How to Choose the Right Dog Bed

Choosing a dog bed can be a daunting task – there are so many options

By Kristina N. Lotz, CPDT-KA | Posted: November 3, 2014, 12 p.m. PST

It’s easy to want to choose based on color, or price, but these factors should actually be the last ones you consider.

Instead, you want to think about your dog’s preferences (after all, you want your dog to use his new bed) and his health. Then, you should consider the bed’s benefits: durability, safety, and health.

1. Dog’s Preferences

How does your dog sleep?

  • Stretched out flat on his side
  • Curled into a ball
  • Curled with his head resting on something like a pillow
  • Stretched out flat with his head resting on something like a pillow

The answer to this question will give you what shape of dog bed you should get – a flat rectangle, a round donut-type, a round donut-type with bumpers, or a flat rectangle with bumpers.


Dog Bedzz is HR


Does he prefer cold, hard surfaces or something soft (like your couch or bed?)

If he likes the cold, hard surfaces, a bed that cools or has a slicker material on it would a good choices. Also, raised beds that allow air to flow are great for cooling down.

For dogs that like to be on soft, warm surfaces, chose a faux-fur, flannel, or fleece material.

2. Dog’s Health

Consider your dog’s health and conditions next. If your dog has joint issues like dysplasia or arthritis, you are going to want to buy an orthopedic bed to help ease pain. A heated bed can add extra comfort.

Older dogs in general, even if they don’t have joint pain, will prefer thicker beds with more support. Also, be aware of "ease of entry” do not get a high bed they have to climb into. A flat bed or a round bed with a low opening is best. Doctors Foster & Smith® has some great choices for orthopedic, easy to get onto dog beds that also absorb odors.


Dr. Foster and Smith


"Bony” dogs like Italian Greyhounds and some Chihuahuas have problems with hair rubbing off from lying on hard or rough surfaces. For these dogs, make sure they have a soft bed with a thick cushion and nothing hard that would cause the bed to be uncomfortable.

3. Bed’s durability
None of us have money to burn, so obviously we want dog beds that last. Consider your dog’s habits when choosing her bed, as well as location of the bed.

  • Chew on her beds and blankets?
  • Does she have accidents on them?
  • Is your dog outside getting dirty and then lying on her bed?
  • Is your dog a "princess” who never really leaves the house except to potty?
  • Is your bed outside?

If your dog chews on her bed, obviously you are going to want one that is durable. GoDog® dog beds are have chew-guard technology and are guaranteed, making them a great a choice. West Paw Design® also has a guarantee that covers chewed beds and they have some great eco-friendly options.


Westpaw Eco Drop with Hemp Bed


Another thing to consider is how "dirty” your dog is. If you live on property and your dog is frequently a mud ball who then rolls around on his bed, you want an easy to clean option. Beds that have a removable cover are a must in these situations. For example, the Sealy dog bed has a waterproof liner, protecting the inside of the bed and a removable cover, making it easy to clean. these are good options if your dog bed is outside as well.

Max Dog Bed Medium with Dog


However, if your princess is not a chewer, and rarely dirty, you may not have to worry about these options as much when choosing a bed.

4. Health and Safety
As strange as it may sound, your dog’s bed can affect their health. They can become a breeding ground for parasites, germs, and insects like fleas that will plague your dog.

Look for beds with:

  • Anti-microbial/bacterial technology
  • Odor control
  • Stain-resistant
  • Waterproof
  • Washable

As mentioned above, how easy it is to clean the dog bed will also help with keeping your dog healthy. You should wash your dog’s bed at least once a week (more often if they are an outside dog) to get rid of anything that might be trying to grow in or on it. So look for machine washable beds with removable covers. Even better are beds where the inside is also washable (but those are hard to find!). The K9 Ballistics TUFF BED™ series have it all: resistant to chewing, scratching, water, dirt, mold, mildew, hair, odor; hypoallergenic materials; chew-proof guarantee; indoor/outdoor use; machine washable; and it come is a variety of types for every kind of sleeper.


K-9 Ballistics Tuff Round Cover Green Embroidered


What kind of bed does your dog have? Tell us in the comments below.

Choosing the Best Products for Your Dog




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