Dog cushions come in a variety of shapes, sizes and materials. A cushion can provide your dog not only a comfortable place to rest, but also a place to call his own. Placing multiple cushions in rooms you frequently use is ideal, but a single cushion can be moved from room to room as needed. Choosing the best cushion is a matter of considering your dog’s needs and preferences as well as your own.
Determining the Best Shape
Consider your dog’s preferred sleeping position, and imagine drawing a line around your dog in that position to determine the optimal shape. If your dog likes to sprawl or stretch out on her side, a rectangular cushion will provide the most real estate. If she prefers to curl up, a rounded shape will give her the sense of coziness and security she craves. Some cushions include an attached pillow or a bolster for added comfort and coziness.
Getting the Right Size
A toy breed may feel lost and overwhelmed on a cushion designed for a large breed, whereas a Great Dane will be hard-pressed to get comfortable on a cushion designed for a smaller dog. Measure the length and width of your dog (include leg extensions for a side-sleeper) in his favorite sleeping position. You want your dog to have adequate room to sleep on the cushion, with a few inches to spare all around.
Considering Your Climate
Climate plays a big role in choosing an appropriate fabric for the outer cover. Fabrics that impart warmth, such as fleece or pile, are appropriate for cool-weather climates (or rooms that are kept cool through the use of air conditioning). Cooler fabrics, such as cotton or canvas, will entice your dog in hot weather. Some cushions are reversible, with a cotton fabric on one side and a plush fabric on the other. These are ideal for climates where temperatures range from one extreme to the other. Always choose a soft, smooth surface over a nubby or scratchy one.
Factoring in the Filling
The cushion’s filling may range from a single piece of foam to fiberfill stuffing that your dog can nose around. Some beds mix cedar shavings into the filling to help combat odor and insect infestations. Choices available to meet your specific needs and preferences include cushions made of waterproof and/or hypoallergenic materials; antimicrobial-treated cushions to ward off bacteria, mold and mildew and even cushions made of memory foam for custom comfort. Some cushions offer orthopedic or “egg crate” foam, which can be a good choice for senior dogs and those with arthritis or other joint problems. The larger your dog, the more supportive the filling should be so it doesn’t flatten prematurely.