Ultimate Guide to Choosing a Dog Bed

As a loving and caring dog owner, you want your dog to be comfortable when they sleep in their bed.

But you also want them to sleep in a nice clean dog bed that doesn’t stink of stale dog odors!

Table of Contents

A Dog Bed Buyer’s Guide

So, you want to find a really good quality dog bed, one that is washable or cleanable but also a really comfortable dog bed for your pup to enjoy sleeping in.

This shortlist will give you some of the most important features to bear in mind and take account of as you do your research:

  1. How washable is the bed? We covered this in more detail above, but can you machine wash all/some of it? Can you remove and wash the covers? It is easy to hand wipe? Is it waterproof?
  2. What sizes are available, and do they fit your dog? Yes, this is obvious, but it is important to double-check your dog against the manufacturer’s dimensions.
  3. Does your dog like to stretch out or curl up in a ball? Flat beds are best for stretchers; bagel-style nest beds are great for curlers.
  4. Is the dog’s bed chew-proof? If your dog loves to chew things to bits, this is really important, or you will find yourself buying a dog bed every few months!
  5. How durable and well built are the pet beds you are looking at? Not just for chewing but also if your dog likes to dig, scratch, or drag their beds.
  6. Does the bed come with any warranty or guarantee? Not essential; however, it is great if they do.
  7. Is the bed ok to be used outdoors if needed?
  8. Does the bed fit into dog crates? If you want to use the bed with your dog’s crate, then you need to make sure it will fit ok.
  9. What colors does it come in? Ok, not exactly essential, but if you can get a color that suits your home decor, why wouldn’t you?
  10. Customer Reviews are always useful. It is always worth reading previous customers’ reviews before buying any pet product from a site like Amazon.com. We would say to take them with a pinch of salt, though. Sometimes outraged people write terrible reviews, but then you can see that they just haven’t read the instructions properly when you read others. Or they bought the wrong bed for their pets. So try not to pay too much attention to anyone but instead look at the overall score and then read lots of reviews to get a rough idea of whether it is a good product.

What Do We Mean When We Say Washable Beds?

If you are asking yourself, can I wash my dog’s bed in the washing machine? Then this section is right for you.

Read the pointers of information we have shared below. When looking for the best washable bed for dogs, considering them will help you find the best product for your pet’s needs.

Is the Whole Bed Washing Machine Proof?

This option is rare, but it is ideal, especially if your dog has incontinence issues or their bed gets very dirty and smelly for some other reason.

The best washable dog beds are washing machine-proof. Not only are washing machines much easier than handwashing, but they also tend to do a much better job of getting rid of any unpleasant stains and smells.

So if you can find a washing machine safe pet bed, then you should really consider it.

NOTE – For the very large breeds, the chances are none of the beds you can buy will fit into a domestic-sized washing machine, but you can still give them a good blast with a hosepipe!

Are the Covers Easily Removable?

If the complete bed is not washable, can the covers be easily removed and put back on? If not, we strongly suggest you think twice about the bed unless it is very easy to hand wipe (more on this below).

Removable covers should be detachable with something easy like Velcro or zippers. We also suggest reading some customer reviews to see if they are as easy to wash as the manufacturers claim.

Are the Removable Covers Machine Washable & Can You Machine Dry Them?

If you can remove the dog bed covers, are they machine washable, or do you have to hand wash them? Can you put them in a drier, or do you have to line dry them?

As already mentioned, washing items in a machine is not only a time-saver, but usually, the machines will do a much better job of getting the stubborn stains and smell out.

Are Any Parts of the Bed that Can’t be Washed Waterproof and Easy to Wipe Down?

If the bed can’t be hand or machine-washed, is it really easy to hand wipe down the beds? And are all the fabrics on the bed waterproof so nasty smells don’t become embedded into the bedding material?

Dog beds that are not washable are fine, but they must really be easy to clean by hand; otherwise, they will get filthy and very smelly very quickly.

dog in washable bed

Tips for How to Keep a Dog Bed Clean

Once you have bought your dog a new washable dog bed, how can you keep it clean and fresh with as little hassle as possible?

  • Use lots of washable bedding. This means a lot of dog’s smells, dirt, and any little accidents will be absorbed by the bedding and not the actual bed.
  • Take the dog out for lots of potty breaks and, if possible, give them permanent access to the potty area. The more often your dog can do its potty business, the less likely it is to have accidents or leakages.
  • Regular wiping will reduce the need for deep cleaning. If you give the dog bed a quick wipe over every morning, you will reduce the build-up of dirt and odors.
bed for dogs

How to Clean a Dog bed that Can’t be Washed

If your dog bed can’t be washed in a washing machine or by hand, how can you keep it clean?

Hand Wiping with a Damp Cloth

For any parts of the bed that are not washing machine safe or hand washable, use a damp cloth to wipe down any dirt, stains, or smelly substances.

