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A Guide to Dog Beds

A dog bed can come in handy when your dog has no separate place to sleep or nap at night. It is known to be more comfortable and warmer than floors as it is mostly covered with materials such as fleece, flannel, and microfiber and has foam padding for dogs to rest their heads.

Before noting its overall importance, it is quite necessary to research its types and if your dog is going to like it or not.

Is a dog bed necessary?

Dog beds are not 100% necessary but dogs and puppies shouldn’t also sleep on bare floors, especially when it’s too cold.

There are some dog beds that help prevent the discomfort and pain caused by hip dysplasia, arthritis, and other health issues. Such a dog bed can prove to be a necessity.

Dog beds also provide enough warmth in winter and allow the air to flow in summer. It can be safe and cozy for dogs when they’re feeling cold.

Such beds can also be shared with other pets and dogs, but it will depend on their likes and dislikes. Dog beds can be perfectly safe for puppies.

Types & shape of dog beds

There are many types and sizes of dog beds to suit the size and structure of dogs. Some common types and shapes of dog beds include:

Dog couch/sofa bed

It is shaped to look exactly like a real couch. It has three supportive sides to prevent dogs from falling while they’re napping.

Dog bunk beds

As dog bunk beds usually have two beds attached, they are most suitable for owners having two dogs.

Small stairs are also attached for the dogs to climb down, which makes it more appealing.

Dog cave bed

These beds are perfect for dogs that like hiding as it entirely covers their body.

Their faux lamb’s wool covers like a blanket to ensure high levels of comfort.

Dog bed with canopy/dog tent bed

These are for dogs that stay outside as it has a canopy attached to it that provides escape from UV rays, rain, and snow. It is also designed to be above the ground to avoid insects climbing on it.

Waterproof dog bed

These are any dog beds that are made of waterproof fabric.

Their covers are usually water-resistant and non-absorbent. Hence, it can be suitable for

Dogs that cannot control their wet bladders or aren’t trained.

Dog cot bed

Elevated dog beds such as dog cot beds allow airflow to keep the dog cool in summer.

They are usually rectangular in shape and water-resistant.

Dog crate bed

Dog crate beds have a cage-like structure with a comfortable mattress or pillow.

It provides support from all four sides and is most suitable for dogs that are hard to housetrain.

However, these dog beds often give rise to dog anxiety and fear.

Donut dog bed/round-shaped dog beds

Since these dog beds are round, they are mainly for those dogs that curl up when they’re resting or sitting.

However, it may not fit dogs that sleep with their limbs stretched out, and that is usually in summer. Thus, it might look unattractive in summer.

Washable dog bed

Dog beds get dirty often and with washable ones, it’s easier to clean than others.

Their polyester cover can go in washing machines as they dry quickly after soaked in liquid.

Outdoor dog bed

Outdoor dog beds are for dogs that stay outside the house.

Most of them are waterproof and can withstand any weather. Any dirt on the beds can also be machine-washed.

Car dog bed

During a bumpy ride with dogs in the car, many unfortunate events can occur.

A car dog bed prevents such events by securely positioning the dog in one place and supporting them with a safety belt.

Travel dog bed

These are specially made for traveling as they are portable and can be easily folded.

However, they do not provide the highest level of comfort and cannot be used frequently.

However, it can be costly to purchase supportive and water-resistant dog beds.

Special dog beds

Now that we’re aware of dog bed types, it might be useful to know that some dog beds have special features that could solve many issues. The special dog bed includes:

Anti-anxiety or calming bed for dogs

Dogs suffer from dog depression and anxiety due to many reasons.

Anti-anxiety dog beds or calming beds for dogs can be quite useful for these dogs as they provide a sense of security and comfort that help calm the dogs.

Orthopedic dog bed

Such dog beds can be useful when your dog often suffers from an illness.

 It is designed to put less stress on their joints by providing an extra layer of thick padding.

Due to the extra support, skinny and older dogs often gain the most from this dog bed.

