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Your Guide To Choose A Dog Bed For Outdoors

Dogs may be the most active and playful pets a person can have but they also spend 16+ hours a day asleep on average. Depending on the season and your home environment, your dog may spend a lot of time outside. The question is does your canine have its own soft spot for resting and sleeping? How does a good dog bed for outdoors look like? 

People often underestimate the importance of a better dog bed or think that it is an unnecessary expense. In this article, you will find all the benefits and reasons to get a bed for your canine. Continue reading below to learn everything there is to know and see the best models on the market.

The Ultimate Guide on How to Choose a Dog Bed for Outdoors

Choosing the right outdoor bed is almost identical to picking one for indoors. You need to begin by measuring your dog in its favorite sleeping position. A sleeping place is considered ideal when the dog can not only curl up into a ball but also stretch out its paws. This means that you need to choose a bed that is larger than the size of your pet. Or, you can always change the bedding as the dog grows. 

This option will be expensive, but it also has its advantages. You can change the type of lounger, which will help you understand which type your pet likes best. There are also beddings that can transform and change size.

Which size will be perfect for your dog?

Dog beds come in a variety of sizes although most manufacturers try to keep the dimensions regular for different-sized breeds. As already explained, you need to measure your dog from top to bottom while it is sleeping in its favorite position. 

With this said, here is an approximate size guide that you can use for most brands on the market. These sizes have been adjusted including the additional space you need to add. If you do not see your dogs’ breed in the suggested examples, do not worry. Simply compare the size of your dogs to any of the given examples and you will find the correct dimensions for the perfect bed.  

  1. 50 x 40cm - smallest beds suitable for miniature dog breeds (Pekingese, Yorkshire Terriers, Chihuahua, Pomeranians, etc.)
  1. 70 x 50cm - suitable for small to medium-sized breeds (Jack Russels, French Bulldogs, Boston Terriers, Dachshunds, etc.)
  1. 90 x 60cm - suitable for medium-sized breeds (Cocker Spaniels, Corgis, English Bulldogs, Foxhounds, Fox Terriers, etc.)
  2. 110 x 70cm - suitable for larger breeds (Cane Corso, Labradors, Dobermans, Huskies, etc.)
  1. 120 x 80+ cm - suitable for the largest breeds (Great Danes, Tibetan Mastiffs, Irish Wolfhounds, etc.) 

Note: Manufacturers often accept custom orders for dogs from the largest breeds. If you believe that the XL beds available will not be large enough, you can purchase a custom size dog bed. Since people often do this for the largest breeds like Great Danes, it can often be expensive. But remember - our dogs deserve only the best. 

Now that you have the correct measurements of your dog and you know the regular sizes for beds on the market, there is one last step to consider. You do not want to get your canine a bed that is exactly as large as its body. You always need to provide additional space and experts suggest this space should be at least 20 centimeters. 

Types of Dog Beds for Outdoors

The possibilities are endless in today’s market. It is easy to get overwhelmed by the variety of products and the striking advertisements that make it impossible to choose only one product.

Dog furniture nowadays comes in literally every shape. As already mentioned, the safest approach is to select the bed in accordance with the sleeping preferences of your dog. It would be pointless to list all existing bed shapes, thus, here are the most common options: 

Raised Bed

This is the type of bed that is designed to keep your dog off the floor. Many owners choose this type for the inside of the house but there is no doubt that raised beds are most suitable for outdoor use. 

Think about the geographical location of your home or country, if you'd like. If the weather reaches extreme temperatures in summer, experts recommend getting a raised dog bed for the outdoors. This will prevent the bed and the dog inside to overheat as it will allow airflow from all sides. This is particularly important for dog breeds with long or thick hair. High temperatures and overheating can cause real health issues. 

Pillow/mattress bed

This is the most common type of bed and they come in literally all shapes and designs. Yet, this means that you will have to make some decisions before you get one. Pillow beds come with or without bolstered sides. Once again, see how your dog likes to sleep. Will it need a bolstered side to lay its head or does it prefer to sleep on an entirely flat surface? 

Bolstered beds are often the preferred choice as they provide comfort and security but they also limit the capabilities of moving. For dogs that prefer to sleep stretched out, experts recommend regular pillow beds. 

Covered bed

Now, when you read this subtitle, you shouldn’t think about the traditional wooden dog houses that you see in movies or wherever. On the contrary, there are fantastic dog beds for the outside that are entirely made of fabric or foam. Perhaps you are now asking yourself why would you get such a bed for the outside? 

This type of bed is designed for dogs that love their privacy. They create an intimate environment that also makes pets feel more secure. Plus, it can keep your canine away from sunlight or rain. The only downside here is that the price tag on this type will often be higher. 

