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Choosing the right bed

Choosing The Right Bed

There are several factors you need to take into account and questions you need to ask yourself when choosing the right bed for your pet. We hope the information on this page will be of assistance when making your decision. Please contact us if you need any help.

Where would your dog choose to sleep?
Where Would Your Dog Choose to Sleep?

The first answer is usually on your bed and the second is on the sofa! This is because these are the most comfortable places in the house. They are nice and soft, yet supportive; there is room to stretch out; they are not lumpy; they are level all over and are nice and clean! Try to provide your dog with a bed of his own that has all these qualities.

The size of your dog
The Size Of Your Dog

It is important the bed is big enough to accomodate your pet's entire body, including his legs, without any part of him spilling over the edge of the bed. The whole body must be supported evenly. Too many people make the mistake of buying a bed that is too small. If the bed has lumps and bumps or does not provide adequate support it will be incomfortable and can cause health problems long term.

If the bed is flat e.g. a mattress style bed, then the pet’s entire body should be able to fit on the bed when he is stretched out. Do not worry too much about his tail! Before ordering a bed make your pet lay flat on the floor and measure the rectangular area his body covers. Make sure the bed you order is at least 4” (10cm) and preferably 8" (20cm) bigger all round than the size of his body, including his legs. If your pet is between sizes then buy the bigger bed.

If you want to buy an oval bed try and measure his approximate body size when he is curled up normally and match it to the size of the bed, again allowing extra room so he is not cramped. It is best to buy a bed that is too big than one that is too small as it is easy to pad a bed out with extra bedding but a small bed will always be uncomfortable.

We try and give as much information as possible about the measurements of the beds we sell but if you need any help please give us a ring on 01371 851319 or send an email
How your dog sleeps
How Your Dog Sleeps

Pets that sprawl out need a bed with sufficient cushioning to ensure they do not go ‘through’ the bed onto the floor underneath, especially if they are large or heavy. You might wish to consider the generously sized Saucy Brown beds with an upholstery foam filling or the Posture Pal orthopaedic bed with a memory foam filling.

If a thick padded filling is not necessary then consider using Veterinary bedding, like VetBed Original or the Bronte Glen Senior Gold 7+© with Permafresh fibres.

Pets that like to curl up would probably appreciate a bed with a back to it, like the Merino wool nest bed with its thick padded sides, or the Bronte Glen Cosy bed. Both dog beds are designed to give support to your pet’s back and cut out draughts.
The weight of your dog
The Weight of Your Dog

Heavy dogs need a bed with a good quality, dense filling, especially if the bed sits on tiles or a wooden floor, as there is no cushioning from underlying carpet.

Upholstery foam is an ideal filling for heavy dogs as it is dense enought to provide support, yet it is also very comfortable. Our own brand flat beds are made with 2" (5cm) foam, but we can also make the beds with 3" or 4" foam.

Is your dog incontinent?
Is Your Dog Incontinent?

Elderly dogs, in particular, sometimes become slightly incontinent. There is nothing worse than continuously washing heavy wet bedding. Consider either a bed with a waterproof removable outer cover or one with a separate waterproof liner. The waterproof outer cover can be wiped, hosed off or washed. You can buy easy wash over covers for our waterproof beds. Waterproof liners protect the inner filling and stop it becoming wet and if you combine this with an easily removed washable outer cover you will save yourself a lot of difficult bulky washing.

Veterinary bedding can be washed time after time and dries very quickly after 'accidents'. Moisture goes through the base of Vetbed Original and Vet Bed Traditional, so it may be useful to put a layer of Vetbed on top of a bed with a waterproof outer cover, so your pet is always lying on a dry bed. Urine can burn and care must be taken to ensure your pet's skin is not affected by lying in a urine soaked bed. Daily washing and high hygiene standards are imperative.
Does your dog chew?
Does Your Dog Chew?

It is almost impossible to make a bed that cannot be chewed. Dogs usually chew because they are bored, teething or under exercised, although it can just be a habit. A lot of puppies will chew when teething and will grow out of the habit as they mature. It is important they are not over exercised, as this could damage their joints, but they do need appropriate exercise, mental stimulation and attention. If you leave your energetic puppy shut in a crate for hours on end, especially if he is on his own, then do not be surprised if his bed ends up in shreds! Older dogs tend to chew their beds if they are not getting enough exercise or are bored and want something to do - so they turn their attention to their beds.

