Sleep is essential to healthy growth, contributing to the necessary development of your puppy's central nervous system, brain, immune system, and muscles. All of that sleep also helps him rest up during growth spurts. Therefore, care must be taken to prepare the puppy's bed well to allow him a good sleep.
Follow this checklist to do so.
Puppy beds need to give ample room for the growing pup, and if you’re using a puppy crate, be able to fit comfortably inside. It’s very important that the dog bed you choose allows your dog to move around comfortably while staying within the confines of the bed. If the bed is big enough for your dog to lie in while curled up, but too small to fit in with their limbs fully outstretched, then your dog might become uncomfortable.
Don’t buy an expensive dog bed for a new pup, because he’s likely to chew it up. Line the bottom of the bed with a soft, felted, inexpensive blanket or two. Beware of wool blankets or mats that can be chewed apart into long strings that cause choking.
Put the bed in a quiet warm place where the puppy will not be disturbed by people coming in and out – and make a hard and fast rule that no one disturbs the puppy when they are sleeping. If you want your dog to sleep in his bed, you can keep it in your bedroom. Or you may need to move it back and forth or provide more than one bed in a common area such as a family room and one where you expect him to sleep all night.
There are many different types of materials you can choose for your pup’s dog bed – one popular material being memory foam. Memory foam beds provide additional support to your puppy. However, when going with memory foam, make sure to stick with quality, as low-tier memory foam can quickly flatten out and lose its shape.
Orthopedic memory foam dog beds are often a great choice for breeds with a history of hip dysplasia or other canine joint issues. If you know your pup is a chewer, opt for a chew-proof dog bed.
Keeping your pup warm is essential for keeping your puppy safe and happy, as it mimics the warmth previously provided by your pup’s mom and littermates. Avoid beds that use an electric element (at least while your dog is a puppy), and instead choose a self-warming bed that relies on the pup’s body heat to keep warm.
Make sure there is nothing in the bed that can be chewed or swallowed easily. Make sure the bed isn’t in a drafty area, isn’t close to a heat source such as a radiator or fireplace, or in direct sunlight.
Leave two or three tough chew toys in the bed with your puppy. Be aware that you should never leave soft stuffed teddy bears or easily chewed squeaky toys alone with your puppy. The best toys to leave in the bed are strong, durable hollow toys that you can stuff with treats, perhaps even freeze so the fun lasts longer.
Something waterproof underneath the bed (a cut open bin liner and newspaper will do the job) can be useful in case of toilet training accidents but you should be supervising these times to ensure your puppy doesn’t get the chance to make a mistake!
Your puppy's bed is a cozy place for your pup to curl and get comfortable, but it is also a place where they leave their hair, saliva, dirt, and germs. Regularly cleaning your dog bed is important to help ensure that your pet stays clean, happy, and healthy. Treating the cover as well as the cushion of your bed, and addressing stains, pests, and other problems as they appear lets you keep your pet’s bed clean and ready to use whenever your dog is ready to lay down.
Despite the obvious sleep disruptions through movement and possible barking, sharing your bed with your dog increases the risk of skin infections and has terrible effects for those with asthma or allergies. It’s also more difficult for your dog to sleep, if you’re tossing and turning throughout the night, he most likely will be as well. Moreover, it’s helpful for your dog to go to the same bed every night, so that he can recognize when it’s time to sleep.