Do Dogs Need a Bed

puppy goes crazy at night

Anyone who is a dog lover knows you only want the best for your furry companion. You buy him the best food, great toys, and—maybe—way too many treats! However, one thing that may be overlooked is a comfy bed for your dog to take a load off. Some might argue that dogs don’t need a bed because they usually sleep on the couch or with the owner. But is that really the case?  

Dogs need a bed mainly to promote healthy joint recovery after any daily exercise. When dogs have their own bed they will feel happier and more comfortable knowing there is somewhere they can go to rest. 

Because your dog’s joints are important and will hopefully be in top shape for most of their lives, then getting the correct bed for your pooch is a must. Let’s discuss some of the reasons why your dog should have a bed and what to look out for.


Why Do Dogs Need A Bed

While it may not always seem like it, dogs can sleep for most of the day, depending on how old they are; sometimes way more than the average human sleeps. Dogs generally sleep in smaller periods, this may entail them getting up every 30 minutes or so, however, every dog’s sleep cycle depends on age, breed, weight, and activity levels. 

With that in mind, a dog bed will be necessary to ensure they’re comfortable when it’s their bedtime and also so they can recover from any activity. To help give a better understanding of why your dog needs a bed let’s take a closer look at some of these benefits.

They Provide a Safe Space

Getting a bed for your dog gives them a place to call their own, to feel safe, and to feel secure. Dog beds can also give your pet a place to go when they feel like they need time to themselves. This will help when you have an errand to run, or you are cleaning the house and can’t always have your dog with you. 

Additionally, believe it or not, most dogs out there have some form of anxiety. This study shows that 72.5% of dogs show some form of stress. Most owners don’t want to give their dogs medication if they don’t have to. A nice bed in a cozy place can make a world of difference for your dog’s anxiety.

Because your dog most likely wants to feel some control over themselves, having an area away from the hustle and bustle of daily life is a good idea. Kitchens are common areas however they can sometimes become riot zones where everything is going on at once. Although it’s good to choose a place that is out the way your dog will most likely want to know what’s going on. That means a happy medium, somewhere not too stressful like the kitchen but somewhere they will know what’s going on. An example of this could be a utility room or even a lounge. These are areas with some foot traffic but don’t have too much craziness going on.  

They Keep Your Dog Healthy

Dog beds can help keep your furry friend live a long and healthy life. Sleeping on the floor can be harmful to your dog’s health:

  • Beds can provide insulation from the cold.
  • They can help prevent dogs from getting sores on the skin. 
  • They help make sure your dog is sleeping enough, especially if your dog is older and needs to be comfortable to sleep.

Plus, arthritis in dogs is quite common; the older they get, the higher the risk will be. Having something soft for them to lay on can help ease the pain from arthritis and other physical conditions like hip dysplasia. It’s important to also realize that not just a soft bed will help your dog with promoting healthy joint care. Your dog’s bed needs to support their body effectively, in order for their joints to recover from exercise.

Memory foam and other orthopedic-style dog beds are the best options if you have a very active dog, this is especially important for working dogs who experience high levels of prolonged activity. Of course, naturally working dogs love to run around, it what being a dog is all about, it’s just important to understand that the right bed can help them to enjoy it all the way into old age.  

Another important aspect of owning a dog bed is knowing when to replace one and if you should. Take a look at this article which goes through the reasons why you should replace your dog’s bed. “How Often Should You Replace A Dog Bed”.

dog bed

How Owners Can Benefit from a Dog Bed

It’s not only your dog that will benefit from having a bed; you can also reap the rewards in a few ways:

