Monday, October 12, 2009

Why Your Dog Needs a Proper Bed

By Anna Lee

“To sleep, per chance to dream…” From Shakespeare’s Hamlet

We all enjoy our sleep, or we should anyway. Have you tossed and turned, night after night, and tried everything possible to fall asleep? When you finally did sleep it only lasted a few hours? I think many of us know that feeling. After buying a new pillow, or drinking a glass of warm milk before bed, you finally came to the conclusion it was your mattress causing you such restlessness. The proper bed, meaning the mattress, is very important to a good night’s sleep for humans.

Just as you need a proper mattress, your dog needs a proper bed. Gone are the days when people throw an old Army blanket on the floor in the corner for Fido. In Abby’s long life she has had a few beds. Her “beginner bed” as I called it, was oval shaped with high sides almost all the way around – and of course it was puppy pink. It had a fleece bottom which was supposed to make her feel safe and warm. I guess it worked because she slept in it until she outgrew it, which wasn’t long!

From there we moved to a large rectangular shaped dog bed that was about 4 inches thick and had cedar savings inside a separate cover. That way we were able to take the cover off and wash it and not have to get the cedar wet. I bought it online from Drs. Foster and Smith. They had, and still have, a very large selection of dog beds. That particular bed came with two covers so I could put a fresh one on while the other was being washed.

When Abby outgrew that dog bed, we moved to a larger rectangular shaped bed which fit her fine, and thankfully she stopped growing at that point! The problem we had was that her bed was up against a set of French doors in our bedroom. When she rolled over and would start to run in her sleep, her nails would “tap tap tap” on the glass doors. We had a small bedroom, and that was really the only spot for it. Abby is a people dog and her bed has to be in the bedroom. We tried putting it in the living room but she wouldn’t use it out there.

So to make the nights a little quieter we got a large rectangular dog bed with a bolster on the back and one side. With the high back to the window, there is no more tapping. She also likes to put her head on something when she sleeps so the bolster is perfect. This bed is about 6 inches thick and is a firm bed. It makes it a little easier for her to move on it, since she isn’t quite as sure footed as she used to be.

There are so many different types and styles of dog beds available online that you won’t find at most pet shops or at the discount stores. They are a higher quality than the discount store type. Some of these beds are rather expensive, but the one we currently have is on year three and still holding up fine. The cover is just starting to show a little wear so it won’t be long before Abby gets a new dog bed. You can buy almost any color to match or coordinate with your décor.

There are beds available with warmers built in, beds specifically made for use outside, fold up travel beds, nesting beds, memory foam beds and many more. There are at least 80 items including pillows and throws in the dog bed category of Drs. Foster and Smith. In order to pick the best bed for your dog, you just have to understand your particular dog’s sleep needs as well as physical requirements.

The type of bed you buy your dog is just as important as where you place that bed. If your dog is like Abby, the bed has to be in the bedroom. When we were on vacation recently we had her dog bed in the living room. When it was bedtime she was very confused, and paced back and forth until we put her bed in our bedroom. Although she was squished into the corner, she was happy because she was with us.

Read more articles by Anna Lee

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