Frequent Airing to Reduce the Build-Up of Nasty Smells

Taking the foam bed or bedding outside and hanging on the line (ideally on a windy day) will reduce the build-up of stale odors.

Use Baking Soda and a Vacuum Cleaner to Deodorize a Dog Bed

Baking soda has a strong deodorizing effect on fabrics.

Just liberally sprinkle the powder onto any non-washable parts of the bed, leave it for thirty minutes to an hour and then vacuum very thoroughly.

Raised Dog Beds – A Guide for Buyers

When looking for the best elevated dog beds, what are the key features you should consider to help you find a good one?

You want to keep your dog as comfortable and as happy as possible.

What do you need from the best dog cot to make sure it gets the job done? Let’s take a look:

elevated dog bed reviews

Size Matters!

Obviously, you need to buy the right-sized dog bed for your dog, but it might be a little bit more complicated than you think.

With elevated dog beds, there are two dimensions you need to take into account, the size of the frame and the size of the fabric section.

The frame sizes tell you how much floor space the bed will take up, whether it fits in a certain size of dog crate, etc.

The fabric section’s size will tell you how much room the dog will have on the bed to stretch out or curl up.

How Chew-Proof is the Bed, and is this Backed by a Warranty?

If your dog loves to chew random objects into tiny little pieces, you need to consider it.

Buying a bed with a metal framework that also comes with some sort of no-chew guarantee or warranty is probably your best bet.

How Easy is the Elevated Pet Bed to Assemble?

This matters for more than just when you first buy the bed. You might want to take the bed with you when you go to stay with friends or family, or maybe when you take the dog camping.

So being able to dismantle and put it back together easily can be really useful.

How Easy is it to Wash and Wipe?

Is the fabric material removable and machine washable? If not, is it easy to wipe down with a wet cloth?

What is the Frame Made of, and Does it Have Rubber Feet?

A metal frame, either aluminum or powder-coated steel, is the most durable option and will be great for use inside and outside.

PVC/plastic elevated dog beds can also be great but check the weight limit if you have large dogs and think twice if your four-legged friend loves to chew.

What is the Fabric Made Of?

As we have already discussed, one of the main benefits of having a dog bed raised off the floor is increased air circulation.

To really take advantage of this, elevated dog beds should be made from a mesh, breathable fabric.

This will allow for maximum air circulation around the dog’s body.

Is it Safe for Indoor and Outdoor Use?

Can the dog be used outdoor? In hot, cold, or wet conditions?

What are the Benefits of Raised Cot-Style Beds for Dogs?

More Air Flow for Cooling in Hot Weather

One of Kuranda’s main benefits other similar design of elevated bed for your dog is that the increased air circulation effectively keeps the dog cooler in hot weather conditions.

Dogs have a minimal ability to regulate their body temperature, so in hot climates, anything we can do to help them with this is beneficial, especially if you live in an area that gets very hot in Summer.

The Air Flow Also Gives a Reduction in Mold and Mildew

Another great benefit of the increased air movement around the dog’s bed is reducing the build-up of mildew, mold, and other similar nastiness.

Fresh air stops these sorts of things from taking hold, which is important as things like mold can potentially negatively impact the dog’s health.

Disabled Dogs Can Get In and Out of A Raised Bed Much Easier

An older or disabled dog with joint issues such as canine hip dysplasia will find it much easier to get in and out of a raised cot style dog bed than one right down on the floor.

Small lifestyle changes can make a big difference to the quality of life for a disabled pet, and we feel that it is always worth doing if you can afford it.

A Good Quality Elevated Bed Will Support the Dog’s Joints

When dogs have any problems in their joints, they need to have them fully supported and up off the floor when they sleep. This reduces pressure points and pain.

For this reason, a bed with an elevated fabric type of sleeping platform is ideal for your dog if they struggle with joint pain.

You Can Use the Bed in a Variety of Different Places

Good quality raised dog cots are designed and built to be suitable for both indoor and outdoor use.

This means you can take them out in the yard, or camping trips, or to stay at other people’s homes, etc.

What About a Calming Dog Bed?

How can you make sure that you buy the best calming bed for your dog?

What are the most important features that you should be looking out to find a bed your dog loves to sleep in?

  • The best beds for calming a dog are the round bagel style bed. The all-around bolster cushions provide a feeling of security and head support for the dog.
  • What is the bedding cover made of? It is made from something really comfortable like deep faux fur?
  • Obviously, size is important. But these dogs are designed for your dog to curl up into. Please measure your dog when lying in a curled up ball, not when they stretch out. This will help you get a perfect size.
  • What sort of material is the padding made from? Is it memory foam? Recycled fabric?
  • Is the dog bed easy to clean? Is the bed washable, and if so, how? Can you wash the whole bed in a machine? Does it come with a removable cover? Can you machine dry or line dry the bed?
  • Does the pet bed come with a waterproof base to deal with leakages or accidents?
  • Does it come in a nice range of colors? Obviously not your top priority, but if you can get a color that suits your living room or kitchen decor, why not?

