How To Choose The Right Dog Beds For Large Dogs
Everyone in your family deserves a comfy place to snooze — and that includes your furry friends, no matter how big or small! If you’re on the hunt for the perfect dog bed for your large pup but aren’t sure what to pick, keep reading.
In this article, we’ll discuss several factors to consider when choosing a large dog bed, from your dog’s preferred sleeping position and their health needs to your home air quality (yes, your dog’s bed can affect indoor air quality).
Let’s take a look. But first, let’s chat about why your dog needs its own bed in the first place.
Table Of Contents
- Why Your Dog Needs A Dog Bed
- Large Dog Beds: Factors To Consider
- How To Get Your Dog Used To A New Bed
Why Your Dog Needs A Dog Bed
Having a designated sleeping space is important for your pup’s physical and mental health. It gives them a safe, comfortable place to sleep away from the hustle and bustle of household activity and provides them with their own little den, just like they'd have in the wild.
This helps your dog feel more secure and comfortable, which can significantly reduce stress levels. Plus, it sends a clear message to your pup that they are a valued family member and deserve a space of their own.
Also, while you can just let your dog sleep on the couch or your bed, neither of these options is as comfortable (or supportive). That's because these spaces were built for humans, not animals.
Dogs need support in different places than you do in order to feel comfortable and relaxed enough to fall asleep. If your pet is constantly tossing or turning, they won’t sleep as well or as long, which means you won’t either.
Your sleep needs are an important consideration. Studies found that while having a dog in your bedroom isn’t automatically disruptive to your sleep, sharing a bed with a dog is.
People who had a dog sleep with them got less sleep than others. So if your dog is currently sharing your bed, investing in one just for them can help you both get more shut-eye.
Can My Dogs Share A Bed?
While chatting about why your dog needs its own bed, let’s address a common question: can multiple dogs share a bed?
If you have more than one dog, you may be tempted to let them share a single dog bed. But while this might save money and take up less space in your home, it’s not usually the best option.
Even if your dogs are a pack and do everything together, you still want to provide each with its own bed. They may not use their individual beds, but that will be their choice. By having enough beds, they can choose to sleep together or apart.
This is important for times when they’re not feeling well or if they’re fighting. You don’t want one of your dogs to feel left out by not having a cozy space to retreat to if needed.
Large Dog Beds: Factors To Consider
Now that you understand why your pup needs its own dog bed, let’s talk about what you should look for when choosing one.
If a large dog has stolen your heart, you’ll need a large or extra-large dog bed for your furry friend. Be sure to check the measurements of the bed you’re considering.
For example, our Washable & Orthopedic Pet Bed comes in three sizes with raised edges for ultimate coziness.
The large bed measures 29 by 54 inches total, with the inner sleep area measuring 22 by 47 inches. It’s perfect for Golden Retrievers, Labrador Retrievers, and Great Danes.
To give you perspective, the medium size is ideal for Bulldogs, Australian Shepherds, and Smaller Labs, and the full bed measures 25 by 40 inches. The small bed fits Pomeranians, Toy Poodles, and Pugs at 20 by 25 inches.
Use your dog’s breed to help narrow down which size bed to choose. But then, before you purchase, measure your dog to be sure. You want to get the right one, so we’ll cover how to measure in the section below.
If your dog’s bed is too big, they’ll likely start playing in the space instead of reserving it for sleep. The size might also intimidate them and lead to some doggie anxiety.
Conversely, a too-small bed isn’t right either. Your dog won’t be able to use the bed comfortably, as they’ll have to contort themselves to get into the space. This can lead to health problems over time, such as hip or back struggles for your large dog.
But your dog’s size isn’t the only consideration when measuring dog beds. You’ll also need to think about their sleep position.
How Your Dog Sleeps
When shopping for a dog bed, ask yourself how your pup typically sleeps. They might curl up in a ball, sprawl out on their side, or lie back-to-back with their doggy pal. Click here to read more about dog sleep habits and positions.
Even if you need to pull out the measuring tape to double-check, you’ll want to be sure the dog bed is big enough to accommodate your dog in their natural sleep position.
A cloth measuring tape is best to get a good measurement of your dog. Use it to measure from the tip of your dog’s nose to the end of its tail.
Once you have this number, add a couple of inches to it. That way, your dog has some space to sprawl out.
Write down the number you came up with so you can easily compare it to the size of the beds before purchasing. Often, you’ll need to select from one of three or four options. Many pet parents miss this step and accidentally order a dog bed that’s completely the wrong size.
