The Best Places for a Dog to Sleep at Night
Whether your darling sleeps in bed, on the couch or on your feet – a dog needs at least one place at home where he can sleep safely. But what should the ideal dog sleeping place look like? What variations are there – and for which dog is which bed the best? We give you an overview.
Variety for four-legged friends – dog sleeping place variants
In addition to the classic basket, there are a variety of alternatives for the perfect resting place – here is a brief overview of common dog sleeping place variants:
Blankets are often fluffy and easy to clean. They come in many sizes, thicknesses and colors. Fleece blankets are often purchased because they are practical, but many dogs only lie on them for short periods of time, not for long periods of sleep.
Mats are usually made of foam and covered with leather, faux leather or fabric. Ideally, the cover should be removable – even leather covers, if the inside should be aired out times. Thickness, size and hardness are variable. Pillows can be fluffy, soft, large or small – but are often used more for smaller dogs. Visually, they can be colorfully decorated – but too many tassels and pom-poms could encourage the dog to play, so plain covers are a better choice.
Baskets usually consist of a plastic or wicker bowl, in which a small mat or blanket is placed. Practical for small dogs: can also be used as a transport box. Plastic baskets are ideal if the dog tends to incontinence during the night – then the area to be cleaned remains limited to da basket.
Caves are designed to give the dog security and provide a place of retreat. Originally, rather cat lovers bought cuddle caves, but now especially the smaller dog breeds have a wide range of products.
Dog couch sounds special, but it simply means a slightly elevated place to sleep. This can be good for dogs with joint problems or for larger breeds. Another benefit of a couch is the ability for air to circulate under the sleeping area.
Cooling or heating mats should not be used for prime sleeping time unless recommended by a doctor. Cooling mats are a welcome cool down in the summer, heat mats keep seniors especially snug and warm, but permanent sleeping on them is not healthy for the dog or his temperature balance.
Dog crates can take up a lot of space depending on the size of the dog. They are a good retreat for dogs and good for different training methods. As a place to sleep, they can be covered with mats, pillows and blankets.
Which bed for which dog?
Before a dog comes into the house, you should be clear about one thing: You cannot predict how your dog prefers to sleep – unless you take over the dog from another owner. It is therefore not sensible to make big investments right at the beginning – what if your dog likes to turn all pillows into white fluffy snow? Or just doesn’t like to lie on leather? A guideline can be the type of dog that moves in with you:
Puppies: Ideally, puppies have always snuggled with their siblings. They like closeness and are usually content with baskets or dens. It’s good if there’s an edge they can lean against. If the basket is very large, you can put pillows and a fluffy toy in it to make it feel close.
Seniors: If your dog already has a stately age, then he should lie joint-friendly and reach his sleeping place without complications. There are orthopedic mats that are especially helpful for arthritis. Older dogs should not be forcefully re-accustomed – if it has always been a blanket so far, you don’t have to irritate the dog with a cuddle.
Animal protection dogs: Here you often do not know the history. However, most dogs from animal welfare need more security than others, so dens or boxes are ideal for them. Others are so insecure that they are afraid of boxes – then rather a comfortable pillow. Until you know whether your dog likes to shred blankets, you shouldn’t invest in custom-made ones just yet, especially for a shelter dog.
Size and breed can be decisive – but don’t have to be!
Small dog on the princess cushion, big dog on the rough leather mat? For example, if you own a Great Dane and a Dachshund, you will often find the Great Dane in the Dachshund basket and vice versa. This is then the decision of your dog. In any case, you should offer a sleeping place that is large enough for the dog to stretch all fours. Most dogs curl up to sleep or lie with their head on the floor – but they should always have the possibility to stretch out completely on their sleeping place.
Dogs with lots of fur for example Tibetan Terriers or Briards like to lie less softly as they often snuggle into their fur. A Rhodesian Ridgeback tends to like smooth surfaces in the summer rather than warm fabric – there are a few preferences for each breed. If you get a dog from a breeder, look at how they sleep. That way you can get some orientation.
The sleeping place to the lifestyle
You want the best for your dog. But is the best compatible with your life? If you often go on vacation with your dog, the sleeping place should be easy to transport or ideally also serve as a berth in the car. This way your dog will feel safe at the vacation destination.
Do you visit restaurants together? Get your dog used to a light blanket to lie on, which you can easily take with you.
Your dog regularly shreds the dog cushions? Then a dog basket with blankets makes more sense than training the dog to shred. Also keep in mind that a bitch in heat sometimes behaves differently and, for example, paws a lot. Sensitive cushions are then not a good choice.
You do a lot of sports with your dog and you often come home dirty? Then better choose a robust mat or washable blankets than a fluffy den.
Whether pillow, mat or basket: Your dog will usually prefer to sleep close to you!
My name is Mark and the senior editor
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