How a good bed can improve your dog’s health and well-being.
Photo courtesy of @bustadahustla.

You’ve probably heard that a comfortable bed can improve your dog’s sleep. But did you know it can also enhance his overall health and happiness? Here’s how.

Dogs are natural den animals. Just like their wild counterparts, they like to dig and burrow in their sleeping quarters to protect themselves, and feel most comfortable when they have a safe place to call their own. In other words, providing your pet with a high-quality bed or blanket isn’t a luxury – it’s a crucial building block of his health and well-being.

3 important benefits of beds and blankets

1. They improve sleep quality

First and foremost, providing your pet with a soft bed or blanket to sleep on adds an extra layer of comfort that improves the quality of his sleep. It might seem like your pup can snooze anywhere and everywhere, but the truth is that a cozy, uninterrupted sleep is just as important for him as it is for you!

2. They speak to dogs’ nesting instincts

Because dogs descend from den animals, having beds to burrow into satisfies their nesting instincts, helping them feel safe and secure. If you’ve ever seen your pup turn in circles, paw the surface of his bed or push the blanket around before he settles in for a snooze, you’ve seen this instinct in action!

3. They offer security on-the-go

Next time you hit the road with your canine companion, throw his blanket in the car with you. It’ll provide a sense of security that’ll help him adjust to new places with more ease. “A dog’s first experiences and transitions are less scary with a blanket and the familiar scents of home within it,” says George, Marketing Manager of Tall Tails, a company that specializes in bedding for dogs. “Dogs form bonds with their blankets much like humans and babies do (think security blanket).”

Choosing the right bed (hint: it matters!)

There are dozens of different bedding options available for dogs. So how’s a pet parent to decide? According to George, the style of bed you choose does matter, and will affect how much value it has to your dog. “Just like humans, dogs have preferred sleep positions,” he says. “The question you need to start with is “how does my dog sleep?”

Curlers – A traditional padded bed (either round or rectangular) is a good choice for dogs who like to curl up when they sleep.  “Curlers want to protect their vulnerable belly and want to conserve heat,” says George.

Sprawlers – You’ve probably seen a sprawler – the dog that is happy to “flop and nap” absolutely anywhere. But it’s important to remember that all dogs sleep better in comfortable spaces, so don’t rule out a bed just because your pup is happy sleeping on a hard floor. Placing beds or blankets throughout the house is a good way to reduce physical stress on the sprawler’s body without restricting his spontaneous sleeping habits.

Nesters – “Nesters are in constant search for a snuggly place to rest and dream but do not want to be completely covered,” says George. If this sounds like your dog, look for a bolster-style bed with three “walls” for nuzzling and enough open space to stretch out.

Snugglers – Blankets are the best option for these sleepers, and can be used on their own or placed on top of a traditional bed for extra coziness.

If you have a comfortable mattress, you already know that a good bed is more than just a bed – it’s a lifesaver. “Dogs need blankets like humans need dogs – for comfort, security, and companionship,” says George. It’s time to invest in your pup’s rest!

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Animal Wellness is North America's top natural health and lifestyle magazine for dogs and cats, with a readership of over one million every year. AW features articles by some of the most renowned experts in the pet industry, with topics ranging from diet and health related issues, to articles on training, fitness and emotional well being.