These beds help cure orthopedic problems such as sores, calluses, hip dysplasia, cruciate ligament tears, and arthritis.

Elevated/raised dog bed

An elevated/raised dog bed is any dog bed that is raised upwards. Its four legs and frame are usually made of wood, wicker, metal, or plastic, and are known for durability.

However, they are not suggested for dogs with hip dysplasia, back pain, cruciate ligament tears, and arthritis. This is because jumping or falling off the dog bed will deteriorate their health to cause further harm.

Cooling & heated dog bed

In cold or hot areas, dogs desire comfort too.

Heated dog beds work similarly to heating pads with low voltage. Although they provide safety, they should be purchased with a chew-resistant cord to avoid dangers.

Cooling dog beds are made of plastic and filled with water/gel to keep their bodies cool in summer. This can be the most suitable for large dogs that feel hotter than others.

Chew proof & indestructible dog bed

Dogs can be quite playful and as a result, they end up tearing open their beds.

Chew proof & indestructible dog beds are made especially for them. They are made from ballistic rip-stop fabric that is water-resistant and durable.

Dog bed sizes

There are different sizes of dog beds as dog sizes can vary.

Small dog beds

These beds are measured 27 inches long by 19 inches wide.

It is most suitable for small and healthy dog breeds such as Miniature Pinschers West, Highland Terriers, Chinese Crested, Brussels Griffons, Dachshund, and Lhasa Apsos.

Their weight should not exceed 20 pounds if they’re using this size.

Medium dog beds

Medium dog beds are around 32 inches long by 23 inches wide.

This is the most common size as most dogs weigh around 30 to 40 pounds. Some dog breeds that easily go with this size are Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Cocker Spaniel, Shiba Inu, Beagle, and Corgi.

Large dog beds

Dogs heavier than 40 pounds require a large bed that is around 38 inches long by 27 inches wide, which are the large dog beds.

If your dog is a Pit Bull, Border Collie, Australian Shepherd, English Bulldog, English Springer Spaniels, or small Labradors, it will most likely be more comfortable in a large bed. However, this size cannot withstand dogs that are heavier than 70 pounds.

Extra-large dog beds

This size measures around 31 inches wide by 42 inches long.

It could carry an extra-large size dog. The dog breeds that might go with these are Golden Retriever, Standard Poodle, Boxer, Weimaraner’s, Collies, Vizslas, German Shepherd, Dalmatian, Rottweilers, and Doberman Pinschers.

Double extra-large dog beds

It is a huge size and it can hold up to 110 pounds. It measures around 50 inches long by 30 inches wide.These aren’t readily available but they can be ordered from local pet stores.

Special dogs such as Bernese Mountain Dogs, Great Danes, Alaskan Malamutes, Weimaraner’s, Old English Sheepdogs, and St. Bernard’s are more preferable for these double XL dog beds. 

Bed fill for dog bedding

Bed fills have a significant role in making the beds soft and comfortable for dogs. The most common bed fills for dog bedding are gel foam, polyester filling, cotton batting, beads, and shredded foam.

However, hard bed fills such as straws, pine/wheat/cedar shaving, Bermuda hay, or alfalfa have to be changed frequently. Although they are good for high levels of insulation, they break down quickly to form straw dust that causes discomfort.

Finish/ Fabric for dog bedding

Not only bed fills need to be soft, the fabric and the finish for dog bedding should also be smooth and comfortable. Some common types of fabric are:


It can be preferable for warmth and insulation properties; it is also comfortable and soft against their skin.


It is less prone to stains and scratches. Any dirt on it can be easily machine-washed.


Although it is quite comfortable, it is hard to manage. Dog dirt or saliva can leave stains on it that cannot be easily removed by washing.

Cost of dog beds

The cost of dog beds will depend on their types and their sizes. Some of the types and their costs are listed below:


These cost more than any type. They cost around $29-$200 in most places. However, Amazon has more expensive ones.

