As most dog owners could tell you, dogs aren't just pets, they are part of the family. So it means a lot to dog owners that they keep their canine companions comfortable. From the day you bring home your puppy, to the day you say goodbye to your senior dog, you'll want to keep them as comfortable as possible.
This means not only providing them with great food, lots of enrichment, good healthcare, and tons of love. It means giving them the basic comforts as well, such as dog beds, blankets, and dog houses.
While not all dogs will use a specific dog bed, many dogs will lay on a bed during the day or when it's time to go to sleep. It may be difficult to get a puppy to understand at first that they are supposed to sleep in their own bed at night, but eventually they'll see the dog bed as their specific territory and will be happy to use it.
If your dog is older and sleeps throughout the house - basically wherever people are - you should consider getting multiple beds for them. This way you don't have to drag their preferred sleeping area around the house, and they can be comfortable wherever they are.
Some dogs like to play with their bed like they would a chew toy, so you may want to keep a spare bed ready in case your dog destroys one from time to time.
Like beds, not every dog is a fan of blankets. Some dogs get downright upset if you try to put a blanket on them. Depending on the breed of dog and how much fur or hair they have, a blanket may cause them to overheat if they lay under it too long. But there are dogs that like to lay on or under blankets, just like people do.
They like to move them around and set them up in a way that works best for their taste, almost like a nesting bird. It's a good idea to keep several dog blankets available that your dog can use when they want to. These blankets can be kept on the couch or bed to help cut down on dog fur on your furniture.
They can also be used to help calm the dog when it goes for rides in the car, or stays at a pet hotel or pet-sitter's home overnight.
Dogs don't sweat like humans do and that means they can overheat much more easily than we do. A puppy can play for a long period of time before realizing they are tired. If that playtime was outside in the hot sun, they can easily overheat. Older dogs feel the effects of heat quite quickly as well.
It's important to make sure your dog has a cool place to lay down when they are ready to rest. Tile floors in basements and bathrooms work well. But if you'd like your dog to be close to the family, wherever you happen to be hanging out, you should consider getting a cooling pad.
These come in multiple sizes for different breeds of dog and are usually safe for any age. They are filled with a gel that stays relatively cool to the touch throughout the day, so that your dog can lay on them any time and get some relief from the heat.
If your dog spends more than a few minutes outside during the day, you should have them set up with a dog house. This can be a place they go to escape bright sunshine on hot summer days, and a place they go to get out of the rain on wet spring days.
You should also consider getting a heated insulated dog house, even if you live in an area that doesn't get super cold in the winter. Puppies and senior dogs tend to be more susceptible to the cold than young adult and adult dogs. They need that extra protection from the elements to keep them warm and healthy.
And if you live in an area with freezing winters, your dog will appreciate that heat when they want to get out of the snow!
Use these tips to provide the best life for your furry friend!