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Dog Travel Beds for Those Essential Canine Vacations

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Your dog loves their bed. It’s comfortable, it’s familiar, and it’s their space. But when you venture out on a camping trip or visit friends or family, that dog bed may not be so practical. You don’t want your dog to settle for the floor (or the ground). Good thing there are dog travel beds for these very situations!

Have Bed, Will Travel

Camping trips require special dog beds

Some dogs take to traveling without a thought – they love exploring new places. Others find such trips stressful. Either way, dog travel beds provide a familiar constant to keep your dog calm and relaxed. Whether you’re camping out in the wilderness, lounging in a hotel, or staying with friends, your dog has a spot that’s theirs. They can retreat to the travel bed whenever they need some quiet or just a comfortable place to hang out.

Dog travel beds provide a lot of advantages over ordinary dog beds:

  • Familiarity: Your dog knows that bed is THEIRS. No matter where you go, it smells like them and feels like home.
  • Cleanliness: You don’t want to relegate your dog to the ground or floor. Dog travel beds create a barrier your dog can rest on.
  • Convenience: Your dog’s current bed is magnificent. But can you fit it into the back of the car? Or carry it up hiking trails? Dog travel beds have portability in mind.

New Bed Smell

It’s important to introduce your dog to their new dog travel bed BEFORE you head out on that trip. Otherwise, they may not go near it when you reach your destination. A few weeks before your planned excursion, do some light training so your dog understands this strange new bed is now part of their accessories.

  1. Set up the dog travel bed in a room your dog already spends time in. Ideally, choose a space and time you hang out, as well.
  2. Keep treats on hand and reward your dog when they explore the bed. Especially offer praise and treats when they lay on the bed.
  3. If your dog has favorite blankets or toys, add them to the dog travel bed. This reinforces the positive image (and adds their scent).

Choosing a Dog Travel Bed

You likely went through a lot of careful research in choosing your dog’s current bed. Selecting a dog travel bed requires the same thought process. Keep in mind that travel beds won’t have the same level of padding as an ordinary bed. They’re designed for portability and convenience – not extended comfort and use. So you’re not going to find thick orthopedic cushioning.

However, you DO want to look for these key features:

  • Size: You don’t want half of your dog lying in the dirt and leaves. As you would with a regular dog bed, take accurate measurements.
  • Support: Dog travel beds don’t come with memory foam. If you want to provide the best support for your dog, consider an elevated bed. You’ll take pressure off your dog’s joints, and heavier weights won’t collapse the padding of an ordinary dog travel bed.
  • Durability: How often do you travel? Some beds hold up better against frequent use than others. You also want to consider your dog’s normal sleeping behaviors. Does your dog dig into their bed? Find the sturdiest materials you can.
  • Waterproofing: If you’re not planning on venturing into the great outdoors, you may not be worried about waterproofing. You still want non-skid bottoms, though. If you think you might go camping even once, you need a waterproof coating to prevent dampness from seeping in.
  • Portability: How far are you carrying this dog travel bed? The heavier or more unwieldy the bed, the less likely you are to pack it.
  • Ease of Cleaning: You wash out your tent and sleeping bags after use, and you need to do the same for dog travel beds. Make sure the bed you choose isn’t too complicated to clean.

Best Dog Travel Beds

Bringing our dogs along on vacations or weekend trips shouldn’t feel like a chore. After all, we have car seat covers, seat belts, and carrier bags for safe rides. But packing a monstrous dog bed into the car with the rest of the luggage? That isn’t practical. Dog travel beds make more sense. They roll up or collapse for easy storage, and they don’t weigh much for the hike out to the camping spot. And if you’re not a camper, dog travel beds work equally well in B&Bs or with friends who prefer to keep dogs off the furniture.

Best Roll-Up Dog Travel Beds

Your dog loves a little padding where they choose to relax. Roll-up dog travel beds work for camping, staying in hotels, or even inside crates. When it’s time to pack up, roll them up and secure them with clips or straps. They take up less room than an average sleeping bag, and they weigh almost nothing. It’s the perfect option for dogs of all sizes. You can even train your dog to carry their dog travel bag on their harness!

ChuckIt! provides a nylon dog travel bed that offers two different sides. The plush side keeps your dog warm and comfortable during colder nights. The opposite waterproof side can either keep them safe from damp ground or offer cooling during warm temperatures. Individual compartments keep the stuffing from going flat, even through repeated uses and washings. You WILL need to air-dry the bed, but a hanging loop makes the task simple. Best of all, you get a six-month manufacturer’s warranty against defects.

Downsides? If your dog’s a chewer, this isn’t the best choice of dog travel bed. Some dogs also aren’t fans of the noise the nylon makes when they lay on it.

The Good

The Bad

If you want a durable dog travel bed, Furhaven provides one made from ripstop nylon. Again, your dog can reverse the bed without sacrificing the waterproof coating. The high-quality polyester batting keeps your dog comfortable and warm. You’ll have to air-dry the bed, but it’s otherwise machine washable. Best of all, Furhaven offers two warranties: a 60-day money-back guarantee and a 90-day warranty against machine defects (you have to love those!).

The downsides? While available in two sizes, the largest is too small for giant breeds. And, again, it’s not rated for heavy chewers.

