It’s a dog’s life, and they spend half of it sleeping. That alone warrants a nice spot to rest their snouts. However, much like us, dogs can be particular about where they snooze.
And they have every right to be. A dog’s bed can affect their health, happiness, and, shockingly – their lifespan! So, picking the right bed is the ultimate act of care and love.
Why a dog’s bed matters
Our canine companions are bundles of bounding energy. They spend their days sniffing, running, slobbering, and looking for pets – phew – that’s a lot of hard work!
And as they bound into their golden years, their sleeping space becomes all the more important. An elderly dog needs a little extra support so that they can have as pain-free a rest as possible.
More interesting still, a dog’s bed can completely change their behaviour. Offering a sense of security and calm, you can perfect your pooch’s snooze spot; you may find them less irritable and more energetic throughout the day.
What type of bed is best for dogs?
Despite what you may have heard, there’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to dog beds.
But there is one reliable touchstone we can call on to help us make the right choice: a dog’s sleeping style.
Yes, you read that right. Just as humans prefer to sleep on their backs, fronts, sides, and everywhere in-between, dogs have their own set of poochy preferences. So let’s take a look at what your Dog is telling you …
Your Dog’s Sleeping Position and the Bed to Match
But firstly – size
Before you even delve into design, it’s best to cover all dimensions. Even if your Dog prefers to curl up, they’ll still appreciate a bed that can accommodate them should they stretch out.
Should a dog bed be bigger than the Dog?
When it comes to purchasing the best dog bed, there’s one piece of wisdom to always hold in mind: you can go too small, but you can never go too big.
For maximum comfort, your pampered pooch should be able to stretch out fully while still remaining within or on top of their bed.
Now, onto sleeping positions …
My Dog is a curler: Oval or round bed.
My Dog is a stretcher: Square, rectangle, or mattress bed.
It really is a simple as that.
Do dogs prefer round or square beds?
Dogs that love to lay out flat would rather not have to curl up and nest. On the other hand, dogs that enjoy the security of nesting and cuddling up against a wall will prefer a nesting bed (circular bed with side walls) over a flat rectangular bed.
Side walls or no side walls?
If you’re the proud owner of a large breed pup, you might be skeptical of dog bedside walls due to their ability to restrict movement. However, it may be time to overlook this practical consideration if your pooch is of the anxious variety. Side walls can offer both smaller and larger breeds alike an invaluable sense of security that ensures they enjoy the best downtime and quality of sleep possible.
Do dogs prefer hard or soft beds?
When it comes to beds, the softer, the better, right? Wrong. You’re thinking with your human brain here. Put yourself in your pooches paws for a moment.
Too-soft pillow beds don’t offer the support needed for comfortable rest and healthy joints. An older dog who sinks into a plush bed may also have trouble getting into and out of it.
In other words, your Dog wants a firm yet flexible surface to rest on.
The perfect solution? Memory foam.
We love our memory foam mattresses for their ability to offer support while melding to our bodies for the ultimate sleep experience – so do dogs. If your Dog struggles with joint issues, you may want to consider purchasing an orthopaedic memory foam dog bed to give them some extra support and pain relief so they can enjoy their downtime at ease.
What is the best outdoor dog bed?
So, your pooch is of the outdoor variety! Or, your Dog is an outdoor-indoor adventurer. Whatever the case, your pup deserves a cozy place to rest, inside or outside.
Fortunately, there’s a wide range of outdoor-appropriate dog beds on the market. If your Dog regularly spends the entire night outdoors, you may want to invest in a dog bed that’s raised off the ground. This prevents any creepy crawlies, water, or other pests from disturbing your Dog’s sleep.
A water-resistant base and overall waterproof design are a must, even if the bed will be placed inside a dog house.
The 5 Best Dog Beds UK
Best Square Dog Bed
An easy to clean, square bed with a fleece interior. Perfect for dogs who love ultimate comfort. The base cushion is reversible, depending on colour choice and comfort. This dog bed comes in a range of sizes, for smaller dogs or larger breeds.
