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Find Your Picky Pup the Perfect Dog Bed

By Colleen Williams
July 9, 2015 • 4 min. read

What dogs value above all else is comfort. Whether Fido’s sprawling out on your couch or a patch of dirt, that’s his number one priority! Every dog wants a warm, comfy bed to call their own in a loving home. These days, dog beds are available in dozens of styles, sizes and colors. You can even order a $190 jeweled crown canopy dog bed for your precious pup, or an antique French Louis Philippe-style piece for a cool $850. However fancy or unfussy your pup, there’s a dream dog bed for every pet.

The Senior

orthopedic dog bed

An orthopedic dog bed provides relief for aging pups’ aching joints, especially if your pet has arthritis or hip dysplasia. Orthopedic foam cradles and supports, removing stress from pressure points like the knees and elbows. There’s a size for every dog, from Shih Tzu to Great Dane. With other styles of foam or filling, an indentation eventually begins to form; orthopedic dog beds keep their shape, springing back immediately.

Our Picks: With almost 70,000 reviews on Google Shopping, the Doctors Foster and Smith Quilted Super Deluxe Dog Bed has a solid 4.5 stars and is available in a wide range of colors; $89.99-$179.99, small to XL. For the pet parent on a budget, PetCo’s orthopedic dog bed is stylish and affordable at $59.99.

The Gentle Giant

dog be for large dogs

Large dogs can have a tough time fitting on traditional dog beds; they’ve also been known to tear them up or break down filling after just a few months. Measure how long your pet is – from head to rump – before going shopping to find the right size dog bed. Pick an upholstery-grade fabric that can stand up to tough nails. (Bonus, it’ll also look good in your living room!) Choose a bolster, cushion, rectangular pad, or even couch style – whichever suits your pet’s sleeping style best.

Our Picks: For large pups who love to curl up, the Round Dog Nest bed from Orvis is highly customizable and made of high-quality upholstery fabric; $69 to $109, up to 100lbs. The ultimate dog lounger, the BioMedic Modern Pet Sofa comes in sizes XS through XXL, but is a little pricey at $340 (size large).

The Nester

heated dog bed

Whether it’s winter or your pet is chilly year-round, a heated dog bed will keep paws toasty warm. Some beds are “self-heated” and have special insulation designed to reflect the dog’s body, creating a pocket of hot air. Others are similar to electric blankets and plug in; while many have timers, never allow your pet to use a heating pad without supervision to prevent burns or accidental fires. Some dogs prefer to “nest” with pillows and blankets in addition to a bed – try a bolster dog bed, which may help your pet feel cozier.

Our Picks: The Pawhut heated dog bed is a great cheap option at $21.99, especially for seasonal use. We recommend the Doctors Foster and Smith Deluxe Self-Warming Bolster Bed to thwart pillow-stealing pups; $69.99 to $89.99, small to large.

The Outdoorsman

outdoor dog bed

Pets want to be where the people are, and during the summer that means outside! Most dog beds aren’t designed for outdoor use – fabrics fade, mildew sets in, and filling flattens. Select a UV-resistant cover that’s removable to avoid sun damage and make washing a breeze. A true outdoor dog bed should have a waterproof bottom to ensure paws and belly stay dry. Better yet, many models are elevated and made of breathable mesh. Pick one with a sunshade to protect from the sun’s harmful UV rays, which can cause skin cancer in dogs.

Our Picks: The aptly-named “Buster’s Got It Made in the Shade” outdoor dog bed comes in a nautical navy and folds down for easy carrying, sunshade and all; $49.99 for medium. This Majestic Pet Products’ stylish dog bed comes in several colors of chevron pattern and is UV-treated for up to 1000 hours of sun-time; at just $75 for a medium, it won’t break the bank either.

The Beach Bum

elevated dog bed

If your pup likes to lounge in the sunshine, it’s important to make sure he doesn’t get heat stroke. An elevated or raised dog bed keeps air circulating underneath your dog, where the belly releases heat, and also prevents a muddy belly. If you’re headed to the beach, bring along this bed style to keep paws off hot sand. Most elevated dog beds are designed for outdoor use with a metal frame and nylon mesh, another plus. For indoor sun-soakers, try a more elegant hammock dog bed for a very Zen vibe. (Maybe you and your pup should try some Doga…)

Our Picks: The original elevated dog bed, Coolaroo makes their product in a variety of sizes and colors to match any deck décor. Bambu’s Cross Pet Hammock ($142.99) works for both dogs and cats up to 12lbs, while the brand’s Nautical style holds 100lbs in size large ($226).

The Lounger

dog sofa bed for large dogs

Does your dog creep onto the couch when you’re not home? The notorious phantom couch hog leaps up as soon as the door shuts, the only evidence some telltale hairs. Get your pup his own couch and a special place in the living room. Many couch dog beds are basically human furniture (with a price tag to match). Some pet parents simply convert an old love seat for their dog, spraying cushions with a stain guard or reupholstering cushions in rip-resistant canvas.

Our Picks: A classy addition to any family room, Grandin Road’s sofa dog bed is so stylish you’ll have to keep confused guests off of it; $129 for large. For the dog who has everything, the Overstuffed Luxury Sofa by Doctors Foster and Smith even has a removable microsuede cover for hassle-free cleaning.

(Featured image via

colleen williams
By Colleen Williams

Over the past decade, Colleen has written about health, wellness, beauty, and even pets for The New York Times, The Cut, Refinery29, xoVain, Healthy Paws Pet Insurance, and Seattle Met Magazine, as well as many beauty brands. She has a BFA in Art History from the University of New Mexico and an AAS in Fashion Design from Parsons School of Design in New York.

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