What is the Best Dog Bed for Your Dog

Although it may not seem like it when we get a new puppy, dogs really like to sleep.

In fact, dogs sleep an average of 16 hours a day. The exact sleep time will vary depending on age, temperature, breed, and activity.

Dogs are also crepuscular. This means that they are most active at dawn and dusk.

Since getting my Shiba and Huskies, I wake up a lot earlier, so that I can let them out for a dawn play and potty session.

Given that dogs sleep so much, I decided to spend some time looking into dog beds, so that I could get my dogs something that suited them. To find the best dog bed, we want to consider our dog’s breed, favorite activities, preferences, age, routine, as well as environmental factors such as temperature, rain, and more.

1. Soft Dog Bed

When I started looking for dog beds, I naturally gravitated toward the soft, fluffy ones. After all, *I* prefer soft, fluffy beds, so I thought my dogs would find them comfortable as well. Soft beds certainly provide more cushioning, but they have some important weaknesses.

Weaknesses of soft beds –

  1. They are too warm during the summer. My dogs will avoid these beds during hot weather, and lie on the cooler tile floor instead.
  2. They look and feel a lot like a soft toy. Some dogs will want to attack a soft bed, and chew it up.
  3. They absorb more dog scent, and are more difficult to clean.
  4. They can encourage dog marking, because they absorb so much scent.

After purchasing several soft beds, I discovered that they were not appropriate for my Shiba Inu, who will frequently attack and chew on them. When he does this, I would no-mark him, and take away the bed. However, as soon as I return it, he would start attacking the bed again.

To him, a soft bed is more rewarding as a soft toy, than it is as a bed! ๐Ÿ˜€

Soft beds work better for my Siberian Husky who is less interested in chewing on them. However, she usually prefers to sleep on the tile floor, which is a lot more cooler. She sleeps on the floor carpets, during colder weather.

Finally, my Shiba Inu started marking the soft bed, probably because it smelled like my Husky.

In the end, I decided to stop using these beds, and look for a better alternative.

2. Outdoor Dog Bed

These beds provide less cushioning, but they are waterproof and more durable. As such, they can be used both indoors and outdoors.

Strengths of outdoor beds –

  1. They are less soft, and less of a chewing temptation.
  2. They are easy to clean, and can be used inside and outside.
  3. They are thin, they absorb less scent, and dogs are less likely to mark or urinate on them.
  4. They are much cooler than soft beds. This is especially true of the elevated beds, that are lifted off the floor by a steel frame. The empty space below, allows for free airflow, which helps to cool our sleeping dog. The elevated frame also prevents water from collecting under the bed, when it rains.

Weaknesses of outdoor beds –

  1. They are usually thin, and may not provide much cushioning for joints.

I currently have three elevated dog beds (two in the backyard, and one inside the house). They are durable, and extremely useful.

My Shiba Inu enjoys resting on his elevated bed, while inside the house, and does not show any inclination for biting it. My Siberian Husky also uses her outdoor bed quite frequently, because it is cooler and more comfortable for her, than the soft beds.

3. Cool Dog Bed

Some dogs, especially breeds with long fur or breeds with double coats, can easily overheat in the summer. When the temperature is high, theseย dogsย may have trouble sleeping, and may even get heatstroke if not properly managed.

Therefore, it is important to always have clean water available for our dog. Good shelter is also necessary, so that he may rest in the shade.

On hot summer days, my dogs prefer to stay inside the house. On hot nights, I give my Siberian Husky an ice-bottle (plastic bottle containing frozen water, that is covered with an old sock), so that she can stay cool. She also has a cool bed inside her crate. I am currently using the K&H Cool Bed 3.

There are two general classes of cool dog beds.

  • Water beds – Most water beds need to be filled with water, need to be cleaned regularly, and may spring a leak after some use. Some beds, for example the MiraCool bed, work by immersing the mattress into water. I prefer to use the water filled bed, because it is less messy and it won’t dry-out. However, I have had to replace my dog’s water bed many times, because of small leaks, which usually develop at the seams.
  • Gel beds – Gel beds come ready with cooling gel, which make them more convenient, and easy to use. However, gel beds may not cool, as well as the water-filled beds.

Some cool beds need to be frozen before use. I find cool beds to be most useful during the summer, especially for inside the crate.

Strengths of cool beds –

  1. They can help keep our dog cool when it is hot outside.
  2. The water or gel provides some extra cushioning for our dog.

Weaknesses of cool beds –

  1. Some dogs may get a bit fearful of stepping on the water or gel mattress. It may take some time, training, and yummy treats, for a dog to get used to the bed.
  2. Dogs can chew through the bed, or pull out the water tab (i.e. the plastic cover closing the water hole). This may create a big mess.
  3. Mold may grow at the bottom of a water bed, if not regularly cleaned and aired.

4. Heated Dog Bed

Most dogs do not need a heated bed, because they have sufficient insulation from their thick fur.

In addition, when it is cold, I prefer to keep my dogs inside the house. If a dog has to be outside, make sure he has appropriate shelter. Put blankets and enough bedding inside the kennel, so that he can stay warm. If there are strong winds, cover the entrance of the kennel with a makeshift curtain, to preserve heat.

Heated dog beds are most useful for older dogs, sick dogs, dogs recovering from surgery, and dogs who have joint issues.

Weaknesses of heated beds –

  1. They usually require a power source, which limits where they can be used.
  2. The power cord may become a chewing hazard for dogs. Supervision is necessary when using these beds.