  • Improve Sleep – As much as you love to snuggle with your dog, sleeping with your dog on the bed every night can impact your sleeping habits more than you may think. Even if you don’t fully wake up, your dog can be bumping you in your sleep and disrupting your sleep patterns. Having a separate place for your dog to sleep will ensure you both get a good night’s sleep. You may also want to consider why your dog is waking you up so early in the morning. There can be many reasons for this, check out our article on “Why Does My Dog Wake Me Up So Early”.
  • Have Personal Space – Not everyone wants their pets on the furniture. They tend to chew and scratch, which will not bode well for the new furniture you just bought. Your dog having their own bed will make them less likely to jump onto your couch because they will have a place of their own. 
  • Makes Cleaning Easy – Cleaning dog beds is way easier than cleaning fur off your couch and bed every day. Using a dog bed will help keep more of the fur away from your furniture, so you will have less cleaning to do. Cleaning the bed themselves is easy, too; several dog beds will come with a washable cover that can be put into the washer and dryer. 
  • Reduces Allergies – As much as we love our dogs, they, unfortunately, have fur and dander that some of us may be allergic to. A dog bed can help with these allergies by keeping the fur more contained. Simply wash the bed to completely remove the allergens. Take a look at this article from the Human Society for some great tips on living with allergies and dogs. 

do dogs know when humans are sleeping

Types of Dog Beds to Consider

Now that you know the benefits of having a dog bed, you may be wondering which type of bed is best for your furry friend. After all, there are countless dog breeds and sizes, all with different needs. 

Below are some of the most common types of dog beds you can choose from: 

  • Heated Dog Beds – Keeping your pet warm in the winter may be necessary if you have a small or thin dog or a dog with arthritis or joint issues. A heated dog bed may be what you need. Several models plugin or use your dog’s body heat to warm the bed. 
  • Raised Dog Beds – If your dog loves jumping on and off the couch or bed, a raised bed might be good for them. They are also suitable for keeping your dog off the floor, especially if you have hardwood floors or are prone to pests. 
  • Covered Dog Bed – Dogs love to snuggle. A covered bed is an excellent way for them to feel safe and cozy. They are also great for keeping the dog’s warmth inside to make sure they stay warm. This is great for smaller dogs and dogs who may be on the shy side. 
  • Orthopedic Dog BedThese beds are ideal for older dogs with arthritis or other bone issues. They are designed to help support your dog so it can sleep through the night. These are also great for thin dogs who are prone to sores.
  • Cooling Dog Bed – You’ve probably noticed your dog lying out on the hardwood or tile floors in the summer. This is because they enjoy the cooling sensation that the floor provides. Many dog breeds, like bulldogs, tend to get warmer naturally; a cooling bed can help your dog stay comfortable. 
  • Donut BedThese beds are small and round, just like, you guessed it, donuts. These are great for small dogs who love to be curl up when they sleep. These beds are among the most common, so you should have no issues with finding one to suit your dog’s needs. 
  • Nest BedThese beds are similar to the donut beds, but the sides are raised. These are great for dogs who like to sleep curled up or lean their head on something, like a pillow. 
  • Cave Bed – Like a covered bed, cave beds kind of look like little sleeping bags for your dog. These beds are very soft and are great for dogs who may like to burrow where they sleep. 

Considerations Once You Have a Dog Bed

Once you’ve selected and purchased a dog bed, you’ll then need to consider a few other things to ensure you can maximize its benefits: 

  • Encourage your dog to start using the bed. Train him to go there at bedtime using positive reinforcement such as treats. Keeping your dogs bed in an area of comfort like the lounge will encourage them to use it more often. Dogs learn a lot through watching us, if we are sitting around watching the telly they are more inclined to do this themselves.  
  • The dog’s bed should be separate from anywhere you have your dog go if they have been bad. The bed needs to be a place of comfort, not punishment. If you shut your dog in the utility to show them they have been bad or to stop them scrounging for food whilst you cook, then don’t put your dog’s bed in here. Once your dog has come to realize what their bed is then you can start using it in this way.  
  • Consider investing in multiple beds; this will ensure they last for longer and is great in households with multiple dogs. Additionally, having a bed in each room your dog likes to spend time in guarantees they can comfortably lay down wherever they go. 


A dog bed may seem unnecessary to some, but having one or more of these around the house can help you and your dog stay happy and healthy! If you enjoyed this article check out some of our other posts on our homepage, all about dogs and the lives we share with them. 

Dean Lissaman

As a child I grew up around dogs and have loved them ever since. I now have a beloved Golden Retriever who enjoys exploring the outside world. Being an outdoor enthusiast has inspired me to create the ultimate resource on relating both dogs and the outdoors. For more information on me check out my about page.

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