I strongly recommend consulting a dog bed sizes guide before purchasing a dog bed, especially if you are getting one for a puppy. They grow fast, and relentlessly. We are looking at 8 to 16 months of continuous burgeoning. Depending on your breed that might be on an exponential scale, which means you get very little time to use the bed before your dog outgrows it. Therefore, you will want to make sure the dog does not overgrow his or her bed before you even get to wash it!
Every dog bed brand out there has a different size guide. What one brand classifies as an XL bed may just be an L under another brand. The good thing is that most of them label the dimensions of the different size categories of dog beds that they offer. However, don’t just take the dimensions at face value. There are some things to consider to get the perfect dog bed that can last the lifetime of your dogs. More about that in a while. First, let’s look at how to measure a dog.
How To Measure Dog Size For Bed
The official height of a dog is taken from the front paws to the wither. The wither is the ridge between the shoulder blades of your dog. It can be measured either when the dog is standing or sitting, but its front limbs have to be straightened to form a straight line connecting its front paws to its wither that is perpendicular to the ground. The video below briefly illustrates this method.
The length of a dog is measured from the front lower neck portion to the back where the tail meets the body.
Official measurement requires a wicket. However, don’t fuss over accuracy here. We should try to get an approximate size of our dogs and get an overestimate of the size of the dog bed to purchase.
Personally, I think these official measurement standards fall short of getting the appropriate size of a dog bed one should get for their dogs. They critically miss out the head measurement.
For measuring the appropriate dimensions of dog beds and crates, I personally recommend measuring the dog’s height from the tip of mouth when dog looks up instead of the wither down to the front paws in straight line perpendicular to the ground. This is because the dog can move its head around, whether it is sleeping or not. For a good night’s rest, we should take this allowance for the freedom of movement into consideration.
The length of the dog should be measured from the tip of the mouth as well, when it is looking forward, to where the tail meets the body, same as the official measurement. It is fine to leave out the tail in this case.
On top of that, I would recommend adding a little more allowance to your measurement to get an overestimate for the bed size. In this case, I will look at the dimensions available in the market and pick the next largest value.
How Big Will My Dog Get?
To make an intelligent future proof purchase that will last, simply ask how big will your dog grow.
I have consulted many of the dog size charts to see the projection of the size my dogs would grow into but most of them follow the official measurement of a dog, rendering the results critically flawed. I have not been able to find such a growth chart, so I would personally recommend getting your hands on a fully grown adult dog of your dog’s breed, whether it is from your friends, your neighbors, your veterinarian or from the local pet shelter, and get an approximate measurement from there.
Real Sleeping Area
We should also consider the real sleeping area that your dog is going to be in. This is related to the type of dog bed you are purchasing, this mainly concerns those with a barrier around it, like the donut beds, bolster beds or the nesting beds.
Like the depiction above, these beds have an elevation on its sides to render its dimensions stated by the manufacturer inaccurate. What you should look out for is the real sleeping area of the bed. That will be the actual area that your dog can enjoy
I recommend getting the size that can fit whole dog comfortably within real sleeping area so that dog can choose whether to rest its head on the elevated material or not.
Can It Fit In Your Crate?
If you are getting a sleeping pad, you might want to consider if they can fit in your dog crates. Do not expect the measurement of the dog bed to to be able to fit inside the create perfectly. Most of the time they are not that precise and you might have to exert yourself to fit the bed in the dog crate. Always get a dog crate that is 1 notch bigger than the dog pad, unless you are getting a bundle that comes with both, like the MidWest iCrate Starter Kit.
This starter kit comes with both crate pad and crate that will fit nicely in terms of dimensions. It comes with other accessories that you will probably need for your dog crate, like dog bowls and a pet crate cover. It sizes range up till 48 inches, perfect for medium size dogs. On top of that, besides being a quality product from a reputable company, it also has a warranty of one year for guaranteed satisfaction.
Can It Fit Other Accessories?
On the topic of accessories, get a larger bed to house all the accessories you intend to get for your dog to accompany it to its sleep. Talk about toys, pillows, bolster, blanket etc.
These additions usually escape the mind of first time dog owners. They usually are occupied with whether the dog fits within the bed and never thought that dogs would need these accessories to accompany them to their sleep, very much like us humans.
Can It Fit In A Car?
Last but not least, consider if the dog bed can fit in your car. Purchasing a dog bed that you can bring along to your road trips can come good and make the most out of your purchase.
The typical base of a car seat is between 20 inches to 30 inches. If your dog bed dimension is below 30 inches, there will be no problem bringing your dog bed along to your car trips.
If it is more than 30 inches, it will not be totally resting on the car seat; some part of it will be outside of the car seat. If that is the case, make sure the base is solid and will not bend upon the dog’s weight. Otherwise, your dog will fall into the leg room of the car.
Getting a proper bed size for your dog require some considerations that do not come to mind at the first sight. These hindsights require experiences and I hope by sharing my mistakes and recommendations, you would be able to get a better idea of the things to look out for and consider before purchasing a dog bed.