With the weather finally warming up, I'm here to share my experience and research about outdoor dog beds, in particular the Petmate dog bed and the Coolaroo dog bed.
What is wrong with the picture?
It's kept together with bungee cord. This extra large dog bed started falling apart soon after we got it. The screws were too small and as the dogs kept jumping on and off, they initially kept getting lose until the threads wore off. I have read many reviews that state that if you contact Petmate they will provide replacement parts and on occasion they will replace the entire dog bed. In our case, we opted for the "easy fix." It may not look stylish, but it works. Because this dog bed is too hard (the bottom consists of a hard board) and because one of our dogs is old and has arthritis, we had to find a cushion that fit. The above cushion was purchased at Costco and it works great.
The Petmate dog bed gets an average 4 stars out of five. The feedback is that it is a great concept but not durable. The price range is roughly between $35.00 and $90.00 depending on both size and where you purchase it from.
A great contender for the Petmate dog bed is the Coolaroo dog bed. The Coolaroo is much simpler in it's construction. There are fewer complaints about it's durability and it gets 4+ stars out of five. They also sell separate covers. The one drawback is that this line of the Coolaroo does not have offer an extra large dog bed. The sizes go from small to large. The price range, again based mostly on the size is between $24.00 and $40.00, definitely less than the Petmate. Also, because of the design, you don't have to worry about extra padding. It's also rather reassuring to know that you can find replacement covers available from roughly $10.00 to $15.00.
This model has an extra large dog bed and in that size costs approximately $80-$90.00. The aluminum frame is sturdy and non-corrosive. Again, like with the previous model, the knit fabric makes it both comfortable and breathable, also easy to clean. This extra large dog bed measures 49" by 35" fabric sleeping area.
Coolaroo makes a folding model as well, for the active families on the go. This line also does not offer an extra large dog bed.
It appears that the main complaint Coolaroo owners have is the lack of the proper size for giant dogs. Elevated dog beds for large dogs are hard to find. However, based on experience and research, and since we don't own a gentle giant, yet, my next purchase will definitely be a Coolaroo. Sure, there are other brands available, like: Kuranda the chew-proof crate bed, Pet Gear's Portable Pet Cot, Guardian Gear's Pet Cot made by Pet Edge, and on and on the list goes, but based on my thorough research, I'm sticking to what seems to be both better value for my money, less maintenance, and raving reviews.