Sharing your bed with a small breed dog is cute and practical. Sharing your bed with a large breed dog means you’re sleeping on the floor. (Okay, maybe the couch) When it comes to bigger dogs, you need to provide them with their own space. If for no other reason than reserving room on the mattress for you. With size being a premium, which are the best dog beds for large dogs?
Big Dog Concerns
Just like their smaller canine companions, large dogs have unique concerns you need to keep in mind when shopping for dog beds.
Shoulders, Knees, and Toes
Any aging dog is prone to arthritis. However, large dogs age faster than small breeds; they succumb to aching joints at a quicker pace. Large breed dogs tend to have a higher risk for orthopedic disease, as well. Such concerns include:
- Hip dysplasia
- Cruciate tears
- Luxating patellas
- Disc disease
Large dogs NEED orthopedic beds. Good thing most larger beds automatically come with memory foam or orthopedic mattresses. Dog bed manufacturers know that the bigger the dog, the greater the need for cushioning.
For whatever reason, large dogs like to sleep in the strangest positions. Small dogs tend to adopt just two options: the curled ball and the sprawl. Big dogs have a variety:
- On their back with their feet in the air (fondly referred to as the “roach”)
- Curled in a ball
Each position serves a purpose. Sleeping on the side eases pressure on your dog’s back. When they sleep on their belly, they cool themselves down. Curling in on themselves conserves warmth (you often see them tuck their nose under a foot or tail).
As to the roach…okay, not sure what the purpose is there, but it’s amusing to watch. (Our silly girl can’t achieve full roach)
Your dog’s sleeping position is what’s comfortable for them. The style of bed you choose should accommodate that comfort. You already selected an orthopedic bed (of course you did), so you don’t need to worry about supporting their joints. Instead, focus on letting them sleep the way they prefer.
Choosing a Dog Bed for Large Dogs
Large dog beds are an investment on your part (or, in our case, five investments). You’re talking about a pretty significant piece of dog furniture that’s going to occupy most of the room. Unlike a small dog bed, you can’t tuck it out of the way in a corner. Make sure you keep some things in mind when shopping for this new trip hazard.
- Size: Sounds silly, right? But making sure you measure your dog appropriately is essential when shopping for a dog bed for a large dog. You don’t want your dog’s legs hanging off the side (unless they like that). If you have a Great Dane or another giant breed, you might be limited in your options, as not every bed provides giant sizes. Measure from nose to tail AND shoulder to toes.
- Orthopedic Foam: You’re looking for dense, supportive, human-grade orthopedic foam. Shredded fabrics or fiber filling collapse under your dog’s weight, leaving their joints and bones resting on the floor.
- Non-Slip Bottom: The last thing you want is for your large dog to get on his bed and have it skid away from them. That’s courting an injury. Even though dog beds for large dogs are heavy, you still want a non-slip bottom to keep the mattress in place.
- Durability: Not every large breed is calm. If you have a boisterous Labrador who likes to paw at their bed, pick something that’ll hold up to the abuse. (Our dog digs into and drags her beds around ALL the time) Look for sturdy materials.
Best Dog Beds for Large Dogs
Maybe you saw a dog bed in another of our posts you fell in love with. Feel free to check for possible large dog sizing – you may find one suited for your dog. This listing is geared explicitly toward large dogs. After all, big dogs deserve proper pampering.
Best Mattress-Style Dog Beds for Large Dogs
If your large dog is a side- or belly-sleeper, a mattress dog bed is the best choice for them. They’ll have plenty of room to sprawl with no bolsters to get in the way. Such styles also work for roach sleepers – just watch out for any furniture around the bed. (Our dog likes to hit the shelves when she flops over, especially when she relocates her beds)
Say you have an exuberant, young dog on your hands. Aramark is the bed for them. The bed features a skid-free base to keep the bed firmly in place. The bed’s cover is constructed from heavy-duty waterproof canvas and soft plush. The cover zips off for easy washing, and there’s a waterproof lining underneath. The canvas holds up well against chewers and diggers. Coming in sizes ranging from medium to XL, it’ll cover most of the large breed sect.
Downside? It’s the only dog bed on this list that DOESN’T supply orthopedic support. So while it’s great for a young dog, it won’t help out your aging dog’s sore joints.
Better World provides your dog with 5 inches of shredded memory foam fill, separated into densely packed chambers, so the bed maintains its shape. The cover is two-sided and has a waterproof lining, just in case of accidents. The soft cover unzips and goes straight into the washing machine. The bed features a sturdy non-skid bottom to help prevent accidental sliding. This dog bed comes with a bonus of a one-year warranty. Best of all, Better World donates 10% of its profits to the Humane Society of the United States!
The downsides? The weight cap on this bed is just 80 pounds (what’s a giant breed to do?). Also, this cover can’t go in the dryer, so you’ll have to hang it up to air dry.
BarkBox rounds out the field with 3 inches of memory foam topped with a comfortable layer of gel foam. The mattress cover is a soft fleece you can zip off and throw in the wash. This particular dog bed ranges in size from XS to XL, providing various options for your dog.
