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Dog Beds- Tips For Selecting and Purchasing a Quality Dog Bed

Category: Pets
Posted at: Nov 18 2011 9:27AM
"All dogs go to heaven." Well, all dogs also need a place to rest those paws before the journey. A dog bed is vital to a pup's health. Why?

o It provides a sanctuary of privacy and security.
o It cushions joints and bones which is important if the dog is older, arthritic, or overweight.
o It helps reduce risk of injury from jumping on and off furniture.
o It insulates pup from the floor.
o It helps contain fur, dirt and dander, concentrating the "mess" in a smaller area.
o A travel bed or mat provides a familiar, secure resting spot on the go.
o An outdoor cot protects from uncomfortable or uneven surfaces, allowing air to circulate underneath.

Why not pay $10 at the local Pet-O-Rama for a fuzzy mat or a bed festooned with laughing clowns? Aside from potential aesthetic issues, most bargain beds are not sewn for durability and are filled with cheap synthetic material, which bunches and lumps, becoming uncomfortable and easy pickings for chewing. Bargain beds break down quickly and need to be replaced more often, resulting in more waste and ultimately costing as much or more than one quality bed.

A dog's size, age, physical condition and preferred sleeping position are all important factors in determining bed size and shape.

Sleeping Position

Pups who curl up will enjoy round beds, which include styles that cocoon, have a bolster pillow (a bumper or nest bed) or are a luxurious cushion.

A rectangular bed does the trick for lounging dogs because it is spacious with gentle overall support.
If a dog enjoys sleeping with his back against legs, a cushion or furniture, or if he circles before curling up or snuggling in, he is seeking security and will enjoy a bumper or nest bed.

For dogs that sleep in crates, a mat provides cushioning and comfort yet has a slim silhouette. Dog mats are portable, too.

Age is a factor. Puppies and younger dogs tend to snuggle and enjoy a bumper or nest bed's sense of security while older dogs may be a little less flexible and prefer a rectangular bed.

Many dogs, especially small breeds, can't sleep unless their backs are tucked into something; such dogs will relish a baffled cave shape that conforms to the body, provides support and security, and satisfies their natural burrowing instinct.

Some dogs simply prefer their owner's couch or bed. If so, a blanket is a wise investment. It provides a spot to curl up on, reducing fur, dirt, dander and scratch marks on the furniture. Blankets are available in organic cotton, hemp, recycled fleece and other earth-friendly sources which are easily cleaned in the washer.

Other Considerations:

o Sizing: Measure the dog in his most common sleeping position, determining the length from nose to rump plus 12 inches. If not fully grown, consider expected size at maturity or estimate bed size based on weight.

o Bed Cover: Covers made from reclaimed cotton, hemp, recycled pop bottle fleece, or organic cotton are all terrific alternatives to synthetics because of sourcing (renewable or recycled), durability, and easy care.

o Stuffing: Recycled pop bottle poly fill, organic cotton, recycled poly-cotton scraps, kapok and other eco-friendly stuffing have a longer life than standard poly fill, bunch less, and provide more comfort.

o Construction: Dogs get dirty! A removable cover and inner cushion that can be removed and washed is a must.

o Style: Earth-friendly dog beds don't have to be plain. They come in every shape, size and style.

o Price: Compare pricing, considering any extra fees.

With a little bit of know-how, it is possible to find a properly sized, quality dog bed that is consistent with a sustainable lifestyle without sacrificing anything.

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