Everybody needs a comfy place to sleep. And, since most dogs and cats sleep 10-16 hours a day or more, it's important to choose the right bed for your precious pet.
Today, dog and cat beds are fashionable as well as functional, so it's easy to mistakenly buy the dog bed
that looks best to you or will coordinate with your couch. Before making your purchase consider the following: Size, Shape and Texture.
Mistake #1: Choosing The Wrong Size Dog Bed
The biggest mistake people make when purchasing a bed for their dog or cat is guessing on size. First and foremost, measure your pet's length. This will give you a general idea about the dimensions your pet needs. There's nothing worse than a bed that's too small. Can you imagine trying to sleep with your feet hanging off the bed? Of course not!
Mistake #2: Choosing The Wrong Shape Dog Bed
Take a day or two to analyze how your pet sleeps. Does she curl up in a ball or does she like to stretch out? Most pets will sleep in a variety of different positions but if you spend some time watching your pet's behavior you can get a good idea which type of bed he or she will most enjoy. Beds are available in round
shapes. Additionally, beds come in a variety of styles, like traditional stuffed style, bumper style
or flat mat
style. If your dog is older or has joint or muscle pain, consider opting for an orthopedic dog bed
for extra support and comfort.
Mistake #3: Choosing The Wrong Texture
Just like people, pets have their own unique preferences. Some dogs and cats prefer nappy textures, while others like smooth fabrics. Take a look at the spots your dog likes to flop and this will help you determine the best kind of fabric for your pet's bed.
Additionally, consider the climate in which you live. If you're in a colder area, think about getting a heavier fabric like a berber or fleecy fabric
. In warmer climates, a sleek, cool faux suede dog bed
might be more appropriate.
Keep in mind, it can take some time for your dog or cat to warm up to a new bed. Just like new sheets, new dog beds require a breaking-in period. Think about washing the outer cover to soften it. Dogs and cats are very sensitive to smell and may prefer the scent of their old blanket or bed to the new one so give you pet time to adjust. You can also make the bed smell more like you (which your pet also likes) by putting your old t-shirt on the bed for a few days. Making the bed smell familiar to your pet is key.
Dogs are social creatures and they want to spend time with you. It's a good idea to put your dog's new bed in the room where you are. Don't be afraid to move it around from room to room. Where ever you happen to be hanging out is where your pooch wants to be!
Finally, you can create a reward system when your pet uses his new bed. Take a few minutes each day and train your dog to sit on his bed. Using positive reinforcement, it's easy to teach your dog a basic sit/stay right on the bed. Reward your dog with a dog treat each time. Soon enough, your dog will associate his new bed with really good things.