Your Dog’s Fur
When shopping for a large dog bed, you’ll also want to think about your pup’s coat. Are they short-haired or long-haired? Short-haired pooches often get cold faster than their long-haired counterparts. That means they need extra warmth and love from their beds.
Long-haired breeds can overheat in the warmer months. You'll want a breathable material that’ll help keep them cool.
The dual-layer cover on the Newton Baby Washable & Orthopedic Pet Bed is a good option. Unlike foam beds that tend to trap heat, the material on this bed is breathable. This helps with temperature regulation, no matter how long (or short) your dog's fur is.
Your Pet’s Health Needs
Your dog’s health needs might dictate the type of large dog bed you choose. For example, a raised bed can help your dog stay warmer since they aren’t on the floor. But elderly dogs or dogs that have just had surgery might have a hard time getting in and out of a raised bed.
A heated dog bed (like a heated blanket) is another option for dogs with aches and pains or for any dog during the cold months. Just keep in mind that you’ll have to place it near an outlet since it has to be plugged in.
And, if your pet chews everything in sight, the cord could quickly become a safety hazard.
Also, a supportive bed is essential if your dog has any joint trouble or is a breed known for these issues. We recommend an orthopedic dog bed that takes the pressure off of your dog’s joints, provides the support they need, and offers unbeatable comfort.
Keep in mind that fluffy does not always equal orthopedic support! Take a closer look at the dog bed you’re considering to see if it’s what your dog needs.
An orthopedic bed is one that’s designed to give your dog support. Its structure provides correct alignment for your dog’s posture and is gentle on their joints.
These beds are typically filled with a cushioning material that helps cushion and contour your pup’s body while they sleep. It also allows them to sink in deeper, providing comfort no matter how they sleep.
For example, our dog beds have a core composed of a unique mixture of 90% air and 10% food-grade polymer (the same material as a yogurt cup). This combination helps cushion pressure points and ease joints so your dog can sleep comfortably in any position.
When thinking about your dog’s health, it’s also important to think about the future. Even if your dog is a spry pup, they will get older someday. Giving them support today may help prevent or reduce joint problems as they age.
Your Dog’s Behavior
Different breeds and individual dogs within the same breed have specific behavioral traits. Keeping your dog's personality and behavior in mind can help you pick the best dog bed.
For example, if your pup is anxious, a bed with walls might be better than a flat one. The walls help create an enclosed space that makes your pup feel safe and secure.
And if your pup loves to be outside rolling in the mud, you’ll need a completely washable bed. Otherwise, the odor and dirt will build up so quickly that you'll have to toss the bed and get a new one.
Where You’ll Put The Dog Bed
Another factor to consider is where you’ll put the dog bed. Of course, it needs to be in a location where your furry friend is happy sleeping.
Wherever that place is, you might want to choose the style and color of the dog bed accordingly. No one said the dog bed can’t match the room’s decor!
Plus, the location of the dog bed may affect the type of dog bed you choose. As we mentioned, a heated dog bed will have to be placed near an outlet.
Or, for example, if you’re looking for an outdoor dog bed to go by the pool, you’ll want a different type of dog bed material than if you were planning to put it in the living room. In that case, you’d need to look for a waterproof dog bed durable enough to withstand the elements.
When it comes to choosing a dog bed, prioritize washability. You won’t regret it. A large dog bed that’s easy to clean means you won’t worry about pee-pee mishaps, shedding season, and the general dirt of everyday fun.
Our Washable & Orthopedic Pet Bed is durable, scratch-resistant, and completely washable from cover to core.
The fully removable cover can easily be removed and tossed into the washing machine, and the Wovenaire® core can be hosed off or taken into the shower for a full clean. Talk about easy.
How do you go about it?
To clean the cover and bolsters, unzip the cover to remove the bolsters and the core. Zip the cover closed then wash it in the washing machine with cold water and detergent before drying it on low. If you find that the bolsters are soiled, too, you can wash them separately.
As for the core itself, plop it in the shower or tub to hand-rinse it with cold water and mild detergent. To dry it well, shake it out and let it air dry. Just be sure to avoid heat or direct sun.
Our dog beds are made with the same technology as our award-winning Crib Mattress, and they’re both completely washable and breathable.
For babies, the breathable technology means no more sweaty backs in the morning, and it allows them to breathe right through the mattress in case they roll over in the middle of the night.
They’ll rest easy. You can, too.
