Dogs like to sleep a lot, so they need a good and comfortable bed to ensure they get the rest they need after an active day. This is where dog owners need to give some thought to how they can provide a quiet and comfortable environment for their dog to rest in. Browse the best selling dog beds and baskets below and find out how to choose the right dog bed for your pooch.

Important factors when choosing a dog bed

There is a huge choice of dog beds available. To help you decide there are several things to factor into your decision such as:

  • the age of your dog;
  • what the physical condition of your dog is;
  • they way your dog likes to sleep (stretched out, curled up, on their belly);
  • lifestyle; &
  • any individual needs the dog has.

Choosing the right dog bed or basket size & shape

Considering how much a dog can move while they sleep, it is important to buy a bed that is the right size for your dog and its size.
A bed may seem big enough while the dog sleeps in a curled-up position but becomes too small when the dog stretches out.

The bed you choose must have enough room for the dog to lie comfortably in, no matter what their position.

What types of dog beds are available?

There are many different types of dog beds available in a variety of shapes and sizes that include round, square or oval. Beds can also be mattresses, mats, baskets or boxes.

You need to choose one that meets your dog's needs and requirements. To do this you'll have to consider your dog's:

  • age;
  • size;
  • sleeping habits; &
  • temperament.

A bed should be the right size, provide warmth, comfort, and protection from draughts.

Round and oval dog beds

Round or oval beds are suited to dogs that like to curl up while sleeping. These beds can be purchased with or without bolsters. A bed without bolsters gives a dog greater freedom of movement compared to one with bolsters.

An example of round and oval beds are nest beds. This type of bed is also referred to as a 'doughnut' (donut) or 'bagel' bed and are either round or oval. Nest beds are suited to dogs who like to circle before settling down.

Rectangular and square dog beds

Rectangular or square beds are better suited to dogs that stretch out while sleeping. A rectangular bed is particularly good for older dogs, as it provides extra space at a time when they aren't as flexible.

Rectangular beds come in the following options:

  • Mats or Pads
    This type of bed is affordable and is suitable for dogs that are not very heavy. They are thick enough to be comfortable, yet light so can be moved around easily. People often use mats and pads inside a kennel as they don't take up much room, so the dog still has enough space and comfort to relax in.
  • Mattress-style dog beds
    As the name suggests, mattress-style dog beds are quite cumbersome in that they are thick and heavy. If this style of bed is the one you are looking to purchase, find out which materials it is made from and what if offers.
  • Pillow beds
    These beds are suited to dogs who like to sleep in different positions, curled-up or stretched out, so gives them the space to move.

Bear in mind that a different type of bed may be required when the weather becomes hot to ensure your dog stays cool.

Types of Dog Beds

What to look for when buying a dog bed?

Materials: Whichever type of dog bed you are thinking of buying make sure it is made of materials that are non-poisonous or irritating to your dog. This is especially the case if your dog has sensitive skin, suffers from allergies or likes to chew their bed.

Cleanliness: Keeping a dog bed clean is super important. If the bed is for a small dog, make sure the bed is machine washable. For large dogs, make sure the covers, at least, are washable. The bed you choose should also be easy to clean and wash.

Construction: The bed should be sturdy in its construction with enough padding for the dog to be comfortable.

A sturdy construction is is useful if your dog likes to chew things. The bed you buy shouldn't have any parts that can be chewed and eaten. Things to look out for are zips, buttons or piping as these are dangerous if swallowed.

Size: A dog bed should be large enough for your dog to be able to fully stretch itself and lie comfortably in it, in any position.

Waterproof: Many dog beds come with waterproof covers which is useful if your dog likes getting wet. A dog bed for outdoor use will need to be more robust than one purely for indoor use. A bed to be used in these situations will need to be waterproof or water resistant to stop it from becoming damp.

Cost: Dogs like to sleep, in general, and they sleep a lot. Therefore, it is not worth skimping on the cost of a bed for your dog. Chances are you won't save money with a cheaper bed as you will probably have to replace it. A quality dog bed not only stands the test of time, it will also provide better comfort and support for your dog compared to a cheaper alternative, leading to a happy dog.

Where should a dog's bed be positioned?

This really depends on the type of dwelling you live in and how much space you have. However, a bed should generally be placed where it is warm and free of drafts. Sometimes the dog will find their own spot so it may be worth placing it there, for example in front of a radiator. Otherwise, you can put one bed in a quiet location in the house and another in the family room so even though the dog is resting, they are still in the family's company.

Dog beds for specific needs (e.g. orthopaedic)

A dog can sometimes have specific needs that need to be addressed especially when choosing the right type of bed for them. As a dog gets older, they are prone to joint problems and aches and pains. In this case the dog may require an orthopaedic or memory foam bed as this will help the dog get in and out.

Dogs that have a nervous disposition or are shy may prefer an igloo type of bed, which allows them to retreat into it if they feel a little overwhelmed.

If you have more than one dog, you ideally need one bed per dog. However, some dogs do like cuddling each other. If your dogs do this consider buying a larger bed that is comfortable for both dogs to share.

Should a sleeping dog be disturbed?

No one likes their sleep to be disturbed. To have a happy dog it is important to leave your dog alone if they are resting or sleeping.

Ensure family members, especially children, are aware of not disturbing the dog when they are in their bed. This is as much for a child's safety as the dog's well-being.