Why buy an outdoor dog bed?
If your dog is an outdoor or working dog, giving them a comfortable place to sleep is an absolute must, though indoor dogs can benefit from outdoor dog beds, too. Plenty of indoor pups love romping around in the yard, sitting on balconies watching other dogs go by, or soaking up sunlight as they nap. A dog bed in the yard also allows your pooch to keep you company outside if you’re gardening, doing yard work, or playing outside with the family. They can run around the yard or use the bathroom any time they want and then go right back to napping or lounging. That said, most indoor dog beds aren’t suited for outside use, even in just the backyard. Most aren’t waterproof or water-resistant, so they’ll most likely absorb any water or moisture from rain and precipitation and take a very long time to dry.
Outdoor dog beds are designed to be more durable and weather-resistant, able to hold up under all kinds of weather. Some are even designed for portability, so you can bring them hiking or camping if your dog enjoys going on those sorts of adventures with you. Indoor dog beds will almost always be too big and bulky for you to bring along on trips.
What should you look for in an outdoor dog bed?
- Size: As with any dog bed, your dog’s size and weight will help determine the proper outdoor dog bed for them. Most outdoor dog beds will come in at least two different size options and have a weight limit listed so that you’ll be able to easily determine if the bed will support your pooch or not. Check the dimensions to make sure there’s enough space for your dog to fully spread out in the bed if they so choose. Factor in how much space is available in your yard or porch or balcony and where the bed will go as well; the bed isn’t going to do your pup any good if it doesn’t fit properly in the area you have available.
- Durability: Since they’ll be exposed to the elements far more than indoor dog beds ever will, a strong, durable outdoor dog bed is key. Look for beds that are weatherproof. Even if you live in a dry climate, you can’t go wrong with a waterproof outdoor dog bed—be sure that it’s fully waterproof instead of just water-resistant, if possible. There are also anti-rip or non-fabric options for dogs that like to chew or dig into their beds. If the outdoor bed you buy is elevated rather than one that lays flat on the ground, be sure that the frame is strong (preferably made of metal) and weather-resistant. If the frame is made of metal, make sure it’s naturally rustproof or has been treated to resist corrosion.
- Cleaning: Outdoor dog beds also tend to get dirty quicker and more frequently than indoor ones do, so the easier it is to clean, the better. If you know your dog can be messy, consider looking for a dog bed with a fabric cover that is machine washable. Even if your canine companion doesn’t often get wet or muddy or doesn’t drool much, a machine washable and dryer-friendly outdoor dog bed is still the superior choice, as it’ll be much more convenient to keep clean. If the dog bed you want to buy isn’t primarily made of fabric or otherwise can’t be washed in the washing machine, check and make sure that it’s at least easy to wipe clean instead.
How do you pick the most comfortable outdoor dog bed for your pet?
If you live in a hot climate, look for a dog bed with a canopy to provide them with shade or one that is slightly elevated off the ground so that your pup isn’t lying directly on hot cement or grass. These dog beds will allow for better airflow as well. (You’ll probably want to stay away from tent or teepee-like models if you live in a hot area, as they aren’t as breathable.) Even if you live in a more temperature environment, an elevated outdoor dog bed may still be a wise choice for your dog’s comfort; you won’t have to worry about dew or rain seeping through the bottom. That said, if your furry friend is getting on in years and has trouble walking or jumping, a regular dog bed on the ground will still be the better choice for them.
Also consider the fabric and interior components of the dog bed, especially if you’re looking for orthopedic support for an older dog. Dog beds filled with cooling gel will help regulate your pup’s body temperature in a way most fillings don’t. High-density fillings provide better support for older dogs or pups with joint pain. Thick, soft, fabric-covered beds will provide good cushioning; just make sure they’re completely waterproof so that the fabric doesn’t absorb moisture. Mesh, cot-like outdoor dog beds are more flexible and breathable, less plush, but still plenty comfortable. There are also foam beds with removable fabric covers. Some elevated models even have bolsters or similar cushioned sides, almost like a mini couch, that your pup can lounge back against while they’re resting.
Bedsure Cooling Elevated Dog Bed
A raised, breathable mesh dog bed that will help keep your pup cool and dry no matter the weather.
Pros: If you’re after an elevated outdoor bed for your pup, this model is an excellent choice. It’s made out of breathable mesh, providing a comfy surface for your pet to lay on and much better airflow than a stuffed fabric bed could provide. The legs, made from durable powder-coated steel with stable non-skid feet, elevate the bed off the wet, hard ground to add even more airflow and comfort. Yet they’re not so tall that older dogs or pups with joint or mobility issues will have trouble climbing on and off of it. The mesh is also waterproof and easy to clean. While some minor assembly is required, it’s quick and easy to put together. And this bed comes in a range of sizes, from small to extra large, to better accommodate most breeds.
Cons: Though stronger and harder to rip than fabric dog beds, it’s not entirely chew- or rip-resistant either, and over time, it may rust in places despite the powder coating. The mesh may stretch out of shape with enough use, too.
