Pet Parenting 101: The perfect dog bed — does it exist?

Pet Parenting 101: The perfect dog bed — does it exist?

Being a new pet parent, I’m always on edge when my 5-month-old pitador — or labrabull as my boyfriend prefers to say — is sleeping.

Among the helicopter pet mom questions rumbling through my head: Is it weird that her left paw flinches every once in a while? Should I be worried about her heavy snoring? Is she too cold? Or even more scary, is she too hot?

I’m waiting — praying, really — for the night my maternal instincts shutdown, and I can get a good nights sleep resting in the acceptance that dogs…well, dogs can sometimes be just plain strange.

However, like humans, restful sleep is important to a dog’s overall health, and investing dedicated research into finding the best bed for your pup isn’t obsessive pet parenting. It’s dog gone good dog ownership!

When you’re on-the-go, or simply want to keep clean

Mats are a great form of wash-and-wear bedding for dogs lucky enough to travel with their owners. While this form of bedding offers only a small amount of protection from hard surfaces such as tile flooring or crate bottoms, it can do wonders in saving your upholstery and bedding from damage.

On the flip side, mats can also be used between pet bed washing, allowing for frequent change-outs if your dog suffers from allergies or an approach to pest control.

Hammock-type beds are a second great solution for easy care and easy clean.

These elevated beds are commonly used in shelters and boarding kennels (including those at Camp Bow Wow) because lifts our sweet pups off the cold, hard floor. While this style of bed doesn’t offer much padding, it is highly durable and will last for years. It works great for dogs living in warmer climates and young dogs who are more comfortable off the floor.

When you’re trying to get your dog just a little bit more comfortable

Loose-fill beds are soft, comfy pillow-style beds that need more attention than other types because the fillers my bunch up or break down over time, especially if you opt for the more “cost-effective” brands. These beds are most often filled with polyester fiber but are also available in cotton batting (including organic), foam beads (think bean-bag chair) or even shredded cedar. Washing these style beds are little difficult to clean because it often expedites the clumping and deterioration of the filling material — making the bed lumpy. One trick to possibly avoid lumpiness is to purchase additional filler online or from a local craft store that can be use to “refill” the bed. If you can, try to get a bed with inner baffles that will hep prevent clumping as well. This style is great for more seasoned dogs!

Foam- and mattress-style beds sturdy resting options that can get pricey if you let’em. This style of bed is easy to find at large pet retailers, and are great for large dogs! Or if you’re looking to invest in a memory foam bed, it great for older dogs with orthopedic needs.But beware! The biggest concern about any foam bedding is the presence of potentially harmful chemicals, especially because dogs clock in a lot of time sleeping.

This style of bed is also a great choice for short-haired or dogs with thin body types who may need something that will help maintain the dog’s body heat.

 

Of course, at the end of the day my pitador seems to prefer the coolest spot on our living room carpet at least six out of seven nights a week. So be sure to consider your dogs needs — is your dog older and in need of orthopedic support? Is your do allergic to any fabrics? Etc.

Do you dig it?

Have you found your dog’s dream bed? We want to hear about your dog bed shopping experience. Share your story with us in the comment section below or on Facebook.

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