One day, when it was time to go to bed, I couldn’t find my dog until I went to my own bed.
He was in the middle of it, waiting for me, but as I quickly discovered, he also had his claws dug into the bedspread. There was no way I could lift him without ripping things up. There was also no space for me to sleep, not without smelling like a German Shepherd in the morning.
So, in a cruel role reversal, my dog spent the night in my bed, and I slept on the floor. I was never more grateful for my camping gear, but I also made it a point to have a dog bed ever since.
1. Do Dogs Really Like Dog Beds?
I’ve seen my dog snoozes nearly anywhere you can think of, and the sight of a dog curled up on the floor is familiar enough. Still, I’ve learned that most dogs sleep 12 hours each day.
While I’m jealous, I also realize that dogs do prefer having their own beds. Dogs sometimes need time to themselves, and their bed is the one place they can be reasonably sure they won’t get stepped on.
2. Do Dogs Prefer Hard or Soft Beds?
You might have seen some of those hilarious photos of dogs lying on the floor beside their beds instead of in them. Many dogs prefer flooring over a soft bed, but it’s not always about the hardness.
In many cases, it’s because the floor is a much cooler surface. Humans sleep better when cool, and dogs do too. Remember, they don’t cool down through sweat as we do, so cool surfaces are very inviting to them.
A soft bed can get warmed up if they’re in it too long. Also, floors are more spacious than beds that might be undersized. Keep all this in mind if you want your dog to sleep in a bed. Fortunately, training can help, and softer beds can help older dogs with their bone and joint issues.
3. How Often Should You Change Your Dog’s Bed?
You should probably clean your dog’s bedding once a week. Remember, if your dog spends anytime outside, he’s bringing in dirt and bacteria that get to call the bed home.
Don’t worry about pet hair that seems never ending. Depending on the materials the dog bed is made from, it might get interwoven and never really completely come out.
When you start seeing stuffing come out and tears that you can’t patch up, it’s time to consider getting a new bed for your furry friend. A good rule of thumb I go by is when one of us simply loses interest in the dog bed.
If my dog doesn’t want to sleep there anymore, then I replace it, although I do try and give him an identical make and shape if he loved it for a while.
Sometimes, my dog just get bigger and older, and the bed no longer physically supports them. For that matter, I sometimes replace my German shepherd’s bed because they no longer suit me.
If I can’t stand their condition, appearance, or smell any longer, then my dog gets a new bed for my own health and sanity.
4. Is It OK to Move a Dog’s Bed Around?
I move my dog’s bed around all the time. Depending on the time of day and the season, the spots that are warm enough and without draft change all the time in my home.
For that matter, my dogs love staying close to me, and I’m not always in the bedroom. Remember, dogs sleep more than we do, but they’re also very social creatures.
They might prefer napping in whatever room you are in at the time just so you’re close by. Figure out their favorite spots, and move the bed around as you see fit. Just make sure you read your dog and be sure he’s okay with any switches you do.
Always make it obvious you’re trying to keep him happy. I find the happier I keep my own dogs, the less likely they are to snatch my pimento cheese sandwiches right off the kitchen counter if I reach for the phone. This happens more than I want to admit.
5. Why Does My Dog Sleep on the Floor and Not His Bed?
There can be several different things at play here:
- The bed is too warm/cold.
- Your dog has had a change in health.
- The bed isn’t big enough.
- You need to train your dog to sleep in his bed.
Sudden changes in behavior with a bed might mean it’s time for a trip to the vet, just to make sure everything’s okay.
6. Why Does My Dog Mess Up His Bed?
Actually, he’s not messing it up. He’s claiming it as his territory. It’s the one spot in the whole house that belongs to him and no one else, so he’s just making sure that still holds true.
7. Can You Spray Lysol on a Dog Bed?
Dogs are great, but dog smell? Not so much. A stinky dog bed can have just enough whiff of odor to keep me awake the night before I have to get up early for an important meeting at work.
Lysol and other disinfectants are a necessity, and so long as you’re not spraying them right in your dog’s face, you should be fine. I would avoid spraying a dog bed while your dog is in it, though.
8. How Long Should a Dog Bed Last?
This is a judgment call on your part. I’ve had some dogs need new beds every six months, although I might have been buying the cheaper ones.
One of my larger and more gentle dogs didn’t get rough on his bed, though, and it lasted five years. As long as it’s still comfortable, easily cleaned, and not physically falling apart, you should be good to go.
9. Why Do Dogs Move Their Bed Around?
This isn’t usually something I find all that mysterious with my own dogs. Sometimes my canine family members just want a change of scenery. Sometimes they want to be closer to each other or further away. Many times, it’s just to find a place more comfortable.
10. Where Is the Best Place to Put Your Dog’s Bed?
Over time, I’ve discovered that my dog tends to lead me to the best spots for their beds. I’ve also noticed certain trends in the areas they pick because they love the following:
- Enclosed spaces, like under stairwells or tables.
- Corners, where they have two walls for some shelter.
- Balanced temperature, not drafty but not by a radiator or fire either.
- Out of the way spaces, where human feet rambling by don’t bother them.
- Still in earshot of the family, since they don’t want to be totally disconnected from everyone.
11. What Should I Look for When Buying a Dog Bed?
Here are the different factors I consider when buying my dog their beds:
- Price: My dog has unconditional love for me, and I try to return that love. They’re smarter than most animals, but they’ll never understand cash money except as something to shred. My border collie once shredded a high-end dog bed like a stuffed animal in a smoothie maker. I’ve been a bit more thrifty ever since.
- Comfort: The older and bigger my dog gets, the more they seem to prefer softer and supportive beds. A comfy dog bed does wonder for preventing hip dysplasia.
- Easy to Clean: Dogs can be trained to do many things, but laundry isn’t one of them. I do love a bed I can spot vacuum or put in the washing machine, especially when one of my smaller dogs finds out that the pimento cheese sandwich they snatched wasn’t a good idea after all.
- Good Warranty: No dog product lasts forever, but any manufacturer that stands by their product deserves some respect and trust.
- Simple Return Policy: It can take a week or so to see if my dog will even use a bed I buy them. I want my money back if they don’t like it.
- Aesthetics: How a dog bed looks in my home isn’t really something I truly obsess over, especially considering the eccentrically haphazard home décor style I’ve apparently adopted. Then again, something with neon pink stripes and yellow polka dots would be too far out there. This is one area where you can care more about yourself than your dog because you see many more colors than he does.