Did you know that your beloved dog needs an average of 16 hours of sleep every day to stay healthy and happy? That’s just one reason why it’s essential that your pooch has a good, comfy bed to rest in.
But it’s not just good quality sleep that’s important for your dog. There are lots of other considerations to bear in mind, too, when choosing a bed for your dog.
With your furry friend’s wellbeing in mind, here are the top six reasons why your dog needs a good bed.
1. Provides Joint Support
As your dog approaches his senior years, age-related joint problems can develop, including arthritis and hip and elbow dysplasia. Although smaller breeds can be affected, it tends to be larger, heavier dogs that suffer the most from these conditions.
A high-quality orthopedic dog bed will support and cushion your pet’s body and joints and provide essential relief from the pain and stiffness associated with joint conditions. Look for a bed that’s made using USA-made foam. Many imported beds use flimsy polyfills that collapse under the weight of a large dog and quickly disintegrate, removing any support and cushioning, basically making the bed useless.
Older dogs can suffer from arthritis in their neck, so they might benefit from a donut-style dog bed that features a cushioned neck support.
A good dog bed is large enough for the dog to lay flat-out without having to fold himself into a tiny ball to fit into the bed comfortably. If you choose a raised bed, make sure that your dog can easily climb or jump on and off it without struggling.
2. Washable And Easy To Clean
Even if you brush your dog every day and have him professionally groomed regularly, your pet will still shed hair, grease, and dander from his coat and skin, quickly making the bed smelly and grubby. That not only makes your home smell “doggy,” but it’s also unhygienic for your pet.
Also, some older dogs have incontinence issues and can “leak” onto their beds without realizing it while they’re asleep. Young puppies that are still potty training can have accidents, too.
So, look for a robust, well-made dog bed that features an easy-to-clean, machine washable cover, ideally with a strong zipper so that you can remove the cover quickly and easily. You also want a cover that’s strong enough to resist your dog’s nesting and digging habits, preferably that scores over 100,000 or higher on the Wyzenbeek Abrasion test.
If your dog likes to sleep outside during the warm summer months, a raised dog bed can be an excellent option. To clean the bed, simply hose it down!
3. Ensures Good Quality Sleep
Your dog needs good quality sleep to remain healthy and happy.
Did you know that dogs that sleep well enjoy a better memory, which makes training your pup easier and less stressful for both parties?
Also, like people, dogs need a night’s sound sleep to remain in good health. That’s particularly important for large dogs and senior canines that require more rest than younger, smaller pups. So, providing your dog with a comfy, supportive bed ensures that your pet can enjoy a satisfying snooze whenever he needs one.
4. Prevents Conflict
Does your dog sleep on your bed? Although that might seem like a beautiful bonding experience, allowing your pet to join you in bed is not such a good idea.
Well, dogs are naturally pack animals, and every pack has a distinct hierarchy. If you allow your dog to share your sleeping space, it’s only a matter of time before your pup spreads himself out and takes over your bed completely. When that happens, you’ll most likely find that your pet objects when you ask him to get down or move over. After all, you let him think that he has a right to own the bed!
That possessive behavior can be a big problem, especially if your dog starts to growl at you or one of your kids, depending on whose bed is the bone of contention.
If your dog has his own bed, he’ll take ownership of it, and any conflicts of interest in your family’s sleeping arrangements will quickly become a thing of the past.
5. Keeps Your Dog Warm Or Cool
Dogs can be highly sensitive to big swings in temperature, especially fine-coated breeds such as greyhounds or those with very thick coats like German Shepherds.
A good dog bed will keep your dog toasty warm when the temperature drops, insulating your pet against drafts and chilly bare floors.
If you live in a climate where the summers are very hot, you might want to consider providing your dog with a raised bed. A raised dog bed allows air to circulate around your pet, keeping your dog cool, especially if the bed is placed over a naturally cool surface such as stone or tiles.
As an added bonus, a raised dog bed that sits at least 12 inches above ground level can protect your pet against attacks by parasites such as fleas. That’s extremely important for dogs that suffer from skin allergies that are triggered by contact with fleas.
6. Provides Your Dog With His Own Place
Providing your dog with his very own bed ensures that your pet always has somewhere he can take refuge if he wants to get away from it all for a little while and enjoy a peaceful snooze.
As previously mentioned, dogs need up to 16 hours of sleep a day, possibly more for senior dogs. Much like people, dogs enjoy some me-time, away from the hustle and bustle of a busy household, noisy kids, and that annoying family cat! And your dog most likely won’t get the peace and solitude he needs on the sofa or on your bed.
Dogs are territorial, and they do value their possessions, including food, toys, and their bed. So, giving your dog a cozy, comfortable bed that he can own will provide your pet with a valuable, safe place he’ll retire to whenever he feels the need.
A comfortable, well-constructed bed will provide your dog’s joints with invaluable support, keep him warm and cozy during cold weather, and offers a place of sanctuary when your pet wants to snooze peacefully for a while in his own safe space.
When choosing a dog bed, look for one that’s made from orthopedic-grade materials and has a removable, robust machine-washable cover.
Aside from your love and devotion, which goes without saying, for all the reasons listed above, one of the most important things that you can provide for your dog is a good bed.
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|Tammi Avallone, an avid dog lover, enjoys sharing with others her knowledge and experience of caring for various dog breeds as pets. She is currently the managing editor of FiveBarks.com.