Hopefully, by taking into account this list, making sure you get the right size, one that is easy to clean, has some nice thick faux fur, and head and neck support.

You will find a great bed for you and that your dogs love to sleep in.

Do Comfy Calming Beds Work for Dogs with Anxiety?

Yes, they definitely do help. Like we said at the start of this post, being wrapped up nice and snug in a comfy and cozy bed helps humans feel better, and the same is true for dogs.

Obviously, using a calming bed for your dog will not fix all its anxiety issues, but it will give them somewhere that they can feel very safe and secure. A bed that gives them both some physical and emotional support.

This sense of security can really help your anxious dog to feel a bit better every day. They have a haven to retreat to when it all gets a bit too much for them to cope with.

A Bolster Dog Bed Buyers Guide

Dog in a bolster style dog bed

In the world of human beds, bolster beds are a bit old-fashioned and not really very popular.

But in the world of dog beds, they are widespread, and there are lots of good reasons why.

Built-in bolsters are great for dog beds for a few reasons.

They give the dog support to rest their heads or bodies on, and they help the dog feel snug and secure (like the pup is in a little nest).

The bolster walls also give the dog a feeling of den-like snugness and security. This can be good for dogs that suffer from anxiety or for any number of reasons.

So as you look around for the best dog bed for your canine companion, what features are the most important?

Size and Shape of the Bolster Bed

Obviously, it would help if you made sure that the bed you buy your pup will be the right size, but you also need to consider the shape.

Do they love to curl up in a tight little ball when they are asleep? If so, a bagel-style bed would be best for them.

Do they love to support their heads but also stretch out their legs? If so, one of the wider, more rectangular-shaped bolster beds would be better with a pillow along the edges.

Is the Bed Made from Orthopedic Memory Foam (What Does That Even Mean?)

An orthopedic bed is where the memory foam supports the dog’s joints and holds them up off the floor.

These beds with orthopedic foam are great for all dogs but especially important for larger breeds and any dog with joint issues, canine hip dysplasia, injuries, etc.

So when looking at bolster dog beds, we strongly recommended you find one that has orthopedic foam to look after your dog’s joints.

Build Quality and Construction Materials

It is often worth paying a little more money to get a bed that will last much longer, especially for bigger dogs.

Is the memory foam of a high quality so that it won’t flatten after a few months of being slept on?

Is the dog bed cover made from a tough fabric? What is the pillow stuffed with?

Are the manufacturers confident enough in their bolster dog beds to offer them a guarantee of some sort?

Is the Dog Bed Easy to Wash and Clean?

All dog beds get a bit dirty and smell, but some dogs are dirtier than others.

If your dog slobbers and drools a lot if they love playing around in the dirt or having any incontinence issues, then making sure the bed you buy is easy to wash and keep clean is vital.

Can You Buy Replacement Covers?

Sometimes bed covers get chewed by dogs; sometimes they get worn thin, sometimes they fade and lose their colors.

If you can buy replacement covers, you can get more value for money from your best dog bed.

Is the Bed or the Covers Waterproof?

Ideally, the best dog bed will have a water-resistant outer cover, a waterproof inner cover, and a slip-proof base.

This means any leakages that may occur from your dogs do not do any lasting damage to the bed or your home.

Does it have a Non-Slip Base Made of Rubber Backing?

The slip-proof base is great for stopping the dog bed from being dragged or slid across your kitchen floor surface.

Do I Need a Heated Dog Bed?

Using a heated bed or bedding to help a dog with joint problems can really help. The heat relaxes the joints around the joints, which eases the dog’s pain and improves mobility.

Are Heated Dog Beds Safe to Use?

Yes, heated beds for dogs are very safe to use as long as you make sure you buy the best quality beds from reputable manufacturers and then use them carefully, follow the instructions closely.

When looking for a heated bed, keep an eye out for high-quality materials, a chew-proof electric cord with heating elements certified safe to US testing standards, a thermostat to prevent overheating, and waterproof construction.

Do Pet Dogs Like Sleeping in Heated Beds?

Yes is the general answer. Most dogs really love sleeping in a nice warm bed, on a crate pad, or when used in dog houses.

Of course, this is only if the weather is not already sweltering if the dog does not have any conditions that too much heat would exacerbate, but apart from that, most dogs will love it.

In particular, if your dog has hip dysplasia or any other sort of issues that cause pain in their joints (often this occurs with older dogs), then the heat can be really beneficial and therapeutic in terms of both pain reduction and increased mobility.

Another tip for dogs with sore joints is to try to buy them a bed with orthopedic memory foam as it gives them the support they need.

How Can I Make My Dogs Bed Much Warmer for Them?

If you do not want to use an electric heating system for your bed, you could also try adding lots more warming machine washable bedding and blankets.

Also, think about where you put the bed. It might seem to you to be in a good place but actually, be in a really drafty spot. A nice warm, quiet corner of your home would be an ideal spot for it.

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