There are some heated beds, for example the SnuggleSafe Heat-pad, which are power cord free. We warm up the heat-pad in the microwave, and the gel within the pad captures and keeps the heat. These pads can be useful, because there is no power cord hazard, and we can use them anywhere.

However, we should still supervise our dog, to ensure that he does not chew on the heat-pad itself. Make sure that the heat-pad is not too hot, especially when we first take it out of the microwave.

A weakness of this type of dog bed, is that it may not retain heat for long periods of time. As a result, it may only work well for a couple of hours.

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  1. Niikky says

    Where do i find the blue bed that was shown in the photo with your Shiba Inu lying next to the fireplace? Please let me know so I can buy it for my shiba

  2. Brittany says

    I started reading this blog a few months back when I first got my husky puppy. He was 3 months old and so small, now he’s 8 months old weighing almost 50lbs! The crate I got him when he was a smaller pup is now too small for him, I guess I underestimated how big he would get! I was wondering what brand crates & size you recommend?

    • shibashake says

      For my Husky I got the more open crate (for house use), so that there is good airflow during the warmer months. Something like this-
      Midwest Life Stages Double-Door Folding Metal Dog Crate

      I have two female Huskies and they are around 40-45 pounds. Male Huskies will generally be larger.

      The breed standard indicates that the males of the breed are ideally between 21 and 23.5 inches (53 and 60 cm) tall at the withers and weighing between 45 and 60 pounds (20 and 27 kg). Females are smaller, growing to between 20 to 22 inches (51 to 56 cm) tall at the withers and weighing between 35 to 50 pounds (16 to 23 kg).

      Crate sizing information based on weight.

  3. D says

    I’ve bought my shepherd a beautiful bed-not too soft( the easy clean material type) but rarely sleeps on it likes cold tiles more.. I was wondering would he maybe like a faux leather bed- i think the material is quite cold.. Any thoughts? Don’t want to spend a lot of money again for a non usable bed;)

    • shibashake says

      I currently have three dogs –
      – Sephy likes his elevated bed inside, but he likes sleeping on concrete when he is sunning himself outside,
      – Shania likes sleeping on tiles when it is hot and on carpets when it is cooler, however, she frequently sleeps on the elevated bed when she is outside, and
      – Lara likes sleeping on our leather couch.

      I try to observe them and see what they like, and from there I try out what I think would work best. For example, I noticed that Sephy liked lying on bed-sheets and prefers that to his foam bed. So I put together some old blankets and sheets, and that is what he prefers to sleep on at night. ๐Ÿ˜€

    • Maggy says

      I got 3 Siberian Huskies. Two are fine with regular beds. One, thought, prefers laying on the bathroom tile or hardwood no matter the time of year. I’ve let this be for years, but also tried water and elevated beds (no luck). As she gets older though, I’m concerned for her joints. I also thought of faux leather beds – but they are so expensive, plus many have the faux leather on the borders and plush on the inside (which defeats the purpose). Can’t seem to find one that is just rectangular and flat. Have you had any luck?

    • shibashake says

      Recently I got several large memory foam beds for my dogs, and they seem to like it. In the beginning, I would frequently ask them to get on the bed and then reward them intermittently for staying on there. Now they use it on their own when they feel like it. They don’t use it all the time, but they seem to like it especially during cold & rainy days. I got mine from L.L.Bean because we got some leftover gift cards, but there are also a bunch on amazon.

  4. Huskygirl590 says

    I might be getting a husky pup and I want to get a bed that will be good for him/her do u have any spicific suggestions?

    • shibashake says

      I get my Huskies elevated outdoor beds for outside. For inside, I got a cool bed for their crate which is useful for the hot summer months. I wouldn’t get a cool bed for a puppy tho, coz they may chew on it and cause a leak. I talk more about the pros and cons of these beds in the article above, and why I chose them.

      Congratulations on your soon to be new furry family addition! ๐Ÿ˜€

  5. dog bedding says

    Love the article. A good bed for your dog is very important. Our dog is a Swedish Vallhund and loves sleeping inside on a bolster bed in winter but in summer he is very happy sleeping on the floor boards .

    • shibashake says

      lol – my Siberian Husky snores like a drunken sailor every night! She also lets go some smelly ones at night ๐Ÿ™‚ I really envy her because she falls asleep really easily, and sleeps really deeply. My other dog, a Shiba Inu, fidgets a lot more and wakes up whenever there are any weird noises. Its tough being a guard dog.

  6. AEvans says

    My dogs are so pampered, not only do they have elevated beds and bowls. But I also made them tie blankets for the cold winter as although they are in our home and the basement is heated, it is still chilly and I want them to be exceptionally comfortable. I als put doggie jackets on them in the cool air, and in the summer I use a sunscreen that my vet recommended , for their noses and skin. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • shibashake says

      Wow, that is pretty amazing! They are even more pampered than my dogs ๐Ÿ™‚ I have been wanting to get elevated bowls, but my dogs play so rough, that I am concerned that they will just knock it over. Also, I didn’t even know that they had sunscreen for dogs. Which one do you use?

    • AEvans says

      Elevated bowls are great and a very good friend of mine has 3 labs , she as well has them but places wts around the legs and they remain pretty strong. The sunscreen I use is over the Counter and it is BullFrog with the highest SPF as possible, it is for humans but you can use it on pets too. ๐Ÿ™‚

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