I’m probably not the only dog owner who has spent a ridiculous amount of time and effort on making sure her spoiled dogs are comfy.
The best dog beds I’ve found yet – meaning the most practical and durable – are a couple I got about 8 years ago at the hardware store. Basically, they’re bags of chipped foam stuffing inside a zippered cover made of PVC-lined canvas.
There wasn’t enough of the original stuffing, of course, and it all balled up in one corner within a couple weeks – you’ve got to go to the really high end dog beds or a really good crate mattress for adequate stuffing, don’t you find? – but those PVC/canvas covers were pure genius. You can just hose those beds down when they get dirty!
Eight years later, I’m still using those PVC-lined canvas dogs beds (well, the dogs are still using them, to be precise) although I’ve long since swapped out the old chipped-foam stuffing for a few layers of egg-crate foam I got secondhand on Kajiji.
And just today I noticed that there’s a 3 inch gap along one seam, so I’ll need to make a few repairs…
Really, there’s just one drawback:
They’re kind of more like crate pads than proper dog beds now. While that’s actually perfect for my elderly Golden Retriever, who struggles to get to her feet if her bed is too soft, a flat canvas-covered pad is just not cosy enough to suit my two skinny pups on a winter night. The Greyhounds are more the fluff-up-the-bed-and-nest kind of dogs… and if you can’t fluff it, they don’t consider it an adequate dog bed. Sulking and fidgeting will occur. Also, loud sighing.
Now, I’ve got a friend who found a wonderful dog bed at one of those big department stores off in the Big City, and only about thirty dollars, too! It’s an oval cushion with a sort of big fat bolster attached along one side and the ends. We call it “The Princesss Bed” – it’s sort of a rich girly brocade kind of fabric, very luxurious-looking. In fact, it looks comfortable enough to put in your own boudoir for lounging on. I’ve got my eye out to get one of those, but haven’t found it in local stores yet.
Meanwhile, Value Village and the Salvation Army Thrift Store to the rescue…
You can get a double or queen sized comforter for between ten and fifteen dollars at a secondhand store, if you don’t mind some truly eye-popping colours and patterns. (I did end up making an envelope of a nice plain beige fabric, just like a big pillow slip, to cover up a comforter that had huge ugly purple cabbage-roses all over it. Yes, I bought such a monstrosity – what can I say? It was cheap; and I was desperate for dog bedding, thanks to a foster dog with a yen to redecorate.
Throw a couple of those big of comforters around, on top of the foam pad dog beds, and voila! you’ve got oodles of sleeping space for the canine kids!
Okay, so it’s not tidy. Or all that attractive, although the dogs don’t seem to mind. But, hey, it’ll do for now, suitable for both the sleep-flat dog and the pair of nesters… and my quest for the Platonic Ideal of a dog bed shall go on.