Choosing the Right Dog Bed

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There are so many dog bed choices out there, and it seems fancier – and more expensive beds are introduced all the time. Years ago when I had my first Lab, Maxine, she slept on the floor with a couple of blankets. Sally & Tino both slept on the bed, although we had a couple of dog beds in the house for their naps during the day.
tinos leg surgery

They were pretty simple, stuffed with pieces of foam and cost $25-$35. They were pretty easy to care for, just unzip the bedding part from the cover and toss it in the washer. It’s a good thing they were easy wash & care because as Tino aged, we had some incontinence issues and I was washing his bed 4-5 times per week.
When we got Becca and learned of her back problems, I got her a Thermapedic bed. But she preferred a bed with sides so she could lean into them, so the Thermapedic ended up in Jack’s crate.

When we adopted him, I knew he needed a bigger bed because of his size. I invested in a pretty expensive bed from L.L. Bean, with bolsters and a big foam mattress to have in my office for him during the day. I hate it. It is such a pain in the neck to clean because the mattress and cover are so big and such a tight fit – it takes two people to put it back together again after being washed. It’s also way to big. I got an “xtra large” size, but as you can see, he doesn’t need really need it. Although, I will say when he stretches out he does go from one end to the other. He has a second bed in our bedroom since he doesn’t sleep on the bed. It’s from Orvis and I like it much better and it’s much easier to take apart and keep clean.

Jacks bed
A few months ago, the cover on the Land’s End bed started to rip and I’m so glad, because now I can justify getting a new bed for him. But, before I invest in a new bed for my office I created a few guidelines:

  • Orthopedic: As Jack ages I want something that is going to provide the proper support for him. He has arthritis, although it’s not too bad now, but I want to be sure he can sleep comfortably with proper support.
  • Ease of care: This is really my number one issue – it has to be easy to take apart, wash and put back together. Jack has some incontinence issues too, so this is critical.
  • Bolsters: Jack loves to curl against the sides of the bed, or rest his head on the ‘pillow’.
  • Cost: I’m sure I could spend $1,000 or more on a bed, but I’m not going to. I will invest a few hundred dollars, particularly if it’s well made and is going to last, but I also want to be reasonable.
  • Appearance: This is last on the list, but I do want to avoid something that’s downright ugly. I’ll have to look at it everyday in my office, so I want it to at least be somewhat attractive.

How about you – what factors are on your list of must-have’s for a dog bed?


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  1. I would pick an orthopedic bed too if we will need it, maybe one with memory foam or one with a heater. Easy’s first official act was to shred his puppy bed to make sure the big bed is his bed :o)
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  2. Mom has bought so many fancy beds for Katie with all kinds of special mattresses, but she continues to prefer lying on the floor. Bailie and I are easy. We both love cuddle beds and lie in them all the time.
    Emma recently posted…Natural Beauty In NatureMy Profile

    • You know, Becca (who had bad arthritis) preferred the floor most of the time too.
      mkob recently posted…Choosing the Right Dog BedMy Profile

  3. Cash prefers my bed, the couches, and all air vents on the ground.

  4. I bought the Boys a bed from Orvis years ago, not knowing there are dog beds out there that are better suited for some dogs depending on their habits #whoknew? This beautiful “micro-suede” cover didn’t last very long because both Harley and Leo like to dig before they sleep, so I took the beds back. Orvis educated me AND gave me a full refund credit towards their replacement beds. I ended up with two tweed (tough fabric, no outside stitching) “Deep Dish” (has sides) temperpedic mattresses. They are years old and still look like new. Best of luck to you my friend, let us know what you decided to get.
    Groovy Goldendoodles recently posted…IS MY DOG A PRINCE?My Profile

  5. It definitely has to be easy on the eyes AND easy to clean; I’m a neat freak, as my hubby says, and wash all our puppy bedding and blankets once a week. We bought our very first dog bed at a PetSmart store for around $100. The cover was easy to take off and wash, but I made the big mistake of tossing it into the dryer…it shrank and it became a game of patience (& a few curse words, I’m not going to lie…) putting it back on. I’ve learned my lesson and no longer put the bed covers into the dryer, but let them air dry.
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    • Good thinking – I put them in the dryer, but take them out when still a little wet – makes it a little easier to get on.
      mkob recently posted…Choosing the Right Dog BedMy Profile

  6. I had many of the same qualifications as you and ended up getting a couple Big Barker beds on sale. Definitely worth a look.

  7. We have a Kong and Bentley loves it. We are looking for two beds for the office and are shopping around too.
    M. K. Clinton recently posted…Drool HappensMy Profile

  8. OMD! I have been through so many different dog beds!!! My huskies just will not lay in them!!! UGH!
    ღ husky hugz ღ frum our pack at Love is being owned by a husky!
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  9. Talk about evolution! When I was growing up with dogs, they all slept on the floor, in the kitchen! While Sam has two pretty cushy beds, one in the living room, one in my bedroom, he often sleeps on my bed, preferring the comfort of pillows on his head and neck. Pillow AND bed hog, yup…that’s my dog! 😉
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  10. I’ve never had a dog bed…or needed one. The dogs let me sleep on the human bed.
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  11. We all sleep on the bed, or on the couch during the day, so Mom hasn’t bought us any official “beds”.
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  12. I like the memory foam ones becuase they last a long time, I buy cheap beds for the crates though becuase Ziva sometimes likes to chew on hers even though she has perfectly good toys.
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  13. I did NOT do my research when I bought our orthopedic dog bed. When I went to wash it I realized that although it had zippers you couldn’t get the cover off, it was sewn on. So that zipper tricked me, made me think I was buying an easy to wash one. I ended up with a Molly Mutt bed cover & stuffing it with the orthopedic stuff – so now I have the best of both words. Super easy to wash & comfy for Laika.
    Jen Gabbard recently posted…Why Do We Celebrate Extreme Dog Breeding?My Profile

  14. I dread to think how much money we have actually spent trying to find the perfect dog bed! Cricket sleeps in our bed at night, and Sheba is either there or on the floor. Luke either sleeps with us or in an overstuffed chair in the bedroom (trying to find a cover for that is another story).
    But for around the house during the day, we’ve been through a lot. There were certain beds the dogs liked, but they were such a pain to keep clean. We finally found these beds from West Paw Design, and I love them. The whole thing can be thrown in the washer, simple stains can be wiped off since it’s microfiber, and they have a bit of an edge for head resting. They’re not orthopedic but the dogs do like them (and cats too):
    The large is plenty big for our 60-70 lb dogs.
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  15. Jasmine. ADORED her cooling bed. Otherwise they just use ours or older mattresses. They are good size, good support, comfy. The bolsters. Are missing; should find a way of adding those.
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  16. Big Barker beds are the best! American made orthopedic foam. Guaranteed to last 10 years 🙂

  17. I prefer the floor. I hardly ever use my bed, but the cats quite like it even though they have lots of beds.
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