Taking on a dog as a pet is a big commitment and not one that should be taken lightly. Like any relationship dogs come with baggage and they will need a whole host of associated doggy paraphernalia in order to settle in to your home - collars, leads, tags, food bowls, toys, and of course dog beds.
There are some dog owners, particularly of smaller breeds, that are quite happy to share their sofa sleeper or bed with their canine companions however if this isn't practical or something that you aren't too keen on there is a vast range of dog beds out there.
Dog beds come in all shapes and sizes and all price ranges too. They come in a variety of fabrics, some soft, some waterproof, some hand crafted, some that are just cushioned fabric and some with a platform or basket element to them to make them a little sturdier and hard wearing. (Photo Credit: Constance Wiebrands/Flickr)
Fit for a king
If your dog is a lively and active creature then their dog bed needs to be fit for a king. Active dogs love to come home to a good feed, followed by a good sleep. Dogs that make the most of their walks by running through fields, woods and puddles need a bed that is comfortable but above all else waterproof.
A waterproof dog bed makes life as an owner much easier as you do not have to worry about your own furnishings becoming wet and dirty. It also makes the dog bed extremely easy to clean and keeps your dog clean and dry too.
Comfort in retirement
Dogs that have passed their prime and are in canine retirement aren't as active as they once were. Even if they used to share your bed they may now struggle to make the jump due to arthritis and they may find hard floors uncomfortable on their aching joints. As a result you may want to consider an orthopaedic dog bed to give your dog the support and luxury they need following years of being your loyal companion.
Getting the right size bed for your dog is important â€“ the best way to ensure you're getting a bed that's going to be the right size for your dog is to measure them whilst laid down. Measure from head to tail and then head to paws and then add anything up to 10 inches (25cm) to ensure they have enough room to stretch out, taking into account that you need the measurements of the actual bed part of the dog bed you choose â€“ sometimes dimensions given include the whole bed including any extra side supports etc. (Photo Credit: gregqualls.com/Flickr)
Whatever dog bed you decide on make sure you find a good place for it in your home, away from draughts, hazards or general hustle and bustle of your household, so your dog can get the rest they deserve after a long day.
When you're on the go with your dog, perhaps on holiday or just en route for a family day out with your hound in tow, you may not have the space to bring your usual dog bed with you. This makes dog blankets or cushions the perfect travelling solution and there is a variety of options such as throws to car covers, to protect furniture and seats and to keep your dog cosy whilst away from their more familiar surroundings.
Co-sleeping with your canine
Finally, if you do insist on sharing your own bed with your dog ensure that you set boundaries and that you remain pack leader at all times. Co-sleeping with your pooch is often easier if they're a smaller breed and a breed that doesn't shed hair like a poodle for example. There is nothing quite like a cuddle from your canine companion who always offer you their unconditional love but make sure they don't take over and start to rule the roost or you might begin to become frustrated with the sleeping arrangements and then one of you is sure to end up in the dog house! (Photo Credit: kprogram/Flickr)
About the author: The article is guest written by Imogen Reed, a professional writer and researcher.