Best Round Dog Bed
A lovely soft round style dog bed that is machine washable. Simply pop it in the washing machine every few weeks to get rid of the muddy paw prints after a day of adventures. This bed has rounded sides for extra comfort, and gives a plush cosy place for your pooch to sleep all night long!
Best Memory Foam Dog Bed
A luxury dog bed with a memory foam base. Perfect for those pups who need a bit more support when they sleep. Made with durable high quality materials, this dog bed provides the ultimate ultimate sleep experience. Machine washable… oh and did we mention you also get a free toy!
Best Bed For Giant Dog Breeds
A heavy duty, orthopaedic dog bed ideal for extra large breeds. The orthopaedic egg crate foam, creates a supportive, but comfortable mattress for your dog. The removable cover can be washed in the washing machine. A really nice touch is there are no sides to the bed, meaning that your dog can curl up or stretch out as much as they want!
Best Outdoor Dog Bed
This outdoor dog bed comes in a wide selection of colours and sizes, and is raised off the ground for a perfect day time snooze or night time rest. The perfect design to even take to the beach, to get off of the hot sand, a great outdoor bed for comfort.
What you’ll need to consider …
And let’s not forget about you! Since you’re the thumb-haver in your human-dog relationship, you’ll be performing all of the doggy bed maintenance.
Dog bed washing specifications
That’s why purchasing an easily dismantled dog bed is in your best interest. Think along the lines of removable cushions with removable covers. Of course, a washable cover is also a must.
Keep an eye out for machine washable dog beds. Not only will you benefit from being able to wash your Dog’s bed with ease, but it’s no secret that pampered pooches enjoy a certain standard of cleanliness.
Are you sick of your Dog’s bed slipping and sliding across the floor? Does the bed seem to migrate across the room gradually as your Dog enters and exits? What you need is a non-slip base dog bed. These convenient dog beds are designed with a ‘sticky’ material at the bottom (such as rubber) that doesn’t take kindly to friction.
Your Dog has been keeping a secret from you: they may or may not have a favourite colour. And on the other end of the spectrum, a least favourite colour. Fortunately for pet owners, dog beds come in a range of colours so that you can choose the right shade for your pup.
How do I discover my Dog’s colour preferences?
Great question! We have some insider knowledge just for you: it’s likely blue or yellow – maybe even green. Time and time again, research has shown dogs’ preference for these three colours. But which is your Dog’s favourite among favourites?
Here’s an experiment you can do to find out: Purchase a green, blue, and yellow version of the same dog toy. Then, whichever your Dog runs to first or spends the most time playing with – that’s their colour!
The Bottom Line
Your pampered pooch deserves nothing less than the best! And we hope this dog bed-purchasing guide helps you to give them just that. As every dog owner knows, dog beds are deceptively complicated. And purchasing them can be quite the headache, with most dog owners running through multiple beds before finding one that works. The above guide helps you to make the right choice the first time around.
Emma Wally is the founder of thedoggeeks.com, a website for dog owners in the UK and the rest of the world. Emma has a lifelong love of dogs and has devoted years to learning and training dogs of various kinds and ages.
Emma’s love for dogs and animals started as a child with looking after many different pets from fish, to dogs and even sheep. This love for animals led her into the world of dog training; with a real passion in positive reinforcement techniques.
Dog training specialist
Emma has completed multiple certifications in dog training, focussing on positive reinforcement techniques.
Puppy socialisation group
Emma is also the founder of 'Stony Stratford Puppy and Dog Group'. This growing community of dog enthusiasts provides weekly socialistion for new puppies and dogs wanting to integrate into socialisation, as well as giving specialist training advice for dog owners wanting to address problems... Or just wanting to give their pup the best life they can!
Kobe is Emma's current fluffy best friend. Being a Tibetan Terrier she can be stubborn at times but has the biggest personality for such a small dog.
Passionate about Dogs
Emma Wally is more than just a dog trainer; she is a mentor, a guide, and a friend to all dog owners seeking to build a better relationship with their furry companions. Her commitment to enhancing the lives of dogs and their owners is evident in every piece of advice she shares, making her a trusted and respected figure in the dog training community. Trust Emma, and you trust a true dog geek.