We all know how waking up on the wrong side of the bed can make us cranky throughout the day. Now think about your dog, who wakes up on the wrong side of the mat, blanket or even floor! See why he needs durable dog beds yet?
Look at your dog, check closely, maybe his problem isn’t “behavioral disorder”, stubbornness, or even lack of training. Maybe he is always restless due to the fact that he doesn’t get good enough sleep. Maybe he is running around all the time to stretch out his bones that wear obviously cramped during his sleep.
Let’s dive into the world of sleep.
Table of Contents
How Many Hours of Sleep Does a Dog Need?
Well, if you said 10 hours, then you are most definitely correct. According to Dr. Joan C. Hendricks, your average dog should get about 10 hours of sleep every day. Is your dog sleeping for that long? If not then you might want to do something about it.
How Do I Know My Dog Isn’t Getting Enough Sleep?
While there hasn’t been a lot of research done in the area of sleep deprivation in dogs, our canine friends have similar symptoms to humans in that regard. Dr. Jennifer Coates, a veterinary advisor for petMD, describes some symptoms of sleep deprivation in dogs as:
- Lack of concentration.
Sounds pretty familiar, doesn’t it?
Why Isn’t My Dog Getting Enough Sleep?
There are different things that can make your dog not enjoy his sleep, the biggest factor being comfort. Some of those other factors are listed below:
Just like in humans, the older a pup gets, the harder it is for them to fall asleep. Maybe because puppies, like human children, have much fewer worries than their parents.
Dr. Hendricks, in her research, figured out that like older humans, some senior dogs (especially those diagnosed with canine cognitive dysfunction, a condition similar to Alzheimer’s disease) go through sundowning.
So, let’s define the main terms:
- Canine Cognitive Dysfunction
It is a brain condition that resembles the Alzheimer’s disease seen in humans. In simpler terms, it is dog dementia and happens to older canines more frequently than pups and younger adults.
If your dog gets restless and confused as night falls, chances are that he is experiencing sundowning. It is accompanied by a lot of pacing and difficulty or inability to fall asleep.
PTSD: Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
Yes, it can happen to dogs too.
Dogs who have, at one time, been involved in combat or sent out with the military are more likely to experience PTSD. And it can cause sleep deprivation too.
As a dog owner, this is one sign to always look out for especially if you did not buy your dog as a pup and have little or no history about his past.
Is Sleep Really That Important For Dogs?
Yes, it is. Sleep time is when the brain gets to organize all the random information that it receives throughout the day.
If you don’t want your dog carrying randomized thought all his life and you want to keep him in a good mood, let him sleep.
Okay, we’ve talked a lot about sleep and the lack of it. However, the things listed above are secondary factors that affect sleep, the primary factor that affects sleep is a good bed.
Why Does My Dog Need a Bed?
The same reasons humans sleep on a bed are the same reasons dogs should be given their own durable dog beds too.
Even if you let your dogs around your furniture and even your beds, it is necessary to get them their own beds as it increases crate literacy.
According to Wikipedia, it is the process or training your dog to accept and recognize a crate, cage or bed as a safe haven and familiar location.
Providing a bed for your dog helps immensely in crate training. In fact, it is the basis of the training.
While a normal wooden or plastic crate might work as well for the training, it’s easier for your dog to recognize a soft surface as a safe haven than a hard – and sometimes cold – surface.
Still aren’t convinced? Here are a few other reasons why you might want to get your doggies their own bed:
Big dogs like German Shepherds, Labradors, Great Danes and so on, are more likely to be affected by arthritis. Smaller dogs that are longer than taller are also at risk of being affected by other degenerative diseases.
A good bed helps in cushioning dogs’ bones and joints, thereby, helping to support dogs in such conditions.
More importantly, if the dog is an older adult suffering from arthritis or any other form of bone, muscle or joint problems, get a good bed. A good bed will help reduce the pressure on the bones of the canine.
Winter is coming! This is the game, not of thrones, but of survival.
On those cold winter nights, a warm place to sleep might be the borderline between life and death. We bet you didn’t think it could get this ugly, right? Well it can.
Dogs are blessed by nature with fur. But on really cold nights, even their fur might not be enough to keep them warm.
Also, to add to their fur warmth, dogs curl themselves up into a ball to keep themselves warm during the cold. And we can tell you for free that that is not a good position to sleep in.
Sleeping in a ball means the bones are not stretched out and it can cause cramps.
So, to prevent your dog from having cramps, provide him a warm bed to sleep on. A warm bed will ensure that he can stretch himself out completely and enjoy warmth and insulation from the cold.
Protects Your Furniture
Don’t you get tired of ridding your furniture of fur and dog hair all the time? Well, getting them their own bed might be a good first step in reducing it by a ton.
If he has his own bed, he’d most likely stay off your furniture seeing as he’d be comfortable in his own space. Because, contrary to popular opinion, dogs require their own me-time.
Calluses And Hygromas
Calluses are thick overgrowth areas of blackish-grey skin that form over a bony pressure point/joint to protect the bone.
