, China-made beds will always be cheaper than USA-made dog beds.

In the video above, I show you an example of a bed stuffed with poly-fill and a bed that is made with orthopedic memory foam. The orthopedic foam bed that my dogs use is from Big Barker, and dog beds like this are designed to support the dog's body while they are sleeping.

I know what you're thinking: “isn't that the point of all dog beds?” Yes, but some dog beds do a much better job of supporting the animal than others. As you can see, dog beds that are filled with poly-fill stuffing become misshapen over time – usually within just a few months – and begin to sag or go flat.

Beds made of higher quality materials, like memory foam, last a lot longer (many for 5 or more years, which is why some manufacturers can offer a 10-year warranty). While these memory foam dog beds are more expensive, they can actually end up saving you money in the long run because you won't have to be replacing cheap dog beds that become misshapen and uncomfortable every few months.

5. How Easy is the Dog Bed to Clean?

You'll need to wash a dog bed now and again, and some beds are easier than others.

Fortunately, it's easy to pick a dog bed that's simple to clean. I recommend to look for a bed with a cover that comes off easily and is machine washable.

Other than regular washes, you never know when you're going to need to clean a dog bed in the event that your pet has an accident or gets sick on his bed. You'll also want to wash the bed covering frequently to prevent odors, keep parasites at bay and remove shed hair.

6. What Type of Features Does Your Pet Require?

The last thing to consider when learning how to choose the perfect dog bed is what features your dog will require. For example, does your pooch like to nest before lying down or prop his head up with a pillow? Does your dog have arthritis, hip dysplasia?

There are pet beds that are shaped like caves that allow your pooch to crawl inside and snuggle under the cover. Maybe your dog just likes to stretch out when he snoozes.

This isn't going to be the bed that you'll be sleeping on, so don't make your selection based on what you think looks cute or comfortable. Take your dog's needs and preferences into consideration when thinking about how to choose the best dog bed for them, and your pet will appreciate it.

READ NEXT: The Best Dog Bed Review

Samantha’s biggest passion in life is spending time with her Boxer dogs. After she rescued her first Boxer in 2004, Samantha fell in love with the breed and has continued to rescue three other Boxers since then. She enjoys hiking and swimming with her Boxers, Maddie and Chloe.