When I think of all the dogs in my past that went through their entire lives without their very own dog bed, a feeling of guilt creeps over me. I bought a wonderful new dog bed recently and it has been occupied nonstop by one dog or the other ever since. Actually, the floors of my house are covered with dog beds, but most of them are old, lumpy and need to be replaced. This new one is about four inches thick, soft, comfortable and very attractive. If it were a bit bigger, I would sleep on it myself, except that I would have to wait in line.
This new dog bed has a patchwork quilt design in the center surrounded by bear and moose appliqués. How perfect for the Rim Country. The dogs are not very impressed by the design but they do love the bed. A zipper allows the cover to be removed and washed and the inner cushion also has a zipper so more filling can be added as needed.
Each dog should have a special and wonderful place to take a nap or spend the night. It is essential that you have as many beds as you have dogs. They seem willing to share, moving freely from one to the other, but when you bring home a wonderful new, soft, cuddly bed, the first dog into the room gets first choice. Cats also like to have their own nap place, but they seem to prefer a cozy place into which they can crawl and hide. There are very cleverly designed cat beds.
Besides their own beds, dogs love having special possessions. Each dog household should have an abundance of soft cuddly stuffed animals. Buy these at thrift stores very inexpensively.
When they are ripped to shreds, replace them. Some dogs will rest their heads on these cuddly creatures while others will carry them around until they are totally disgusting. At that point, throw them into the washing machine. My Derbydog would sit in front of the washer and dryer while his precious gorilla was getting his bath. As the gorilla aged, I put him into a mesh bag for delicates.
Fill a basket with toys for your dogs and see how often they carefully pick out the perfect toy for the occasion. Provide a variety of chew toys, toys with squeakers and toys offering a bit of a challenge and, naturally, you will constantly be adding new ones. Kong toys can be filled with peanut butter or dry treats and the dogs will be entertained for hours.
But back to dog beds, if your pet spends time in an indoor kennel while you are away during the day, he will love having his own bed in there with him. If you go on a trip, take the bed along. If he must spend time in a boarding kennel, bring his bed along if it is allowed. (If not, bring something that smells like home, like an old sweatshirt.) There are special travel beds for dogs that fold, roll up and fit into a bag, are light weight and do not take up much room. The carrying strap makes it easy to tote them into your place of lodging while on the road.
As part of the training process, while you are entertaining guests or eating dinner, teach the dog to stay on his dog bed. It will not be a punishment if it is in the same room as the activities. Let him see what is going on and he will be most happy being right there on his very own bed.
Dog beds are available in all sizes and qualities. Catalogues like LL Bean and Land's End sell high quality dog beds at reasonable prices. Pet supply catalogues offer a great variety of styles, colors, qualities and prices. There is a fairly good selection locally as well. Make sure the bed has a removable cover for ease of washing. And it must be soft and comfortable. Whatever you choose, be sure each pet has a bed. You will be absolutely amazed at how often they curl up on their beds for a snooze.