Choosing a dog bed can be a pretty daunting task at times, especially if your dog is extra large, or extra small, a growing puppy or an elderly pooch needing a little more comfort.

With so many different products available on the market, choosing a dog bed that can cope with your dog’s behaviour and also the environmental factors can be tricky.

Below we will talk about outdoor bedding, beds for puppies, dogs that have arthritis, the right size bed and what shape, these are all the things to consider as dog owner. Some dogs might not like flat rectangular beds, whilst others prefer to have a bed that is slightly off the ground. It all comes down to the breed, individual temperament, health and size of your dog.

Outdoor dogs have a tendency to get dirtier faster and to attract fleas more often. When choosing a dog bed for an outdoor dog think about what your yard is covered in. Does it have fake grass, real grass, dirt, decking or a mixture of everything?

Any outdoor bed should be off the ground and made of mesh, that way you avoid fleas making it a home. For winter to make the mesh warmer you can place a soft cover over the top and also ensure they have sufficient cover, warmth and protection from the cold, rain in wet weather, and are protected from the sun in warm weather.

Puppies can be a real issue when it comes to bedding, eventually you will just feel like giving up and not letting them have a bed at times! Putting a highly rewarding chew toy in the bed is a good way to divert the chewing. When it comes to choosing a bed for your puppy go for something cost effective as they are only going to grow out of it or chew it up to begin with.

Once your puppy has reached 8 months of age, that’s when you can start buying more life long beds, as most puppies should have finished teething by then.

Arthritic dogs just want a nice cozy place to sleep, but softer is not always better for dogs that are older. There are beds now that cater for your older dog as they are firm, but have memory foam to help support joints and make it kinder on them. You also want a low lying flat bed to make sure they can find it easier to get onto. To make it warmer you can place a blanket on top to curl into.

The other key thing to consider is the breed of your dog and what its adult size will be. Based on that you will either start looking at small, medium, large or X-large bed and figuring out your dog’s weight and body length. You want to make sure no part of the dog falls off the bed.

The shape of the bed will depend on the behaviour and age of your dog. Picking something with an edge and is circular probably wouldn’t work for an elderly dog or a dog that likes to lie flat, whereas a flat bed probably wouldn’t work for a dog that likes to curl up like a puppy.

As much as this task can seem difficult, experienced pet store staff are always happy to find a bed that works for you. Taking your dog into a pet store can also help as you will be able to see what your dog might prefer by laying a few different styles out and asking your dog to get on its mat can help with the process as well.

And if your dog can’t decide for itself, then ask for some help!


Jaime Levy has completed a Certificate II in Equine Studies, Certificate IV in Companion Animal Services with the Elective in Dog Training and Behaviour, Diploma of Equine Business Management and now completing a Certificate IV in Veterinary Nursing. She has also been working as a dog groomer for the past 3 years.