Why Your Dog should have its own Bed and What Bed to consider

Even when your dog can sleep with you in your bed, your dog should have a bed of its own–or two or three or four

by Laura Pakis, Certified Professional Dog Trainer

Benefits of Dog Beds

All dogs benefit from having a place where they can go to relax and feel safe.  And there are plenty of reasons why having a dog bed is better than the floor.

  1. Unlike the floor, a dog bed such as the Big Barker provides support as well as keeps your dog warm.
  2. Dog beds are spaces that a dog can have all to themselves.
  3. They can be taken with you when you travel, providing your dog with a familiar and comfortable location to sleep.
  4. Rather than your couch, dog beds that are easy to wash make life easier if your dog has accidents, rolls in something stinky, or gets infected with parasites.

How do I pick the best one?

When it comes to dog beds, there really isn’t a one size fits all.   There are many factors you need to consider, including a budget, size of the bed, the convenience of using the bed, materials used, the safety of use, and much more.

Before making your decision, you should do your research and consult your veterinarian about your pup’s needs.  Recently Big Barker was tested by the Penn Vet Veterinary Clinical Investigations Center and received high marks.

Size of bed

Dr. Rachel Barrack, a veterinarian and the founder of Animal Acupuncture in NYC, suggests beginning your search with your dog’s size. “Measure from nose to tail,” she says, “To be safe, add a couple of inches to that measurement.” It is better to opt for a bed that’s slightly bigger (this gives your dog room to spread out).

Types of beds

Dog beds come in a variety of styles, shapes, and materials.  Knowing your dog, it’s sleeping style, and what makes it most comfortable will help determine the type of bed to get.

  • Travel beds are convenient and easy to stow.  This is an excellent bed for dogs that need the security of familiarity. It can also help dogs who suffer from anxiety in new places since it can help them relax.
  • Cot-style beds keep your dog off the ground and comfortably support joints by distributing the dog’s weight evenly. They also allow for air circulation underneath the dog, keeping the dog cooler.  They can be cumbersome but are usually relatively easy to transport.
  • Heated beds maintain body warmth. This can be advantageous to dogs who like the added warmth of a blanket or for dogs with arthritis.
  • Orthopedic beds support dogs joints and bones, but they aren’t just for older dogs.  Dogs often develop joint and bone problems from overuse.  Orthopedic beds protect against issues like joint discomfort, arthritis, and hip dysplasia in the long run. Because the memory foam conforms to the body, it ensures equal support of all pressure points. Blood flow increases without pressure points.  This will allow a faster recovery time as well as heal and restore more effectively.  This is especially helpful for working dogs.  Preventing injuries and recovery aren’t the only reasons to invest in an orthopedic dog bed; these beds can provide a better night’s sleep. According to WebMD, better nights sleep can improve the following: sharper brain, mood boost, healthier heart, athletic achievement, steadier blood sugar, germ-fighting, and weight control

Big Barker real beds for big dogs

Acme Canine had not heard of Big Barker orthopedic dog beds before we were contacted by the company to test one of their beds.  We did know we had the perfect dog to test their bed, our 60 lb, 12-year old Boxer mix, Autumn.  So we accepted their offer.

Autumn has arthritis as well as stiffness due to back surgery she had three years ago.  She also is a terrible snorer and restless sleeper, scratching her bed repeatedly through the night in hopes of making a “more comfortable nest.”

We chose the Big Barker 7” sleek edition extra-large (52” x 36” x 7”) since she is over 25 inches tall.  Knowing that she likes her head in line with her body.  We bypassed the headrest option.

This bed is made in the USA and sells for approximately $200.  When you consider a human mattress is one of our most significant purchases, and we only spend half of our life sleeping; you can almost rationalize the cost of this dog bed made of quality memory foam that is certified by CertiPUR-US and has a ten-year warranty, and a secure payment plan might be worth it for a dog that sleeps much more than we do.

The ordering process is simple. Within seven days, the bed arrived, compressed in a tube shape.

The Big Barker website is chock full of information and very thorough.  You will learn not only about the bed and the accessories you can buy but also gain knowledge from their blog on health and care of canines.

Not chew-proof, but…

This bed is not chew-proof as we quickly learned when Autumn’s sister, Penny, took the bed up into her mouth and shook it.  It is “tear-resistant,” meaning it holds up better against nesting/digging than most of the dog bed covers.  Big Barker does make a custom bed cover out of more durable material for about $50.

Not waterproof, but…

It also isn’t 100% waterproof.  The microfiber does hold up against minor water spills such as drool, wet dog, and more.  Again Big Barker offers a 100% waterproof liner accessory at a cost range of $79.95 to $49.95 depending on the type of bed you choose.

Adjusting to the bed

Surprisingly Autumn was a bit apprehensive about going on the bed.  She didn’t like the way her feet sunk into the pad and would quickly jump off.  Fortunately, Big Barker had some “tricks” to help Autumn adjust.

We started by rubbing our hands all over the cover; since a familiar scent can help.  Then my husband, Phil, laid on the bed and invited Autumn to join him.  She still was a little unsure, so we added her blankets to the bed.  They sealed the deal.

No snoring!

At bedtime, Autumn was ready to go onto the bed without hesitation.  She settled in quickly and was fast asleep in minutes.

Then we noticed something strange.  Autumn wasn’t snoring.

This behavior was so strange we asked the Big Barker representatives if they had comments from other dog owners that their dogs were not snoring when sleeping on the bed.  Amanda, from Big Barker, replied, “To answer your question… I actually wasn’t sure about this so we dug into our reviews and found a handful of people who said their dogs actually stopped snoring once they got a Big Barker. Maybe it’s because they have enough room to stretch out or maybe because of the headrest? More often we hear that people’s dogs are snoring instead of groaning when they get up. Either way, I hope it means your dog is sleeping more soundly!” And Autumn is!

It’s now been three weeks since Autumn first settled her head on the Big Barker bed, and we couldn’t be happier with it.

The bed has proven to be all the company states it is, and Autumn is definitely sleeping better and waking up happier.  We’ve even noticed her running more in the yard.

We’re sleeping better too since we don’t hear her scratching the bed throughout the night, trying to get comfortable.

We’re even thinking of investing in their Backseat Barker for our RAV4.  That way, both dogs can enjoy a comfortable ride and have the added security of knowing we are protecting their joints during our trips.

Acme Canine approved

We feel Big Barker is a company that stands behind their product and willing to help customers find the right bed for their dog.

We’re not recommended buying more than one Big Barker, but it might be something to consider.  These beds are an investment, but if they help prevent joint issues in the future, the cost of the bed is much less than that of joint surgery.

Acme Canine gives the Big Barker sleek edition bed four paws up for the quality of craft, company integrity, and canine happiness of use.  We think you will like it too.

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