Dog beds now come in a variety of shapes and styles. The position your dog likes to sleep in, combined with height, weight and overall health will all be factors to consider when choosing the right type of bed.
Oval and round beds are usually preferred by dogs that sleep curled up. The round shape naturally invites your dog to curl up inside the circle.
Just be sure that the diameter of the bed (the measurement across the center) is long enough that your dog can also stretch out the spine.
Round and rectangular beds are a good choice if your dog prefers to sleep in a stretched out position. The extra stretch room of a rectangular bed can be particularly helpful for older dogs with less flexibility for curling up.
As with round beds, the measurement is important. The bed should be long enough for the most outstretched position of your dog.
Raised beds can be particularly beneficial for older or arthritic dogs, as the height makes it easier to get into and out of a resting position.
They also can help keep your dog warmer in winter by being raised off of a cold, drafty floor, and cooler in the summer by allowing air to circulate underneath. When used outdoors, the raised surface keeps the bed out of dirt and mud.
One downside is that the surface does not have padding, so you may need to add a mattress pad on top for added comfort. Another downside is that these beds are typically too small for extra large and giant dogs, so you’ll need to be sure to check the dimensions against the measurements for your dog.
If you find your dog likes to sleep with his back to a couch or cushion, it’s because of the feel of security they get with support against their back. As a result, they may enjoy a bolster bed.
Some dogs also like to rest or hang their heads over the bolster, or simply lean on it. Bolster beds are also great for dogs that like to curl up and cuddle.
When choosing a bolster bed, be sure to check the dimensions of the usable part of the cushion. Don’t use the measurement to the outside of the bolster, as the part your dog lays on can be considerably smaller. Because of this, it can be difficult to find bolster beds that can comfortably accommodate extra large dogs.
A donut bed is simply a bolster bed that is completely surrounded by the bolster, forming a ‘donut’ shape. These are the perfect beds for dogs that like to curl up when they sleep.
Here again, you have to be careful to determine the measurement of the actual laying area. Frequently, the manufacturer gives the dimensions including the bolster, making it seem larger than it actually is.
The biggest size you’ll usually find in donut beds is large, which really means ‘medium’ if you only count the usable space. This means these are not a good choice for many large size dogs.
Dog couches are somewhat similar to bolster beds, in that they have a bolster around two sides and the back, much like a couch. Some of them even sit on raised legs and are styled to actually look like a real couch.
As with any bolster bed, you have to be careful when checking the size. Manufacturers will frequents state the dimensions including the width of the bolsters.
This is the source of many of the complaints about this style of bed.