“First they steal your hearts, then they steal your beds.” This is what we usually hear from overjoyed GSD owners who are sharing beds with their German Shepherds. Allowing your GSD to share a bed with you might warm your heart. But this may not be the case when your GSD needs to sleep alone. This will only cause your GSD extreme distress which, in turn, will have negative impacts on their health, cause them to become aggressive and in effect may start chewing everything they see.
Different Types of Dog Beds for German Shepherds
GSDs vary in size, weight, height and sleeping positions. There are also thousands of dog beds for GSDs available anywhere. So, it will be beneficial for GSD owners to figure out the different types of dog beds and their functions.
- Bolster Beds
A dog bed with raised sides are called bolster beds. They are great for GSDs who like to feel cuddled and warm using the raised edges as a support for their heads. This is ideal for GSDs who like to sleep upside down with their paws in the air or curled like a ball.
- Standard Dog Beds
These dog beds are like pillows or cushions. They don’t have edges so these kinds of beds are suitable for GSDs who sleep on their side or like to stretch out a lot.
- Kennel Dog Beds
Kennel dog beds or crate dog beds are flat mattresses used in a kennel or crate to protect GSDs from the floor or hard crate pans while sleeping or resting. Ideally, kennel dog beds should be easy to clean and waterproof since it is unavoidable for these fur buddies to make a mess.
- Orthopedic Dog Beds
The best dog bed for hip dysplasia is called an orthopedic dog bed. It is made of special materials for elderly GSDs and GSDs with brittle bone disease, arthritis, and other musculoskeletal diseases. This type of dog bed uses a unique foam that molds to the GSD’s body shape which can help comfortably support their backs and joints to alleviate pain.
- Heated Dog Beds
Elderly and thin coated GSDs are prone to suffer the cold of winter. They will benefit much by using heated dog beds. There are two kinds of heated dog beds which are the electric heated dog bed and the self-warming dog bed.
- Raised Dog Beds
An elevated or raised dog bed is best for GSDs who are not keen on sleeping on a conventional dog bed. It is elevated a few inches from the floor creating a space for air circulation. This is great for hot weather and the summer season.
- Waterproof Dog Beds
For GSDs who are prone to have accidents or have incontinence, waterproof dog beds are saviors. Some waterproof dog beds have a waterproof base that prevents urine from leaking out of the bed to protect the floor from being damaged. There are also waterproof dog beds with waterproof linings to stop the mess from penetrating the bed’s stuffings
- Nesting Dog Beds
This kind of bed looks like a bird’s nest with soft edges, thus a nesting dog bed. Its edges are higher than a bolster bed. GSDs who sleep in a curled up position would love this dog bed.
- Cooling Dog Beds
GSDs are double-coated, so having a cooling bed will give them a better slumber especially in the hot summer months. Most cooling beds are designed with water or gel-like substance that works to maintain the temperature of the bed.
- Travel Dog Beds
GSDs who love tagging along with their owners’ outdoor adventures have to have this bed. It is very light, handy and convenient to use anywhere. It might be thinner than most dog beds.
What to look for in a GSD bed?
German Shepherds sleep an average of 12-14 hours a day. Identifying the type of GSD dog bed that suits your pet’s needs is not enough. Having the knowledge of how to identify the factors in choosing the best dog bed for your GSD is very important. Remember that sleep is an essential part of GSD’s brain development and function. It also strengthens their immune system.
- Size matters
Dog beds come in different sizes. Though manufacturers have dog bed measurements and recommendations, it is still best to take your GSD’s body measurement. To get the height measurement, using a tape measure, start at the point of your GSD’s ears down to its paw. Get the length of your GSD while he is lying, stretched out. Measure from the point of its nose to the tip of the tail. The best size dog bed for German Shepherd should be larger to make sure that not one of your GSD’s body parts will be hanging off the bed when sleeping. Practically, a growing GSD needs a larger dog bed as well.
It is a fact that GSDs are large and heavy, so you should check out a dog bed that can withstand and support your GSD’s weight.
In general, the thicker the mattress, the better the support.
- GSD sleeping position and habits
Your GSDs’ sleeping position will help you choose which dog bed suits them. A GSD that likes to sleep all curled up will adore a nest dog bed or donut dog bed. Practically, the location where you plan to put your GSD’s bed should also be considered. However, you need to put in mind that a GSD’s nap or sleeping spot is a safe zone for them. If you will place its bed out of its safe zone, your GSD might not sleep on its new bed at all.
A GSD bed made of high-quality materials is supposed to last a GSD’s lifespan. Look for beds that are made of chew and abrasion-resistant materials. Ballistic nylon, textured nylon, and heavy-duty vinyl are some of the most durable materials for GSD beds.
- Easy to clean and maintain
This factor will decide how long your GSD’s bed will last. A durable GSD bed should last long but it should have proper maintenance and care. Removable slipcovers will save you time and energy.
- Your GSD’s circumstances
As we always say, not all GSDs are created equal. Therefore, each GSD has different needs. GSD puppies have a tendency to chew on everything and may not have bladder control yet, so getting water and chew-proof GSD bed will suit them best. Elderly and physically challenged GSDs may have movement difficulties including incontinence, so a water-proof orthopedic bed will be best for them.
Reviews on the Best Dog Beds for German Shepherd 2019
This guide on how to choose the best dog beds for GSDs will not be complete without our recommendations. Here are some of the tried and tested best dog beds for GSDs available in the market.