Donut bed

Donut-shaped beds are suitable for all dogs but mostly for those that sleep curled up. Overall, this is the type of bed typically purchased by owners of smaller breeds as larger dogs either prefer to sleep stretched or feel better with more spacious beds. 

Moreover, if you are looking for quality and orthopedic features, donut beds rarely fall in this category. This can be a temporary solution but you should consider getting one of the previously discussed alternatives. 

What is the Best Fabric/Material for Dog Bed?

If you want to provide the ultimate comfort for your dog, then a memory foam dog bed is a must-have. Perhaps you have slept on a memory foam mattress and you know how comfortable it is already. If not, then this is the type of bed that will relieve your dog from its joint and arthritis pain. This is the type of dog bed that will provide the ultimate comfort in each known way possible. Especially if you have an older dog that requires additional support, choose a memory foam bed. 

In turn, there are plenty of options when it comes to the material/fabric for the covers. The base will always be the most important layer but the covers should depend on your plans for the bed. If you want to travel or go camping, pick more durable materials. Most covers are made from a type of polyester. The safest choice is something waterproof. This is a key characteristic for any good dog bed outdoors. 

How much does it cost?

Normally, higher prices mean better quality. But does a dog bed have to be expensive to be good? Fortunately, the market is extremely abundant with quality products from different brands and you do not necessarily need to overspend. The only case when it is recommended to get the most high-end option is for dogs with health issues. 

If not, the decision is entirely up to you. There are acceptable dog beds for outdoors for as low as $30-40 while the better ones from renowned brands generally start at about $100. Of course, you can always go extra and get something for several hundred dollars but there is no guarantee that it will make any difference from a regular bed.  

Here is one recommendation. This may sound weird but you need to think like your dog. Getting an expensive high-end bed without considering your dogs’ habits is a big mistake. Even if you get them the most luxurious dog bed, your canines may not like it. Therefore, you need to study your pets’ habits and preferences as best as you can. 

Waterproof or not?

Dog beds for the outdoors have to be sturdy and durable. One of the most important characteristics of a great bed is when it is water-resistant. 

Nobody wants to use the washing machine just to clean after your pet every single night, right? Waterproof means that liquids will not penetrate the cover and get the inside dirty. This is particularly mandatory if you live at a place where it rains all year. Rain should not be a reason not to let your dog outside but a wet canine means that the bed has to be protected. 

There is no need for the whole bed to be water-repellant, most products come with protective covers. The real question is which type of cover you prefer. Some can be machine washed while others can be cleaned with as much as a wet wipe. 

In this case, a waterproof bed will last longer than any regular alternative. Yes, the price will be a little higher but the whole idea is to get a product that will last years. 

What is the best waterproof dog bed?

At this point, you already know everything about dog beds for outdoors to make the right decision. Yet, you still have to deal with the overabundant market with thousands of options to choose from. In order to make even this part of the journey easier, here are several suggestions that will point you towards the better brands on the market? With this said, here are five waterproof options that are 100% worth their prices. 

  1. K&H Pet Products Elevated Outdoor Dog Bed

High-end doesn't always mean expensive. There are great products out there that bring comfort and durability at an affordable price. 

This bed by K&H is made from 600-Denier Nylon fabric and mesh and is completely waterproof and dust resistant. With three bolstered sides, it will make any dog feel secure and comfortable. 

This model is available in a variety of sizes and is suitable for traveling due to its easy assembly. The only downside to this bed is that it is not chew-proof. If your dog has serious chewing habits, this dog bed will not be the best option. 

  1. Dogbed4less Waterproof Orthopedic Memory Foam Dog Bed

Do you have an adult dog that requires a bed that can relieve joint and arthritic pain? In this case, you need a model that can provide the ultimate comfort and orthopedic memory foam is the way to go.

When you see this bed, you may think that it is not suitable for outdoor use. On the contrary, it comes with two machine-washable waterproof covers that enable you to use it even when one of the covers is dirty. Even more, the memory foam base is also protected by a waterproof internal cover. 

According to the brand, this dog bed is better than human-grade therapeutic mattresses. It is made from orthopedic memory foam that will provide the ultimate comfort for your canine. Not to mention that this memory foam is temperature regulating, thus, it will not make your dog overheat on hot summer days. 

  1. PetFusion BetterLounge Dog Bed

This stylish dog bed by PetFusion is designed for larger breeds. It is perfect for adult dogs that require additional space and comfort. 

