How to Choose the Perfect Bed for Your Dog

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There’s no sweeter time than winter to snuggle in a warm bed, and that’s true for our dogs as well. Actually, since dogs spend more time sleeping — after all, few have to worry about getting to work or paying the bills — there’s a case to be made that cozy beds are even more important to dogs than they are to people.

But while most people, at least in North America, still sleep on mattresses and boxsprings, the choices aren’t so simple for dogs. In fact, dog beds include options similar to those offered for people, from familiar brands such as Serta and Tempurpedic — possibly so people who don’t want to share their beds won’t feel guilty. When it comes to dog beds, though, choices that mimic human beds are only the beginning.

How do you choose the best bed for your dog? It depends on the dog, of course. While he’s not able to speak up about his “sleep number” or his fondness for firm over plush, you can get an idea of what will suit your pooch best by evaluating his size, age and habits. Think also about what you need from a dog bed and how much you are willing and able to spend, and you’ll be able to come up with the perfect pick.

And that’s important, because even if you share your bed with your dog, there will be times when you don’t want to. If your pet has a great bed of his own, banishment won’t be so bad for either of you.

Clean House Rules

The selections in dog beds are really mind-boggling, and a scan of a trade show floor, such as at the massive Global Pet Expo, will reveal sizes, shapes and styles to fit every dog — and every décor as well. But the most important element to any dog bed can be summed up in a single word: washable.

To control odors, dirt and fleas, you absolutely must be able to wash your pet’s bed, or at least its cover, regularly (weekly or twice a month is probably ideal). Many beds for smaller dogs can go right in today’s front-load washers, which have no center agitator to get in the way. Beds for larger dogs — and certainly for giant dogs — may not fit in home machines, and the trouble and cost of using commercial ones at your neighborhood laundromat mean less-frequent washing — or no washing at all.

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