Buying a dog bed is challenging for many reasons, not least because you’re shopping for a creature who can’t verbalise their preferences.
It’s an important thing to get right though – dogs spend almost half their lives sleeping, and the most durable, higher quality options can get very expensive.
But you’ll know your dog’s tastes: whether, for example, they like to create a den beneath the coffee table, or if they prefer to sprawl on the floor beside the radiator.
A puppy will need a bed that is comfortingly snug and crate-compatible, yet inexpensive because it’ll need replacing as they grow, while many older dogs suffer from joint pain, in which case memory foam mattresses are most comfortable.
If your dog is prone to chewing cushions and furniture, its bed will need to be hardy.
You’ll also want it to be water-resistant or have a removable, machine-washable cover for easy cleaning. And as it will likely occupy a prominent spot in your home, it needs to look good too.
We’ve trawled through the options to share the best beds that deliver on comfort, quality, style and value for money.
Casper dog bed, from £115, Casper.com
Socialize your pet. This is especially important for puppies. Again – behavior problems are the number one reason dogs don’t stay with their families and don’t get adopted by new families. Lack of proper socialization can result in inappropriate fears, aggressive behavior, general timidity, and a host of other behavior problems that are difficult to extinguish once a dog is mature.
The popular US brand spent 11 months adapting its famous mattress for our four-legged friends. The result is a high-quality, durable memory foam bed with a removable, machine-washable cover and bolstered sides. It will appeal to most dogs but is an especially good choice for older ones or those with joint pain. It comes in three sizes and three understated colours. It also comes with the same 100-night guarantee it offers for its human mattresses.
Ralph & Co Stonewash dog bed, Windsor Pillow, from £49.99, Ralphand.co
The Windsor pillow bed is designed for dogs who like to sprawl on plush surfaces. The grey stonewashed linen-look cover is removable and machine washable, and the large size is big enough for a Labrador or Dalmatian. Like the rest of the brand’s range, it looks far more expensive than its price tag.
Cecil dog bed, from £150, Sofa.com
This elevates the dog bed to proper furniture status, ideal if your pet regularly claims your spot on the sofa as their own. It comes in two sizes and is made-to-order to the same standards as the company’s sofas. The covers are removable, washable and available in 19 different colours and prints. It’s on the pricey side, but it’s also one of the most elegant beds around.
A Wagging Tail Does Not Always Equal a Happy Dog. Don’t approach a strange dog just because it’s wagging it’s tail. Tail wagging isn’t always the universal sign of happiness – it can also indicate fear or insecurity. Be sure to teach your children about the basics of dog bite prevention.
The Really Tough Tuffie, from £162, Tuffies.co.uk
Tuffies specialises in dog beds and this model is especially designed with the lovable, but destructive types in mind – it promises to be chew-resistant with a five-year guarantee. It comes in dark green and black, and inexpensive replacements are available for both the stuffing and the fabric insert, in case your pet is a little more determined.
Orvis memory foam bolster dog bed, from £249, Orvis.co.uk
Orvis has a fantastic selection of bolstered beds for dogs of all sizes, but this memory foam number stood out as a great pick for an older pet. Not only will it be comfortable for aching joints, but its snap-off seat pad can be tossed in the wash and replaced with a spare (included) – helpful if your dog is prone to accidents. It’s expensive, but worth it. It can also be personalised with your dog’s name.
Danish Design Maritime Snuggle Bed, from £25.99, Wayfair.co.uk
This brand has a reputation for affordable-yet-decent quality pet products and its dog beds are no different. We love the fresh-looking blue-and-white stripe of this cotton-polyester bolster bed, which feels as plush as it looks. It comes in a broad range of sizes and the cover is removable, although it must be hand-washed.
Teddy Maximus Pineapples Cocoon dog bed, £85, Teddymaximus.com
The “doughnut” or “bagel”-style bed is great for small dogs who like to curl up, and this pineapple print version from Teddy Maximus is one of the loveliest we’ve seen. The whole thing can go in the washing machine too, but it’s pricey, given the size.
No, it’s not just to make themselves look adorable. Dogs curl up in a ball when they sleep due to an age-old instinct to keep themselves warm and protect their abdomen and vital organs from predators.
Petcute Pet Cave, from £20.99, Amazon.co.uk
This ultra-soft cave-like bed is ideal for smaller breeds who feel comforted by an enclosed space. The cushion within is removable, so it can be turned into a “snuggle sack” if you have a dog that likes to burrow under blankets. The covers are removable and the whole thing is washer and dryer-friendly.
Plantabox personalised crate dog bed, from £55, Notonthehighstreet.com
This pretty wooden crate comes in 12 colours and can be customised with your dog’s name. It is open on one side too, so it’s easy for your pup to climb in and out of. You’d need to add your own bedding though, and the largest size isn’t suitable for anything larger than a beagle.
Petface Deli oval cream dog bed, from £24.99, Fetch.co.uk
We liked this Petface bed for its super-soft removable pillow and sweet dachshund print base. The sizing is pretty limited, but as standard dog beds go, it feels sturdy and will look smart in a stylish bedroom or living room. It’s also stocked at Fetch.co.uk, so it can be delivered with your Ocado order.
The Verdict: Dog beds
Each dog is different so as owners, we all approach this search with different requirements in mind. That said, the Casper bed – if your budget can stretch to it – is worth the investment. It’s a rare dog that wouldn’t enjoy sleeping on it and will last from puppyhood into old age.
Watch that plate of cookies! A Dog’s sense of smell is 10,000 – 100,000 times more acute as that of humans.
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