If your pet is a puppy and chews his bed then, initially, consider making his bed from a strong cardboard box with a section cut out in the front to enable him to get in and out of the box. We do not want you to waste your money on a bed that has to be thrown out in days. As he matures and his exercise level is increased and his brain is stimulated in other ways, then his box will cease to amuse him and he will see it as a place of comfort rather than as an object to rip to bits! Alternatively, consider one of our Perla recycled plastic dog beds that are tough and hard wearing - yet excellent value for money and will not break the bank if they are chewed and have to be replaced. You can always buy a cover or throw to disguise the chewed bed underneath.

If your dog continues to chew his bed and it becomes a real problem, despite adequate exercise, attention and proper mental stimulation, we suggest you seek expert help from a reputable dog club or trainer so you can get to the root of your dog’s behavioural problem.
Does Your Pet Have Arthritis, Joint Problems or a Bad Back and  Need Extra Support?
Does Your Pet Have Arthritis, Joint Problems or a Bad Back and Need Extra Support?

It is important that pets with back or joint problems have firm consistant support from a bed that is easy to get on and off. A lumpy uneven bed will cause them pain and although thick bouncy beds look great they are not very practical for pets with mobility problems. These pets need a comfortable bed that is relatively flat, is soft and comfortable and yet provides adequate support.

The Posture Pal orthopaedic bed with a top grade memory foam filling and a removable washable outer cover has all these qualities. It is the ultimate in luxury for the elderly or infirm pet! It also has the benefit of having a completely waterproof washable cover.

If you do not need to use memory foam, or require a cheaper option, then you might want to consider a Saucy Brown bed, again with an upholstery foam filling, that should give years of service without going flat. Also consider the Bronte Glen Senior Gold 7+© veterinary bedding, with Permafresh fibres, especially developed for older arthritic animals.

Is your pet old?
Is Your Pet Old, Poorly or Needing Extra Warmth?

If your pet needs to be kept warm because of age or infirmity, or if he lives outside, then you should consider buying a thermal heat reflecting bed. We do not sell electrically heated beds because of safety concerns, but we do sell the next best thing! Flectabed and Flectabed Q. Also consider the Bronte Glen Senior Gold 7+© veterinary bedding, which has integrated wool fibres for warmth.

If you want to ensure your pet is not in a draught then consider a nest bed such as the Merino Wool Cosy bed or the Bronte Glen Cosy bed as the sides of the bed solve the problem perfectly. You can always add a soft blanket on top for extra warmth.

Does your pet suffer from allergies?
Does Your Pet Suffer From Allergies?

An increasing number of pets suffer from various allergies - rather like humans. If your pet is scratching, sneezing or has skin problems it could be due to a number of causes, including reactions to fleas, mites, bacteria, fungii - or even their food. If symptons persist always seek professional advice from your vet before the problem becomes serious.

Allergic pets will benefit from using one of several different types of Vetbed which have been specifically developed by Petlife International Limited and Bronte Glen to fight against house dust mites, fleas, fungii, bacteria, and mould. See our Vetbed Information Guide for more information.

Although veterinary bedding is designed to be used on its own there is no reason why you cannot use it in conjunction with any other bed as an healthy, easily washed, quick drying topping.

Veterinary advice
Veterinary Advice

Please remember that although a good bed will help your pet rest properly and give him comfort and support it will never solve any underlying health problems.

If your pet appears stiff, lame, sore, unable to get up and down or rest comfortably, if he scratches, has sore elbows, hocks, skin or appears uncomfortable in any way you must first of all get to the root of his problems by seeking proper professional veterinary advice.

Dogs often become stiff as they age, like we do, but there are numerous medications on the market that go a long way to giving elderly pets a very good quality of life for a long time. It is not acceptable just to say a pet is old and let it suffer if treatment could alleviate his symptons and stop his suffering. A good bed is not a miracle cure! We would prefer you to spend your money on good veterinary advice and appropriate treatment rather than on a luxury bed that does not address your pet's underlying health problems.