Bottom Line: Comfy as plush, stuffed dogs beds can be, they’re not the most breathable model and come with the risk of stuffing being ripped out and chewed on. This mesh bed provides nice comfort with greater airflow and no stuffing to be torn out.
K&H PET PRODUCTS Original Bolster Pet Cot
A unique elevated dog bed with cushioned bolsters along the sides to give your pet a place to lean back on.
Pros: This elevated outdoor dog bed stands out from the other raised mesh dog beds by virtue of the bolsters that line the sides. These plush cushions give your dog an extra-comfortable place to lean back against as they’re resting and help prevent them from rolling off the sides as they sleep. The bolsters can also be removed for washing. And since the cushions and fabric cover are machine washable (cold water, gentle cycle, no bleach) they’re very easy to keep clean. The entire bed is resistant to mold, mildew, and odors, an ideal feature in an outdoor bed. The center is made from mesh, providing greater breathability and airflow. And even the small-sized bed has a high weight capacity, able to support up to 200 pounds; if you have two small or medium-sized dogs, they’ll be able to sleep side-by-side on this bed without issue.
Cons: Though not the most expensive outdoor dog bed on the market, this model is a bit higher priced than average. And as is the case with fabric-covered, stuffed dog beds, the bolsters may rip or tear if not cared for properly or if your dog is a big chewer or scratcher.
Bottom Line: This is a classic elevated outdoor dog bed with the unique added touch of bolster cushions lining three of the four sides for greater support and comfort. They’ll look like the little king or queen they are while lounging in this bed.
Cheerhunting Outdoor Dog Bed
This portable, roll-up dog bed allows you to bring a comfy spot for your pet to lie down with you wherever you go.
Pros: If you’re after an outdoor dog bed that’s easy to carry and transport, this model will be right up your alley. It’s available in large and extra-large sizes that roll up into the convenient carrying bag. It even has a built-in handle if you don’t want to use the bag. It’s an ideal model to take on a weekend camping trip or when you visit family over the holidays. A quick shake will divest this bed of any dog hair that gets stuck to it, and you can throw it in the washer and dryer if it gets dirty, stained, or damp. It’s available in four possible colors, all of which are reversible.
Cons: This dog bed isn’t elevated and is water-resistant but not 100% waterproof, so it will absorb water if it lays on the wet ground for long enough. And the fabric is quite strong, but it won’t hold up to dogs who are really aggressive chewers.
Bottom Line: If you go hiking or camping a lot and like to bring your pup along with you, this portable dog bed will be the perfect choice for your needs. It’s incredibly lightweight and rolls up compactly, yet is large enough to accommodate even the biggest breeds.
SUPERJARE Elevated Pet Cot with Canopy
A light and breathable dog bed that comes with a protective sunshade canopy and keeps dogs off the ground.
Pros: Keep your dog shielded from the sun and rain with this elevated outdoor dog bed and its attached canopy, providing your pup with shade and protection. The raised design of this bed keeps your pup off the ground, which, paired with the mesh centers, keeps them cool and the air flowing. This cot also features a lasting steel frame for durability. It comes with a travel bag and is extremely light and portable, and you can easily assemble and reassemble it since no tools are needed to put it together. The bed’s max capacity is 120 pounds, and it’s available in four different colors.
Cons: The convenience of this bed’s canopy comes at a literal price, as it’s more expensive than the average outdoor dog bed. It’s also not totally water-resistant, so you won’t want to leave it outside in truly inclement weather.
Bottom Line: A unique dog bed that comes with a protective canopy is a great choice for your pet to enjoy the sun safely without overheating. Ensure that even the largest, furriest, fluffiest pups can lounge outside in warm weather while remaining comfortable and not overheating with this bed.
Tempcore Dog Bed with Removable Washable Cover
A soft, comfy dog bed made with high-density foam to help relieve body aches and withstand chewing.
Pros: This dog bed is made from high-quality, high-density therapeutic foam. It’s perfect for providing some relief to your dog’s body aches or joint pain, ideal for older dogs, and a great option that provides support for pups of all ages. The cover zips on and off and is both machine washable and dryer-safe for quick and convenient cleaning. Available in three different sizes, it’s not only a great outdoor dog bed but makes an excellent indoor or crate bed as well.
Cons: Though water-resistant, this bed isn’t 100% waterproof, so moisture may seep into it if the conditions outside are wet enough or if your pet has an accident. It may get the foam inside wet as well. Thus, it’s not the best option for puppies or dogs not fully housebroken.
Bottom Line: If you’ve got an older dog or a pup with any sort of joint aches and pains who needs a bed with extra support, this is the model for you. It’s affordable with a convenient, easy-to-keep-clean cover, and your dog should love it.
There are many options when it comes to outdoor dog beds that don’t require sacrificing durability for comfort or style. Giving your dog a soft and safe space to rest on your porch or in your yard is easy when examining the many dog bed choices available for your pet’s size and age.