All modesty aside, we do know quite a lot about Labradors having owned them continually for over 30 years. To be honest, we may even be a little obsessed with them and they form a big part of our lives.
They were the reason that we started Berkeley Dog Beds in the first place as, in spite of the many hundreds of beds available for sale, we just couldn't find one that we were happy with for our Labs - so we ended up designing our own! Even now, our Labs are the best testers and judges we know of when it comes to developing and approving new products.
So what makes the best bed for Labradors?
Labradors can range in weight from 25 – 35 kg so they do represent a good average yardstick when designing beds for most dog breeds. They are one of the most common breeds, so getting a dog bed design right for them and then tweaking it to accommodate both smaller and larger breeds seemed an obvious course of action.
All of our Labs are working dogs so they like to work hard and play hard and when they are are not involved in either of these, there is nothing they enjoy more than a good sleep. Our own dogs are equally at home in both a kennel and run environment or snuggled in front of the AGA so our beds need to be both utilitarian yet capable of being made extremely stylish and luxurious by adding optional covers, toppers and blankets.
Being an active, boisterous breed, Labradors can be extremely tough on their beds.
All Labs love water and the muddier the better so having an easy to clean, washable and removable waterproof cover was an obvious first choice.
The construction of the bed needs to ensure that it lasts for years and years and not months (and in some cases, weeks) as in our experience. All fabrics used need to be upholstery grade and be able to withstand the daily rigours our dogs put them through.
We then looked at dog bed fillings. We wanted a design that would provide optimum levels of insulation and cushioning and also that would retain its shape in order to ensure correct spinal alignment and even distribution of support from the centre to the very edges of the bed.
Labs like most breeds can be prone to suffer from arthritis and other musculoskeletal conditions particularly later in life and so this was a priority
Next, we wanted a bed that was breathable to ensure freshness and avoid overheating and we wanted it to be completely safe and free from potentially toxic chemicals. This meant ruling out the use of foam, memory foam and all flame retardant treatments.
Ultimately we settled on two final bed designs which have withstood the test of time and our demanding criteria – a genuine Orthopaedic Dog Bed Mattress with a pocket spring core surrounded by a layered construction of natural fibres and a simple yet hard wearing steel frame Raised Dog Bed that all dogs just seem to love!
If you're new to the wonderful world of Labrador ownership and need some advice – just give us a call - it's all part of the service!