So what are the downsides? People feel the sizes run to the small side; giant breeds get excluded from the list. There is no non-skid bottom on this bed, so think carefully about placement. Also, there’s no waterproof lining, and while the cover is washable, the mattress itself is NOT.
Best Bolster-Style Dog Beds for Large Dogs
Have you noticed your dog propping themselves up on pillows when they sleep? (Our dog cranks her head up in the most horrific positions. It IS a Greyhound thing, but it’s terrible to watch!) Do they like having their feet up in the air? Bolsters provide head and neck support, which is a health benefit for large dogs. Even if you don’t opt for 360-degree bolsters, a simple lounger tells your large breed you’ve been paying attention.
Finally, a dog bed for the giant breeds! The Big Barker caters to the LARGEST of large dogs. With an astounding 7 inches of therapeutic foam, you know you’re providing your dog’s joints with the cushioning they need. Even better, the company throws in a TEN-YEAR warranty, promising the bed won’t lose more than 10% of its shape! A single bolster provides head and neck support (or foot support, depending on how your dog sleeps). You can also find a version without the bolster if you desire. The microfiber cover is available in four colors, and it unzips for easy washing (since there’s no way you’re getting this mammoth dog bed into even an industrial washer).
Downside? It’s expensive – SERIOUSLY expensive. You have to make the call on whether or not you feel the cost justifies everything you’re getting.
BarksBar has a 6-inch padded base that rests a full 4 inches of solid orthopedic foam in a 360-degree rim of cotton padding. Non-slip rubber backing helps the bed stay put wherever you place it. The ultra-soft polyester cover unzips for easy washing, or you can opt for spot cleaning.
The downsides? While this dog bed is meant for large dogs, the cap is 100 pounds, so giant breeds get left out. Also, while washable, the cover can’t go in the dryer – you’ll have to hang it up to air dry.
Friends Forever provides bolsters on three sides of their dog bed. The base of hardened foam is topped with memory foam, cushioning your dog’s joints and allowing them to sleep peacefully. The base has a non-skid bottom for safety, while the mattress has a water-resistant liner. The super-soft cover is not only removable for easy washing, but it’s also hair-resistant! That’s right, no more fighting to scrape off dog hair!
So what are the downsides? While there is a jumbo size, it will not fit a Great Dane (sorry, giant breeds). Also, people didn’t like that the non-skid beads came off in their dryer, so you might consider air-drying the cover instead.
Similar to the Big Barker (but without the price tag), KOPEKS features a single bolster and 7 inches of support. The 5-inch base is topped with 2 inches of human-grade memory foam. They include a waterproof liner with purchase to help protect the mattress, and there’s an anti-slip bottom. The cover comes off for easy cleaning – whether you decide to throw it in the wash or just spot-clean it.
Downsides? KOPEKS only comes in the XL size, but it still falls short for giant breeds. Also, people didn’t feel the cover was very durable. Considering you want your bed to hold up and last, that’s a definite concern.
Best Elevated Dog Beds for Large Dogs
It’s not uncommon for larger dogs to spend time outside. Maybe you go camping but don’t want to lug a massive dog bed around. (Imagine trying to fit some of these dog beds into a car!) You still want to provide a dog bed for support off the ground. That’s where elevated dog beds come in handy for your large dog.
Coolaroo keeps your dog a full 8 inches off the ground. This provides air circulation for cooling in warm weather. (Please note: NEVER leave your dog outside in high temperatures!) The powder-coated steel frame is lightweight, making it easy to transport and weather-resistant. The cover is made from breathable mesh, easing weight on pressure points. The fabric is also resistant to mold, mildew, and fleas, making it ideal for travel and easy to wash.
Downsides? People found the assembly a little tricky, even with the instructions. Also, the mesh fabric won’t hold up to chewers. And while that steel is durable, leaving this dog bed outside all the time will wear it out quickly.
Are you looking for an option for family trips? Veehoo has you covered. Elevated 9 inches off the ground, this dog bed is designed for portability. The powder-coated steel frame goes together without a problem, breaking down again for easy storage. The Textilene mesh is water, dirt, and bacteria-resistant – something you want out in the wilderness! Designed to support up to 150 pounds, this dog bed will hold most giant breeds.
The downsides? The mesh gets held on with Velcro, which means it can come apart easily. Again, the mesh won’t hold up against chewers. And constant outdoor use will wear out the steel faster.
The Big Life
Finding dog beds for large dogs can be tricky. You’re not just looking for a bed; you’re looking for a pretty significant piece of furniture for your home. Not to mention the potential investment of funds.
Large dogs have some pretty significant needs you want to address. Making sure you cushion your large breed’s aging bones is of paramount concern. Otherwise, looking at their preferred sleeping position is pretty important. Not to mention where to place that mammoth bed.
However, if you’re ready to reclaim your bed and get off the couch, you can find your large dog the dog bed of their dreams!