The best bed for your hardworking dog is much deserved after a long run. Imagine, you're headed home after an exhausting run around Whidbey Island or a strenuous hike up the full length of the Snow Lake Trail. And you're really looking forward to a long, hot shower or even a relaxing soak in a tub loaded with muscle-soothing Epsom salts.
But what about your best bud? He's been with you for every stride and if you were tackling an off-leash area, he's probably taken quite a few extra strides!
You may think he'll be alright since you bought him that extra plush dog bed. However, he'll probably prefer stretching out on a hard surface rather than a too-soft dog bed.
That's right, dogs with sore muscles usually choose a hard floor over a cushy bed! That's because a solid, hard surface offers the right support for sore, tense muscles. If it's a cool tile, that's even better!
Choosing the Best Bed for Your Hardworking Dog and Her Sleep Style
Raised, bolstered, flat, covered, or orthopedic...Which is the best bed for your hardworking dog? Your choice will largely depend on the type of dog you have and her age. Any health conditions she may have, such as hip dysplasia, should also be factored into your choice.
Every dog has a favorite sleeping style. Some like to sprawl, some like to curl into a ball, and others like to dive into a den. Which bed will you choose to meetyour pet's needs and likes?
The tautness of a raised bed provides similar support and comfort to an orthopedic bed, without the foam. If your pet loves to 'unstuff' her bed, a raised bed may eliminate that messy, expensive, and dangerous habit.
A raised bed will keep your pet cooler since it doesn't absorb heat and allows for better air circulation. By offering both a cooling raised bed and a warmer foam bed, your dog can choose a temp that feels good to her.
Does your pup love to curl up in the corner of the couch? Then she'll probably prefer a bolstered bed because it resembles that cozy corner. Dogs that use shoes, toys, or even their bowls as a pillow will also appreciate a bolstered bed for the cozy pillowy edges it offers.
Flat beds are just that... flat. If your dog likes to sleep sprawled out, she'll probably appreciate the extra room a flat bed provides. And don't assume flat means uncushioned. Flat beds can be just as comfy as any other type of dog bed!
Wild dogs and our pampered pooches' wolf ancestors prefer to sleep in cozy and protected dens. Not surprisingly, many of our pups do, too! If your dog likes to hang out under tables or beds, she may be doing the best she can to recreate a den. Give her an enclosed dog bed and she'll thank you forever! If your pet is too big for an enclosed bed, or you prefer her to sleep in her crate, you can create something cozily similar by covering her crate with a blanket.
Orthopedic beds are perfect for hard-working dogs — or dogs that have taken their humans for long runs or strenuous hikes! These firmer beds provide the extra comfort and support that tired and achy muscles need in order to relax and recover.
These beds are also ideal for:
- Puppies with fast-growing bones and joints need extra support. Large breed pups especially benefit from the extra support an orthopedic bed provides. Start them out on an orthopedic bed when they're young and they're less likely to develop muscle, bone, or joint problems when they're older.
- Some dogs (we're looking at you, sighthounds!) have fine coats and naturally thin bodies. That means a lack of natural padding and the need for extra support and more even weight distribution. Without it, these slender dogs can develop callouses or even raw sores at pressure points like their hips and elbows. An orthopedic bed made from quality memory foam will also comfort these thin dogs with extra cushioning and a bit of extra warmth.
- Is your dog recuperating from an injury or recovering from surgery? Your vet may recommend lots of bed rest for her. An orthopedic crate pad will make enforcing that necessary rest easier. If it has a waterproof cover and is made from memory foam, even better! Memory foam holds onto a dog's body heat and that extra warmth improves blood circulation — which can help with healing.
- Large dogs and those (like yours!) that have led an active life often develop aches and pains as they get older. They'll appreciate a bed that offers plenty of firm support but also offers the right cushioning for those achy bones and painful joints. Getting proper rest will help your aging dog keep active.
Does your dog need an outdoor bed? He might if he spends quite a bit of time outdoors and doesn't have access to a doggy door.
How to choose an outdoor dog bed
- Is it sturdy, durable, and well-constructed enough to last outdoors?
- An outdoor bed needs to be easy to clean and made from materials appropriate for your local weather.
- Is it big enough for your pet to stretch out in comfort?
- It should be made from breathable fabric to keep your dog comfortable on hot summer days.
A raised outdoor dog bed with legs will give him a place to rest away from ants and other creepy crawlies. Just stick the legs in cans partially filled with water to foil the little beasties.
What to Look for in a Quality Dog Bed
When looking for the best bed for your hardworking dog:
- Choose a bed that's large enough for your dog. If the bed is too small for him to get comfortable, he may ignore it in favor of the floor or your couch.
- The material should be durable and easy to clean. The extra stitching on the seams will help ensure it lasts.
- Removable and machine-washable covers are ideal. A gusset-style opening will make it easier to reassemble the bed once it's dry.
- Does your dog like to dig and root to create a proper resting place? Adding an old nap-size blanket will satisfy his need to dig while protecting his more expensive bed.
- If your pup shows a definite preference for lying on a particular type of fabric, such as old sweatshirts or a cozy chenille robe, try to find a bed with a similar texture.
- If your floors aren't carpeted, make sure the bed has a non-slip bottom so it doesn't slide out from under an enthusiastic pup!
It's a good idea to provide more than one bed for your best bud. After all, doesn't he like to curl up next to your favorite chair or sleep next to you? You're his favorite human and he may want to be close to you when it's time to unwind. Other times, he may seek a quiet corner away from all the activity. Providing him with at least a couple of beds in different areas will let him choose where he wants to relax, whether at your side or in a quiet corner.Dogs and their well-being are very important to us. That's why giving you the information you need to choose the best bed for your hardworking dog is critical. If you'd like more info on helping your pup live his best life, send us a woof. We never get tired of discussing these amazing animals that have made themselves vital members of our families!