Laifug Orthopedic Memory Foam Extra Large Dog Bed Pillow – Best Extra Large Dog Bed for German Shepherds
Laifug Orthopedic Memory Foam Extra Large Dog Bed Pillow is designed with a comfortable 4” and 2.5” pillow for neck and head support. It has a dimension of 50” L x 36” H x 10” W which makes it the best extra large dog bed for GSDs even as heavy as 200 lbs. Made with 45d memory foam that won’t easily flatten, you can be assured of its shape retention even after three years. Moreover, This memory foam is waterproof yet very soft, great for dogs with hip dysplasia, joint pains, and arthritis. To top it all, it has a water-resistant bed cover that’s comfy, easy to clean and washable.
This dog bed is not suitable for chewers.
Brindle Waterproof Designer Memory Foam Pet Bed – Best Waterproof Dog Bed
If you would like to support a company that has a genuine love for animals and donates pet beds every single day, Brindle Pet Company is the answer. Their goal is to innovate pet-friendly products with the highest quality and one of the best products that they offer is the Brindle Waterproof Designer Memory Foam Pet Bed. Dog crate pans are hard while dog crate pads are too thin which will eventually cause them to develop or aggravate joint pains, hip dysplasia, and arthritis. This is made with a 4” thick bed which has a 2” memory foam that can help relieve elderly GSD’s body pains and a non-slip 2” high-density foam that gives ample support to GSDs weighing up to 65 lbs. Designed to fit in nearly all standard dog crates available in the market, it is also a waterproof dog bed with a washable cover that can protect the mattress from accidents and mess.
Brindle Waterproof Designer Memory Foam Pet Bed offers a 3-year manufacturer warranty. Warranty doesn’t include damages caused by chewing since this is not chew-proof.
BarksBar Gray Orthopedic Dog Bed – Snuggly Sleeper Cotton-Padded – Best Orthopedic Dog Bed
Is your GSD suffering from hip dysplasia and joint problems? Are you worried about investing your money on orthopedic beds that end up flat and useless after a few months? It is about time you stop stressing yourself out. The Barksbar Gray Orthopedic Dog Bed is made for these issues. It is a 3 ½ inch thick memory foam nest type dog bed that has an inner dimension of 36” L x 24” W with outer measurements of 40” L x 30” W x 10″ H of cotton-padded rim cushion. Its rim cushion is comfortable enough for a restful sleep but firm enough for neck, back, and hip support. This can also greatly reduce pains brought about by bone, spinal and joint defects. Stylish yet functional with a rubberized non-slip base, your GSD will surely adore it.
The machine-washable bed cover is easy to install and remove. You can also easily clear dirt and hair by a simple wipe. Its foam top is not water-resistant, though the bottom part is. Therefore, it is best to have a water-proof dog bed liner to ensure that mud, accidents, and mess won’t be absorbed by the foam.
K&H PET PRODUCTS Original Pet Cot – Best Elevated Dog Bed
A GSD that can’t tolerate heat and can easily develop skin problems, especially during warm spring and hot summer, needs a bed that’s breathable and allows air to circulate around while he is in slumber. K&H Original Pet Cot is an elevated dog bed made of heavy-duty polyester fabric and breathable mesh center that allows your GSD to stay cool and comfy all day long. With its materials, cleaning the bed cover is as easy as wiping and machine-washing, plus, it can easily be assembled and disassemble with no tools needed. You can put this dog bed indoors or outdoors and it’s even suitable for camping because it is made of strength-tested sturdy materials. K&H offers a 1-yr manufacturer warranty that is an assurance of their product’s quality.
It is suitable for GSDs weighing up to150lbs. You can also replace its removable bed cover with different designs and corresponding functions according to the seasons of the year. For outdoor use, a canopy is also available for purchase.
Kuranda Dog Bed – Chew Proof – All-Aluminum (Silver) – Indoor/Outdoor – The Unchewable Dog Bed
Having a GSD that likes to chew on everything he sees, including his dog bed is really troublesome. Kuranda Dog Bed – Chew Proof – All-Aluminum is the best ‘unchewable” dog bed in the market. Persistent chewers and diggers are no match with their tough, heavy-duty solid vinyl bed cover. Its frame is built with aircraft-grade aluminum that’s very light yet it can support GSDs as heavy as 250lbs. By the way, this elevated dog bed has a patented design that conceals the edges of the fabric to prevent GSDs from chewing. Having a smooth surface makes this dog bed easy to clean and suitable for indoor or outdoor use.
They offer a 1-year warranty on the dog bed frame and fabric. Even if it is designed to be an orthopedic dog bed, it may not be as comfy as other dog beds.
How to get your GSD to sleep on their beds
Training GSDs to sleep on their own bed might need a lot of patience, especially if your GSD has been sharing a bed with you for the longest time. Showing your GSD who the alpha is, is the only way to get him out of your bed. That includes hand commands and behavior correction by merely squirting his face with water. Here are the basic tips on making your GSD stay and sleep on his bed.
- Place your chosen GSD bed in the living room to discourage him from jumping to your bed.
- Place his favorite plaything on the bed for security.
- Let him sniff and observe his bed for familiarization.
- Ask him to get on the bed as you stroke his body to make him feel comfortable.
- You need to use a command to stop him from getting up at any moment. This might be all new to him, but be patient and repeat step 3.
- Always reward good behavior for encouragement.
- If all else fails, find a location where he usually likes to nap or where he would feel secure.
Letting your GSD sleep on the floor is inhumane and obviously unhealthy. It will cause him to develop diseases from sleeping on dirty grounds, he will most likely be attacked by crawling bugs and insects, and worst, he may become infected with tick and fleas. The best bed for German Shepherd should be suitable for his needs and your convenience as well. Following the owner’s manual for assembly, care instructions, etc. will lengthen your dog bed’s life. Regular and proper cleaning should be done to prevent bacteria and dirt build-up.