How do You Wash Waterproof Dog Beds?

The reason for using waterproof dog beds, especially for large dogs, is that you cannot fit a big dog bed in to a domestic washing machine. Of course there are large dog beds with very little substance and very little stuffing that you can fit in, but firstly, the stuffing can’t cope very well with washing and will clump up in to hard, uncomfortable balls and a bed with so little stuffing will never give support and insulation enough for a large dog on a cold floor anyway. So a great big, thick and supportive dog bed will end up smelling of dog and it will look dirty, greasy and muddy. If it does not have a waterproof cover, you are pretty stuck as it is not really possible to clean it.

So a waterproof bed with a thick, insulating and supportive stuffing is the solution. It is very easy and quick to wash a dog bed like this. You just take it outside and use hot, soapy water with a sponge going over all the dirty places on the bed. The soap can be any kind as long as you don’t use bleach in too high a dose. Once the bed is well cleaned and scrubbed all over, you need to rinse the soap off really well. If you leave too much of the soap residue, it will cling to new dust and dirt quicker and soon look like it needs a wash again.

One way of making washing easier and almost not needed is to take advantage of fitted, machine washable covers for dog beds. If you have a mattress dog bed with a fitted fleecy cover, you simply take this off and put it in your washing machine. As the fleecy cover is not waterproof, the water will wash it perfectly in the machine and it will come out looking new. If you have a dog that loves the muddy puddles or swimming in the ponds, he will bring in enough mud and dirt to penetrate the fleece cover and you might need to wash the waterproof dog bed underneath, but you might just do that once a year or so. Vacuuming the surface is normally enough on a weekly basis.

Good, clean dog beds are necessary for your household and for the dog.

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Where can I get Warm Dog Beds?

When choosing dog beds it is important to understand how your dog sleeps and where. Firstly, if your dog sleeps in the house, have you considered how cold it is at floor level and also how cold the floor itself is?

When you move around in the house with you thick, warm slippers and socks in winter time you may not realise how cold it is at floor level. When you put the television on you might put your feet on a foot stool away from the cold floor. In contrast, the dog beds are usually directly on the floor and the dog is sitting at 10-15 cm height off the floor where it is surprisingly cold. To get a good idea of this situation you should try and sit on the dog bed to check how it feels. Don’t forget to check also in the middle of the night (if you get up at that time) as it might be even colder when the central heating has been off for a while. And one more thing: if you have a slightly older house you may find that on stormy winter nights there is also a significantly increased draught by the dog bed.

If you find that any of the above is true, you should consider getting a draught excluding dog bed with various extras. The Tuffies nest beds securely keeps the draughts out and also provide a great option for the dog to EITHER have its head up, resting on the sturdy sides, watching the world OR snuggle down in to the depth of the bed, feeling greatly warm and secure.

If you have a little dog that feels the cold in particular, you may like to add a total cover in thick fleece. This makes the nest warmer and cosier for dogs with a short coat.

Tuffies also supply the Sock! This covers half the nest so that the dog has a warming half cover over him. A fantastic way to create extra warmth.

Lastly it is worth mentioning that you can of course create an environment that is too hot! A Labrador or other big type of dog with a thick coat may, if your house if warm, need a flat mattress with not fleece in order to keep cool enough. Maybe only in the summer time, but it is good to remember this.

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Dog beds for export

The fall of the Pound Sterling is having an effect on exporting British manufacturers with much more interest from abroad and rising export.

Here at Tuffies, where we are manufacturing dog beds for the UK market, we do not have a facility on line for purchasing if you are wanting delivery to go overseas, but there is clearly a rising demand. Consequently we are receiving an increasing volume of phonecalls and emails with requests from abroad from people wishing to purchase our luxury dog beds. The problem is of course that our dog beds are very heavy and substantial and they cost a great deal to transport abroad.  We have found that couriers are very expensive when it comes to volume and weight.

Nevertheless, our dog beds have such a reputation that customers more often than not, will choose to pay almost as much for transport as they pay for the dog bed in order to get it to them. We export a good amount, and frequently, to France, Holland and Germany, but we also send Tuffies beds to Japan and USA and other far-flung places.

It is great to know that dogs abroad are enjoying the hygienic dog beds that we make and that their owners won’t compromise on quality when comes to their dogs’ health and comfort.

