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How to Choose the Right Bed for Your Dog and Get the Best Out of Your Purchase

How to Choose the Right Bed for Your Dog and Get the Best Out of Your Purchase

With a plethora of choice of dog beds of varying price points and styles, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed when trying to pick the right bed for your dog. There’s obviously their comfort to consider but with the dog (and their bed) often taking residence in heart-of-the-home rooms such as the lounge or kitchen, what is looks like is also a key consideration. A dog bed is one of the more expensive items you will need to purchase for your pet and with our four-legged friends averaging 12 to 14 hours sleep each day, it’s important that it performs over time too.

So, whether you have a dinky Dachshund or a whopping Great Dane here is our advice on how to choose the right bed for your dog and how to get the best out of your purchase.

Size matters. Just as we humans appreciate a little more space, so do our dogs. Select a bed that will give them enough space to curl up or stretch out as the mood takes them. A bed that’s too small for your dog and forces them to curl up small, whether they want to or not, may not do your dog’s joints any good in the long run. We recommend measuring your dog when standing from the tip of their nose to base of tail, and from top of the skull to the floor. The sleeping area of their bed should be at least the size of your dog’s measurements but ideally around 25% bigger to allow for space to move around comfortably, especially if the bed has firm or solid sides.

Day Bed

Observe how your dog likes to sleep and choose a bed shaped to suit their preferred sleeping style. Dogs that love to sprawl often prefer simple flat, mattress style beds. Dogs that curl up into tiny little balls usually love round or oval beds – bear in mind also that some dogs curl up because they are cold, or as a way of shutting out the noise and buzz in a busy household. If you have a dog that likes to stretch and curl depending on how they’re feeling then a rectangular bed with sides usually does the job, or a larger round bed with enough space to stretch.

Specialist Beds
Some dogs may need a specialist bed to suit particular needs or a particular environment. If your dog is a burrower and loves to snuggle under blankets consider a Charley Chau Snuggle Bed with a stitched in blanket top for them to climb under. Older dogs with stiff joints may require the support of an orthopedic mattress such as a memory foam mattress – make sure you choose a solid memory foam, not a “memory foam crumb” made up of left over bits of foam. Raised dog beds can help to keep your dog out of cold draughts (even warm rooms can be draughty) and prevent damp mattresses, as well as being a good solution for older dogs who are finding it difficult to get in and out of beds at floor level. Some dogs love the safety of a crate, especially when travelling in the car, and dog crates can be dressed with bumpers and a comfy mattress to increase the cosy factor. 

Snuggle Bed

Practical Considerations
An average dog spends 12-14 hours asleep each day, and most dogs spend even longer in their beds just hanging out watching the world go by. A dog picks up a lot of muckiness through the day, and much of it goes with them back to their beds so it’s really important that your dog’s bed is fully machine washable – both the outer covers and the mattress inners. All Charley Chau beds are available with spare covers to make wash day less of a rush, plus Waterproof Bed Liners are available as an option to help maintain a cleaner dog bed for longer – the liners act as a barrier to help keep dust, dirt and animal dander out of your dog’s mattress and are particularly important for beds that are too big to fit in a domestic washing machine. Blankets dropped into your dog’s bed can also help to keep your dog’s bed cleaner for longer providing you wash the blankets regularly. 


Seasonal Considerations
Managing your dog’s bedding for different seasons can help keep your dog more comfortable throughout the year and can also help minimise the amount of washing that you need to do. In cold weather a soft, cosy blanket is a welcome addition for most dogs as they will dig a little nest and curl up in the blankets if they are cold. In wet seasons, darker coloured fabrics on your dog’s bed will be more forgiving of wet paws and damp coats. Waterproof Bed Liners can also help protect mattresses in wet weather as wet dog coats can take some time to dry out properly. In warmer weather make sure that your dog bed is made with a breathable fabric, and bear in mind that pale colours absorb and radiate less heat so they tend to be more comfortable in hot weather.Take a look at our blog on keeping your dog comfy in the summer.

Spend wisely. When it comes to purchasing a bed for your dog, always buy the best you can afford otherwise you might fall quickly into the ‘pay half price, spend twice’ trap. Most dog owners have experienced buying a cheap dog bed that has gone lumpy and bumpy after its first wash and thrown it out after just a few months’ use so buying cheap is often a false economy. Also beware that a “luxury” label and price tag to match, sadly, are not guarantees of quality – some brands simply put smart looking fabrics onto a dog bed made in the same way as a cheap, poor quality dog bed. Always read up on a dog bed and make sure that any claims about comfort and quality are substantiated in terms of the way that the bed is designed and constructed, the fillings used, and the quality of the fabrics used to finish the beds. To get an idea of what goes into the design of a Charley Chau dog bed see our blog introducing the Ducky Donut

Ducky Donut

Interior Styling
First and foremost we always advise that a dog bed should be as comfortable as caninely possible, and designed to be fit for purpose. This is the start point for all Charley Chau dog beds before we move onto interior styling. Charley Chau was founded by accident because we became fed up with buying poor quality dog beds that were an eyesore in our homes! Dog beds are soft furnishings in the home and we believe that they should compliment and, where possible, enhance a home interior. That’s why we use only soft furnishings quality fabrics in all our beds, including upholstery quality fabrics such as our Weave and Velour collections, and why we use Farrow and Ball paint to finish our bespoke Raised Wooden Dog Bed. Dog bedding doesn’t have to be boring and functional – it can be gorgeous and practical too!

Raised Wooden Bed

For advice on choosing the right bed for your dog contact the Charley Chau team by emailing or getting in touch on 0161 848 8702 and we will be happy to help.

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