Our furry family members spend even more time sleeping than we do, so it’s equally important they have the right bed as well. They may not be able to try them out and tell us what they think, but here are few things to look for when buying canine bedding.
Quick and easy mats
Help protect your four-legged pal against the hard, cold floor, while keeping some fur off the carpet at the same time. Mats aren’t meant as primary bedding, but they’re great for traveling or when you don’t have your buddy’s bed handy.
Travel mats are compact and easy to carry. Although they only have minimal padding, they can still comfort and protect your dog when traveling.
Gel mats are the ideal cooling mat for hot weather. Many can be carried for on-the-go ease, but keep one on hand at home for the dog days of summer.
Thicker mats made from silicone, shag carpet and synthetic padding can be quite comfortable and make great kennel liners or patio beds.
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Loose-fill doggy beds are popular and essentially giant pillows you could even sew yourself. An extensive range of fillers and fibers are available as stuffing, from cotton, down and polyester — to memory foam, bean-bag-like styrofoam beads, and even cedar chips.
If you buy or make one of these super cushions, be sure you can refill it once the bed loses its loft and needs plumping. Removable slipcovers are a must so you can properly launder the bedding.
Sizing up the situation
1. Getting the right size bed is the most important piece of the puzzle so measure your dog. The length of the bed should be about 20% longer than your buddy. If your dog is 40 inches long, get a bed that’s 48 inches long so he’ll have plenty of room for “down dog” moves and other stretches.
Also measure your pal’s height to be sure the bed is wide enough for him.
2. What kind of material makes the best bed? Like us, some dogs prefer a softer bed while others prefer firm. Since you hold the purse strings, bed longevity counts too. Some cushions lose their fluff after a few months, but long-lasting memory foam beds cost more.
3. Furry feng shui: Where will you put your dog’s bed? Consider if it will remain in one place or be mobile should your pooch like to change his sleeping space.
Consider how it will look in your home. You may not care about interior design accolades, but be sure the style and color of the bed doesn’t offend your décor preferences.
4. Extras! Some dogs like to sleep in smaller enclosures, in which case you’ll want to buy a cavelike container for the bed. If your furry family member suffers from hip dysplasia or other health issues, talk to your veterinarian for recommendations before you purchase your dog’s bed.
Buying your four-legged companion the right bed is just one of the many labors of love you’ll do for your dog. Since he’ll be spending lots of time there, chasing after dream squirrels, you’ll both be glad it’s the right fit.