Why buy a pet bed?
If you notice your pet takes over the couch or a particular chair to get their rest, they are likely to enjoy their very own bed. Just as people often look forward to a comfortable bed at the end of a long day, our pets also seem to enjoy a dedicated place for rest and relaxation. Quality beds provide warmth, support and a sense of security for your pet—regardless of their size.
HALO has partnered with JLA, a human bed company, because we believe JLA’s natural quality embodies Ellen DeGeneres' quote: "One of the things I really believe is that if you're going to have pets you should treat them like you'd treat yourself. I don't mean you should treat them to new shoes or a fancy car – I'm talking about the basics; a nice bed, fun toys and good food."
What are the characteristics of a good pet bed?
Good pet beds should be made from durable, high quality, natural construction materials and include recycled fibers when possible. Pet beds should not be treated with flame-retardants, stain-proofers or other chemicals in order to avoid unnecessary exposure for your pet. Good beds should have a non-skid bottom so the bed stays securely in place and doesn’t shift as your pet tries to get on or off. Although aesthetic in nature, it is nice if beds are available in a wide selection of colors and fabrics in order to match the décor within a home.
JLA was chosen by Halo because we found them to have high quality standards and all the characteristics of a good pet bed. Their bed materials are natural, environmentally-friendly, and contain recycled content. The Unisuede microfiber fabric used on most of the HALO beds, is a tough woven product which is approximately 6.5 times stronger than the rating typically accepted as “heavy duty”. Additionally, JLA’s fabrics are not chemically treated in any way and are naturally stain resistant and retain high ratings for colorfastness.
While higher quality beds will definitely cost more, they should be much more durable and not require replacement as frequently. A good pet bed should stand up to repeat washings. It is best if the bed has a removable cover for quick weekly washings but the entire bed should be fully machine washable. Vet Tip: If you have a pet who dribbles urine (or drools while sleeping!) it is best to put a waterproof pad between the beds foam core and the cover. Accidents will happen and it is easier to wash the bed cover and the waterproof pad than the insert of the bed. This will help beds last longer.
What types of pet beds are there?
It is important to choose a bed that is the correct size for your pet. When your pet is lying flat with their legs stretched out on their side, their feet should not hang off the edge of the bed. An easy way to get a measurement is to place a newspaper or blanket on the ground and measure the space where your pet lays. If your pet is an “in-between” size, it is usually best to go with a larger bed for comfort.
There are numerous types of pet beds. The best one for your pet depends on your pets sleeping preferences and any special health considerations.
- A nest-style or donut bed is usually best for pets who curl up to sleep. These beds usually have an oval shape, a removable pillow insert and “bumpers” or edges which act to create a safe, cozy, nest-type of environment. Some of these beds are made with a fabric hood for those pets who like to snuggle in deeply.
- A pillow-style bed is made with large amounts of soft filling and is best for pets who like to sprawl out or like to circle around and make a nest of their bed. While they often don’t offer a huge amount of support, they are an excellent cushioned resting place.
- Mats are thinner than pillow-style beds and offer a small amount of cushion. Rugs are thinner yet with almost no cushioning effect. These are primarily used to prevent the pet from coming into contact with the actual ground.
Special considerations can also determine the best bed for your pet.
- If you have an allergic pet, it is advised to purchase a fully machine washable bed which is made from hypoallergenic materials. Vet Tip: If you can’t find a bed made from hypoallergenic materials, you can use a hypoallergenic bed sheet or pillowcase to cover a pet bed. It can be removed frequently and washed in hypoallergenic detergent to keep dander and other allergens to a minimum.
- If you have a stiff or arthritic pet, an orthopedic bed may be recommended. Orthopedic beds are highly cushioned for maximum comfort and also have a core insert which provides excellent firm support. This core prevents elbows and other pressure points from contacting the ground and also help a pet rise from the bed without struggling.
- If you have an enthusiastic scratcher or a very rambunctious pet, you will want to choose a bed made from strong, less destructible fabrics.
Donna Spector, DVM, DACVIM,is a renowned, board-certified Veterinary Internal Medicine Specialist who has practiced at the Animal Medical Center in New York City and other leading institutions. She is an active member of the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) and the American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association. Dr. Donna has written and lectured extensively on topics including nutrition, diabetes, gastrointestinal disorders, kidney failure and respiratory disease. She is widely recognized for her role as consulting veterinarian to HALO, Purely for Pets, her TV appearances with Ellen DeGeneres and her widely-quoted pet health advice in print and on radio. Dr. Donna performs medical, nutrition and weight loss consultations for dogs and cats through her web-based veterinary consulting service, www.SpectorDVM.com.