Buying a Dog Bed – A Brief Guide

Buying Your Dog A Bed

First of all a few key facts:

A quarter of UK households own a dog

The average price of a pedigree puppy in the UK is around £750. and the lifetime cost of keeping him including food, vets bills, boarding fees and insurance can run to between £17,000 to £30,000.

He can spend 75% of his time lying down and is happy to sleep for an average of 14 hours per day.

There is a very high chance that during his lifetime he will suffer from arthritis, joint pain or poor mobility as a result of a musculoskeletal condition of some kind If he is a larger breed he will be particularly vulnerable.

Why is it therefore that dog beds are often overlooked as a vital ingredient in helping to keep your dog happy and healthy during his lifetime?

 Why is it that most dog bed design is still stuck in the dark ages and woefully inadequate to meet your dog's needs and why is it that some otherwise totally caring and responsible dog owners continue to buy the many inferior products available on the high street?

You can buy a cheap Labrador-sized bed for under £40 but is it going to be fit for purpose?

Most dog beds look (roughly) the same so what makes some dramatically superior to others?



Here are 10 questions that you should ask before spending your hard-earned cash on a dog bed:

What's it made of?

Most dog beds look great in the shop – That's how they sell. Unfortunately, most have outer covers more suitable for dressmaking than being capable of facing the treatment your dog will put it through. Pick it up. If it's light – the stuffing is likely to be loosely packed polyester fibre and a lot of imported fresh air!

How can it be cleaned?

Proper cleaning and maintenance are essential to avoid having a smelly bed that harbours damp, mould, fleas, mites and other allergens.

How long will it last?

There is absolutely no reason why a properly constructed dog bed shouldn't last for years and years.

Will it provide adequate insulation and joint support?

If you can push your hand down and feel the floor it doesn't!

Is it big enough for my dog to move around unrestricted?

Dogs like to have the option to curl-up OR stretch out - 'Nest' beds look cosy but can restrict movement and result in poor spinal

Where is it made and who can I talk to if it isn't up to the job? Does it come with a guarantee?

Only the very best manufacturers are prepared to offer any form of product guarantee.

Is the cover removable/replaceable?

It should be! (Avoid press studs and zip closures – Dogs love them!) Buying a spare or replacement cover is far cheaper than replacing the whole bed.

Will it keep its shape?

It should! Unfortunately, most go lumpy and the inner filling clumps-up when your dog starts to nest providing poor insulation and support.

Who can I ask for information/advice?

Very few shop assistants receive training on dog beds – Many don't even have a dog!

In summary, you should only need to buy one bed for your dog and although a top-quality bed will cost more it represents a huge saving over having to replace inferior beds every few months.

Only buy from a knowledgeable source and consider the outlay as a modest investment in your dog's welfare to really help prolong his active life as an important member of your family.


Martin Starbuck is a director of Berkeley Dog Beds Limited –

For any questions related to this article please contact Martin directly at

or see the company Facebook page at



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