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Thursday, September 16, 2010

Dog Beds

Living with a tiny teacup chihuahua, a chiweenie, and a dalmatian mix, being involved with pets, rescues, pet blogs and bloggers, and having many dog owner friends, I've been constantly trying to figure out the ideal dog bed. When I get stumped like that, I do, what I call, a human-comparison. What's the ideal human bed? Exactly! It all depends who it is for. It depends on the individual's size, shape, health issues, partner... That explains why I'm having such a tough time with my quest.
Even more so than humans, dogs vary in size and needs. Let's take my senior dog, the dalmatian mix (60lbs) as an example. She needs something for her joints because she's suffering from dog arthritis. Aha, then she needs an orthopedic dog bed! More specifically, she needs an orthopedic dog bed for large dogs. But that's not all. This particular dog also suffers from incontinence. So, for a while now, I've been using a bed mattress waterproof protector under her bed's cover. Lucky for me, for a senior dog suffering from arthritis and incontinence, they now make large orthopedic memory foam beds that are also waterproof, such as these ones:

Cesar Milan has come out with an orthopedic dog bed with a non skid bottom, but that one is not a waterproof dog bed, so it would need an extra liner. Even though it's cheaper than the ones above, I'd rather buy those because a. They don't need any alterations and B. they are really well manufactured. 

On to the small dogs in the family, a teacup chihuahua and a chiweenie, a dachshund/chihuahua mix.

The priorities with smaller breeds are usually temperature. Small dogs, like chihuahuas, don't just need any small dog bed, they love heated dog beds. They also love to burrow. At the moment, my scrawny four-pound girl mainly enjoys sleeping in a supple blanket on top of a heating pad. That's not entirely safe though. The other day, while cleaning, her heating pad exploded in my hands. If it hadn't happened that way, maybe we wouldn't have a home today, or worse. One can find many heated dog beds to chose from. A while back I ordered one to try. A few months later I got the following email:

Greetings from [Seller].

We have recently learned that Radio Systems Corporation, in cooperation with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), is voluntarily recalling Power Adapters for heated pet beds. Our records indicate that you have purchased one of the products listed in this recall through our website.

This recall involves the Class 2 Transformers that were sold with PetSafe Heated Wellness Sleepers. The power adapters are identified by the markings "PLUG IN CLASS 2 TRANSFORMER," "MODEL NO: K12-800" and have a spring coil covering the length of the electrical wire that goes from the sleeper. Power adapters without spring coils are not affected by this recall.

These products were sold nationwide from September 2006 through April 2010 for between $70 and $110. When the metal connector is removed from the bed, it can cause arcing between the coil spring and the connector, posing a fire and burn hazard to consumers.

Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled power adapter and contact the firm to receive a free replacement adapter at (800) 732-2677 between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. ET Monday through Friday and Saturday between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. or visit the firm's website at

You may also find additional details about the recall in the CPSC bulletin at:

If you purchased this item as a gift for someone, please notify the recipient immediately and provide them with the information in the CPSC bulletin concerning these safety issues.

We regret the inconvenience this recall has caused you but trust you will understand that the safety of our customers is our highest priority.

Thanks for shopping at [seller].


Customer Service
Blah Blah

Great! They regret the inconvenience. I wonder how much they would regret a house fire! In any case, overall, a heating pad is not a good idea. I question my decision every day, especially when there are safer products around. Have a look at a couple of potential choices for heated dog beds:


In my experience, none of those beds gets warm enough for my tiny dogs. That's why I'm still using the dangerous heating pads. If your dog does not get as horribly cold as mine, I suggest you take your pick from the ones above and sleep peacefully at night.

I believe that's about it, as far as the indoors is concerned, but there's also the outdoors to consider. Outdoor dog beds have their issues as well. Some are not sturdy, some are dangerous, most don't last long enough to justify their price.

I bought a Petmate Durabed. A few weeks later, due to poor structural choices on the manufacturer's part, the legs started to fall off. Many people had the same problem. Some tossed their Petmate dog bed quietly, others contacted the manufacturer who helped out by shipping parts. In my case, I opted for bungee cords. I must say, while it does not look good with the bungee cord around it, it does it's job. I buy a soft pad and all my dogs sit on it to enjoy the sunshine. Below you can see photos of the Petmate Durabed in various sizes:

Before I realized that the bungee fix would last as long as it has, I did some research and according to my findings, the best outdoor bed is the Coolaroo dog bed.  Check it out:

The Coolaroo dog bed is simple enough to make it mainenance free and easy to clean. They also sell replacement covers. It also comes in Extra Large!

My next outdoor dog bed purchase will definitely be a Coolaroo.

I hope my insight, in combination with your experiences helps with your quest for the ideal bed for your dog. Trial and error are fun but costly, plus as I mentioned, they can sometimes be dangerous.

Best of luck!
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