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Does a Dog Really Need a Dog Bed? Everything You Need to Know!

Jeff Weishaupt

By Jeff Weishaupt

Black dog sleeping on his bed

Most dogs require at least 12 hours of sleep a day, but that can be tricky if they don’t have their own space. Of course, dog beds are not absolutely necessary, but they’re excellent at ensuring you and your dog get the right amount of uninterrupted sleep.

Aside from guaranteeing better sleep, dog beds also provide joint support and a safe space for your dog to take time by himself. You may think their fur allows them to get comfortable anywhere, but the floor is not a good place for your dog to sleep.

If you’re not sure about investing in a dog bed, here’s everything to know about whether your dog really needs one and how to pick the right dog bed.

Divider 7Is a Dog Bed Important for Dogs?

We all value a good night’s sleep above all else, and this is also true for dogs. In fact, they need nearly three times more rest than we do, running on 12 to 18 hours of sleep per day. Your dog’s age may require them to get less or more sleep.

Most dog owners assume that their furry friends are just fine sleeping on the floor, but that’s not the case. While it may be safe for younger puppies, older dogs need a soft surface or cushioning to provide joint support while they sleep. That’s why you’ll often find your dog snuggled by your side on your bed or snoozing on the couch during the day. Not only can this disrupt your sleep, but you’ll also need to worry about cleaning dog hair from your bed and couch.

A dog bed is the ideal personal space for your dog to nap during the day and get a good night’s sleep without disrupting anyone else’s. That means they can move around during the night, and you won’t need to worry about cleaning dog hair from multiple surfaces.

mix breed dog sleeping in dog bed
Image Credit: Christin Lola, Shutterstock

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Why Does Your Dog Need a Bed?

If you’re not sure about the necessity of a dog bed for your furry friend, here are a few reasons supported by science:

Better Sleep

There’s no doubt that a healthy dog is one that sleeps regularly. Aside from maintaining their overall health, the right amount of sleep ensures a robust memory and smart brain for your dog.

A 2022 Study by Sleep Foundation states that dogs that don’t get enough sleep can suffer from poor memory, irritability, mood disturbances, and more intense reactions to stressful stimuli. More importantly, getting a good night’s sleep is crucial for a senior dog to stay healthy and active.

Easy to Clean

Even if you don’t mind sharing the bed with your dog, you’ll be surprised at how quickly dog hair accumulates on fabrics. Soon enough, you won’t be able to get a good night’s sleep without dog hair getting in the way.

Plus, dogs can carry pests, dirt, and fleas from their daily trips outside, making it easy for them to contaminate your bed. By assigning a separate mattress for your dog to sleep in, you can ensure that your personal space is pest, dirt, and dog hair-free.

Most dog beds come with a detachable cover, which means cleaning and washing them is more manageable than cleaning your own bedding. This will allow you to minimize the amount of dog hair, germs, and dander in your home.

An easy-to-clean dog bed will also be machine-washable and dryer-safe, so you don’t have to go through the effort of hand-washing them every time. This is crucial for young pups who aren’t yet potty-trained or older dogs with incontinence issues.

doberman pinscher on dog bed
Image Credit: AysunKahramanOktem, Pexels

Joint Support

Older dogs are more vulnerable to health issues such as hip dysplasia, arthritis, and other joint-related problems. These problems only worsen the longer your dog sleeps on the floor, as hard surfaces can cause pressure on their joints.

A comfortable, supportive dog bed is a great way to minimize these problems. Not only will the dog bed adequately support their joints, but it will also provide relief from the pain your dog may experience with age.

Older dogs are not the only ones that need joint support. If your puppy is younger than a year, its developing body and joints will also need some level of support throughout the night. The ideal dog bed for joint support will contain special interlocking fill materials, minimizing arthritis pain while your dog sleeps.

Personal Space

A cozy dog bed can also serve as an oasis for your dog. As much as they love cuddling their family members throughout the day, these den animals also need an hour or two away from the usual hustle and bustle of a home.

They may be unable to get this privacy and rest on a couch or other shared spaces around your home, so their dog bed is the ideal spot to relax. If your dog has anxiety or is easily startled, giving them their own space is a great way to garner trust.

To make sure your dog has enough personal space, we recommend finding the ideal-sized dog bed for your pup. You’ll also need to factor in enough room for your dog to stretch and play.

dog staring at his sleeping master
Image Credit: Daxiao Productions, Shutterstock

divider 9Can Dog Beds Improve Human Sleep?

According to a 2021 study, pet owners tend to experience disturbance in their sleep while sharing a bed with their dog. However, owners that are habitual in sharing a bed with their dog did not find their tossing and turning disruptive.

So, it’s clear that having a dog in your room at night can provide a sense of security and comfort while sleeping. But having a dog in your bed can disturb your sleep if you’re new to the concept of co-sleeping or as a first-time dog owner.

Of course, it can be comforting to have your dog by your side sometimes, but larger dog breeds take up more space while tossing and turning throughout the night. Not only will you find yourself edging toward the end of the bed, but you’ll also wake throughout the night more often than usual.

Even while training your dog not to sleep in your bed, they’ll seek its comfort and warmth when it’s time to sleep. The best way to prevent that is by getting them their own cozy dog bed or even multiple dog beds throughout the house.

whippet dog sleeping peacefully
Image Credit: sergio souza, Pexels

How to Pick the Perfect Bed for Your Dog

Although most pet owners prefer for their dogs to sleep on the floor, the hard surface can make it uncomfortable to sleep in and result in negative joint-related issues. If you’ve decided to buy a dog bed, you’ll find that they’re definitely not one-size-fits-all.

The size and type of dog bed you choose will be unique to your dog’s health, breed, weight, height, age, and other influential factors. You’ll need to understand your dog’s needs and sleeping patterns to find the ideal dog bed for it.

Most dogs don’t need an ultra-soft bed. Ideally, it should be somewhat firm yet comfortable enough to support their joints. If the dog bed is too soft, an older dog may sink into it and find it hard to get out of it.

The ideal dog bed for an older dog would be a chambered poly-fill sleep surface or memory foam. Memory foam dog beds will relieve pressure in your dog’s body by conforming to its shape and distributing its weight evenly. They also provide the ideal amount of muscle and joint support.

Divider 7Conclusion

Many pet owners assume that dogs are comfortable sleeping on the floor and their fur is enough to cushion them. However, dogs require some level of joint and muscle support at all stages of their life, especially when they’re older.

Featured Image Credit: MeHe, Pixabay

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