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Buying A Dog Bed – Key Points To Consider
Your dog is like a member of the family. And, as such, you want to ensure your dog’s health, safety and comfort. If your dog is like most, he/she spends a large portion of the day sleeping. Therefore, it is easy to understand why the proper dog bed can make such an important impact on your dog’s quality of life.
The various types of dog beds run the gamut. They vary in size, shape, design and material. A bed can be a simple mat or an elaborately-embellished plush cushion. Still, some fancier bed designs look like, well, real beds!
Before you purchase a bed for your best friend, there are a number of factors to consider. They include:
Size of Your Dog
While taking into account the size of your dog may seem quite obvious, it may be overlooked when browsing through so many different fun-looking and novel bed designs. However, it is important to remember that the size of your dog is the number one factor in choosing the proper bed.
In addition, to his/her size, consider the sleeping position of your dog. Does your dog sleep in a curled position or is he/she a “sprawler,” sleeping fully stretched out with legs in all directions? A bolster bed, an oval-shaped bed with raised sides, may be ideal for a “cuddler” but unsuitable for a dog that likes to stretch out. Know that the bed should be at least slightly larger than the size of your dog in his/her normal sleeping position.
Remember to also consider the height of your dog. A number of bed designs are raised off of the floor, either for functional purposes or merely for appearances. In either case, a bed that might provide easy access for a Great Dane may prove to be quite a struggle for a short-legged Dachshund or a young pup.
Also, take into account whether your dog is a growing pup or fully grown. If your dog is a puppy, you may what to purchase a bed that is suitable for today but will provide comfort as your dog matures. However, please keep in mind, that it may not be possible for a particular bed to be suitable for all stages of your dog’s life. As your dog grows and ages, bedding needs often change.
Age and Health of Your Dog
A super plush bed that would be cozy for a young pup in which to snuggle may be too soft for an older dog that has arthritis or other joint or muscle aliments. A bed that is too soft may be a struggle for an older dog to get in and out. An orthopedic bed, one that provides a soft cushion to rest ailing joints but also provides support, may be preferred for older dogs.
Temperature or Seasonal Conditions
Depending upon the temperature of your home, older, short-haired or smaller dogs might find greater comfort with a heated bed. Some beds feature a built-in heating element, similar to an electric blanket. Other beds simply use special materials and physical design to take advantage of the warmth naturally generated by the dog to provide a warmer sleeping environment.
Conversely, long-haired dogs or those accustomed to colder climates may find a bed that provides for a cooler sleeping arrangement more desirable. Mechanical features or simply cooler coverings can provide some dogs with relief. Some mats and cushions serve a duel purpose by offering a fleece-lining on one side and a cooler fabric covering on the reverse side.
Easy of Care
If your dog enjoys the outdoors, he/she may track some of the outdoors indoors. If so, dirt, grass and, possibly, insects will find their way into your dog’s bed. Having a bed with a removable and washable cover will be quite convenient.
Even if your dog is primarily an inside dog, you may want to consider the merits of a washable cover if he/she sheds excessively. Being able to quickly and easily remove grime and dog hair from your pooch’s sleep quarters will go a long way to making the area more visually attractive, smell better and improve your dog’s overall health.
Coordinating Home Decor
Give consideration as to where the bed will be located in your home. Finding a comfortable bed for your best friend doesn’t mean the aesthetics of your home have to suffer. The style and design of dog beds have come a long way. A dog bed no longer has to be an eye-sore. It can be a well-coordinated accent piece, one that highlights your sense of style. Select a color and design of bed that will compliment the other furnishings and décor of the room, as well as be pleasing to your pooch.
In conclusion, just a little bit of consideration in the shopping process will go a long way in finding a dog bed that both you and your dog will love.
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