Frequently Asked Questions

Berkeley Dog Beds – FAQ’s are listed to help you get the best from your dog bed and answer some of the questions we are often asked. If you have another question PLEASE just call us or send us a message – We’re always delighted to help!

When should we invest in a really good dog bed?

We would recommend soon after your puppy has finished teething and started to mature a little. The 'chewing phase' differs according to breed. temperament and anxiety levels but usually diminishes between 6 - 18 months.

In the meantime, our Vet Bedding makes a great starter bed for all young dogs. Use it as a warm, washable rug, as a crate liner and/or to line a suitable cut down cardboard box (Banana boxes from the supermarket make great replaceable and free puppy starter beds!).

Orthopedic Mattress or Raised Dog Bed - Which is the best choice for MY dog?

We originally designed our Raised Dog Bed to be an occasional or 'Day Bed' but we have found that many of our customers use one as a permanent bed with great success and dogs just seem to love them!

The final choice partially comes down to budget but we believe that our Orthopedic Dog Bed really is very special and certainly if you have an older dog, one that has arthritis or other mobility issues or a larger, heavier breed that is more susceptible to such complaints - this is the best choice.

Why does my dog always want to sleep on my bed?

Probably because you have a better bed than he has!

Our Berkeley Orthopedic Dog Bed has a totally unique construction using individual pocket springs like those found on the very best orthopedic mattresses for humans.

The central core of pocket springs is sandwiched between thick layers of natural, non-toxic cotton-rich felt, lambs wool and cotton drill and then wrapped in a practical and protective waterproof cover. You can make our mattress even more inviting by adding one of our Optional Fabric Covers.

All this provides a super-comfy dog bed with just the right mix of support, correct spinal alignment, even weight distribution, insulation and cushioning to give your dog the best sleep ever.

I can buy a dog bed mattress for as low as £30 – Why should I buy a Berkeley Orthopedic Dog Bed?

All Berkeley dog beds are designed to last. We believe you should only need to buy one bed for your dog (Maybe two if you like our Raised Dog Beds too!) Most dog bed manufacturers and retailers pay more attention to aesthetics and ticket price than comfort, joint support, practicality and durability.

Cheap dog beds degrade quickly making them totally ineffective resulting in frequent replacement which costs you far more in the long term.

Our dog beds have replaceable covers that are easy to wash and fit. In case of wear, simply replace the cover and not the whole bed.  

See our section on Lifetime Cost to learn more.

Your mattresses are slightly firmer than other dog beds that we have used in the past – Why?

The Berkeley Orthopedic Mattress is specifically designed to be slightly firmer than most dog beds in order to provide optimum support for your dog’s spine and joints. It is perfectly normal for a small number of dogs to take a little time to adjust but the long term benefits of the new bed far outweigh any initial reluctance so please persevere!

Our mattresses are thick and heavy to provide the best possible insulation from cold flooring and optimum cushioning for exposed joints. The firmness is designed to ensure that your dog's spine is correctly aligned when sleeping to  avoid discomfort and consequent aches and pains derived from a restricted, distorted sleeping position.

The mattress construction, built around a core of individual pocket springs is designed to maintain its shape over time and provide that all important ‘bounce’ that most other dog beds just don’t have. It's guaranteed not to flatten!

Where are Berkeley Dog Beds made?

All Berkeley dog beds and blankets are handmade exclusively in the UK and always will be.

Is the Berkeley Orthopedic Dog Bed eco-friendly?

We always strive to use natural materials as much as we possibly can. The two largest constituents of a Berkeley Dog Bed Mattress are wool and cotton

We pack all of our beds in fully recyclable cardboard boxes and even the springs in our layer of pocket springs are made of recycled steel.

The layer of lambs wool covering the inner mattress has natural fire retardant properties eliminating the need for us to use potentially toxic chemical treatments. 

One reason for using local British suppliers is to help reduce our carbon footprint. 

Moreover, all of our beds are built to last so they won’t need replacing for a very long time resulting in less landfill.

Why do you only make rectangular shaped Dog Beds?

