Choosing the Right Dog Bed
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.
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.
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?