Ahh... there is nothing like kicking back in bed at the end of a long day. The right bed can mean the difference between a night spent tossing and turning and a restful eight hours of sleep.
What if, instead of those eight hours, we slept 16-20 hours like our cats or 12-18 hours like our dogs? Then our bed would assume even more importance.
You will find a growing number of pet bed options on the market, with an array of features and prices. Today’s cat and dog beds range from relatively inexpensive beds you can replace with ease, to ones that are comparable to the mattresses we buy for ourselves — which means you will want to do your homework before investing in that next pet bed.
What Is Your Pet’s Sleeping Style?
Before you buy a pet bed, make sure it is a good fit with your pet’s sleeping style. Some dogs love to sleep on their backs. They will want a flat square or rectangular bed. Other dogs like to curl up and rest their head on a pillow. They would like a bolster bed with a built-in headrest. Snugglers might prefer a high-walled nesting bed with tall sides that give them the option of snuggling.
Cats also vary widely in their sleeping styles. Does your cat always sleep alone? She would probably like a bed small enough for just one pet. Does she like to curl up with your other cats? You will need to upsize. Does she prefer to sleep with something against her back, perhaps tucked into an armchair or in the corner of the couch? She might prefer a pet bed that is hooded to provide some privacy.
Choosing the Right Fabric
The fabric that covers the pet bed will foretell how long that bed will last. Pet bed fabrics range from soft plush to durable indoor/outdoor fabrics. The best option for you will depend on your pet. If you have a puppy, you will have to go with the toughest chew-resistant options. Older pets may prefer a cuddly plush fabric, especially on chilly winter days.
Some beds are created with zip-off covers, allowing them to be easily washed and making these beds long lasting. Replaceable covers and duvets, or slipcovers for many styles, make beds last even longer despite stains or tears.
If you have a senior pet with incontinence issues, machine-washable fabric is a must. Look for beds with a waterproof liner as well to prevent soiling of the mattress itself.
Choosing the Right Insert
Traditionally, pet beds contained polyfill, often made from recycled plastic bottles. Polyfill provides a soft cushion for your pet, but has a tendency to shift in the bed. Upgraded beds often have baffled polyfill, meaning that the stuffing has been encased in tubes within the pillow. This prevents the stuffing from all being pushed to the edges of the bed as your pet sleeps in the center.
Foam pet beds are becoming increasingly popular and provide solid support. The best support is found in orthopedic beds, a good choice for arthritic pets. Memory foam mattresses, like their human equivalents, provide excellent support for older pets.
Can’t decide between the many types of pet beds? No worries: many pet lovers purchase several pet beds for different functions. Your pet may have a bed in your bedroom, a mat for his crate, and a rollup travel mat for your car or even your couch. With the right beds, those lazy cat naps and dog naps will be even better.