We should probably go for a Dutch and French and German web site, but we are so very busy with the UK market that we are reluctant to branch out that way. It also follows that if we do send the wrong item by mistake, we have a bill for a replacement wiping out profit way beyond what we had earned. It is all a huge cost. So we often suggest to our customers abroad on Europe mainland, that it might be a better idea if they have their dog beds sent to a UK address so that they can either pick them up when they go to UK for holiday or business or they can ask their British friends to bring them over next time they come in a car. This is taken up by many, many British expats, especially in France.

As Tuffies grows and grows, we may one day set up a European affiliate, but that is another story.

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Dog beds for cars

Just got a new truck to transport my pointers. As always, it has a beautiful and enormous Tuffie dog bed in the back. It is a Wipe Clean Tuffie dog bed with a thick Fluffie Tuffie cover on it, which is easy to take off and put in the wash.  The Wipe Clean fabric is also fantastic because if it needs a bit of extra cleaning after the cover has been taken off, I can simply put it outside and scrub it down with hot, soapy water followed by a thorough rinse.

However, there is another thing to consider with a new car as I had a pretty bad experience in the past. I had a truck a few years ago and I had had it for a while, so it was a bit rusty and battered. The dogs were comfy, of course, on a similar dog bed as the ones we supply for trucks. I picked up my friend and I think we had five pointers and a Labrador in the back. I pulled in to a layby to sort something out and a chap in a Landrover pulled in too and jumped out. He said the back door of the truck had come down and was open. I can’t describe the gasp I felt when I realised that my dear Gollum was missing. He had fallen out on the road when the door suddenly sprang open as I was driving and nowhere to be seen. The other dogs sat on the dog bed, which gives a good grip so at least no more was going to slide out.

We drove back, tracing our steps and drove for over 10 miles. I stopped every passing car to ask if they had seen a dog, but no. I gave everyone my phone number in hope. At last, the phone rang. It was a man, who used to work on an estate where I had worked Gollum. He had been driving along and seen a bemused and bewildered German Wirehaired Pointer and thought “That is Gollum”.

He stopped and begged Gollum in to his car. I am sure Gollum did not worry about the lack of bespoke shaped dog beds in the back of the vehicle as it must have been nice to be with somebody at least. Mike called and boy, was I happy? I had honestly prepared myself for a dead or dying dog.

I took him in my car and luckily I had Metacalm with me. He only had a little cut on his shoulder and his bum, so he must had spread the impact. He was pleased to get back on his dog bed in my car and he never seemed to have suffered any harm.

Hardy old boy.

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Extremely comfortable dog beds

……..but if you have hyper active dogs it doesn’t matter how comfortable the dog beds are, they will still not settle and sleep.

In the Tuffies household we have three German Wirehaired Pointers and they are FULL of beans. These dogs are not the sort of dogs you can have as sedate pets in the house all day, lounging on superior dog beds because they need a lot of exercise and stimulation. In fact, when dog owners talk about giving active dogs plenty of exercise before they will settle down on their dog beds, it might seem that enough running is doing the trick, but I believe that it is simply mind-exercise dogs need. I remember someone telling me about their German Wirehaired Pointer that was used for stalking. If you shoot deer from a high-seat, you sit and wait for the deer to appear and shoot them from the seat. This particular chap used to take his GWP and leave it at the bottom of the seat. IF the disaster happened that he shot a roe deer badly and it started running off, he could send the dog to make sure it was stopped and despatched of quickly. The other reason for having the dog would be for shooting in the summer in high grass. A fallen roe deer is not very big and you can simply lose track of it once it is down. If you have a dog, it will quickly locate the fallen deer via the scent. So this dog was sitting under the highseat for hours waiting quietly, 100% alert, but without moving a muscle. He said the dog would come home from these intense, but motionless, hours totally exhausted falling asleep in his comfortable dog beds at home. The dog had not done anything physically, but had been mentally exercised.

Likewise, I take my three pointers (on days when we are not out working them) with me on the push bike. They run along side with me for some serious exercise. We are out for about an hour. When they come home, they are fairly tired and will scoff their food before settling in the house on their dog beds. These dogs are out in the garden all day where they can run around a play all day, but it never stimulates them enough.

My point is, that if I take them on the bike OR just walk them, they have been mentally stimulated to the same extent because we are out for an hour both times. The walk is much less physical, but of course the dogs are sniffing all along and looking and feeling.

So you don’t NEED massive exercise for dogs in order to make them settled. You can just give them stimulation, mentally, for them to want a good, settled sleep in their comfortable dog beds.

