Cot Dog Beds
Washable, Indestructible, and Hygienic
Estimated reading time: 4 minutes
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I have a 130lb Mastiff who, because of her size and her tendency to view everything as a chew toy, had made it nearly impossible to find a suitable dog bed. As a large dog owner I have found
(a) most "pillow" style large dog beds were prohibitively expensive
(b) not very durable
(c) unhygienic and difficult to clean.
I was looking for anything in the ball park of 54 inches long by 31 inches wide. That was about the space she took up when laying on her side. Depending on the material a bed that size could run upwards of $100.00 for memory foam (overstock.com) or you could find a large micro suede bed at Wal-Mart for about $80.00
The problem was that whether I spent $80 or $100 I was still going to run into the next problem which was durability.
I had opted for choice number 3, DIY. I bought a memory foam mattress cover on sale for $60.00 at Target and had my aunt make me a cover for it. I then sprayed the memory foam with a formula that make things tastes bitter to a dog so it wouldn't chew or lick them. I was hoping that this would somehow convince her the bed was just for sleeping. I was wrong. It took her about a day to turn that bed into swiss cheese. I kept finding chunks of memory foam in her excrement for days afterwards. I don't know if it was the texture that she liked or the taste but no matter what I sprayed it with ( bitter or spicy) or how many times I told her "NO" she would on continue to treat it like her own giant marshmallow.
The fact that it was sitting directly on the tile floor and that it was soft and plush also meant it absorbed and trapped dirt, dog hair and moisture like a sponge. It was also a great hiding place for fleas and ticks. After a couple of days it would stink and I would have to take the cover off throwing it into my washer and dryer and then clean out and vacuum both machines because of the dog hair. It was a nightmare.
The Solution - A Cot Dog Bed
Cot dog beds are just that, a cot bed made for a dog. They have several advantages over traditional "pillow" style dog beds. Cot dog beds are:
(1) Made of durable materials like canvas and steel
(2) They are raised off the ground
they don't suffer any of the disadvantages of traditional dog beds.
DURABILITY & HYGIENE
Since they are made of canvas and steel they are almost indestructible. Canvas is also a material that is easy to clean, resistant to mold and not a good habitat for ticks and fleas since it is a tightly woven fabric. Washing it off is simple - All you need is some dish soap, a scrub brush and hose. Once your done just let it air dry. Washing your dog's bed will now take less than 10 minutes. Vacuuming it is also very simple since dog hair doesn't stick very well to canvas or steel. The fact that is raised off the ground also provides certain advantages:
(a) it keeps the dog cool in the summer by letting air circulate underneath and warm in the winter by keeping it off the cold ground.
(b) They allow the dander and hair to fall to the ground where it is easy to access with a vacuum or broom.
Large Coolaroo Bed - $34 (on amazon)
Frame -51.1" Long x 31.5" Wide
Canvas - 43.3" Long x 31.5" Wide
Large "Classi Cot" Kuranda - $74 (on amazon)
Frame - 44" Long x 27" Wide
I own two different brands of cot dog beds: Kuranda and Coolaroo. I bought a large Kuranda bed for my 54lb shepherd mix about 2 years ago and it is still in excellent shape. Even after leaving it out in the sun and rain for weeks at a time there is no rust or mold present. My dogs jump on it like a mini trampoline when they play together. That is about 190lb combined and the fabric has yet to sag or tear. It is an awesome bed and I know it will last me probably for as long as I have my dogs. However it is pretty expensive AND even Kuranda's large bed is not big enough for my mastiff. She does take naps on it every once in while but she has to get herself in fetal position so she doesn't drape over the sides.
The Coolaroo warps like a sail in the wind when you pick it up but once you place it on the ground it is just as stable as the Kuranda. The legs stick out past the canvas instead of being flush with the frame the way it is on the Kuranda. I also found the canvas cloth to be alot coarser. However the part where the dog actually lays is much larger, that plus the significant price difference made this the clear winner if you are looking for a an extra-large dog bed.
It took a little coaxing but my mastiff loves her new bed. Now I just have to figure out how to stop her from sneaking on to my couch when I'm not home. I'm open for any suggestions
WINNER - LARGE COOLAROO BED
Pillow style Large Dog Beds are:
1) Expensive, easy to destroy, unhygenic, and a hassle to wash
Cot Dog Beds are
1) Durable, hygenic, and easy to wash
2) keep dogs cool in the summer and warm in the winter
Best dog bed for large dogs = Large Coolaroo at $34