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How to choose a dog bed

How to choose a dog bed

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When it comes to choosing the best bed for dogs, there are a few different things to think about based on the wants and needs of your pup. To make selecting your dog’s bed a little simpler, we’ve written an article on the main things to consider when choosing a dog bed.

Beds for senior dogs

Unfortunately, senior dogs are more likely to develop health problems – particularly conditions such as arthritis which can cause joints to become stiff and sore, impacting general mobility. Because of this, when caring for an old dog, it’s important to consider what type of bed you provide.

Heavily cushioned beds can be tricky for older dogs to manoeuvre

Contrary to popular belief, heavily padded beds often aren’t the best option for elderly dogs. This is because beds that are very cushioned can be tricky for old, stiff dogs to get in and out of. It may be a better option to look for a foam, mattress-shaped bed with no sides, as this will be comfy for your pet to lie on but will also be easy for them to climb on or off. You can also make cross-shaped cuts in your mattress bed at the points where your dog tends to place their elbows and knees, as this will provide extra comfort and stability for sore joints.

It’s also important you place your dog’s bed away from draughts as older dogs tend to get cold more easily, and you can also provide them with nice cosy blankets and towels, in case they get chilly. However, elderly dogs can also overheat more easily, so make sure you always keep an eye on them!

And, for those elderly dogs who are more prone to accidents, it may also be worth thinking about getting an easily washable bed, and it’s a good idea to consider getting at least two beds to allow for rotation while one is in the wash!

Beds for puppies

When choosing a dog bed for puppies try to select a bed that’s an appropriate size for your puppy, as you want them to feel happy and secure (and you can ask your local pet store for further advice on this). Also, think about how high the walls of the bed are as, while you want your pup to feel safe and settled, you also don’t want the walls to be too high for them to climb over.

As with older dogs, puppies are also vulnerable to temperature fluctuations. To help to keep pups warm, you can place their beds away from draughts and provide them with soft, warm blankets and pillows. And it’s important to ensure you always keep an eye on your puppy when they are wrapped up (especially when they are very small) as these young animals can also overheat easily.

Also, bear in mind that puppies generally tend to get very muddy when playing outside during wet weather. Because of this, it’s again worth selecting a bed that is easy to wash or comes with a washable dog bed cover.

Winter beds

As temperatures drop, your pup will want a bed that they can snuggle up in! Because of this, a comfy, well-padded and cosy bed is often suitable for keeping them nice and toasty (though you may need to modify your choice if your dog is elderly or has any underlying health conditions). It’s also worth considering a bed made from a soft, insulating material or with a fleece lining, and there are even igloo beds available for smaller pups. It’s also a good idea to provide your pup with lots of soft blankets in case they need a bit of extra warmth.

There are also self-heated beds made specifically for dogs that help to keep your pup at a nice warm temperature – although it is advisable to monitor your dog when using these beds as you don’t want them to get too hot.

Summer beds

Beds with lower or no sides tend to be better ventilated during the summer months. It also helps to select a bed made of materials that are breathable and not particularly insulated – for example, those made from foam can be a good choice.

There are also “cooling beds” available that contain specialised gels to help keep your pup cool.

Mucky pups

Finally, for those pups that are particularly messy or active, it’s worth providing a bed with an easy-to-clean cover, especially when the weather is wet and cold. And don’t forget to give your dog a good old wipe down before they climb into their bed – as they will become very uncomfortable if they lie down with wet, cold fur.

For those pups who like to lie down after their regular muddy walks, it may be worth getting an additional waterproof bed that can easily be wiped down; however, this should not replace their main bed, as waterproof fabrics generally aren’t too comfortable to snuggle up in.

That concludes our guide to finding the perfect dog bed! There are loads of different dog beds available in a wide range of different shapes, colours, fabrics and styles but, when purchasing a bed, always consider whether the bed you’ve chosen will meet the specific needs of your pet, so they can literally sleep like a dog!

Want more advice on looking after your pup? Check out the dog advice section on our website.

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