Adding comfort to your dogs bed can have a major influence on how much time they want to spend there! Just like people, your dog is likely to be more relaxed, and sleep better in a more comfortable place. Likewise, similar to people, not everyone has the same preferences for what makes the perfect bed. Some like lots of blankets, others few, some like many pillows, others just one, not to mention fabrics, silence vs white noise and room temperature among so many other factors!
Test out a few options
Thankfully, what you start with doesn’t have to be what you stick with. We recommend trying a variety of set ups for your dog’s bed until you find what they like best. Additionally, how much time they spend in their own bed will play into their preferences as well. A dog that only spend a little time there throughout the day (and sleeps overnight in bed with you, on the couch, or in a crate with a separate bed set up) may be happier with a few extra toys taking up some space. A dog that spend a lot of their time in the bed you pick out for them may prefer more space to stretch out, blankets to cuddle up with, or just one soft favourite toy to snuggle. They key to finding the perfect set up to your dog is trying out a few scenarios and paying attention to how they react.
How do I know what they like?
Dogs aren’t dumb! If your furry friend keeps dragging a blanket or toy to bed it’s probably because he wants it in there! Likewise, if you find an item that you had added tossed out over the edge every morning then it’s probably best to stop putting it back into the bed – your dog has likely said no thank you.
Another key way to determine which set up your dog likes best is to pay close attention to how much time they spend in the bed. A dog that likes and is comfortable with their bed set up is more likely to voluntarily go in for a nap, stay asleep longer, and appear relaxed in their bed.
Sometimes a huge variation in your dogs comfort with their bed can be seen solely on the surrounding environment! This could mean modifying a few things in the section of the room that your dog resides in. For example, air purifiers, fans, temperature, noises, night lights, scents, and fireplaces can all have a great effect no your dogs sleep. While looking at the science studied in humans for healthy sleep habits may be helpful just paying attention to your dogs demeanour surrounding bedtime and throughout the day can be a great indicator of when the set up was suitable for them and when it wasn’t.
What else to watch for?
One final factor to keep in mind is how your dog feels after sleeping in their bed! It is important to note any itchiness the morning after sleeping in a new bed that could be caused by an allergy to the fabric fibres or detergent that was last used on the bed. Soundness is also a major factor that needs to be carefully evaluated after sleeping in a new bed. Particularly for senior dogs, just like people, your sleeping position and mattress can definitely have an effect on how you (or in this case your dog) feels that next morning. An appropriate level of cushion and space for a good sleeping position can be incredibly beneficial to both older arthritic joints and sore muscles that have just spent the day playing hard!