Do you need a bed? Yes. Your dog also needs a bed!

He doesn’t seem to like the bed I gave him.

But he doesn’t seem to like it and use it, so does my dog need a bed? Yes. But have you thought perhaps your idea of a bed is the right one for your dog if he is not using it?

  • Is it big enough?
  • Is it close enough to family?
  • Is it somewhere peaceful enough for your dog to chill out and doze off?
  • Is it cool enough?
  • Is it warm enough?
  • Are there any draughts at the sleeping level?

What size bed?

Do you always sleep in the same position? Your dog will probably sleep curled up, stretched out, on his side, on his tummy, on his spine … like lots of two legged carers do too. So the surface area needs to accommodate all these positions, and room to change from one to the next. An adult Clumber from top of head to base of feet needs 900mm length and from nose tip to tail tip allow 1200mm … your dog may not be this big, or could be bigger!

Adult Clumbers should have at least 900 x 1200 mm flat bed surface area
4 month old puppies a flat surface area of about 600 x 900 mm

Jan Irving

Does your growing puppy need a succession of bed sizes? In the best and most caring households, this will happen. A human baby has a crib or like, then a cot, then a child’s bed, then an adult bed as he grows, your Clumber will benefit from a succession too.

For a four month old Clumber a bed 600 x 900 will do nicely, but by 10 to 12 months a full adult size bed surface should be available.

What about the changing seasons, winter, spring, summer, autumn? You have probably done something about your house heating and cooling, and possibly your doona weight, have you made it so your dog can adapt and cope too?

My dog keeps eating holes in the bed or shredding it!

I guess your dog doesn’t like the material it is made from. Wherever possible I use natural fibres. A dog’s need to destroy is carefully investigated and thought about. Mostly a bed will be attacked if it is too snug or uncomfortable and not easily rearranged for the user’s comfort, by the user, your dog. I like to use single bed size doonas/duvets wool covered in cotton, if they aren’t gnawed into. For the younger pups I fold it down into a suitable size, for adults two folds across the short width gives a lovely bedding area and cushioned support.

OK, some dogs, just have a ridiculous need to release the fluff. This is possibly due to inheritance and a need to catch moving fluff when hunting as their prey has fur. If you are certain there is no underlying issues with your climate control, draught regulation, peacefulness, teething or gut irritation, then is the time to avoid more flying fluff by investigating and investing in dog proof fabrics. I now use horse rug canvas, my supplier has which is made in Australia and is a poly/cotton fabric with ripstop that is water resistant. When padded with a doona this makes a comfy bed that seems to survive the most addicted chewer. I do take the precaution with these diehard chewers of using a horse (also rated for dog) antichew paste on likely chew points for the first two or three wash cycles.

We love our dogs

Providing a dog bed that your dog likes is one of your responsibilities and one of your dog’s canine rights. He’ll love you for it! And a loving dog is so much fun.

photo Erinveine My Word (May) wh 1999