Happy New Year from HoundAbout. As we kick off 2018 we begin by getting back to basics. We are reviewing and listing the top 10 types of products we actually use EVERY DAY with our dogs. For every item there are dozens, if not hundreds of variations of sizes, colors, shapes, fabrics and features. We do share our personal experience with some of them in our review section, but these posts are intended to help you choose what is best for you and your pup.
We started our list with Dog Beds since this is where we find our dogs first thing in the morning and where we see them last thing at night. If you buy a good bed it should last you for years, quite likely the lifetime of your dog. In fact, two of the beds our dogs now use were passed down from our previous pup.
We don’t consider a good dog bed a luxury but rather a necessity. It is good for both your dog’s physical and mental health. A comfortable and supportive place to rest and a spot to call their own is important for a dog. They’ll likely want to be near you but out of the way as well as have good sightlines through the house, out the window, etc.
Size and Shape are usually the first things to consider. Like human beds, most dog beds are rectangular so the dog can stretch out while also minimizing the overall footprint of the bed. Circle beds are also popular, but in our opinion best reserved for either small dogs or those with a lot of space for a larger dog. Circle dog beds require a much larger overall space to make sure it is long enough in all directions.
Fabric and Colors. Durable fabrics to withstand the wear and tear of regular use, including chewing, scratching, etc are the most popular. This doesn’t mean they have to be rough and not soft or smooth. Multi-colors and patterns do well to help hide dirt and stains.
Padding and Filling. Your two basic options are either loose and fluffy filling like you might find in a feather pillow, or more solid and firm like a foam mattress. We have both types and found the firmer foam-padding ones were best for use in the kennels as they lie flat and don’t bunch, etc. Outside their kennels they have larger, fluffier beds to use. If we were starting over and buying only one type we prefer the firmer, mattress-like beds for a couple of reasons. One, is they don’t bunch or unevenly gather their filling leading to a lumpy bed with both high and low spots. Two, they are just easier to handle since they stay rigid when picked up and are quite a bit lighter than the dog beds with the loose filling.
Bolsters or Covers. For dogs who like to burrow under blankets consider a dog bed with a built-in cover. This allows them to get in and get under wraps, and since it is attached it doesn’t end up on the floor, or twisted in a ball, etc. Bolsters, the raised side padding you’ll see on some beds, is also a nice feature for most dogs. The ability to surround themselves with extra padding will help cut down on any drafts and give them a sense of security. It may be best to get one with bolsters on only 2 or 3 sides if your dog also likes to stretch themselves out over their bed and spill onto the floor.
And finally, perhaps the most important consideration, is to make sure the bed has a removable cover for washing. Zippers are the best, and ideally it is covered or concealed to protect your pup in case it gets too hot or too cold. Buttons are a choking hazard and Velcro will only get clogged with dog hair, etc.
So whatever type of dog bed you choose, just make sure your dog has at least one and is in a place that gives them their own private corner, but likely in an area that keeps them close to the family.