The Good

The Bad

GoWild solves the problem of active dogs flipping their beds around with waterproofing on both sides of their dog travel bed. The sturdy materials hold up against scratches and even light chewing (not that your dog’s encouraged to chew their bed). Even better, the cloth resists hair, so all you have to do is shake the bed to release any overnight shed! The entire bed is machine washable, making clean-up a breeze. When the trip’s over, everything rolls into a handy carrying bag with a comfortable strap.

So what are the downsides? People felt there wasn’t enough stuffing in this dog travel bed to keep their dogs comfortable. (Again, travel beds don’t provide orthopedic support in the manner of a standard bed) And while the Oxford material holds up to some chewing, heavy chewers easily destroyed the bed.

The Good

The Bad

Do you hate camping? Do you prefer the comfort of traveling to indoor destinations? (Don’t worry – I share those sentiments) If you aren’t venturing to outdoor locations, Hero Dog provides an excellent dog travel bed option. Doubling as a crate pad and a portable bed, you can choose from four different sizes. Your dog gets a little padding and lots of plush fleece to cuddle into. The entire bed’s machine washable, so you don’t have to worry about cleaning. And that non-skid bottom promises to keep the bed in place, even on hardwood floors.

Downsides? This bed is NOT waterproof. (So avoid taking it camping) It’s also a poor choice for chewers. And while it claims to have orthopedic support, the padding isn’t as thick as most standard dog beds.

The Good

The Bad

MidWest offers another option for the anti-camping sect. Their fluffy fleece pet bed provides a pattern of paw prints on one side and a solid color on the other. Light padding keeps your dog comfortable on their travels, and you can choose from EIGHT different sizes. The dog travel bed works just as well inside and outside of a crate, and it’s entirely machine washable.

The downsides? Again, no waterproofing, so skip the camping trip. Also, there’s not a non-skid bottom, so choose your placement wisely. And it’s not rated for chewers (though many people said their destructive dogs left the bed alone).

The Good

The Bad

Best Elevated Dog Travel Beds

Elevated dog travel beds look uncomfortable. However, the suspended fabric relieves your dog’s joints’ pressure, making them the most supportive option for seniors or dogs with arthritis. You can always add blankets for warmth if you’re camping during colder months. Many elevated dog travel beds come with bonus sun shades for the summer, giving your dog a shady spot to retreat to. These may weigh a touch more than roll-up dog travel beds, but they collapse down for easy portability.

Best Choice offers another steel-framed dog travel bed. The breathable fabric on the cot and canopy keep your dog cool and comfortable. Three different sizes support up to 100 pounds (check your measurements carefully). The entire dog bed comes apart and stores in the included travel bag.

Downsides? Again, assembly posed problems for people. Also, the canopy disintegrated on a lot of people with frequent sun exposure. You’ll want to monitor that closely.

The Good

The Bad

What happens if you have a large dog? K&H provides the largest elevated dog travel bed, holding up to 150 pounds. The frame comes together without a single tool, and the feet get topped with non-skid rubber for extra stability. The cot features sturdy 600 Denier fabric, which resists light chewers while allowing breathability and comfort. You can hose off the entire bed or wipe it down with soapy water.

The downsides? You don’t get a nifty travel bag, so you’ll have to find your own. And while it might hold up to light chewing and digging, heavy assaults break down the mesh. Keep a close eye on things.

The Good

The Bad

You don’t want to struggle with a lot of complicated instructions for your dog travel bed. Paws & Pals understands, so they made their bed a cinch to put together and take apart. The basic steel frame keeps your dog out of the dirt and well-supported. Meanwhile, the breathable cot ensures their comfort. Everything’s waterproof, and clean-up takes nothing more than some soapy water.

So what are the downsides? They offer two sizes, but the large only holds up to 40 pounds, ruling out most dogs. And the fabric doesn’t resist chewers, unfortunately.

The Good

The Bad

SuperJare uses a steel frame and a 1680D Oxford fabric for the cot. The fabric’s mold-resistant – an essential feature for outdoor use! The detachable polyester canopy lets your dog get out of the sun. They offer two sizes: the large supports up to 75 pounds, and the extra-large holds up to 120 pounds (the trick’s in that extra middle support!). You can hose down the entire bed when it’s time to clean up, and it air-dries beautifully. Finished with the trip? Everything tucks away into a carry bag.

Downsides? Some people found assembly tricky (and then didn’t want to DISASSEMBLE the dog travel bed again). Read your instructions carefully. Also, the longer you leave the bed out in the elements, the faster the bed breaks down.

The Good

The Bad

Hitting the Trails

Our dogs need that crucial space of their own – even when we’re on vacation. Dog travel beds provide the comfort of home wherever they go. They may not be as cushiony or large as their usual bed, but they elevate our dogs off the ground and define safe spaces for our dogs to retreat to.

So stop trying to cram that monster orthopedic bed into the back of the car or onto the plane. Dog travel beds make much more sense (and they’ll save your back).

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Andria Kennedy

Andria Kennedy

Andria Kennedy worked as a Licensed Veterinary Technician for 10 years, focusing on Emergency/ICU and later Cardiology, as well as volunteering at both the Philadelphia Zoo and Virginia Living Museum for over six years. She's now a freelance writer, but she gravitates toward writing projects with a focus on animals (once an animal-lover, always an animal-lover). She lives in Virginia with her husband, three cats (one "works" as her personal assistant), and a Greyhound who thinks she's a big cat — all of them rescues.

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