Dogs, like humans, move around a lot in their sleep. Most dogs will adopt both nesting and sprawling positions during a prolonged sleep. It is critical that your dog’s hips and shoulders are fully supported at all times. Round dog beds look snug and comfy but they can severely restrict freedom of movement and provide uneven support.

Is the Berkeley Orthopedic Dog Bed Mattress waterproof?

Berkeley Orthopedic Dog Bed Mattresses are designed to always be used in conjunction with our Waterproof Covers in order to provide better protection. These are made of a 100% waterproof material. Soiling can easily be removed with the mattress in-situ by simply wiping down with a damp, soapy cloth.

Please note that the waterproof covers may not provide total protection from moisture seepage at joints and seals. 

We recommend the regular inspection of the waterproof cover as the fabric can break down over time due to scratching, excessive temperatures, the chemical effects of urine, washing etc. which can affect the waterproofing capability of the cover.

Replacement covers are readily available.

How should I clean the waterproof cover on the Berkeley Orthopedic Dog Bed Mattress and Raised Dog Bed?

A spot-wipe with mild soap is usually sufficient to keep the bed clean and fresh.

However, for very heavy staining, the cover can be washed at 30 degrees centigrade on a hand wash cycle.

We recommend the use of Nikwax products  as biological detergents will break down the waterproof backing over time. Please do not use fabric softener in the wash. Please do not tumble dry. 

Dog hairs tend not to stick to this fabric but it is wise to give the cover a thorough brush down to remove any dog hairs / dried mud etc. prior to placing in your machine – Our Dog Hair Removal Brush is ideal for this job! 

Air dry the cover fully before refitting it.

Can I use my mattress without the waterproof cover?

Our Waterproof Mattress Cover is designed to provide a barrier to help protect and preserve the mattress from moisture, fleas, dust, mould etc.

We do not recommend using our mattress without this cover or fitting a fabric outer cover directly over the cotton drill cover.

How should I clean the Fabric Mattress Covers and Non-Slip Polar Fleece Pads?

Our Luxury Velvet Covers and Fleece Covers and  Pads can be machine washed on a 30 degrees centigrade gentle wash cycle. Please do not tumble dry. Please do not use fabric conditioner. The fabric mattress covers should be re-fitted whilst slightly damp. Please do not expose directly to a heat source such as a radiator for drying.  We recommend the use of Nikwax or Woolite products in lieu of  regular washing detergents.

How should I clean and care for my Berkeley Orthopedic Dog Bed Mattress?

Please inspect your Berkeley Orthopedic Mattress regularly.

Check the outer, waterproof cover for any signs of excess wear / degradation and replace if necessary.

Check the inner mattress for any signs of condensation / moisture  build-up or mildew formation and air the mattress thoroughly. You should also vacuum your mattress occasionally (with the outer cover removed) to remove dust, dirt. and any infestations.

For spots or stains, you can use baking soda followed by a non-bio detergent or a proprietary stain remover. Put the baking soda on the soiled area. Let it sit for about 15 minutes. Vacuum the baking soda off, and repeat as needed.

Just like a human mattress we recommend that you turn the mattress periodically to ensure even wear.

We also recommend giving the mattress a regular misting with our Dog Bed Freshener to keep the bed smelling wonderfully fresh. This will also help to deter any possible infestations.

Moisture build-up within the mattress can occur when condensation forms between your warm dog and a cold floor. To help minimise this, we recommend  raising the mattress on a platform or placing a plywood base or carpet / rug between the mattress and the floor.

How practical are your fabric covers?

Dogs put any fabric cover through hell.

Many dog beds have fabric covers made of cotton or man-made material primarily designed for curtaining or dress-making applications. These can look great but simply cannot withstand the rigours of sustained scratching and regular machine washing.

Our Fabric Covers are upholstery-grade fabrics that meet every British Standard covering durability, colour fastness and tear strength. We subject these fabrics to the Martindale Wear Test to test durability and our fabrics range from 40,000 to 100,000 rubs making them suitable for 'severe domestic use'.

