If your dog needs a place to sleep, you should look into getting a dog bed. There are all kinds of brands on the market these days, ranging from fancy to functional.
The times of throwing down a dirty old towel are over – there are enough diverse products that you can treat your dog’s bed as a piece of furniture to enhance your house, rather than hiding it in a corner in the garage.
This guide will give you some useful tips on the best beds for dogs, how to make sure it’s something your dog will like, and how to decide exactly what kind of dog beds you’ll be needing.
Designer Dog Beds
One option, if you’re concerned about having something that looks good, is to go with designer dog beds. Some people may be shocked to hear that these even exist – but this isn’t just some vanity item for hard-core pet owners. You don’t have to want to spoil your pet to get a good looking dog bed – many people get them simply because it often will have to be out in an area where guests will come through. If you’re planning on letting your dog sleep in the living room, this is a must – you don’t want something that looks junky or dirty. Even if your dog is sleeping in your bedroom, you still will want the place to look nice for yourself. So it’s actually not a bad idea to look at buying a dog bed the same way you would buying a chair or a sofa – you wouldn’t go spend ten bucks on one if you were going to actually use it. You’d get something that fits well with your house and with the decorating style you are using in the room. The same should apply to what is essentially a piece of furniture for animals.
What are your options For Designer Dog Beds?
You’d be surprised. You’ll have a lot more items to choose from than you think. Here are a couple to think about:
Getting a “pillow” style bed
Many designer dog beds are essentially just pillows that look nice and are designed for an animal to be comfortable on. This has the benefit that you can move it out of the room if you’re having guests over, but if you forget, it usually won’t look that bad if you’ve gotten something you like (and if you make sure to clean it often). It’s somewhat cheaper to go this way.
Getting actual furniture
There are a number of different designer dog beds that are basically little pieces of furniture. Some are similar to cots – they keep the dog above the floor so it doesn’t get too cold, but a lot of times these don’t look as good. You can get a “lounger” which is a circular piece of furniture that holds the pillow inside it. Some of these are actually very nice looking – there are junky plastic ones at the low end, but higher end ones are wicker baskets that can look very good with your other furniture if you match it right.
Getting a bolster bed
A bolster dog bed is basically a cushion with a raised part along the sides for the dog to rest its head. They usually look like a mix between real furniture and a pillow, but they aren’t that bad looking in many cases.
Orthopedic Dog Beds
If you’ve got an older pet, or even if you just want to stave off problems in the future, you should take a look at orthopedic dog beds.
Dogs have surprisingly common problems in their joints and spines when they get older – the reason is that many dogs just sleep on the floor. This is especially bad if your dog is regularly sleeping on a harder surface such as tile or wood.
It’s just not natural for a creature to be doing this – in the wild, your dog would be out on the grass somewhere. On a hard, artificial surface, there is no cushioning for your dog’s bones or joints – after eight or nine years of sleeping on a floor, in many cases there are painful joint injuries caused by the pressure that is placed every night on the dog in places that weren’t designed to handle it.
Orthopedic dog beds largely get rid of these problems. If your dog has already developed joint problems, you can still relieve the pain by getting them a bed that is designed to reduce these pressures.
Most use foam or other material that will easily adjust to the size and position of your dog, unlike the floor. This will keep pressure from building on the dog – it won’t get rid of the joint problems, but the biggest pains will usually come whenever the dog is sleeping on the floor and getting the same pressure on its bones that caused the problem in the first place.
You can even get versions that are designed to easily go up on your bed as well – they aren’t very thick (a couple of inches) and they can still give your dog relief. If you’ve got a younger animal, you can still use orthopedic dog beds – they’ll prevent the pressure from ever occurring. The main thing with a younger dog is to keep it from spending long periods sleeping on the floor – even carpeted surfaces don’t really provide the kind of cushion that they need.
Iron Dog Beds
One of the best looking places you can get for your dog to sleep are iron dog beds – essentially a wrought iron structure to hold the cushion in for the dog. These look much nicer to most people than a regular dog bed because they look a lot like something you’d just get for your house.
They go really great next to a fireplace – it fits in well with the pokers and other metal things you’ve got up there. They look a lot like sleigh beds usually – upward curves on either end, with legs that hold your dog up off the floor so he’s not sleeping in the cold.
The best part about this kind of bed is that you can put pretty much any pillow you want on it – it helps a lot with trying to match the bed to your other furniture. Most other versions only come in one or two colors, and it’s hard to find one that fits your scheme. With iron dog beds, you can just buy the frame and get another pillow somewhere else that will go with your stuff.
Besides the fireplace, another good place to put them is on either side of a couch or chair. It lets you sit there and still be able to reach over and pet your dog while he’s sleeping next to you, and it looks like it goes there in most cases. Iron dog beds fit very well with a lot of different kinds of furniture – the color is usually black, which will pretty much go with anything as long as you get a pillow that does as well.