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Four Tips for Finding the Perfect Dog Bed

Finding the perfect bed for your dog just is as simple as following these tips:

  1. Pick your style.

    Dog beds come in all shapes and sizes. Consider your dog's age, where you live (colder climates need warmer beds), and your dog's preferences. Your dog's bed doesn't have to be fancy, it just has to be his. Options include:

    • An old, fluffy towel
      • Pros: Easy to replace, soft
      • Cons: Not much in the way of support
    • Foam-filled bolster dog bed with raised border
      • Pros: Attractive, good support, can find a color that will match with most décor
      • Cons: Can range in price
    • Dog pad (foam or matting covered with fabric)
      • Pros: Highly portable, may fit in dog crate or kennel; some have a cedar chip mixture to reduce doggie odors
      • Cons: Less support than a traditional dog bed
    • Orthopedic dog beds
      • Pros: Highly cushioned, supportive and portable; usually made for dogs with special needs, illnesses or disabilities
      • Cons: Can be pricey, depending on size
  2. Evaluate size, material and warmth.

    • Temperature. Depending on where you live, the bed should be warm and cozy, but not too warm.
    • Size. The bed should be large enough to fit your dog when he fully grown and/or stretched out.
    • Materials. Look for a bed made of quality materials. The dog bed will look better and last longer.
  3. Don't skimp on comfort.

    • Avoid towels that are ripped or shredded. This will prevent your dog from swallowing or getting parts of the material caught in his throat.
    • Toxic materials. Avoid beds made of potentially toxic materials in the event that your dog may chew the padding.
  4. Ease him into it.

    Dogs are creatures of habit, and prefer items that have a familiar feel and scent. Follow these tips to help him get used to his new bed:

    • Put his new bed where you want him to use it, or as close to his favorite spot as possible
    • A pat, your usual firm commands and pleasant voice will help to reassure your dog that this new bed is a welcome addition
    • Provide a familiar scent – a toy or part of old bedding on the replacement
    • Add an old cushion to a new crate or doghouse or a well-loved mat to the new exercise pen, the more familiar, the better
    • Place treats on the new bed for your dog to discover

Because your dog spends so much time in his bed, be prepared to replace it every six months or so.