Cave bed

As they completely cover dog bodies with Sherpa fabric on the inner surface, they tend to be expensive. They cost $11-$120. However, cheap ones have only a thin layer of polyester.

Waterproof dog bed

They cost around $29-$119 due to their protective layers. It wicks away any liquid on its body instead of absorbing it. The feature that it can be frequently machine-washed justifies its price.

Crate dog bed

These provide the utmost protection and security, and such a feature results in high costs. They cost $28-$314. Some extra-protective ones may also cost $929.

Heating/Cooling dog beds

These are self-warming/cooling dog beds that are very useful for extreme temperatures. Hence, they cost $20-200.

However, expensive ones need to be purchased to make it work effectively.

Dog Bed Price chart:

Types of Dog bedsAmazon price ($)Walmart price ($)
Calming bed$29-$159 $10-$60
Cooling & heated dog bed$30-$200$10-$105
Cave dog bed$37-$120$20-$104
Dog bed with canopy$15-$140$15-$131
Car dog bed$50-$130 $49-$171
Crate$28-$929 $15-$314 
Donut dog bed$3-$100 $12-$59  
Elevated dog bed$3-$100 $12-$59 

The prices of dog beds vary due to their size and materials used to craft them.

What to look for in a dog bed? 

Thick padding

Dogs will most likely feel uncomfortable resting or napping on a hard surface. Thick padding lifts the dog bed from the hard surface to provide warmth and insulation.

Raised sides

Raised sides can be used for resting their heads. Not only does it support the head, but it also firmly supports the whole body to ease the stress in their joints.

As a result, improving the health of dogs.

Soft bed fills

For a dog to be entirely comfortable, soft bed fills are required. They should be made of gel foam, polyester filling, cotton batting, beads, and shredded foam.

Straw or hay bed fills make dog beds inconvenient as they have to be changed every few days. They also feel hard and uncomfortable.

Waterproof coating

Almost all dogs drool. They can often leave stains on the cover and they can be hard to wash off.

Waterproof dog beds can wick away any dirt and liquid. It can also be washed easily, eliminating the need of changing dog beds every month.

Tips to use a dog bed for your dog

Purchasing a suitable dog bed will not be enough if your dog doesn’t use it or gets it damaged often. Thus, here are some tips that might solve huge problems:

How to get your dog to use the dog bed

Knowing the reason for the problem is the key to solving it.

Dogs take time to be comfortable in their new bed, so they might refuse to use it until they feel completely comfortable.

To make it feel like it’s their old bed, place your clothes or your dog’s old blanket over the dog bed so that its scent makes it comfortable. Later the clothes can be removed once your dog starts feeling comfortable.

If it doesn’t work, try rubbing your hands on it to make your dog feel like it’s safe.

How to keep the dog bed clean

To keep it clean and stain-free, purchase a washable, waterproof and removable dog bed cover.

Dog beds made from polyester and microfiber can be machine-washed. To clean a non-washable dog bed, try vacuuming the bed or remove its cover to sprinkle some stain remover while washing with hands.

As most of the dog bed covers are removable, wash those using detergents to get rid of any smell.

Will dog chew/scratch the bed

It is normal dog behavior to chew/scratch the bed as they start to feel comfortable in their beds. Their paws leave a scent after digging into their beds to mark their own territory.

For such cases, a chew-proof dog bed can be purchased to withstand any scratches or bites. It is covered with durable materials such as ballistic nylon, thick denim, nylon or polyester ripstop fabric, and heavy canvas.

For using these tips, it is also necessary to know that dogs cannot be forced to use their beds. They have a specific amount of time for sleeping or using these dog beds and it should be followed.

Dog beds as a whole are necessary for dogs. They need their own beds just as much as we do. Ignoring their napping needs will cause them dog depression and anxiety.

Since such beds provide relief to their orthopedic stress, calm them down, and provide comfort and warmth in times of need, they can solve huge health problems. Thus, for a longer lifespan, they need dog beds. However, it will be wise to find out your dog’s exact requirements.