 

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Beautiful Dog Beds

Obviously,at Tuffies, we aim to make the most durable and comfortable dog beds. We aim to find the perfect combination of what is the best for the dogs and what is easy to maintain and keep hygienic.

This is why we take in the BEST fabrics and get a lot of our fabrics made to our specifications instead of putting up with whatever we can buy, dirt cheap, off the shelf. It is frightening, when you are out looking for fabrics, how much bad quality there is for sale.

We also take huge care to make our dog beds as cosy and comfortable as possible and we try to educate dog owners about the dog bed world, seen from a dog’s perspective. What may look nice and fluffy to the human, may not be that comfortable to a dog.

However, when dog comfort, hygiene and durability has been taken care of, there is still one more thing to get right at Tuffies dog beds: Style and class and whether you think you have bought a BEAUTIFUL dog bed. We would like you to think you have and we make great effort to source good colours and to build our designs in a pleasing way.

When we stack all our dog beds up for sale at a show, at Crufts, for example, we see them all together with all the colours available and it looks incredibly smart. It does bring home, that we have made a dog bed range in just the right colours from the smallest fluffy dog bed to the largest giant dog beds.

Recently we have launched a number of new designs in the most comtemporary designs and this has been incredibly well received by our fans. We have taken the grey theme of interior design. At the moment grey and petrol or grey with a flash of red or lime is very in. We have got a grey check, grey with red swifts, plain grey and soon to come: Wild Storm, which is grey and petrol in large squares.

Wild Storm Luxury Fleece.

Wild Storm Luxury Fleece.

Dog beds that fit in beautifully in the house is a real pleasure.

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Dogs Digging in their Dog Beds

Why do some dogs keep digging in their dog beds?

There can be several of reasons for that and almost all dogs will dig to some degree. One of the most common reasons is just a call from their natural instincts of creating a nest in their ancestry dens. When dogs used to live in burrows in the ground, they would simply dig around a little till they had got enough comfortable space to sleep. You can also see how they will do it in the grass if, for example. you have a garden with a bit of tall grass: your dogs might find a sunny spot in the grass and then dig a little nest dog bed to get out of the draught, yet lying in the warm sun.

Our Tuffies Nests satisfy exactly that need for enclosure and dogs LOVE these styles of dog beds. Often they will still have a bit of a dig around in the nest, but it is more just a habit.

Sometimes dogs dig simply because they don’t find their dog beds cosy enough and that should be a hint for the owner. If your dog seems to find it difficult to settle, lies down, gets up again only to dig and lie down, unsettled, he is probably wanting something a little cosier. At Tuffies we offer soft, fleecy covers for all our styles and this seems to be a great solution. Of course it also makes the dog beds easier to keep clean as you just take the fleecy covers off and wash them in the washing machine.

Some dogs do, however, have a reason for digging more than just a little comfort digging. This can be from pain frustration (like a sore tooth for example), pregnant bitches or phantom pregnancies or it can of course be the classic case of the dogs running through stingy nettles and getting very itchy. They then try to alleviate the itch by scratching.

The great thing is, that if the dogs eventually dig through the soft Tuffies cover, you can replace these dog bed covers at very little cost compared to having to buy a whole new bed.

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The dog beds are needed at the moment.

We have now hit the real signs of autumn and everyone has stopped worrying about their dogs  being too hot, it’s now time to think about having good warm dog beds.

It is amazing how cold it gets close to the floor, particularly at night when the central heating goes off. Most people appreciate this and get worried about the dogs in their dog beds. We see this in our sales and the concerns our customers show for their dogs.

It is important to choose the right dog beds for your particular hounds. If you have small  Jack Russells, they will probably need good, warm dog beds all year round as they have a relatively thin coat and the also love the outdoors, which means that they are often wet from their walks. Little Jack Russells often shiver and a deep nest would be great for them. Several of them, if they are friends, will huddle together in the deep, den-like nest and feel just grand. If they have been out rolling in the mud puddles or running through the wet grass, they will soon dry up in their own, shared body heat. If you have a very draughty house and want to give the little dogs some extra protection, nothing can beat our covered dog beds. We have a lovely sock for our nest beds and we also Tunnel Covers for the mattress beds.

On the other hand, if you have a big golden Retriever or even a Newfoundlander, he or she will probably prefer a mattress bed on the floor because these dogs usually have too much heat that they want to get rid off.

