dogs on dog beds

How Big Should a Dog Bed Be (for Small, Medium & Large Dogs)

Dog bed sizes should match your dog, but does it really need to be oversized for your pooch to feel comfortable? A dog bed is also more than just for comfort – it’s for support as well. Dog beds can range from cheap and thin materials to ones that are adequately cushioned and with orthopedic memory foam. Of course, the latter type will cost more, but is it necessary?

We’re sure your head is swimming with questions, but we don’t worry because we’ll have them answered.

Dog Bed Size Guide: Find The Best-Size Bed For Buddy!

black dog on a dog bed
Image by MeHe on Pixabay

To get the right size, you have to measure your dog. Getting the wrong size dog bed could end up being uncomfortable and a waste of money. In fact, you may end up exacerbating your dog’s discomfort by cramping existing sore muscles, and not giving enough support to aching joints.

Unfortunately, dog bed manufacturers don’t make things easy because there are no universal predefined bed sizes for dog beds. When you purchase online, they come in XXS to XXL sizes and in-store dog beds have measurements. This means you have to know your dog’s size beforehand for the right purchase.

Do not rely on the breed as a standard, don’t only focus on the weight of your dog, age DOES matter, and your dog’s sleeping position as well.

Choose a bigger bed

When in doubt – go big! Trust us, dog beds that are smaller will do more damage than ones that are bigger. There isn’t much harm in going for a bigger dog bed, other than the bigger dent it creates in your wallet.

Online vs. pet store

Should you buy online or in a pet store? We’re not gonna lie, buying pet beds online is so much easier. There isn’t much to do but to pick the size and color, and within a few clicks, the bed is on its way to you.

Over the years, we have noticed that the prices of dog beds online and ones in person can rival each other. If it’s your first time, there is a good chance you’ll get the right bed for your dog in one shot. But if you’re a bit more skeptical of the measurements listed online (and sometimes they can be off by a few inches), then try looking for a new dog bed in store.

Dog owners should measure their dogs first in order to know how big the right bed should be. We would also suggest bringing a tape measure with you just to make sure. Remember – if you’re in doubt, go big or go home.

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How to Choose the Right Size Dog Bed

brown dog on the right sized dog bed
Photo by Jamie Street on Unsplash

When measuring your fur baby for dog beds, get his measurements when he is standing straight on all fours, and take another measurement from the tip of his nose to the base of his tail. Once you have those numbers, add about 6 to 12 inches on top of them to find the perfect bed size.

Recognize their sleeping style

Dogs can sleep in a number of styles, with some positions that are really surprising and unbelievable. But for the sake of efficiency, we’ll cover the most common styles – sprawling, curling, leaning.

Sprawling is exactly what the name suggests, dogs who like to spread out and take up a lot of room during bedtime. These pups need a lot of room so a twin bed will not be enough. As we said before, you should add 6 to 12 inches on top of the measurements when you measure your dog, and sprawlers are the ones that need an extra foot.

Curlers take up less room as they contort their bodies into a donut. Pet owners only need to add at least 6 inches for curlers. However, it’s also important to remember that dogs don’t stay in one position during the night. Many of them will get up, stretch, and switch sleeping styles, so it’s always good to give your pooch more room.

Lastly, leaners are the dogs who like to lie on top of something or lean against stuff during their sleep. It’s normal for your dog to be both a leaner and a curler or sprawler. Leaners need raised edges on the bed, bolsters, pillows and blankets to keep them comfortable.

Measure your dog’s body length

We mentioned this, but your dog’s body length will be the best baseline for picking the right dog bed. For example, Bernese Mountain Dogs are a very large breed that won’t do well on a queen size bed. They would need something closer to king-sized dog beds in order to feel comfortable.

Know their weight

Weight is irrespective of your dog’s size. Your dog can be the same size as another dog but may need a much firmer insert or mattress if he is heavy. Conversely, if you just base your choice on your dog’s weight, you could end up with the wrong size.

Sleep habits

Aside from sleep styles, you should also think about your dog’s sleeping habits. For example, your dog may not like to sleep on a mattress during warmer months or he prefers a very soft rug instead. Would your dog like a dog bed? Or does he prefer sleeping with you? Think about your dog’s bed before you invest in an expensive one he may not even use.

Consider age & health

As your dog ages, he may start to develop issues with his hips and elbows – called hip and elbow dysplasia. This condition can make it painful for your dog to put pressure on his joints. Dogs like this may need special orthopedic mattresses that your vet will recommend. You can’t just go out and purchase any soft mattress and call it a day.

Puppies are much more likely to chew through flimsy bedding, especially if they’re in the teething stage. We would advise against choosing a bed with filling or a dog bed in general until your dog is well trained.

Dog Bed Size Guide: Additional Tips & Tricks

bigger bed with a sleeping dog
Image by livingdeadgirl on Pixabay

How do I choose the right size dog bed?

You can choose the right size dog bed by measuring your dog, assessing his sleeping habits and styles, and then adding 6 to 12 inches on top of his body measurements. Other factors to consider are your dog’s life stage, health, and the material of the bed.

Should a dog bed be bigger than a dog?

Yes, a dog bed should always be bigger than a dog. In fact, we suggest going bigger whenever you’re in doubt. Add 6-12 inches on top of your dog’s body measurements to make sure he will have enough room to spread out if he wants.

Is it bad if the dog bed is too small?

Yes, it is bad if the dog bed is too small for your dog. Some dogs may sprawl out anyway and have their heads and lower bodies hanging off the side, which can be very uncomfortable. You then have dogs on the other end of the spectrum who try to make their bodies as compact as possible just to fit on the bed. This can also make it excruciatingly uncomfortable for your fur baby.

Do large dogs need beds?

Not all dogs need beds, but dogs of any size can have them if it’s their preferred way of sleeping. Some pets like to sleep on carpet, soft rugs, furniture, or on your bed. If you’re not sure if your dog likes the bed, we suggest trying it out first.

Final Thoughts – Keep Your Puppy in Mind

Imagine your pooch on the bed you have your eyes on. Does it look like he will love it? Does the bedding and insert feel like it is comfortable and soft? Put yourself in your dog’s metaphorical shoes to get a feel for the bed. Not enough restful sleep is a side effect of an uncomfortable bed, so really get a feel of it before you hit purchase. After all, the purpose of the bed is to make sure your dog has a good night’s rest.

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