Dogs deserve the chance to rest on a comfy bed or one that is especially designed to accommodate their peculiar sleeping habits. Visit any pet store today and you’d see a vast array of dog beds in various shapes, colors, designs, and sizes. However, picking the right bed to give to your dog requires a fundamental understanding of the different types of canine beds. Currently there are 10 kinds or types of doggie beds that you can choose from.
Standard Dog Beds
This is one of the most common canine beds you can ever get for your dog. It is very much similar to the mattress on your bed, except that it is smaller. There are no additional elements, too, such as edges or rims. Some of these standard dog beds look like a specialty pillow or a cushion upon which your pet can rest its body on. Most come in a rectangular shape. However, there are also those that feature a circular, square, or even oval shape. Obviously, the shape of the bed will be a major factor in your decision which type of dog bed to buy as this relates to your pet’s sleeping behavior.
Standard dog beds are typically made of ordinary foam as cushion or padding, although some manufacturers will use polyester instead. There are also standard dog beds that come with cedar chips in an effort to help reduce if not eliminate pet odors. Cedar wood chips embedded into the fill material of standard dog beds can also serve as an insect repellent, freeing your dog from the nasty bites of small creatures that may crawl towards your pet while it is sleeping.
This type of doggie bed comes with a liner to help keep the fill materials together. These can be made of flannel or fleece as these materials have a softer texture compared to other fabric materials. This can help improve your dog’s comfort levels. There are also those that come with microfiber fabric for better moisture-wicking and anti-staining properties. Some dog bed manufacturers go for faux suede to give the doggie mattress a more luxurious and elegant look. A few manufacturers use denim materials as liners or covers for standard dog beds as these materials are known to be almost chew-proof.
Standard dog beds also come with a cover. Some come with very simple designs while others are as lavish as can be. There are those with ornaments and other decorative elements. Some can be personalized with the name of your dog embroidered onto the cover.
Keep in mind that these elements – fill, liner, and cover – can also be seen in other types of dog beds.
Standard dog mattresses are ideal for canines that are generally healthy with no known or diagnosed musculoskeletal or joint disorders. It is also not good for senior dogs as they may already have joint, muscle, or bone problems that require a more specialized type of bed.
Nesting Dog Beds
Imagine a standard dog bed that has raised edges or rim and you already have an idea of what a nesting dog bed looks like. This should not be confused with a donut dog bed which we will present to you later on.
Nesting dog beds have raised edges or bolsters on no more than three of its sides. One side is typically left without a rim to help your pet get into and out of the bed a lot easier. This is especially the case if the raised edges of the nesting dog bed are high enough that your dog will have to literally “hop” onto the bed rather than “step” into it. Some nesting dog beds come with bolsters only on opposing sides, mimicking that of a classic Cleopatra sofa.
If your dog loves to sleep all curled up like a little baby or even a shrimp that has coiled inwards, then this is the type of dog bed to get. It is also ideal for those dogs that love to rest their heads and neck on a pillow-like contraption. The bolsters on these dog beds can help elevate the head of dogs so that they can maintain a near-perfect alignment with the rest of the spine.
Donut Dog Beds
As mentioned above, donut dog beds can be easily confused with nesting dog beds. This is because this type of doggie mattress also comes with bolsters, rim, or raised edges. The only difference, of course, is that the bolster or raised edge completely encircles the bed. Having said that, donut dog beds only come in a round or circular shape. Just imagine your classic donut that goes with your coffee. It’s round and has a hole in the middle. This hole is where your dog will be resting on.
Like the nesting dog bed, donut doggie mattresses are ideal for dogs that love to sleep all curled up. Depending on the manufacturer, these can come in varying levels of softness. If you want your hound to sleep tightly and restfully, then choose one that is made of soft yet durable materials.
However, keep in mind that donut dog beds are never ideal for canines that have musculoskeletal problems or those that are already old. Being curled up can put strain on their joints which can lead to more pain and inflammation.
Elevated Dog Beds
This type of canine bed looks a lot like your bed sans the mattress on top. It is composed of a frame that is supported by at least 4 legs mounted on each corner of the frame. The frame is mostly made up of metal or heavy-duty PVC, although there are some manufacturers that use wood as frame and legs. Expect to pay more for these, though. One very important characteristic of the frame is chew-resistance. It is for this reason that raised or elevated dog beds are always given to dogs that are known power chewers. Find out more about indestructible dog beds here.
