One of the biggest joys of having a pet is always having a reliable cuddle buddy. Someone to snuggle up to in bed and keep you company while you both start to doze off. While that’s certainly an advantage of having a pet, there’s no harm in purchasing your companion a bed of their own! In fact, there are plenty of reasons why you should - because they need more than just a box!
Dogs and cats sleep 12 - 14 hours a day, so it’s only natural that they have a luxurious, soft, comfy place to call their own and go to whenever they need rest.
Importance of a Pet Bed
Pet beds have a lot of perks, not only for your pet, but for you, too:
- Joint Support - As dogs and cats get older, it’s very common that they develop problems like arthritis, hip dysplasia, and other uncomfortable health conditions. By finding a supportive bed that is either softer, firmer, or falls somewhere in between, you can find the right bed to help your pet receive the joint and mobility support they need. This is also beneficial to younger puppies or kittens that are still developing, as well as all other dogs that need proper body support. Having a bed prepared for your pet is also much healthier and safer for them in comparison to jumping on and off sofas, couches, and human beds.
- Better Sleep - Beds specifically designed for pets are going to provide a much more comfortable experience for your pet. Since pet beds create a warm, soft, cozy environment for your dog or cat, their sleep will be uninterrupted, whereas the cold floor or bunched up blanket could cause them to wake up throughout the night from discomfort or unsuitable temperatures. Beds will allow them to stretch out at their pleasure, and they can rely on a more consistent sleep quality. Better sleep leads to overall better health in your companion.
- Personal Space - Pet beds guarantee that both you and your pet will have some personal space. Dogs, especially, need a den-like place to call their own. This would be their bed. They can trust that this is a piece of furniture in the home that they truly have dominion over. Beds give dogs and cats a place to retreat to at their own convenience. If things are getting a bit too loud or noisy in the household, if they want to take an afternoon nap, or if they simply want some alone time, they have the private space to do it. This means that you’ll also have your bed to yourself, too!
- Saved Furniture - Giving your pet a bed means that your own bed, couches, chairs, and mats will have less fur on it. There will also be a reduced risk of your pet leaving behind a smell on the furniture, or accidentally urinating or leaving behind an accident. This is great for pet parents because household furniture can be so hard and tedious to clean, whereas pet beds are washable and will have special instructions for cleaning on their tags or labels.
Types of Beds
There are tons of dog beds available that each have unique materials, structures, designs, and purposes. You just have to choose the one that best supports your dog’s preferences, health conditions, and age!
Here are a few common types of beds:
Regular / Standard Beds
These are the most popular, commonly used types of beds. There are pillows, cushions, donuts, and many other types of standard beds. There are so many variations of these on the market, all depending on what your dog or cat likes. These are the simpler ones among the many pet bed options out there, but also the most cost-effective and varied in designs and colors. If you’re looking to get the job done and simply supply your pet with something soft and comfortable to sleep on, these will be more than enough! They may not have the same advanced features or designs as more modern pet beds, but they’re great for most dogs and will satisfy your style preferences. Plus, they can be used for extra comfort in crates and kennels.
Heated beds, similar to our version of heated blankets, are very useful during the winter months for animals with thinner hair or cats and dogs that just happen to get a bit colder. Some heated beds can even be placed outside. Try to find a bed that will allow you to control its temperature so that you can perfect it to your pet’s preferences. Cats or dogs with arthritis or painful hips or joints can benefit from the therapeutic heat, as well. The heat is sure to lull them to sleep and give them a more comfortable snooze. Just be sure to closely follow the instructions and manual to make sure your bed operates safely!
Older or larger dogs that are more prone to orthopedic issues, such as muscle, hip, or joint pain, would benefit the most from orthopedic beds. Thinner pets with more prominent bones can benefit, too, as orthopedic beds use a thick foam that molds and changes along with your furry friend’s shape and position, helping to relieve extra stress from their body.
Cots are elevated, raised beds. They’re pretty simple, but are definitely a game changer for pets that like to lounge outside or spend most of their time outdoors. Their distance from the ground protects your cat or dog from cold, snowy temperatures in the winter or hot pavement during the summer. Many are created with breathable materials that are ideal for cooling and drying off. Because of their usual light, simple designs cots are often foldable and portable, which means your furry friends can come along on any adventure.
Canopy / Tent
Canopy beds are cots with an overhead cover, resembling the structure of a tent. These are ideal for animals that spend a lot of time outdoors. They lift your pet off the ground and away from too hot or cold of ground. The overhead tent can provide your pet with ample shade and coolness under the hot sun, or provide them with some coverage from rain or snow during brisk winter days. For most canopy beds, the tent structure is detachable, making it good for use in the house, too.
Bolsters, also known as nest beds, are one of the most supportive, secure beds you could choose. Bolsters have cushions as the base of the bed, with raised, thick sides surrounding the entirety of the bed or a portion of it. Cats and dogs love to lean on the sides for support, use them as pillows, or even just as something to cuddle up to. These replicate the feeling of being on a couch or sofa. Pets that like a little extra comfort and stuffing adore these beds, and anxious pets that need a feeling of safety and protection will feel more comfortable.
Choosing a Bed
Make sure these can be checked off the list before you choose a bed to buy:
- Security - Your dog or cat should feel secure and safe in whatever bed you choose so they learn to trust it as a designated space of their own.
- Comfort - The bed should be as comfortable as possible to ensure your companion has better sleep quality.
- Sleeping Style - Depending upon whether your dog or cat sleeps spread out, curled up, leaned up against or cuddling something, the bed should have the appropriate features and size to satisfy your pet.
- Age, Activity Level, Lifestyle - Your pet may have specific health conditions that could benefit from a certain type of bed, whether it be anxiety, arthritis, poor hip and joints, etc. Pets that shed a lot or are outdoors often may require a more easily washable bed cover.
- Home Style - Find a bed that fits in with your home’s themes and motifs! There are plenty of beds that can satisfy your pet’s needs without sacrificing fashion and style.
- Stay open to being a cuddle buddy! - Your pet will undoubtedly benefit from having a bed, but nothing beats a good snuggle session here and there! Help your pet feel extra love by giving them a bed, but also let them feel safe and comfortable enough to remember that your lap will always be their first bed!