There are three important factors to consider when selecting a dog bed:
Your dog's bed must be large enough and durable enough to match your dog's breed but not so large that you waste money on unused bed space. Carefully measuring your dog will help you to find the right fit.
When your dog is standing up, measure from tip of nose to base of tail and also from floor to shoulders or head. Add 12 inches if you are planning on purchasing a mattress dog bed. This will give you an approximate width and length for a flat dog bed. Then again measure your dog in his favorite sleeping position. If he likes to stretch out when sleeping, measure his length. If he likes to curl up into a ball, measure his diameter. If planning on purchasing a nest and ball-type dog bed, measure the length of your dog while he is curled up, measuring from the top of his head to the point where his tail meets his hindquarters, and then add 7 to 9 inches.
The correct size dog bed will match or be slightly larger than your measurements. If your dog's bed is too small, he may not be comfortable on it. If your dog is still growing, be sure to allow room for growth, and also allow room for movement, regardless of whether your dog is still growing or if he's already at his adult size.
2. Climate and local weather
How and where will your dog bed be used? Do you want it to provide warmth in the winter or air circulation in the summer? Will it be located outside in a dog house, on a front porch, in an indoor crate or kennel or in an open area in your house? If using it outside, what are the seasonal temperature ranges where you live? You will need to select a dog bed that will withstand all elements of nature.
3. Shape and style
You can determine the shape and style of your dog's bed by the size and sleeping habits of your dog. Observe his favorite sleeping positions and locations. Do you find your dog sleeping in a sunny spot in the morning and by the bed in the evening? You may want to choose a dog bed that you can easily move around the house and that fits the decor in several rooms. Purchase a dog bed that matches the room where your dog spends the most time sleeping. This is usually wherever the family spends the most time.
If you find yourself constantly washing your dog’s bed or you travel a lot with your dog or you need a cushion for a crate or kennel, consider a flat dog mat. These come in a variety of standard sizes, fabric choices and colors and have padding sewn inside. Flat dog mats can usually be easily cleaned by throwing them into the washer and dryer.
On the other hand, if your dog enjoys or needs a little extra cushion and you have a designated space for his bed, consider purchasing a pillow dog bed. These dog beds take a little more consideration to choose and have involve a little more maintenance, but they are well worth it for the additional comfort and support they provide, especially if your dog has arthritis or an orthopedic problem of some kind. For this type of bed, you will have to consider how large your dog will grow, if he is not yet full grown. Something else to think about is whether more than one dog will end up using the same dog bed.
Finally, pay attention to your dog’s sleeping habits before you choose your dog’s bed. Does he like to curl up in a ball or spread out? Does he like to sleep by himself, tucked away in a corner or does he plop down in the middle of a room? Does he look for the most comfortable cushion he can find or does he just flop down anywhere, even on a hardwood floor?
You can find a dog bed for any personality sleeper, from high-quality flat dog mats to cushy and luxurious pillow dog beds. Dog beds come in all sizes - for miniature toy breeds, small dogs and puppies, medium-sized dogs and large dogs. There are many colors, patterns, styles and fabric choices to choose from, and now some dog bed manufacturers offer eco-friendly dog beds that are made from recycled or organic materials for the dog who wants to "go green."
Whatever dog bed you choose, consider purchasing a high-quality and durable dog bed that will save you money over the long term and will give your dog a comfortable place to get a good night's rest.
About the Author
Anita Funkhouser is the owner of GoGreenDogBeds.com, offering high-quality, eco-friendly dog beds, toys and sweaters made in the USA from recycled soda bottles, and GoGreenDogBeds.com Blog, a blog about tips on dog care, dog product information, dog training ideas and more.
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