From Elevated to Orthopedic: How to Choose the Best Dog Bed

As a dog owner, it’s important to provide your canine companion with a high-quality bed. From Dachshunds and Chihuahuas to Bullmastiffs and Great Dane, every dog needs a safe, comfortable place to rest. Not all dog beds are made equal, however. So, consider the following tips on choosing the best bed for your four-legged friend.

Aesthetics

Whether placed in your living room, bedroom or elsewhere, a dog bed will become a part of the decor. If it features a color scheme that clashes with the surrounding furnishings, it will negatively affect your home’s decor. Think about where exactly you’ll use the dog bed and choose a style to match the decor. Some of the best dog beds feature stylish colors and designs that correspond with home decor.

Stuffing

Consider the type of stuffing used in the dog bed’s construction. While soft and inexpensive, cotton isn’t the best choice due to its ability to absorb moisture. And once moisture settles inside the bed, it will encourage mold and mildew to form.

Instead of cotton, choose a synthetic stuffing material like polyester fabric. It’s strong, durable, resistant to moisture and hypoallergenic. Alternatively, foam is another excellent choice of stuffing for dog beds. When compared to polyester fabric, foam is actually more supportive than its counterpart, making it an excellent choice for older dogs in need of orthopedic support. You’ll also find that many dog beds have accessible stuffing, meaning you can remove and replace it with your stuffing.

Size

You should also consider size when choosing a dog bed. If it’s too small, your dog may hang off the sides, which isn’t exactly comfortable. If it’s too big, you’ll pay a premium for an oversized bed that offers no benefits over an appropriately sized bed. A good rule of thumb is to choose a bed that’s at least 6 inches longer and wider than your dog. This will allow your dog to comfortably rest without hanging off the edge.

Now, let’s take a closer look at some of the different types of dog beds.

Mattress Dog Beds

Mattress dog beds live up to their namesake by featuring a design similar to that of a mattress. Typically featuring a rectangular shape, they are comfortable, supportive and easy to use. Many mattress dog beds also feature a removable zipper cover. When it gets dirty, you can clean it by removing the stuffing and washing the cover.

Orthopedic Dog Beds

Statistics show that up to 25 percent of all dogs suffer from arthritis. Similar to the arthritis from which we suffer, it’s characterized by joint pain, inflammation and limited mobility. If your dog suffers from arthritis, you should consider buying an orthopedic dog bed. These beds are designed with an emphasis on support, minimizing stress and strain on the dog. Orthopedic dog beds are available in a wide variety of styles and sizes.

Elevated Dog Beds

Not all dog beds sit flush against the floor. Some are raised several inches high. Known as elevated dog beds, they provide several unique benefits over traditional beds. First and foremost, dogs have a natural instinct to survey their surroundings. With an elevated bed, your dog can keep a watchful eye over your home. Secondly, many elevated dog beds are designed with a breathable mesh material. As the air flows through this material, it cools your dog and protects him from overheating. Finally, elevated beds protect dogs from fleas and other insects on the floor.

Nesting Dog Beds

If you have a small dog, perhaps a nesting bed is the right choice. Nesting beds are designed to create a cozy, ultra-comfortable environment for your canine companion. They usually have short walls on the side, with some models also featuring a partial ceiling. Rather than simply lying on a flatbed, for instance, your dog can cuddle inside a partially enclosed bed. Nesting beds such as this offer extra warmth during the cold winter months.

As you can see, there are many types of dog beds from which to choose. Regardless of which type you prefer, it’s important to choose a high-quality bed. While high-quality dog beds cost more than low-quality beds, they will last longer and offer a higher level of comfort and support. With this information in hand, you can begin shopping for the best dog beds.