Choose the right dog beds for your dogs. If you have a big selection, a variety of dog beds will be necessary.

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Warm and Drying Dog Beds

Having worked my pointers for a number of days in August during the start of the grouse season, I got invited to stay in the oldest lodge in Scotland for a treat last week. The deer stalking has started and I was treated to that. By now, my dogs have worked around 18 days on grouse and the grouse season is basically finished. The dogs LOVE the hunting and will now reluctantly spend more time on their warm kennel dog beds. But they would rather be out working, getting tired and wet.

I know how tired dogs get. My pointers work all day at an incredible pace. This year the grouse has been scarce and the dogs work so much harder in those conditions because they hardly get a break. If there are more birds, the dogs find them more frequently and they get a rest after a shot and a retrieve because the guns admire the quarry and take time after a successful shot. With less game around, the dogs never stop, they keep on searching. When we finish a day on the hill, my dogs are exhausted and they are very happy to go in on their bespoke dog beds in the back of my vehicle, being rocked to sleep on the way home. The beds in the back of my 4×4 truck are of the waterproof dog bed kind with a soft, thick fleece cover over them. The attention to dogs’ welfare and the years of working dogs on the hill are hopefully good reasons why we make great dog beds that work properly.

My stalking day had a wonderful inter-species moment to it. We were four people, a ‘keeper and a pony-boy on the hill. When the first guy was going forward to find the beast with the ‘keeper, we all had to hold back and get a good chance to get a rest. We basically sat in a peat hag, freezing cold, waiting. The pony was just standing there, used to the wait, but it seemed interested in the dog. I took some lovely pictures that almost captures the funny moment as the pony nibbled the dog and the dog seeming quite content with the situation.

Pony and dog contact.

Pony and dog contact.

Pony and dog contact.

Pony and dog contact.

Pony and dog contact.

Pony and dog contact.

The dog didn’t get a chance to bury itself in to grass to make itself a dog bed, as you often see the dogs do. It was too busy talking to the pony and there was not much else but muddy peat anyway. Everything was a bit wet all day.

I gave the ‘keeper a dog bed, which he said the dog absolutely adored once it was back home in the kitchen.

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Draught Excluding Dog Beds

Try and sit on the floor in your house at night when the heating has gone off. Maybe you live in a modern, super well insulated house and your experience will be one of comfort. But then you will probably be in the minority. Most houses will chill down quite a lot during the night and as heat rises, the first place that gets cold is at the floor level. The floor, where your dog beds will be sitting, will be cool, then cold at night and in the early hours of the morning. Your dogs will be asleep at first, but may be getting very chilled during the night. You might get up some time after your central heating has kicked in and you will find comfortable dogs sprawled out on their dog beds leading you to think all is well. Your dogs can’t say “Good morning (wag, wag, wag), LOVELY to see you, but you know what, I was FREEZING between midnight and 5am when the heating came back on”. You may never know how uncomfortable it is on the dog beds in the night unless you try.

However, the alternative is of course to prevent the cold experience for the dog. If you get  draught excluding dog beds, all will be well. A dog bed with high sides that don’t collapse is ideal. The Tuffies Nest dog beds are sturdy and thick all round. A think futon mattress dog bed in the bottom and thick sides right round. The dogs can snuggle right in and be free of that sneaking cold from draught.

The other good solution to the cold floor is a raised bed. NOT one that looks like a trampoline, as they are freezing cold. The trampolin type dog beds have no sides to protect the dog and the draught is furthermore chilling the dog from underneath. If you have ever slept on a trampoline, you will know just HOW cold you get all over. The ONLY type of warm raised beds are ones with a thick base and sides right round. The dogs can rest super comfortably and feel snug all night on one of these. The Tuffies Raised bed comes with a liner that is quick and easy to take off in order to wash in the washing machine for total hygiene.

Remember, you have to guess how your dog was during the night. He can’t tell you.

I once had a friend in the back of my truck for a short journey. He was in with my dogs and it was January. I had driven out to the West Coast of Scotland the previous day and he told me how cold it was in the back. I had completely forgotten that I had both windows open for ventilation for the dogs since the summer, but during the winter my poor dogs were freezing in the back on long journeys. They obviously had great, thick, bespoke size dog beds in the back, but that could not make up for the terrible draught. I was most embarrassed about this and it really brought home to me how important draught excluding dog beds are.

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