Consider how and where your dog likes to sleep. Is he destructive or likes to chew? Most dog beds are not appropriate for power chewers, particularly beds and pads that are heated with an electrical element and will need to be plugged into the wall. While some of these, such as the Houselog Heating Pad Electric Heated Pet Mathave chew-resistant cords, they may still not be right for your dog if he chews. The bed itself could be damaged and the heating elements exposed. While most electric heated dog beds have safety features to reduce the risk of electrocution, they should never be used unsupervised and if your dog likes to ruffle, dig or root around in his bed or chew, you should probably consider a self-warming bed. Self-warming beds such as the Best Friends by Sheri OrthoComfort Deep Dish Cuddlerare an excellent alternative and contain thermal materials that reflect the heat of your dog back to him. Also, consider if the bed is washable or not.
Be sure the bed is big enough to accommodate your dog in all his favorite sleep positions. If you have dogs that like to curl up together consider getting a big enough bed for both to have a little wiggle room in together. Measure your dog from his head to the bottom of his bottom leg when extended. This should be the depth of the bed, and the width should be a few inches bigger than his length (snout to base of tail).
We’ve narrowed our reviews into several categories for heated dog beds:
Heating Pad Style:An insert meant to be used with an existing dog bed, blankets, or furniture
- These are what you’ll often find in boarding facilities or veterinary clinics because they are meant to hold up to a lot of abuse.
- Not always the most comfortable, they do not yield to nesting dogs wanting to rearrange it.
- Typically made from metal, PVC, and nylon
Pillow or Mat Style Bed:A mat-shaped bed with no sides or edges.
- These beds can easily flatten out over time if cheaply made.
- Not all beds will have a washable outer layer but most do. Most of these beds have an inner layer of foam or
- filling that cannot be washed and may harbor allergens or dirt. They will need to be replaced often.
Bolster Style Bed:Similar to the pillow bed, but with raised edges or a nest-style
- Most dogs love the security of a bolster and will snuggle up against the walls
- Not all beds will have a washable outer layer but most do. The inside of these beds can harbor allergens and dirt and cannot be washed.
- Most comfortable and soothing for most dogs
Additionally, there are two other categories used for these reviews:
Self-warming and Electric. Electric dog beds plug into an outlet. Look for steel reinforced cords. Self-warming beds typically use Mylar, a PET film that reflects and radiates the dog’s heat back to them as they lay on the bed. Sometimes beds containing Mylar will crinkle, and while most dogs don’t care, some are spooked by it. Pay close attention to your dog’s reaction to the sound to gauge if he will mind the sound.