Golden Retrievers are a popular breed for more than just their kind eyes and friendly temperaments. Having been bred to retrieve waterfowl for hours on end, these dogs aren’t strangers to hard work, and it’s because of their roots as Scottish gundogs, that they have excessive amounts of energy. Excessive, but not unlimited, so when your Retriever inevitably empties the tank, we want to make sure these hard-working, outgoing and loving dogs are rewarded with a bed of exceptional quality.
Okay then, so what is the best dog bed
for a Golden Retriever? Well, here at The Red Dog Company, we like to think about what our dogs’ needs are, alongside what owners look for in a bed, and at that intersection, you’ll likely find perfection. Besides, considering dogs can sleep up to 18 hours a day, do we really want anything less than the best?
What do dogs look for in bed?
Unfortunately, we’re unable to communicate with our dogs - that much is obvious - but we are able to look at the matter from a biological standpoint to help us decipher what exactly it is our dogs are craving. Each and every breed comes complete with its own set of physical, social and personality traits and where some dogs might be small, silky and precious, others are bulky troublemakers who like to get their paws dirty.
As unique as their traits are to them, so are their health issues. French Bulldogs, as an example, are prone to breathing problems like upper respiratory tract infections and Brachycephalic Obstructive Airway Syndrome
because of their short snouts and flat, squashed faces. Needless to say then, your Golden Retriever will come with its own set of traits and health issues to consider before purchasing a bed.
Comfort, comfort, comfort
You’d think this is a given, but a lot of cheap dog beds don’t remain comfortable in the long run. Many are filled with fibres that tend to lose shape and deteriorate over time. It’s like buying cheap cushions inners; over time, they become less of a square and more of a lumpy mess. In many cases buying a bed on the cheaper end of the scale, or even a more expensive option that hasn’t been backed by science, only results in an uncomfortable and unsatisfied dog, and a pull on your purse strings.
This is exactly why we invested time and energy in looking at our beds through dogs’ eyes. Everything from the easy access the scalloped front cushion provides, to the support of the foam cushions and the comfortable sleeping environment the wool creates. The foam isn’t just firm-for-now either, with a density of 24kg/m3, and hardness of 90N, we’ve actually ensured that it stays that way for far longer than many of the alternatives out there.
However, comfort isn’t limited to the durability of the foam or the luxurious feel of the British sourced tweed and wool it’s covered in, we also looked at thermal properties to ensure your dog is content in their bed no matter the temperature; warm and snuggly in winter, and nice and cool in summer. The latter is especially important for Golden Retrievers who tend to trap hot air with their double coats. After expending the necessary amount of pent-up energy, your Retriever needs a bed to rest, cool down and enjoy the warm summer afternoons without risk of overheating.
Support is key
Remember when we spoke about Retrievers facing their own set of health issues? Well, unfortunately, hip dysplasia is one of the things this breed is prone to. The condition where the hip joint doesn’t fit together perfectly can eventually lead to arthritis and as owners, we want to a) try and prevent it as much as possible, and b) relieve and treat the symptoms where we can if it should come to that. Our resident veterinary expert, Alison Lambert, talks about this in greater detail over in the Vet’s Corner
, but one of the main takeaways is to supply your dog with ample support. That’s where our orthopaedic technology comes into play.
Arthritic dogs, or those prone to joint inflammation and pain, will spend increasing amounts of time in their beds where they’re able to cushion those joints. We made it our business to ensure our beds live up to that task by using an orthopaedic memory foam mattress capable of moulding to the body whilst keeping your dog from sinking through. The latter is one of the only ways to avoid putting extra pressure on the joints, which is why it’s also important to provide your Retriever with the space it needs to stretch out in its bed - thereby preventing them from doing so on the floor. Opting for a large bed with enough room to allow them to completely relax - whether that’s curled up or fully extended - will bring your dog the most comfort.
Our vet approved beds are also hypoallergenic and kind to dogs with sensitive skin, and the wool fleece topper is proven to prevent bedsores, which goes a long way in helping create the most comfortable environment for dogs who might be spending more of their time in bed because of want or necessity.
What do we, as owners, look for in a bed?
