It comes as no surprise to any dog owner that dogs sleep—a lot. On the floor, under the table, on top of you, I even found my dog in the dryer once; dogs will get their z’s in pretty much any place imaginable. While they can seemingly sleep anywhere at any time, it’s nice to give your dog a comfortable spot that they can call their own. Especially as our dogs age, their bodies will appreciate a soft, warm place they can snuggle into for a good night’s sleep or a long nap. If you’re in the market for a dog bed, you might begin to realize not all dog beds are created equal. So, how do you choose?

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9 Types of Dog Beds

1. Pillow Dog Beds

Pillow beds are among the most common and certainly most simple types you will encounter. They provide a cushioned area for your dog to lie down and come in various sizes suitable to most breeds. As the name implies, these dog beds look like overstuffed pillows and are usually rectangular in shape. The open shape allows your dog to curl up or sprawl out completely. These pillows lack the special features of some of the others on this list but absolutely gets the job done. 

Springer, Spaniel, Dog, Puppy, Pillow

2. Donut Dog Beds

Donut-style dog beds are another common type. They are round, often with a raised edge, and usually inexpensive. These beds mimic the round shape many dogs form with their bodies while napping, and the raised edge keeps in some warmth. You may find that some dogs prefer the raised edge to lean up against as well. These beds come in just about any size and color you can think of, so you have plenty of options to match your indoor decor. These beds are readily available in almost any pet store, and you can even often find them in grocery stores too.

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3. Memory Foam Dog Beds

Memory foam dog beds are usually rectangular beds, and they are made out of – you guessed it – memory foam. These beds are more expensive than your traditional dog bed but are fantastic for older dogs that need a little extra comfort. Just like us humans, elderly dogs are more prone to aches and pains. Especially in their joints. Memory foam dog beds provide that extra firm comfort that molds to your dog’s body, eliminating pressure points and alleviating some of their discomforts. A comfortable night’s sleep can do wonders for elderly dogs or dogs with physical health issues, leaving them rested and less sore the next day. Memory foam beds come in any color and size but are traditionally a firm-looking rectangle. 

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4. Orthopedic Dog Beds

Like memory foam dog beds, orthopedic dog beds are another one that people seek out for their elderly or disabled dogs. Orthopedic beds can also alleviate pain from joint pain, hip issues, and other physical maladies. The orthopedic foam in these types of beds is softer, with more give than memory foam. Reducing joint pain at night so your dog can rest well does wonders to improve their daily mobility. The orthopedic foam supports your dog’s joints, especially their neck, hips, and back. These beds come in many different shapes and sizes so that you can pick the right one for your canine companion.

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5. Pet Sofas

If you’re not sure you like a dog bed’s aesthetic in your living space, consider a pet sofa instead. These fashionable alternatives to dog beds more resemble a miniature piece of human furniture, like a couch. Most dogs like getting up on our couch, so why not give them their very own couch to snuggle into? Many of these sofa pet beds are raised off the ground, which is a more elegant solution and more comfortable for your animal. Pet sofas are plush and stylish, available in many sizes to suit your pooch. Because these beds are elevated off the ground, they may not work as well for dogs with disabilities or elderly dogs who might not be able to climb into them.

Dog, Dog Sleeping, Kelpie, Blue Heeler

6. Cave Dog Beds

Not every dog will enjoy every kind of bed, and this is especially true for cave-style beds. These dog beds resemble a sleeping bag and bed all rolled into one, with a pocket your dog can crawl into. They are warmer than other dog beds, so they are great for short-haired dogs that get cold easily. They’re also ideal for any pooch who tries to find small confined spaces to sleep in. Huskies and Dachshunds, for example, are well-known for loving cave-like areas in which to nap. Cave beds come in various shapes, from flexible, round beds, to rigid, tipi-like structures. These beds are a bit more expensive than others on this list, but they encourage your dog’s instinct to find a den to sleep in.

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7. Heated Dog Beds

If you have a short-haired dog sensitive to the cold (think Pitbulls, Boxers, French Bulldogs, Great Danes, etc.), they might benefit from a heated dog bed. If you often find your dog curled up in a tight ball, tail over its nose, and shivering, your dog is sleeping cold. Heated dog beds can help. They provide a warmer area for your dog to curl up and catch some sleep. You will know pretty much immediately whether you made the right decision when you bring a heated dog bed home because you won’t be able to get your dog off it. Heated dog beds are also useful for stiff or sore muscles, providing a respite from many aches and pains. 

8. Elevated Cots

Elevated cots are traditionally made from a PVC material frame with canvas stretched across it. You see these beds a lot in shelters, kennels, and training facilities because they are relatively cheap and easy to clean. These dog beds aren’t just for commercial use, though; they’re also great in your home, especially your yard. These beds keep your dog off of the uneven, dirty ground. The elevation also helps keep your pet cool in the summer months because a breeze will travel under and over your pet. In winter, the elevated surface insulates your dog from the cold ground too. Elevated cots are used in training as well to teach your dog a “place” command.

9. Blankets

Dog beds can be pricey. If they aren’t in your budget right now, blankets are a fantastic alternative. If you have an older blanket that might be a little worn out, fold it up into the right size for your pooch and place it in one of their favorite spots to snooze. Old sleeping bags are a great option as well, or multiple blankets piled up. If you don’t have a blanket you want to designate as a dog blanket, you can look in thrift stores or Goodwill for well-loved blankets or sleeping bags. Blankets can keep our pups warm and provide cushion from the ground.

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Dog Beds For the Good Doggos

No matter what dog bed you choose, you will inevitably find your dog still sleeping on the floor, and that’s ok! Providing them different options of sleeping surfaces allows our dog to regulate their temperature and comfort based on what they need. You don’t have to stop at one dog bed either; if you so choose, you can invest in a couple of different kinds of dog beds and place them in various areas of your home where your dog likes to nap.

What kind of dog bed does your dog like best?

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