He's your best friend, your jogging buddy, keeper of secrets and a shoulder to cry on. But when it comes to getting a good night's sleep, you just can't get the quality ZZZs you need with Brutus hogging the bed. You want the best for him, and choosing a dog bed that is the right size, style and material will assure you both a better evening of rest.
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Dog beds typically come in four sizes: small, medium, large and extra-large. Depending on the stature of your pooch, you want to select a bed that is big enough for him to stretch out on and not hang off the edge but still small enough where he can curl up in it and stay warm on a chilly evening.
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Does your dog like to sprawl out when he sleeps or curl up in a ball? For the lounge hounds out there, try a rectangular or circular pillow bed without sides for maximum stretchability. If your fur kid is a cuddler, though, opt for a deep-dish bed with three tall sides he can cozy up every night. Can't decide? Go with a bed that has one or two sides he can rest his head on but still gives him room for his legs to roam.
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There's no shortage of selection when it comes to dog bed materials. Pamper your pet with a soft, snuggly sleeping spot made from suede or microfiber, or for a more durable bed, polyester should do the trick. If you have a senior citizen in the house, you may want to spend a little extra for the supportive orthopedic option, made from the same memory foam you likely lie down on each night. Look for a bed with a removable, washable cover no matter the material to make cleaning quick and easy.
If your pet prefers to spend his days running around your backyard when the weather permits, give him a comfy cot to rest on when he's tired. Typically made of waterproof material stretched over a metal frame, this raised bed will keep his body off of the hot or cold ground. If you live in a particularly colder or warmer region, check out the heated beds or cooling pads available at your local pet supply store or online.
Kimberly Stredney is editor-in-chief of InWithSkin, an international skin care, health and beauty magazine. She has been writing since 2007 for newspapers and magazines including "The Chicago Sun-Times" and "Cleveland Magazine." She attended Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism and has a master's degree in cultural anthropology from Brandeis University, and dual bachelor's degrees in anthropology/psychology and communication from Ohio University.