How to choose the Best Dog Bed for a Kennel or Garden
The best dog beds for outdoor dogs are either raised dog beds with a warm, removable and washable lining or simply waterproof with a thick insulating base. All dog beds for cold outdoor kennels and gardens must also have a draught excluding surround.
Reasons for keeping dogs in outdoor kennels
Some people find it odd that you would keep a dog in an outdoor kennel, but there are sometimes good reasons to do so and as long as the dogs are looked after well, there is no reason why not. Good outdoor kennels must be clean and spacious and the dogs kept in them MUST be exercised. There is no excuse not to exercise a kennel dog just as much as you would exercise a house dog. Dogs are naturally clean animals and will only mess their kennels if they have no option due to being left for hours and hours without being let out.
In some professions where dogs are needed for work, there are so many dogs that it is most practical to keep them in nice, clean kennels instead of the house. Nobody should have so many dogs that they can’t take them all out for work, walk or training every day. Really great and luxurious kennels are the ones with very large, grassy, runs and a tall fence round them. If the dogs can have a large area to socialise together, they will be able to fulfil their natural social instincts, but it is extremely important that each and every dog has his OWN sleeping area without having to share. They might want to share their dog beds in each of their sleeping areas, but it is important that they have the option to be on their own.
Outside kennel dog beds
Once you have a nice, spacious run for the dogs and preferably also a really big run for them to play together, you need to consider the dog beds you put in the sleeping compartments. Many kennel sleeping areas are quite small and if the walls are very well insulated, you can get away with just a thick, waterproof dog bed on the floor. The hard wall around the dog will not be too much of a problem as long as they are guaranteed insulation and draught-free. You can put a blanket on top of the bed, but it is almost inevitable that the dog will drag the blanket out and end up not getting the benefit from it.
The solution to this is to fit a warm, washable cover on the waterproof dog mattress to make it an extra comfortable place for the dog in colder weather. Many show dogs are also kept in kennels and it is of course important not to allow calluses to develop on hard bedding, which is why a good, soft cover is ideal.
If you have more spacious kennels, you can give each dog a nice nest dog bed with thick surrounds for perfect insulation. The obvious advantage of this is simply comfort and warmth, but the kennel door is often a weak point where a draught may creep in and a nest dog bed with high sides will completely solve that problem.
Kennel dog beds for dogs that chew
If you have a destructive dog and you are keeping him in an outdoor kennel, you will be very well advised to give him a warm and insulating chew proof dog bed. You will need to have the right size of sleeping area to fit it in, but without a comfortable chew proof dog bed, a chewer is left to sleep on bare boards even in the coldest of winters. A large proportion of chewing dogs do not chew all the rest of the kennel, just their dog bed. For these dogs a comfortable, supportive, insulating and draught excluding bed is essential.
Dog beds for the open part of the kennel
Good kennels will have a little veranda area for the dog so he can sit outside, but still be under cover from the rain. This is great for preventing everything from getting wet or muddy due to the dog running in and out of his sleeping area, but it has an important function of offering the dog a relaxing outdoor place from where he can see what is going on. He will be wanting some fresh air and he will probably want to be outside around the time he anticipates his master’s return.
Furthermore, dogs are real sun-worshippers. Most dogs will, if they have the choice in a big area, find the sunny spot and lie down there. The problem is that in spring and autumn the sun can feel warm, but there is a chill in the ground and from a sneaky wind. A great thing for the kennel veranda part of the kennel is a raised dog bed with a washable, insulating liner.
This is a fantastically practical solution. It raises the dog up a little higher, which they all like as it gives a better vantage point for spotting the post man (or the courier delivering his next Tuffies dog bed) and by design it creates insulating, still air underneath completely automatically. The liner gives comfort and extra insulation while the lined sides are there to protect against the wind. The outdoors always gets a little dirtier or you might have a day of driving rain, but it is absolutely no problem as the liner comes off in seconds and washes easily.
If you find your dog talking to you, it looks like this: “Mum, I am having to sleep on the old lawn mower as you did not give me a good bed”.
With a raised bed under the apple tree, everyone is happy.
Cleaning kennel beds
Kennel beds are not “for show”. They are simply there to be practical and to provide the outdoor dogs the best possible support and warmth keeping hygiene a high priority. If your dog is contented and exercised regularly enough and has access to outdoor, clean toileting areas if left for longer time, the bedding will not become too dirty.
Therefore you can pick your days with warm weather for doing some dog bed cleaning. Waterproof dog beds are easy. You just scrub them with a sponge in hot, soapy water followed by a rinsing. Dry them in the sunshine and they are ready for re-use. If you have a fleecy cover on them, you simply wash these at the same time and put it all back together before night time. Good house/kennel keeping.
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