Although easily overlooked, dog beds play a vital role in the health and happiness of your dog. They give you dog a sense of security by providing him with his own private space. They provide cushioning for old dogs and dogs with joint problems. They help insulate your dog, keeping him off hot or cold floors depending on the season. Additionally, dogs that lie on hard surfaces on a constant basis can develop calluses or sores or areas that regularly contact the floor. Beds are especially important to outside dogs, as they help to keep them warm and protect them from wet or snowy surfaces.
There are six general styles of dog beds and three types of filling. Dog beds styles consist of traditional mattress style, bolster, nesting, orthopedic, mat or pad, and
outdoor. Fillings are generally polyfil, foam, a combination of the two, or box-spring. Just as people have different preferences for their mattresses; dogs have preferences for their bed styles.
Traditional mattress style beds are generally filled with either polyfil or foam. They come in a variety of different shapes, sizes, and coverings ranging from small round beds to larger heavy duty beds for dogs that tend to chew to waterproof coverings for outside dogs. They often have removable covers for easy cleaning.
Bolster beds usually consist of a mattress style bed with a thick bolster either around the entire edge of the bed or on just two sides. These are great choices for larger dogs that like to stretch out but still want a pillow for their heads.
Nesting beds are an ideal choice for dogs that like to snuggle or cuddle. This type of bed generally consists of either an overstuffed ball or a round bed with walls, both of which securely cradle your dog. This style is a favorite of many smaller breed dogs.
Orthopedic beds are designed to help protect the sore joints of your older or arthritic pet. Additionally, many orthopedic beds are heated, which can provide a welcome sense of relief when winter causes your dog’s already sore joints to ache even more. These beds are usually made from either heavy duty orthopedic foam or utilize a box-spring style construction. They come in many different shapes, ranging from bolsters to nests to mattress styles.
Mats & Pads are an ideal option to place in crates and also work well for the dog that prefers a slightly more cushioned bed than the traditional mattress style. These are usually filled with foam and come in a variety of coverings.
Outdoor beds come in a variety of styles and designs. These beds are usually made from higher denier nylon than indoor beds, so that they can withstand outdoor weather conditions. Many are also treated so that their surfaces are water resistant.
When selecting a bed, you should first pay attention to your dog’s sleeping style. For instance, does your dog sleep curled up in a ball or does he sleep stretched out? Does he like his head level with his body or does he prefer to have something to rest his head on like a toy of pillow? Do you have an older pet that needs an orthopedic style bed or an outdoor dog that would benefit from a thermal core bed? Figuring out the answers to these questions will help you select the best bed for your dog.