By Kate Hull
A bed is our oasis. It’s where we unwind, relax and hit snooze on the busyness of the day. For our furry companions—whose sleep schedule can average nearly 12 hours a day—having a cozy space to rest their weary paws is just as essential. While your dogs may opt to curl up on the foot of your bed, providing them with their own space is an important way to offer security and comfort and regain control of your mattress.
Cue the dog bed. Gone are the days of bland colors and mediocre fabrics. Dog beds come in all shapes and sizes with plush materials that might even put your own thread count and memory foam to shame. And, while it’s all about your dog’s relaxation, an added bonus is the onset of stylish fabrics that make adding a bed or two a way to compliment your space and tastes.
Know Your Dog
Before you dive into picking a bed, make sure to gather a bit of intel about your dog’s sleeping habits. Jane Mittelsteadt, a former veterinarian who owns both franchised Dee-O-Gee locations in Bozeman along with her husband, Eric, recommends starting with your dog’s preferred sleeping position.
“If your dog is a curler, the circle bed or the donut beds with edges or a trim piece will be best,” Mittelsteadt says. “If they like to sprawl out, they will like the flat beds better. Knowing this will help each dog find their happy space.”
While Bozeman-based West Paw dog beds are a favorite both locally and nationally, no matter your pooch’s age, Mittelsteadt recommends the West Paw Heyday Bed or the West Paw Big Sky Nap Mat as a go-to for people with puppies. These beds are handcrafted right in Bozeman with eco-friendly materials and minimal waste, a win for comfort and conservation. The beds are celebrated for their soft texture and high-quality materials.
“People are not only excited to support a local company, but West Paw also offers a lifetime guarantee on their beds,” Mittelsteadt says. “They will replace it one time for free.”
People with puppies that are working on crate training migrate to the HeyDay or Big Sky Nap. The nap mat fits nicely in a crate and adds a cozy touch.
Consider a Crate
Instinctually, some canines prefer an enclosed space that mimics a den. A crate to many dogs is a safe and comfortable place where they feel secure, explains Kara Pollard, executive director of Dog Is My Copilot, a Jackson, Wyoming-based nonprofit that transports at-risk dogs from overcrowded shelters to regions where potential adopters are in ample supply.
“Instinctively dogs like to den,” Pollard says. “So, introducing a crate into your home for your dog is usually a great idea! It all depends on perspective, but a crate to my dogs has always been a cozy retreat!” Create extra comfort with a snuggly pad or plush bed.
Style Meets Function
While dog beds in simple neutrals and basic colors are easy to come by, a rise in bold, bright and stylish patterns are cornering the pet comfort market. Known for their stunning blankets and clothing, few things say Western style more than vibrant textiles from Pendleton. The luxury woolen mills company hasn’t left out the dogs and has created a popular line of beds that are equally as luxurious for your dog as they are stylish for the home. Ideal for a dog that loves to sprawl out, the Petnapper series from Pendleton is high-loft, polyester filled and comes with a removable cover for easy cleaning.
For the Pampered Pooch
Some pups just love a little extra pampering. Animals Matter, a direct-to-consumer luxury dog bed company, creates beds with an impressive thread count and philanthropic message. Animals Matter has been manufacturing in the U.S. since 2003 and is known for vegan and cruelty-free designs.
“We have this design that is kind of magical for dogs,” says Nancy Kline, founder of Palm Springs, California-based company. The Puff Bed is the most popular, featuring a patented design and array of fabrics to pick from—this year, Nancy has seen an uptick in bed hunters looking for more color, like her jewel tones in pinks and blues. “People are wanting colors that pop and might be a little unusual, going back to that mid-century modern style,” she said.
At both the beginning and end of their lives, dogs need additional attention to specific needs. For a senior dog, Dog Is My Copilot’s Pollard recommends finding a bed with support that’s easier to get in and out of. “Given the extra time a senior dog may spend lounging around and sleeping, it is important to choose a bed that is comfortable,” she says. “Some older dogs might even benefit from extra padding and support.”
The Bowser Beds, the most popular go-to at Dee-O-Gee, offer a super cushiony donut bed that’s perfect for a little extra snugness for an older, smaller dog. For a bigger dog, or one with joint issues, opt for a stiff, more mat-like bed like the Bowser Isotonic Memory Foam Mattress.
When you’re a dog of the Northwest, life isn’t always naps-by-the-fireplace and cozy days spent indoors. With summer in full swing, bringing your dog along for the adventure is always a plus. Ruffwear is known for their performance dog gear from harnesses to life jackets. For your backcountry companion, the Highlands Pad is portable, lightweight and compact. The Highland Series also offers a lightweight, synthetic sleeping bag—slip the pad inside for extra insulation.
It’s easy to throw in your pack or the backseat of the car and the pad ensures your dog feels secure, a little more at home and warm on your next adventure.