Just like you, Fido needs a comfy place to snooze after a long day. To keep him off of your own bed, provide him with one of his own, appropriate for his size and weight. While there are a multitude of options to choose from, some dog beds are inflatable, which you can simply fill with air to make them as hard or soft for Fido as you'd like.
The Inflatable Dog Bed
Inflatable dog beds are available online and in pet supply stores, ranging in price from $30 to $90, depending on the size. Much like a raft or flotation device, these beds usually are made from heavy plastic or vinyl and have a small valve in the side to pump air through to inflate. You'll need a manual or electric pump to fill the bed for Fido unless it is small enough to blow air into yourself. Most beds come with thick fabric removable covers to prevent your pup from accidentally scratching into the plastic and deflating the bed. Some beds even come with a warranty, which covers any damage caused by your pup's claws.
The Travel Solution
Dog beds can be pretty bulky, especially if Fido is a large or giant breed and requires an appropriate-sized bed to accommodate his sizable frame. This makes traveling by car or plane with them a bit impractical. Inflatable beds, on the other hand, can be collapsed and folded into a suitcase. Once you get to your destination, simply fill the bed with air and set it up for Fido's comfort during your stay. Of course, this does mean that you'll need to bring along your pump as well if the bed is very large. Remember to fill the bed according to the manufacturer's directions to avoid damaging it.
Is it Appropriate?
If your pooch has a habit of chewing on or tearing apart his beds, an inflatable one may not be appropriate for him. While most of these beds are made from heavy-duty materials designed to hold up to the occasional scratch or a bit of roughhousing, they likely will become damaged and punctured by a frenzied attack by your pup. Once the bed develops a hole, you'll likely need to replace it, unless it comes with a special repair kit. Unlike other types of beds that could be repaired with some simple stitching, tears in these beds require air-tight patching materials to fix them; large holes may be beyond repair.
Inflatable Bed Advantages
Inflatable dog beds do have some advantages over traditional beds in that they don't contain stuffing, which can house dirt and insects, along with bacteria, odors and allergens. Many have machine-washable covers and a smooth plastic surface that you can simply wipe clean with water and soap, which is helpful with dogs having incontinence or drooling issues. You also can bring these beds outside with you when spending time with Fido in your yard or on a camping trip because they are water-resistant and easy to clean. After cleaning, allow the bed to dry before placing it back into its cover.
Based in Las Vegas, Susan Paretts has been writing since 1998. She writes about many subjects including pets, finances, crafts, food, home improvement, shopping and going green. Her articles, short stories and reviews have appeared on City National Bank's website and on The Noseprint. Paretts holds a Master of Professional Writing from the University of Southern California.