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What is the Best Dog Bed to Buy for Winter?
The best choice of dog bed does, of course, depend on what type of dog you have and on where the bed will be used. Below are some guidelines on what to consider when you want to buy a bed for your dog. We are writing this in September because now is the time to be prepared for colder nights and perhaps draught in your house or the kennel. Also, dogs tend to enjoy muddy puddles or simply have no choice but to be out on walks or work on rainy days.
What kind of dog are you buying a dog bed for?
Different dog breeds will be needing very different types of dog beds. If you have a small dog with just a short coat, it will be losing much more heat all the time than a larger dog with a thick, waterproof coat like a Labrador. There is also a difference in the breeding. A Jack Russel is small with a short coat, but although the coat is short it is actually fairly warm and this dog breed is a working dog, bred to cope with rough conditions in wet and cold. This doesn’t mean that it is an excuse for not treating him to a warm, dry bed, but he will cope better in cold conditions than many toy-breeds his size. Dogs with fine coats and not much ‘flesh’ on their bones will appreciate a well made, warm dog bed. Breeds such as Whippets are particularly keen on their warm comforts just like Vizslas and other short coated dogs.
If your dog is a large dog bred that is bred for really cold conditions, for example an Alaskan Malamute or New Foundlander, you will have the opposite problem as you will need to find a dog bed that can support him and insulate him from a chilly floor, but at the same time it must not smother and over-heat him. A thick, waterproof mattress dog bed is ideal for this.
How do you prefer to clean your dog beds?
There are various dog beds on the market and they all have different cleaning instructions. Here at Tuffies we supply dog beds that are easy to clean. We also give two main options: If you prefer to have a waterproof dog bed that you can wash with hot, soapy water outside followed by a quick rinse with the garden hose, you can simply purchase any of our waterproof dog beds such as the Wipe Clean Mattress or Wipe Clean Nest or the Durasoft Mattress or Durasoft Nest. These waterproof dog beds are very durable and while the Durasoft material will take a little air drying to be ready to use again, the Wipe Clean dog beds can be towelled down and used straight away. Always remember to keep the hose just shy of any stitches on the products.
If, on the other hand, you wish to clean your dog beds by washing in the washing machine, we offer soft, machine washable covers for all the waterproof dog beds. That way you simply take the covers off and put them through your laundering. The fleece covers dry very easily. We offer fantastic covers that go on the mattresses and some that fit right over the sides of the nest beds. With reference to the different types of dogs, we offer fleecy material that is warmer and we also offer cover materials such as the Highland Covers without a pile making them less hot for dogs that would not like that.
Consider where the dog bed will be sitting.
The choice of dog bed will also depend on where it is going to be used. If, for example, you are planning on putting the bed in the “boot room or boiler room” for the dog to dry off after muddy walks, it will probably be a bed that will be wet often and one you won’t worry too much about looking a bit dirty. A simple Wipe Clean mattress would be ideal for that purpose. Most people will then allow the dog in the house once he has dried a bit and therefore you might like a different bed in the house. Here you could have a cosy nest for your dog to enjoy the evening and night. Quite often the house gets colder during the night and in winter this might mean that the temperature at floor level gets so low that a nest is a great help for your dog. As dogs can’t talk, we never meet our tail wagging friend in the morning saying: “Good morning! Nice to see you, but I was FREEZING last night”. We do need to make that judgement.
If your dog is kennelled, there can be considerable draughts and low temperatures during the night. A nest can be the saving grace here. Personally my dogs are outside in the daytime and inside from late afternoon till the next morning. The winter days can be quite raw and cold and they have a little kennel each. They have a nest in there, but I don’t fit the fleece on the cushion. I give them a blanket instead so it is super easy to change for washing. Both waterproof materials are absolutely great for keeping tidy enough in the kennel. There is NO dampness in the beds, so the insulation is superb. On extremely cold days they also get a little warm jumper on.
If your dog bed is going in your bed room, you would be looking for a quiet bed. Again, our nest beds or mattress beds are perfect, but they will need the fitted fleece covers in order to be quiet in your bed room.
In the back of the car for journeys you can get a bespoke dog bed for us for perfect fit in your boot unless one of our standard mattress beds is the right size. If you prefer to use a thinner version, we offer the Travel Tuffie that takes up less room in the car and it is also much easier to carry in to your hosts if you are out to visit with your dog.
If your bed is going to be in a prominent place in the house, it is worth considering what will go with your deco. We have a beautiful range of muted colours in all our waterproof fabrics and we have plenty of lovely colour covers.
If you have a dog that sheds a lot of hair, the advice would be to have a colour that will not show the hairs too much. A black fleece for a white spaniel usually ends in disaster. You could choose the cream with pawprint bed for this type as it does not look too hairy.
In general, if your dog is casting hair for Britain, the Wipe Clean materials are fantastic.