It can seem like a very pointless or irrelevant thing, but since dogs sleep for longer than you, why shouldn’t they have a good bed to sleep on?
Particularly since it will improve their daily life, save you money (potential vet bills) and have them live longer?
What is the best dog bed?
A very expensive one, or a few rags in the corner? Is there a single answer? No.
Firstly the question should be answered as to why dogs might need a bed. After all aren’t they a wild creature that would be better off living out doors? Well if you have a wild dog from Africa, and you live in Africa, maybe. But we have socialised dogs, changed their external appearance dramatically and mostly have very hard surfaces in our houses for which they try and find places to sleep.
If your dog doesn’t like its bed, and sleeps a lot of the time on the hard floors you may be up for very expensive hip and elbow operations for it in the future.
Dogs and lounges
Dogs will jump on a lounge for many reasons. One reason is that it is a place that you occupy and if they are on that level, they are equal and challenging for the pack leader role. It is also elevated so they can see things sneaking up on them, and it has your smell that comforts them, and it is a lot more comfortable than a hard floor (carpet or no carpet).
In the wild, dogs have a lot of options of where to rest. If they are in a grassy area, they will turn around in many circles and flatten the grass. But the grass that remains has a lot of cushioning.
If your house has many hard surfaces, sure your dog will lie in many different locations directly on the floor (particularly in a hot summer) but they also enjoy the option of a soft supported dog bed surface to fully stretch out on.
Some dogs enjoy the new elevated beds like the trampoline style. These are a half way solution to them being on an elevated lounge, and in summer they can pick up cool breezes under them. But in winter they usually need a warmer dog bed placed on top of them.
What dimensions dog beds are best?
One of the secrets of dog beds is that they have to be large enough for your dog to stretch out on fully. If a dog cant comfortably fit stretched out on a bed, they won’t fully engage in their much needed REM sleep, and so will have worse health for it. A human who is not permitted to fall into deep REM sleep will soon become crazy, the same goes for a dog.
There are such things as summer beds/ winter beds, night/day beds. But most people don’t want to have too many beds in their house, so they compromise.
Sometimes you will buy a dog bed, a very expensive one and the dog won’t sit on it let alone lie on it. Somehow the texture, smell, any number of things is wrong. Perhaps it is just new and they are not used to it, so you need to play with them on it, and feed them treats until they become focussed on something else.
A lot of dogs enjoy an edge to their bed, so that they can rest their head on it, or they can have their back against something.
The truth is that there is no universal perfect dog bed, but the things I have mentioned above should come into your mind when shopping for beds. If you can bring your dog along to a store and find something that seems to have good support, is well made, is washable, and your dog likes it, you may have found a good start.
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