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How to choose a dog bed for your pooch

Whether your furry friend needs a new place to sleep or you’re planning to bring home a new pal, a comfortable bed is a must. You tried out tons of mattresses to find yourself the best one. Don’t skimp out on doing the same for your dog.

If you’ve never had a pupper before, we are here for you. If you got a crummy bed last time, we are here for you. If your dog hogs your bed because he has nowhere else to sleep, we are here for you. If you don’t know how to choose a dog bed, yes, we are here for you. What’s the right dog bed to get? Let’s help you find the best bed for your best bud.

The shape of the bed

You need to pay attention to how your dog sleeps. Does he sleep curled in ball? Stretched out? Is he a doughnut sleeper? A burrower? Knowing how your pup sleeps will help you get the bed to match his sleeping pattern. Dog beds come in different shapes for a reason.

He will sleep better if he has the right bed. It’s like that whole trying-to-put-the-square-peg-in-the-round-hole situation. Or you trying to sleep in your toddler’s bed. It all ends horribly and everything hurts.

Two pups enjoying a snuggle

Your dog’s health

You also need to know your dog’s age and if he has any health issues. Does he have bad joints? Is he an older doggo and needs some extra layers in his bed? These answers will help determine the kind of padding and cushioning you should look for in a dog bed.

There are so many options for the inside of the dog bed. You want to match the bed’s foam or cushion to your dog’s needs. Memory foam is great for those older pups with balky joints. Some have a cooling gel that senior dogs like. Read the label for what is actually in the bed.

Know the size

Measure your dog. Please measure your dog. You don’t want to cry because you guessed on the size and now you have a bed the size of your cat but your dog is the size of a small horse. Measure your dog. From his adorable nose to the last hair on his tail. Measure twice. You want to look for a bed that is bigger than your dog, or he won’t have any room to move. Again, you know what it’s like trying to sleep on a twin bed versus a queen.

Also know your dog’s weight. Beds always have a weight limit that the foam or cushion can comfortably hold before it’s like your dog is basically sleeping on the floor.

Know your dog’s habits

You should know whether you’ll need to look for any special features for the bed. Does your dog like to chew? Does he have a tendency to paw at his bed? No matter how often you trim his nails, does he scratch up everything?

There are dog beds covered in special tear-proof material. There are beds that are made extra tough so they can’t be chewed up, beds with double and triple stitching so chewing isn’t a problem — and waterproof-lined beds for the droolers.

Know your dog so you can get him a bed that he can’t destroy in two weeks (and you aren’t left buying another one).

Dog playing on a bed with his human mom
Samson Katt

Your aesthetic

This one is for you, dog parent. While your pupper won’t care if his bed matches your color scheme, you probably will. If you’re choosy about things like that, find out if the bed comes in other colors.

If you have a large dog and his bed will take up half a room, do you know where you’re going to put it? Do you have the space, and where will that be?

Yes, your dog’s comfort takes priority. But you also want to make sure you aren’t tripping over the bed because it can only go in a certain room. Or that you’re not stuck with an eyesore in your living room because you didn’t pay attention to the color.

The price

Don’t be scared by this one. We’ve all been there. We bought the cheap shoes, the cheap seats, the cheap coat and wished we had paid that little bit more to get the better one.

Don’t get the cheapest bed. It will be uncomfortable for your dog and could wind up hurting him. It also could fall apart quickly, or your dog could destroy it in a matter of days.

Do you really want to keep buying a new dog bed every other month? Nope. Get the nicer bed. Look for a bed that meets all the criteria we just went over. Once you have it narrowed down to a few medium-sized doughnut beds that have memory foam and extra stitching for chewers, then you can look at the prices.

So please don’t just Google “dog beds” and buy the cheapest one after sorting the price from lowest to highest. There is a time and a place for that kind of shopping. Buying your dog a bed is not it.

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