22 May 2011

Dog Beds – Which One is Best?

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Finding a bed or mattress for our German Shepherd has been a difficult and lengthy process. We have been through many mats, which have been destroyed through chewing or the washing machine. But, we now think we may have found the ideal mat for our dog.

When he was a puppy we had a nice plush bed for him. A generic mat, available from pet stores that was comfortable and made him feel nice and warm. He chewed it, a lot, which we thought he would grow out of. So, once he had chewed his way through that mat we had to decide what to get him next. Our options were limited, another plush cushion mat or a vet bed.

Plush Beds

These can come very cheap or very expensive. I went for a middle priced one, I didn’t have high hopes for its survival. After Bo had gone through his first mat, I felt he needed a mat that would be soft; apparently he did not think the same. Our first problem with this mat was washing it. Bo would come in from walks, and being a big dog, it’s impossible to wash and dry him, so I make him lie on his mat until he is dry and then wash the mat. But, he would come in, wet and muddy and make him lie on his mat, the mat too would be wet and muddy. So, following the instructions on the mat, I washed it at a low temperature before allowing it to dry outside. Here came the first problem. All the fluffy inside of the mat had separated and clumped, it looked uncomfortable and was thin on one side and fat on the other. I tried to sort it out as best as I could, Bo didn’t seem to mind anyway. Next thing I know, Bo has taken to chewing his mats and whining as he does it. It is his favourite hobby. This mat, being one layer of thin material, leading to a lot of fluff on the inside, did not fare well. Neither did my living room. The whole room was covered in fluff from the inside of this mat; at least Bo didn’t eat any. So, it had to go, which left us wondering what mat next?

The Vet Bed

We have heard so many good things about the vet bed we had to try it. We went to our local pet store who assured us he would not be able to chew on this bed because the fluff on the outside tickles his throat causing him to stop chewing. They clearly hadn’t met our dog. The mat came in different colours, much to Bo’s disapproval I bought pink! It looked very comfortable and nice and fluffy. The mat lasted a few days before he started chewing it. Not only did he chew it, he ripped holes in the middle of the thing and stuck his head through the hole. While he thought it was great fun, we realised we had just wasted £30. I decided to let him chew on it a little while longer, leaving me some time to figure out what bed to get next. The vet bed was getting muddy, so I did decide to wash it; we were told it would wash easily. They were right in this, it did wash and dry very easily, but it did leave a lot of hair in the washing machine, as washing any dog bed would. It wasn’t as fluffy, but nothing ever is once washed. It definitely washed better than any other mat I have tried. But, unfortunately the life of the vet bed was over.

3 Peaks Crash Mat

We had heard of a new brand coming to Pets at Home called 3 peaks; we were a bit dubious at first because nothing has ever lasted very long with our dog. But, we looked at the mat and thought it was alright, if not a bit expensive. The outer layer is vey tough; Bo cannot get his teeth into it and now does not even try which is such a relief. The mat gets dirty, but because of the material I can hoover off the mud that dries onto it. We have had the mat for about 6 months now and that is the longest we have ever had a mat by far. This is our favourite mat of them all and we would recommend it to anyone.

If you have a dog who doesn’t chew, or a small dog who doesn’t get that dirty, or a dog who you can get clean, any of the above beds will suit you fine. But, if like me you have a dog who chews, gets dirty and stays dirty, then a 3 Peaks Crash Mat is the best bed I have found so far.


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