Thursday, December 4, 2008

How To Pick the Perfect Dog Bed This Christmas Season !!

With Old Man Winter fast approaching nothing beats curling up with a hot cup of coco near the fire. Like many you probably have enlisted your dog as official foot warmer at the end of the bed to keep your toes nice and toasty. Not to mention Spots vibration & snoring gives you that well deserved and must needed foot massage. But like some, although you love the company of your furry friend at night you also want some space to stretch.

Are you having another one of those sleepless nights wedged in between the Abominable Snore-man & Little Miss Kicks Alot? Has your dog taken over the pillow, stolen the sheets and there's no room for your head? Perhaps, as the "Top Dog" you're left grasping for the edge of the bed, finding yourself demoted to the floor while your dog stretches out in luxury and your significant other has sweet dreams. Only to leave you slave to the snooze button and almost late for that important business meeting, making you no "Miss Sunshine". Not even a cup of joe or three for that matter will make it all better.

Whats even worst you have an important presentation in front of clients that kept you up worried & sweating bullets. We all know the importance of getting a good night sleep, but often times getting that standard 8 hours can be impossible with overtime and late nights at the office. The only option left is taking a quick power nap in your cubicles to catch a few Zzzz's. Just don't let your co-workers or boss catch ya sleeping on the job.

Truth be told those sad yet cute puppy eyes makes it hard to say no, but know one likes their tootsie hanging off the bed. But don't be sad, gone all the days of solely banishing your dog on the cold floor, now he can sleep in the lap of luxury on a bed of his own. A place to call his own & retreat for a much needed power nap after a day of chasing squirrels is every dogs dream. With his very own place to flop, you won't be able to blame your dog for making you wake up on the wrong side of bed or on the floor.

The perfect gift this season is the gift of sleep, so reward your pup with a comfy place to flop. The health and well-being of your dog is not only dependent on diet or exercise but also on how much comfortable sleep and rest he and you both get. Here are some tips on choosing the perfect dog bed for your furry companion.

1. One Size Does Not Fit All- Just like dogs, dog beds come in all shapes, colors & sizes. So it is important to be mindful of your dogs “paw-sonality & sleeping habits when finding the perfect bed, since comfort is key to a good nights sleep for you and Spot. You should know that there are dog beds that can accommodate a variety of your dog's special needs. Heated dog beds and orthopedic foam dog beds are available and are excellent choices for older and arthritic dogs.

What is your dog's sleep preference & personality?

Curlers (aka Fur ball) They like to be securely enclosed by their bed, a bumper or cuddler bed will do. Your dog would love a Donut dog bed. If hey had a choice they probably would enjoy spending a Friday night curled up on the couch with a bowl of popcorn, Kleenex & a sappy movie (The Notebook).

Leaners – They prefer the support of a back bolster and a sense of security. Your dog would be a huge fan of bolster beds. If this dog was human he probably would start planning for retirement at age 10 and have quite a portfolio to match (low risk of course).

Sprawlers – They stretch out in all directions like their care free spirit and you can often find them belly up. If you share the bed at night with your dog and find your self on the floor with a bump on your head then you guessed it, your dog is a sprawler. The perfect fit would be dog pads & mats.

Burrowers (aka Cave dogs)

They like to dig and hide which is their very nature and what they were born to do. So they are not alien to burrowing under the sheets or hiding under a stack of dirty laundry. They are probably adventurous and have been known by the pack as Indiana Dog. Your dog would love Nesting beds.

3. Your Dog's Size- The size of your dog is an important consideration, but make sure the bed is nicely padded for comfort. Whatever size your dog is, pick a dog bed that is slightly larger than him or her. This is to allow room for growth, especially for puppies, and allow room for movement.

So how do you measure your dog for the perfect fit?

Now that you have figured out your dogs sleeping preference, it's time to measure him for that perfect pure-bed just for him. So get out your cloth ruler or for all you resourceful pups who don't have a ruler a piece of rope will do. While your dog is lying down, measure your dog's length from the tip of her nose to the tip of her tail. Add 10-12 inches to obtain the best length for the bed. Add an additional 2-4 inches if your dog likes to stretch out.

3. Easily Washable-Make sure the dog bed is machine washable. Some beds require you to take it a apart for a good cleaning so make sure it is made of removable and washable materials. It will definitely get dirty and smelly, so it is important that you can easily wash it anytime. Make sure too that the material is appropriate for the dog's fu. Look for machine washable bedding if at all possible. ***Note: Follow Washing Instructions Carefully***

4. Location, Location, Location- Where will you put your dog bed? This is also an important consideration when choosing a bed for your pet so you can pick the right material. Some dog beds are more suitable for an indoor location like in the bedroom or living room instead of outdoors, like in a porch for instance. Climate and local weather are important factors to consider as well. Choose a dog bed that will provide warmth for your dog in winter and air circulation during summer.

5. Quality & Durability -The dog bed must be able to withstand Fido's fascination with chewing and his sharp claws. We all know dogs can be a messy handful so chose a bed that can weather the storm of Hurricane Spot, withstand the wrath of the Un-Decorator, and do battle against the Chew-minator. Picking a dog bed cover or bed that is washable and made of durable fabric is key. Also, for those who like to color coordinate with their decor there are many beds to chose from that won't be an eye sore but will complement your home furnishing. Your dog will definitely appreciate his own bed, space and little slice of heaven.

So say good-bye to the edge of the bed and hello to the sleep fairy. As for your husbands snoring you may just have to invest in ear plugs!!

Question of the hour!!!

How many of you let your pets sleep with you? If they do sleep with you do you have trouble sleeping? Leave us a comment on your thoughts on this topic!!

Here is a really funny photo taken by one of our Twitter friends on why she is getting her dog a new bed this season. The caption reads:

This is what happens when (a)You don't pay attention to noises coming from upstairs; (b)ignore your dog to watch hockey; and (c)forget to zip the doggy bed cover

If you have a question or need advice from Lola the eco- dog on ways you & your dog can go green just Twitter or email her at . Lola the eco-dog is here to help! If you are part of the Twitter community or have not joined please do and once you are friend us up and we will do the same. Just click twitter icon to go to website to sign up. It's FREE!!!!

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