As dog owners, we pretty much want what our pets want, and so comfort and support rank top of the list, but there are a few additional things to look out for, too. Owning our Golden Retriever, or any dog for that matter, can be expensive when there’s pet insurance, food especially designed for your dog’s nutrition in mind, n months. Therefore, it’s totally fine to plan for the dog you’ll have in about a year’s time instead and buy a bed much larger than the puppy you have now. It gives your young dog ample time to grow into it and can help them get comfortable by stretching out to their heart’s desire.
Apart from the fact that a water resistant bed and waterproof liner might be a good idea for puppies prone to accidents whilst they’re still potty training, their requirements are much the same to what an older dog needs. Memory foam capable of supporting their joints, wool fleece to protect sensitive skin, easy access by the way of a suitable entry point and thermal properties for regulating your dog’s temperature.
It’s worth noting that some beds - like ours - also include clever technology for moisture wicking. This will draw any moisture away from the body to keep the surface of the bed dry and comfortable for sleeping dogs.
A clean dog makes for a happy dog (and owner)
It’s not unusual to want to keep your space clean and odour free, but your Golden Retriever might not have the same idea. Not intentionally, of course. In fact, to dogs, there’s nothing strange about the way they smell, and yet, your human nose might disagree. There’s no denying the ‘dog smell’, but what causes it? Well, according to Pet MD
, there are a number of contributing factors. One is perspiration which works a little differently in that it doesn’t come from the pores (as with humans), but rolls off the hair follicles and paws. Another is a healthy skin oil which bears a unique scent to your pooch, and then there’s also glands in the ears producing a yeasty smell.
Considering your Retriever easily spends 12 - 14 hours a day in bed where those natural oils have a chance to seep into the fabric, a main consideration pre purchase should be whether your choice of bed is machine washable. It’s important to pick something that not only has removable covers, but is also made from a material durable enough to endure many washes.
Our luxury dog beds
are not only durable with sturdy zippers that can be washed at 30c without any issues, but they’re also odour resistant so you don’t have to worry about bad smells between washes. How? The wool in the lining and of the fleece topper isn’t just kind to skin and cosy, the keratin properties found within are also good at breaking down bad smelling bacteria for a more neutral smell.
So that’s our guide on what to consider when looking for the best dog bed for a Golden Retriever, but really, this is worth sticking to whether you’re shopping for a Pomeranian or an Australian Shepherd. Remember, comfort, support, durability and cleanliness are all of utmost importance. It’s a good thing then that we, here at The Red Dog Company, designed our beds with those exact things in mind. All that’s left for you to do, is to measure your dog from nose to tail to allow for the ultimate stretch when they’re catching some zzz’s. treats, toys and puzzles, training and grooming to consider. We’ve not even accounted for routine veterinary trips or accidental breakages around your home. It once again begs the question, what is the best dog bed for a Golden Retriever?
Considering this muscular medium-sized dog could weigh in anywhere between 25 and 35kg, you might find that cheaper beds just aren’t up to the task of sustaining that sort of weight over long periods of time without becoming worn out. Once the bed becomes thin, lumpy or indented, it’s time to swap it out for another, which is not only expensive and frustrating for you, but disorientating for your dog. Even though Golden Retrievers are highly adaptable and will undoubtedly bounce back - and into their new bed - it can take time for dogs to adjust to changes in their environment, no matter how small.
By purchasing a Red Dog Company bed, you're opting for something that has been built to last. The foam is superior to standard fibre filled beds, as discussed already, but there are a few other factors that make our beds a cut above the rest.
One being the tweeds we’ve chosen from two of the most prestigious mills in Britain. Spun at Lovat Mill in Scotland, the Ettrick tweed is hard wearing which makes it especially practical for Golden Retrievers. It’s not to say our beds are completely chew proof, because no beds are, but if your dog is so inclined, it’s good to know our beds are tough and should at least set them a challenge. Should your retriever chew through just the cover, it’ll also be less expensive to replace just the cover than it would be to throw out the entire bed and buy another, which happens to be the case with our water resistant beds.
Speaking of waterproof liners, we’ve touched a lot on what older Retrievers require, but not so much about what puppies need in a bed. As tempting as it might be to let your pup snuggle up with you in your bed, it’s actually quite important to invest in their own from the get go. According to the American Kennel Club
, a good night’s rest will not only support your pup’s bones for joint health in the long term, but it can also improve their memories. Besides, it might be a comfort to have your shoe-sized Retriever sleeping next to you, but when they become fully grown, it may feel more like a nuisance.