A Dog Bed Buying Guide to give your dog (and you) the best sleep ever.
Location, Location, Location
Dogs should have their OWN bed and their OWN space to sleep.
Right from Day One of ownership choose a place in your house where your dog can go at whatever time of day if he / she wants some quiet time. At the puppy stage stick with this regime and DO NOT relent and give in to the obvious desire of your puppy to be with you all the time – even if he / she tries to howl the place down.
A conservatory, porch, or hallway is preferable to a busy kitchen or living room. Any quiet place that your dog can call their own, where he or she is not going to be disturbed and where you can simply close the door at the allotted time to exclude him from other areas of the house is perfect. Tiled or wooden floors make sweeping up dog hair and dirt so much easier. Teach your kids to respect this sanctuary and create a no-go zone close to Fido’s bed.
Sharing your bed or the sofa with a cute little bundle of fluff might seem like a great idea at the time but tiny puppies rapidly grow up, all dogs like to get wet and muddy given the chance and they can also be a magnet for all sorts of unsavoury crawly things. Trying to rationalise with your dog that you do not want him to share your bed / sofa after he has been happily doing just that for the last 6 months is always going to end in tears!
When choosing a spot please bear in mind your dog’s natural instincts – He / She will invariably prefer a spot that is raised from the ground, where they can sleep with their back to a wall and where they can survey their surroundings.
Don’t worry too much about locating in a cool area – that’s why he / she is covered in fur. However, the area MUST be free from draughts and raised from any cold (or excessively warm) flooring.
Dogs are like kids – They thrive on routine. Putting them to bed at the same time every night with the same command will reaffirm your dominance and you’ll have him / her queuing up to go to bed at the allotted time creating much deserved ‘me time’ for both of you.
Here’s where we come in!
A really great dog bed has to satisfy certain key criteria and, surprisingly, very few do.
It needs to –
Be supremely comfortable
Provide a high level of insulation
Ensure correct spinal alignment, joint support, even weight distribution and relief for exposed vulnerable pressure points such as hips and elbows
Be able to retain it’s shape
Be large enough for your dog to have full freedom to stretch out or curl up during the normal pattern of sleep.
Be easy for your dog to get on and off
Allow air to circulate through the filling to avoid damp, mould / mildew and consequent odour
Have a waterproof, impermeable barrier to prevent soiling of the mattress core and infestations
Be very easy to clean
Contain the finest natural materials with no dangerous foams or chemical treatments
Have replaceable covers to prolong the life of the bed and fabric covers to provide additional warmth or simply to match your home décor
Be sufficiently substantial to avoid it moving from it’s allocated position
Be made to the highest quality standards to last a very long time
A nice little tip!
A few drops of Lavender essential oil on the inner cover of your dog bed can help settle your dog and also keep your dog bed sweet smelling and free from infestations.
A few thoughts on outdoor kennelling
It may not be everyone’s choice but most dogs are perfectly happy and healthy being kept all, or part of the time in a suitable secure outdoor kennel and run.
Some key considerations:-
Insulate the kennel walls and roof and provide adequate ventilation to avoid condensation and mould growth.
A raised sleeping area will help to avoid draughts.
A heavy gauge plastic curtain at the entrance will help to preserve warmth. Site the kennel entrance away from prevailing winds.
If electricity is available, an infra red lamp will help to take the chill off on very cold nights and a PIR security light is useful.
The run should be hard surfaced and free draining for ease of cleaning. It should be totally secure and escape-free – 6’ high galvanised fence panels are ideal. Locks on both the kennel door and run gate are a good security measure. A covered run will help to keep the kennel and sleeping area dry and provide shade in the summer months. Hose down and disinfect the run regularly.
Fresh clean water should be available at all times.
Do not leave your dog alone for long periods. Keeping two or more dogs together will relieve boredom and separation anxiety.
Straw, wood shavings or shredded paper bedding materials can be effective but are messy and can quickly become damp and soiled unless changed regularly.
Dog beds should be waterproof, provide good insulation and be periodically aired.
A Berkeley Raised Bed can be used in the kennel and/or within the run. Add our Vet Bedding for additional warmth if and when required.
Why not print off this Dog Bed Buying Guide to keep it with your dog’s key documents.