Buying a good dog bed is a big decision so we have compiled a list of things you might want to consider when buying a bed for your dog:
1 : How does your dog sleep?
What are your dog's sleeping habits and so what does she require from a dog bed in order to have a good night's sleep?
Your dog's sleeping habits and positions will depend on their age and nature as well as the time of day or night, their schedule, mood, level of exhaustion, and a host of other things.
Boggle snoozing on a denim dog bed:
One thing is for certain, dogs sleep in a whole array of positions, from flat out to one eye open. So it is important to think about what shape and structure of dog bed would suit your dog. And check it is versatile enough to accommodate all their sleep positions.
There seem to be four most common sleep positions:
1 : A light sleep ready to spring into action if the door bell rings
2 : Curled up cosy in a ball:
3 : Flat on their side like a slab:
4 : Stretched right out, spread eagled:
In terms of dog bed shape and structure, the important thing is to find them a bed that doesn't restrict them and allows them to comfortably adopt any sleep position they want.
And you'll want a structure that supports them whilst asleep. Dogs seem to like to rest their backs against a supportive bolster.
When we very first started making beds for our dogs we covered large pillows in nice fabrics but a basic cushion shape was wrong for our zonked out dogs and they kept slipping off.
Dogs like an indent they can nestle into, as they would in the wild.
An oval shape echoes the shape of a dog lying flat on its side and supports a variety of sleeping positions.
A chunky bolster acts as a comfy back, neck and head rest, helps exclude any floor draughts, and is a useful chin rest.
2 : What should the dog bed covers be made of?
You will want the surface that your dog sleeps on to be clean, soft and comfortable. Fabrics made from natural rather than synthetic fibres will give the best sleep surface.
It is worth considering dog beds with removable machine washable covers.
We use a weighty corduroy for Hindquarters cord dog bed covers. They are made from a cotton corduroy with 8 whale ridges that give the fabric a cosy and soft velvety texture - and help make it sturdy, durable and easily cleaned.
We also make dog bed covers from thick blue cotton denim that fades gently with use. Tim asleep in his denim dog bed, which is about 3 years old:
We also make dog beds with a machine washable velvet. Dogs love lying on the soft pile which gives a luxurious feel and we like being able to easily brush slobber and paw prints off.
You can have both looks and practicality when it comes to a dog bed: all our dog bed covers are machine washable at 40.
Asleep on an orange moleskin dog bed:
3 : How easy is the dog bed to look after, to keep clean and fresh?
A dog bed with washable covers is probably easiest to maintain and keep clean. Just remove the covers and sling in the machine on a low temperature gentle cycle and air dry.
Changing a dog bed cover:
Hindquarters dog bed covers are made from a variety of thick upholstery grade fabrics that are easy to brush and vacuum. Our dog bed covers come in two parts: the dog bed bolster has a cover and the central cushion has a cover too.
This enables you to turn the central cushion and wash the covers separately if necessary.
And you'll want to consider the type of stuffing used in the dog bed.
Hindquarters dog beds are stuffed with virgin polyester fibres. It is a hypoallergenic stuffing that doesn't hold moisture or bacteria and so keeps things fresh healthy and happy. These stuffing fibres have a high crimp level which means they create a soft but firm cushion that maintains its bounce for longer making a comfy dog bed that lasts.
The inner dog bed is water-resistant, good for rainy days, damp dogs and any little accidents. Simply wipe clean.
An inner dog bed comprising bolster and central cushion made from a technical sportswear fabric:
4 - Is it a durable dog bed?
You will want to buy a dog bed that lasts. So it is important to consider the materials used to make the dog bed and how it is constructed.
The inner dog bed needs to be hard-wearing. Nothing much gets past a determined chewer but your dog bed will need to take some rough and tumble.
With Hindquarters dog beds, the inner dog bed casing is made from a soft but tough, scratch-proof fabric that is both water-resistant and breathable.
Our beds are hand stuffed and sewn in the UK with a free repair or replacement service on any rips, seam splits or tears.
And the dog bed covers are made from a variety of thick upholstery grade fabrics: hard-wearing and easy to vacuum and machine wash.
We started making our own dog beds over 10 years ago now. We wanted something with both style and substance, both easy to maintain and easy on the eye so we built what we now consider the ultimate dog bed.
Over the years we've kept the basic shape and structure but evolved the design and materials we use.
The inner dog bed comprises a central cushion and bolster, both covered in a soft but hard-wearing material which is also breathable and water resistant. Just hoover or wipe clean.
Hindquaters dog beds are generously stuffed with virgin polyester fibres which don't hold moisture or bacteria, helping to keep things healthy, fresh and odour-free. Plus the stuffing fibres have a high crimp level and so maintain their bounce for longer.
All dog bed covers are made from natural 100% cotton fabrics for maximum well-being - and durability.
5 - What size dog bed do I need?
Hindquarters dog beds are generously stuffed but soft and can be squashed up a bit to fit in an alcove if necessary, here are the dog bed dimensions:
- XS dog bed size is 70x50cm, including a 10cm bolster, suitable for very small dogs
- SMALL dog bed size is 80x70cm (central cushion 50x40cm) and good for Dachsunds, Cockapoos, JRT's. Wheaten Terriers, French Bulldogs and Border Terriers
- MEDIUM size dog beds are 100x75cm (central cushion 60x40) and good for most Spaniels, Cockapoos, Corgis, small Staffies and similar sizes
- LARGE size dog beds are 110x80cm (central cushion 70x45) and suitable for a Boxer or regular sized Lab
- EXTRA LARGE dog beds are 120x90cm (central cushion 80x50cm) and good for a German Shepherd, Saluki or Greyhound - or those who like to share
In order to help you work out what size dog bed would be good for your dog we have also written a rough breed size guide : what size bed for my dog?
Lounge on it, sleep on it, dream on it.