When choosing our fabric range we also took into account factors such as the closeness of the weave of the fabric to reduce the incidence of snagging on sharp claws, the wicking qualities of the fabrics to disperse moisture, ease of washing and quick-drying and the warmth and ‘snuggle’ qualities of the materials used.

What is a Martindale test and a Durability Rating?

The Martindale test is one measure of the durability of a fabric.  The tests are undertaken on upholstery fabrics to check their suitability for various uses – i.e. decorative chairs, heavy-traffic areas or commercial furniture.  The test is also known as the ‘rub test’, and tests for abrasion resistance.

Test results are given as a score of 1000’s of rubs or cycles, and the higher the number is, the more suitable the fabric is for heavier usage.  Fabrics are categorised depending on their test results.

Grading varies from ‘Light Domestic’ at 10,000 to 15,000 rubs to ‘Heavy Duty’ at 25,000 to 30,000 and ‘Commercial’ at 30,000+ rubs.

A Martindale test is for abrasion only.  There are many other factors that can affect the wear and tear of upholstery on a piece of furniture, including chemicals used in washing the fabric, UV exposure, embedded dirt etc. This is why we have introduced our own Durability Rating to further guide you as to the best choice for your dog. See the product pages for full details.

 Are Berkeley Orthopedic Dog Beds chew-proof?


Whilst we have taken every precaution to design and build our Berkeley Orthopedic Mattress to be as durable as possible it is virtually impossible to protect against chewing. Our waterproof covers are made of very tough material and they are stitched with a virtually unbreakable thread so the chances are that your dog will lose interest before any major damage is done.

Nevertheless, we make no promises when faced with an ardent chewer!

All puppies chew during their teething period.and it is probably wise to wait until your dog comes out of this phase (usually around 18 months old) before purchase. Our Wool-Mix Vet Bedding makes a great first puppy bed until this phase is over.

We also offer a Heavy Duty Raised Dog Bed which has a Ripstop Waterproof Cover - we have found these to have a higher degree of resistance to scratching, chewing and general abuse.

How easy is the Berkeley Raised Dog Bed to assemble?

Our Raised Dog Beds are made to our own unique design so that they can be assembled or packed away in seconds by one person.The frame simply slots together without the need for fiddly screws or bolts. The cover slides over the crossbars and is held firmly in place with tough Velcro strips. No more wrestling trying to fit a tight cover!

Can I keep my Berkeley Raised Dog Bed outside?

The frame of our day bed is zinc-plated to reduce the chances of rusting and the fabric cover is tough and waterproof. Nevertheless, we do not recommend that our Raised Dog Bed is continually exposed to rain and sun as this will slowly degrade the product over time. A periodic wipe-over of the frame with a mineral oil paying particular attention to the rod sockets is recommended to prevent corrosion.

What size Dog Bed should I get for my dog?

Please see our Dog Bed Size Guide to find the correct sized dog bed for your dog.

Do your dog beds have a Guarantee?

To give you peace of mind our dog beds are subject to a 5 year Guarantee from date of purchase against any / all defects in materials or workmanship.  Whilst we choose all our fabric materials very carefully to ensure maximum durability you should expect general wear and tear to occur. As such our waterproof and other fabric covers are excluded from this guarantee but we do hold a full range of replacement covers in stock for purchase.

Our guarantee excludes general wear and tear, neglect, abuse, inappropriate use or any damage deemed by us to have been caused by chewing, ripping, the chemical effects of urine / excrement, excessive abrasion or failure to follow our cleaning guidelines.

If you are dissatisfied in any way with one of our products please contact us and we will, in good faith, try to rectify the problem. It is in our interests to ensure that you remain fully satisfied with your purchase from us.

How can I order from you?

It’s easy! 

You can order our products at any time using our online shop or simply call us on 01264 861143 and order over the telephone with a payment card.

You can also order via mail or e-mail and we will send you a suitable pro-forma invoice with full details of the alternative ways to pay.

If you have any queries or need advice please feel free to call us - We're here to help.

Can you ship internationally?

Of course!

Please get in touch with us so that we can advise the best and most cost-effective way to send our products to you. For international customers we will be happy to send you a suitable invoice with the UK VAT deducted.

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