The sleeping platform that is mounted onto the frame is usually made of synthetic materials as these are generally stronger and more durable. The corners are also designed and stitched in a certain way so as to prevent dogs from latching their teeth onto it, preventing chewing on the bed. The sleeping platform is breathable, allowing air to circulate from the bottom and upwards.
There are many reasons why you may want this type of bed for your dog. It’s a good way to keep your pet cool during warm days as the elevated platform allows for the more efficient circulation of air, cooling your pet. During cold days, the same elevated platform raises your dog’s body off the cold surface of the floor. It is also effective in preventing fleas and ticks and other pests from reaching your dog.
Orthopedic Dog Beds
Designed with a purpose, orthopedic dog beds are considered a must-have for senior dogs, skinny dogs, and dogs with arthritis or any other joint problem. This doggie bed is specifically designed to conform to the natural contours of the dog’s body, relieving pressure from bony prominences and eliminating the risk of pressure sores.
Orthopedic dog beds also help maintain the alignment of the dog’s spine while facilitating the more even distribution of the dog’s weight. Some beds come with heating elements to further aid in the management of muscle spasms and joint pain.
This type of canine bed is ideal for dogs with hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, arthritis, and other health problems related to the joints, muscles, and bones. They can come in the form of a standard dog bed or even a nesting dog bed.
Heated Dog Beds
As the name suggests, heated dog beds can come in a number of technologies that provide heat or warmth to the dog. In many cases, heated dog beds feature a heating element that needs to be plugged into an ordinary household electrical outlet. As such, observing basic electrical safety protocols is a must in case you decide to purchase this type of heated dog bed.
There are also heated dog beds that come with self-warming technologies. These beds use the dog’s own body heat to warm up the bed. There are also those that contain a special type of material that allows it to absorb and retain heat. These can be placed inside a microwave to be heated before reinserted or used on the dog.
Heated dog beds are useful for very young puppies as they are not yet fully capable of regulating their body temperatures. They are also more vulnerable to cold temperatures. The same is true with older dogs that may have already lost most of their subcutaneous fat that is supposed to insulate them from the cold. Dogs with joint problems or muscle pain and spasms can also benefit from a heated dog bed.
Cooling Dog Beds
There are breeds of dog that are very prone to overheating. The English Bulldog, Pug, Chow Chow, Shih Tzu, and Pekingese are just some of the dog breeds that are especially vulnerable to heatstroke. It is for this reason that they need a cooling dog bed to help maintain their body temperatures at a more acceptable range.
There are two very common cooling methods employed in this type of doggie bed. The most common, and so far the more efficient of the two, is the use of specialized gels. These absorb cold moisture and keep it there for a longer period of time. The other type of cooling dog bed uses plain water which can help absorb heat from the dog’s body. Gel technologies are inherently more expensive than those that use water as a cooling medium.
Covered Dog Beds
You might consider the covered dog bed as a smaller version of a dog house since it has a roof. It can also be a den- or cave-like contraption that has walls on all sides plus a top cover. One of these walls can have a door or an entrance. Some are designed like tepees while others look like igloos. However, it is designed, a covered dog bed provides a den for your furry pal.
Many dog lovers believe that the ancestors of their pets lived in dens or caves, often together with their pack members. It is for this reason that a covered dog bed is ideal. It can provide a safe refuge for your scaredy dog or even a dog that has serious anxiety issues. Covered dog beds are also good choices for keeping your dog warm and well-protected from the cold drafts of air. For more options, check out our detailed review of couch covers for dogs.
Travel Dog Beds
If you’re the type of pet parent who cannot go on your adventures without tagging your dog along, then the travel dog bed fits the bill perfectly. These are similar to a standard dog bed, except that they are thinner due to the fact that they must be easily folded or rolled to save space in your car or even to make it easy to stash in your gear.
These can also be placed in travel crates or dog carriers since they have a more flexible padded surface. Choose one that is not only light, but also durable and chew-resistant.
You may also like our article on Backpack Dog Carriers.
Kennel Dog Beds
These doggie beds are ideal for use in dog crates and may resemble that of a travel dog bed. It is thinner than a standard dog bed, but thicker than a travel dog bed. One very important feature of this type of canine bed is that it should be waterproof since some dogs have the tendency to urinate inside their kennel or crate. For more options head over to our guide on washable dog beds.
Kennel dog beds provide a barrier between the dog’s body and the hard bottom surface of the dog crate. Since most kennels have slats on their floor, putting a kennel dog bed can provide a more comfortable platform for your dog to move about.
Picking the right bed for your dear dog should not be that difficult. By increasing your knowledge of the different types of canine bed, you can easily choose the right one for your pet.