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Choosing the right bed for your dog

Dogs are active animals who enjoy exploring, sniffing and playing, but it's also really important for them to get enough rest. As dog owners, we can help our dogs get the important downtime they need by making sure they have somewhere quiet and comfortable to snooze without any disturbances.

staffordshire bull terrier dog lying in RSPCA branded dog bed

How to choose a dog bed

It's important to make sure you choose the right size bed for your dog. If you watch them sleep, you'll notice they get into lots of different positions: stretched out, curled up, on their back - even on their belly with their legs stretched in opposite directions like Superman!

What size bed should I get?

Their bed should be large enough for them to be able to lie comfortably in all these natural positions. Some beds might be big enough for your dog to curl up in, but can they also stretch out their legs if they want to?

What type of dog bed should I get?

Dog beds come in many different shapes and sizes. Each dog will have their preferences, but it's always best to give them a couple of options - that way you can be sure they'll always be comfy. 

  • Round or oval beds with a side are great for when your dogs wants to curl up
  • Mattress beds can be good for lying flat
  • Box beds or others with a side allow your dog to really cosy down - these can help keep them warm and protected from any draughts. Other beds might be better in summer when your dog may want to stay cooler.
small dog lying in a small dog bed from the RSPCA shop © RSPCA

What material should my dog bed be and how can I wash it?

If you want a dog bed to take camping, into the garden or on any adventures, then a more robust material is best. Waterproof or water-resistant beds can be helpful in preventing them from getting damp. Dog beds should be nicely padded and made from a comfortable material. They should also be easily washable.

Luxury dog beds for special dogs

Some dogs may have specific needs when it comes to beds:

  • Older dogs or dogs with any aches, pains or joint problems might benefit from an orthopaedic or memory foam bed that they can get in and out of easily.      
  • If you have a shy or nervous dog they may benefit from a 'igloo' type bed so they can hide away in comfort whenever things get too much for them.
  • More than one dog? To avoid competition, you'll need to have a minimum of one bed per dog. If your dogs enjoy snuggling up together, consider getting an additional dog bed large enough for them to comfortably share.
CP Designs dog bed © CP Designs

Where is the best place to put a dog's bed?

Put the bed somewhere warm and draught-free and give your dog options. You could place one bed in a quiet part of the house where they can rest undisturbed, and one in a room where the family spends time so they can be in your company while relaxing or snoozing in a comfortable spot.

Find out more about creating a good home for your dog.

Dog lying on RSPCA dog bed © RSPCA

Do not disturb

Finally, none of us like being disturbed when we're trying to sleep and dogs are no different. Make sure everyone in the family, including children, knows to leave your dog alone while they're in their bed - this is an important part of keeping children safe and dogs happy.

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