pet bedsA recent survey conducted by the American Pet Products Manufacturers Association found that 42 % of dog owners allow their pups to sleep on their beds. Given that, and our own experience to boot, we also feel that it’s safe to say that at least that many American dogs are making themselves at home on couches, chairs, and other furnishings, as well rather than pet beds.

And cats? Well, they sleep wherever they want.

Although there is evidence to suggest that sleeping with our pets can be a good thing, not all of us are so keen on the idea. Fortunately, there are plenty of alternatives to having pets on our beds and furniture. Pet beds, furniture coverings, and other pet furnishings have flooded the market, giving us the opportunity to create homes that are pet-friendly, comfortable, and clean.

Pet Beds 101

Before you visit the pet supply store or load up your Amazon cart with the latest and greatest pet furniture, consider your pet’s sleeping style (sprawled out? curled up? likes to hide?), as well as your pet’s size and activity level. Consider, too, your own budgetary and style preferences. If your pet is not fully grown, be sure to consider his or her adult size when selecting a pet bed, especially, if you don’t want to make this purchase more than once.

When it comes to pet beds, the options are nearly endless, but basic styles include:

  • Donut/bolster bed – This style of bed has raised, cushioned sides and a pillow-like interior. Perfect for smaller pets or those that like to curl up to sleep or rest their heads against the sides.
  • Cushion bed – This simple style is basically a cushion or pillow with no sides. Larger pets and those that sleep spread out will enjoy a cushion bed.
  • Raised bed – Beds that are raised off the floor will keep pets away from a cold floor and drafts. Many are made to look like a piece of furniture. For a senior pet, this type of bed may also be easier to get in and out of.
  • Orthopedic bed – Designed with orthopedic support in mind, these mattress-style beds are perfect for older pets or those with joint issues. Choose a heated variety for extra comfort.
  • Covered bed/cup bed – Cats and some dogs enjoy privacy while they sleep, and may prefer the feeling of security offered by a covered or cup bed.
  • Outdoor bed – Although we don’t recommend that pets live outdoors exclusively, many enjoy resting outside in the shade or on a porch. A raised bed or cot made with waterproof fabric makes the perfect spot for an outdoor snooze.

Keeping It Clean

With normal use or the occasional ”accident”, a pet’s bed will need cleaning, so it’s important to choose one that will be easy to clean and keep sanitary. Cushions with washable covers that can be removed and laundered are preferable, as they will make it easy to keep your pet’s bed clean and fresh, and will extend the life of the bed. Another option is to cover cushions that can’t be washed with a blanket or pillow case that can be removed and laundered, when needed.

Where To Place It

Another important consideration is where your pet likes to sleep. For example, some pets like to be right next to your sofa where they can observe the goings on of the household, while others prefer a quiet, hidden corner. Your pet may even prefer having its bed in your bedroom. And, if you have the space, there’s nothing wrong with having more than one bed in different areas of your home. Whatever your choice, be sure to select a bed that will fit your pet’s favorite sleeping and napping spots.

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

If your pet absolutely won’t stay off of your furniture, there’s still hope. You can save time, money, and trouble by making your existing furniture more pet friendly. Consider the following:

  • Place a washable blanket, pillow, or throw over your pet’s favorite spot on the couch, chair, or bed.
  • Some pet owners have had success in purchasing a “dog couch” or “cat chair”, that is reserved specifically for the family pet, online or at a local thrift store.
  • Designate an existing piece of furniture just for your pet, no humans allowed. This also means no pets on any other furniture!

If you need help keeping your pet off of the furniture or training your pet to sleep in a pet bed, give us a call at Lone Tree Veterinary Medical Center. We’ll be happy to share suggestions and ideas. If you have a dog, our Canine Academy offers obedience training for dogs of all ages and sizes, and our highly skilled trainer will be happy to help you get your dog on track – and off your sofa!