How can a dog bed affect indoor air quality? If you’ve never heard of off-gassing, here’s what you need to know. Off-gassing occurs when manufactured products release chemicals and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) into the air. This is no good for your health.
Lots of common household items have the potential to off-gas — your carpet, couches, shower curtains, mattresses, and, yes, your dog’s bed. So, when the dog bed goes in your house, it has the potential to affect your home air quality.
You can read more about off-gassing here, but what you need to know for now is that there’s a way to avoid it and help improve indoor air quality.
To ensure low chemical emissions, look for a dog bed with GREENGUARD Gold Certification.
When a product boasts this certification, it has undergone rigorous scientific testing for over 10,000 chemical emissions and VOCs, receiving the highest standard of safety. That’s what we want for our families — four-legged members included!
Even after you’ve done your research, it won’t be immediately clear if the bed you picked is the perfect size and has the right support. We recommend trying out the bed for a few weeks and checking in with your pup to see how they like it.
Unfortunately, with most pet beds, that's not possible. Most companies don't allow you to return an item once it's been used. But Newton Baby is different.
Our pet bed comes with a 100-night trial. You can order it and give your dog over three months to see if it’s the right fit for them. If it’s not, you can return it at our expense and get a full refund. This trial period can give you peace of mind when purchasing.
Last but not least, consider the material. Not all large dog beds are created equal.
While memory foam holds its shape and could make it easy for older dogs to get in and out of their bed, the negative is that it can be easy to destroy with a bit of chewing.
When it comes to pillow dog beds, they vary in firmness and materials, from cotton and polyester to foam.
Meanwhile, as we mentioned above, the Wovenaire core of our Washable & Orthopedic Pet Bed is made of 90% air, and the other 10% is made of a safe, food-grade material called polymer — the same material as yogurt cups.
Wovenaire technology was invented in Japan and is now made in the USA. How is this unique material made? The highest quality food-grade polymer is extruded into a crystal clear pool of water, creating a unique, resilient three-dimensional shape that is 90% air by volume.
This material offers a comfortable dog bed that can ease joints, cushion pressure points, and improve air circulation. Plus, the superior breathability provides temperature regulation, unlike most foam beds which trap heat.
What about dog bed material and furry friends who love to chew? Chewing dogs can quickly destroy beds not made from the right materials.
However, even the strongest and most durable dog bed material can be chewed just like all other furniture. If your dog displays chewing behaviors, keep an eye on them to discourage chewing.
How To Get Your Dog Used To A New Bed
Unfortunately, sometimes even if you pick the best bed for your dog, they still don’t accept it immediately. It’s normal, so don’t worry. Some dogs just take a little longer than others to get used to change.
The best way to help your pup adjust is by introducing them slowly. For example, try placing the bed near their favorite spot or piece of furniture, and start to encourage them to lie on it for short periods. Then, build up from there until your dog is sleeping on their bed all night long.
If you use a pet crate, you can put their bed inside. Your pup will look forward to going in the crate because they feel safe there.
You can also use treats and toys as incentives. Place their favorite toy or a treat in their bed so they associate it with positive feelings. They may even lie on the bed for a few minutes and play. This can help them realize how comfortable it is.
If they still have nothing to do with it, try covering the bed with something familiar, like their favorite towel or blanket. The scent will help them relax and may even encourage them to try the bed.
If you're training your dog, you can teach them a "bed" command. Stand over the bed and call your dog, saying, “Bed.” Once they climb inside, reward them with a treat or verbal praise. This helps them see that the bed is a positive place.
Continue practicing until your dog goes to bed whenever you say the word, even if you aren’t standing there.
It may take a little time and some persistence, but your dog will eventually get used to the idea that this new bed is theirs. Be patient and use positive reinforcement instead of negative punishments to get your dog to do what you want.
The Perfect Large Dog Bed For Your Fur Baby
With a faithful dog friend by your side, they’ll need their own special place to lay their head and snooze at night. With the shopping tips we mentioned above, finding the perfect large dog bed is paw-sible.
Consider the size, how your dog sleeps, their health needs, where you’ll put the dog bed, washability, your indoor air quality, and the dog bed material. All of these factors play into choosing the right dog bed that will keep your furry friend comfy day in and day out.
We recommend our Washable & Orthopedic Pet Bed that’s comfortable as well as 100% breathable and washable, making it ideal for your pet and you, too! With the perfect combination of comfort, air circulation, and orthopedic support, your furry friend will sleep well.