That blackish-grey stuff that’s over your dog’s elbows? Exactly.
They just might be caused by excessive pressure building on that bony area of your dog’s body. This excessive pressure is usually built when the dog sleeps on a hard surface for an extended period of time.
It is more likely to happen to big dogs, and more especially, big dogs with short coats. Even sleeping on carpets can cause this, it’s not just concrete or tiles.
Hygromas is quite the opposite of calluses.
Calluses appear on top of the skin and are solid, hygromas appear under the skin and are fluid-filled capsules. Although, they are not painful at first, when they become infected they can get very painful.
The best way to prevent calluses and hygromas is to provide your dogs with a safe, soft bed to sleep. This prevents excess pressure building and friction on bony parts.
Things to Look Out for When Looking for A Dog Bed
Of course, you need to measure the size of your dog before getting him a bed. Good practice is to get a dog bed that is 5-10inches wider and longer than your dog. This gives them enough space to stretch out and more.
Ease Of Use
To avoid stressing yourself out, get a bed that has all of the following qualities:
- A bed that is easy to set up.
- One that comes with an instructional manual, and
- A bed that’s water-resistant. It would be your best bet for easy cleaning.
This is basically divided into two. If your dog sleeps outside, or if your dog sleeps inside. If he sleeps outside, the bed might need to be in a crate. It should also be able to resist mold, fungi and other hazards.
Just like with every other thing you buy, don’t buy for cheap. Buy the best that fits into your budget.
Some dogs prefer sleeping sprawled out, others folded. Whichever sleeping style your dog exhibits should be put into consideration when getting a bed for your dog.
Types of Durable Dog Beds
So, now you are familiar with the various factors to take into consideration when getting a dog bed, it’s time for the next step. In the next section, we will be checking out the different durable dog bed types around the market. Look around and pick out the one that works best for you and your dog.
Orthopedic Durable Dog Beds
- Your dog is old and sometimes experiences joint pains.
- Your dog is thin and has prominent bones. This prevents pressure from building up on those areas.
- Your dog likes to sleep sprawled out.
Donut Or Bolster Durable Dog Beds
- Likes to sleep curled up.
- Loves to lean against something while sleeping.
- Loves resting their head on an elevated pillow when sleeping.
- Small dogs usually love this because it retains their body heat.
Pillow Or Cushion Durable Dog Beds
Heated Durable Dog Beds
As the name implies, it is warm and comfy. It is really helpful for older dogs with joint pains because the warmth soothes the joints and keeps them from cramping or freezing in cold conditions. Some are specifically made for the cold and some for outdoor use.
Outdoor Cots and Beds
Dog cots are typically great if your dog loves the outdoors. They are elevated to protect them from the hot sand in summer and also from the cold ground in winter. Most of them are created water-proof which makes for easy cleaning. They are very sturdy and firm on the ground and are good for dogs no matter their size.
Other Creative Ways to Ensure Your Dog Sleeps Healthy
Blankets are soft and provide almost the same warmth. If you cannot get a dog bed then blankets are your best bet. A simple stack of blankets might do the job. All you need to do is make sure that it is laid in a way that is comfortable for your dogs’ preferred sleeping position. Also, the colder it gets, the more blankets you need to lay on.
Your Old Sweatshirt
This has a little bit of DIY activity. Get a pillow you’re no more using, place it under an old sweatshirt and viola, a dog bed. Make sure the sweatshirt is thick, though.
We bet you didn’t see this one coming. Turn that stool upside down and what do you get? A makeshift dog bed, now all you have to do is decorate it and insulate it properly. You can do this with blankets, old curtains or clothes.
We’re not sure why you would prefer these to durable dog beds but if you’re strict like that, then dog crates are not a bad way to go. They also help to prevent your dog from wandering, especially if they’ve not been properly trained.
If your crate is metal, make sure that you insulate it properly so your dog doesn’t suffer hypothermia in the cold weather.
How to Keep Durable Dog Beds Clean
The beddings should be replaced once every week to get rid of bacteria that your dog might have carried while on the bed.
For durable dog beds that have foams in them with a covering, you can clean following these steps:
1. Remove the outside covering.
2. Wash the covering.
3. Soak the foam in warm water and wash gently with your palms (do not use a brush, it destroys the foam).
4. Rinse out the foam.
5. Sun dry both the foam and the covering.
6. Place the foam back in the covering.
Do not forget that in this time of washing, the dog should have something else to sleep on. You do not want your dog to get sick during the time of cleaning.
Also, don’t forget to vacuum. Vacuuming your dog’s bed removes all the fur, hair and dust from the sleeping area, making it safer for the dog at all times.
Now that we’ve gone through everything there is to know about our dog’s sleep, it’s all up to you. Make sure that you don’t deprive your pup of a good, healthy 10 hours of snooze. We’ve seen what not enough sleep can do to your dogs.
Money is no longer an excuse seeing as we have also taken out time to provide you with DIY make-shift beds. And these beds can be made with things that you readily find at home.
No need to thank us, we do it for the love of dogs.