It is made from 9 centimeters of orthopedic memory foam and comes with a machine-washable polyester cover. Maybe you are now wondering whether it is waterproof too? The cover is water-resistant while the base itself is protected by a waterproof liner. This means that you can leave it in the open for a certain amount of time even while you are cleaning the cover.

The addition of two bolstered sides will give your dog plenty of options for a sleeping position and all the comfort in the world. 

  1. P&L Country Dog Heavy Duty Waterproof Dog Bed

Are you in need of a heavy-duty dog bed for outdoors that can survive even the harshest weather conditions? Or something that can withstand the challenges of the most mischievous dog? Here is a bed that can do it all.

It is made from 100% waterproof polyester that has been enhanced with an additional coating from water repellant. The high bed walls are filled with Thermal Polyester Fiber which makes it suitable for harsh temperature conditions. It means that even if it is cold outside, the inside will still be warm enough for a sleeping dog.

This is a dog bed that will last many years. It can be used at home or for traveling and the only downside is the slightly higher price tag. 

  1. Reliancer Elevated Dog Cot

Now here is a dog bed that speaks luxury. It comes with a removable canopy on the top which can protect your dog from the heat.  In turn, if your canine prefers to lay under the sun, you can remove the canopy in seconds. This is a bed that is suitable for all seasons. 

The fabric used for this bed is waterproof polyester. You will never find water or dirt build-up anywhere. The elevated design will keep your dog away from the uncomfortable dirty ground while it will also help regulate its body temperature. 

The assembly is easy and makes the bed suitable for travel. It is surprisingly sturdy and can be used everywhere, even indoors. Simply remove the canopy and you can use it as a regular indoor bed throughout the cold months of the year. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Do dogs really need dog beds?

This is the most common question asked by dog owners and the answer is absolutely yes! Here are three good reasons why:

  1. Furniture designed specifically for animals helps them to be healthy, confident, and friendly. Special beds for dogs and cats are an analog of comfortable mattresses for people, on which it is useful and pleasant to relax. Proper body support helps pets reduce or eliminate joint and muscle pain. Your soft lounger will be more comfortable than the master's bed or sofa.
  1. A separate sleeping place is a territory that the pet considers his own. He can retire in a house, climb under a soft hood, if he wants to take a break from the noise, or hide from prying eyes. Such a shelter is a guarantee of psychological comfort for any animal as it will give you peace of mind that your best friend will be happy.
  1. If your pet has a cozy shelter where he can spend as much time as he wants, he does not need to fight with other family members for an armchair, bed, or sofa. Therefore, the relationship between pets and owners is made better, more trusting.

Do dogs prefer hard or soft beds?

The truth is that dogs generally prefer soft beds. This is due to comfort and often because it reminds them of your bed or sofa that they love. The main problem with soft beds is that they can make the dogs overheat. In turn, this can hardly happen to a hard bed. 

Yet, it is important to mention that every dog has its preferences. You will never know unless you try. Perhaps your dog prefers hard surfaces. 

Which is the best type of dog bed for the outdoor area? 

Outdoor environments present a variety of challenges for a dog bed. These include changing weather conditions, humidity, even mold, etc. Due to the numerous challenges, you should consider getting an elevated dog bed. 

  1. While they usually are simpler in design but they are often the sturdiest and most durable choice. Moreover, there are plenty of high-end options in case you are looking for a luxurious bed.
  1. People often use this type of bed for traveling. If this is your case, then you need one that does not take too much space. With large dogs, this is not always possible. The good thing about this type is that they can often be folded or taken apart. 
  1. The third and final reason why this is the best type of bed for outdoors is breathability. This bed will keep the temperature of your dog regulated due to the healthy ventilation that will occur below it. High temperatures cause serious discomfort to dogs and animals in general. 

Should you cover a dog with a blanket?

Dogs often love blankets. Many owners get their dogs their own blanket and believe it or not, canines often get overly attached to them. 

According to experts, covering your dog with a blanket has a number of positives. Not only does it keep them warm but blankets are relaxing and comfortable. The question here is whether you should do it outdoors. 

Unless the temperatures are high, it should not be a problem. If you plan to stay outside at night, you definitely should have a blanket for your canine. In each case, the dog will slip right out of it if it overheats or feels uncomfortable. 

Final Words

A dog bed for outdoors will keep your canine comfortable and secure outside the house which is its usual environment throughout the year. Every characteristic that you need to consider before making this purchase has been discussed and explained.

In the end, even with all this knowledge, the final judgment will be your dog. You may spend hundreds of dollars on a bed and your canine might simply not like it. With this in mind, get to learn the sleeping and resting cycles of your furry family member well before you choose the right dog bed. A good bed will change your dogs’ life for the better.