Monday, February 07, 2011

A unique dog bed solution

Last weekend, Dozer informed us in no uncertain terms (via an overnight marathon of nonstop whining in our faces) that the floor was no longer an acceptable place of repose. He's old, his joints are creaky, and the floor is TOO HARD, even with a big pile of blankets to nest in.

Now, I don't mind letting the dogs on the bed occasionally. But there are disadvantages to dogs on the bed, including furry sheets, very little personal space, no cuddling with spouse (when allowed on the bed, Dozer always sleeps between us), and what I call "midnight vanishing blanket syndrome."

Our conclusion was that Dozer needed his own comfy mattress to sleep on. We considered various options, including a twin mattress, a thick foam slab from a craft store, and a very big dog bed.

But we ultimately settled on a unique compromise: a crib-sized mattress (this one was from IKEA).

Star practically melted into the new dog bed.

The advantages of a crib mattress, rather than the other options, were quickly made clear. First was the size. A twin mattress wouldn't fit in our bedroom, and would be difficult to move around. A large dog bed would still only fit one dog. A crib mattress was a perfect fit--for two dogs, plus a pillow and a blanket.

Fits neatly in the corner of the bedroom.

The crib mattress also proved most suitable for cleanliness. It's a thick foam piece inside a soft, washable zippered shell. Fitted sheets for crib mattresses are also readily available and very inexpensive. So, once a week, I can wash the fitted sheets, and if it gets really dirty, I can wash the zippered cloth shell.

As a bonus, I can change the look of the new dog bed at any time, by simply buying a fitted sheet with a different color or pattern.

Sound sleep = lots of snoring

Price was another consideration. The total cost for a 3" thick crib mattress, plus two fitted sheets, was right around $60. That was equal to the price of a similarly-sized piece of craft foam--minus fitted sheets or a zippered covering. I might have been able to find a Dozer-sized dog bed for a slightly cheaper price, but I would have had to buy two of them, they have proven difficult to wash, and they aren't really as thick and comfortable as a mattress.

Star was still on the bed at noon the next day.
The dogs give two paws up for this new dog bed. Dozer is sleeping like a rock; he doesn't even wake me up in the middle of the night to let him out to potty. The cessation of Dozer's all-night whine sessions has been a big relief for everybody. I am just a little worried that Star will develop bed sores; she's enjoying the mattress just a bit too much.

IKEA also featured some bed frames that were sized for the crib mattress, and very low to the floor. If I feel like dressing up the dog corner, I have the option of getting a bed frame that would elevate the mattress just slightly and make it look more like a little bed. I'm not sure if it can hold 150 lbs of dog, though--so I might ask Byrd to build me something sturdier.

I'm just a little embarrassed by the thought that by using a crib mattress as a dog bed, I am literally treating my dogs as if they were babies.


jen said...

We bought a crib mattress from wal-mart. I think it was $35 and it is a HUGE hit with all our dogs.

Leila said...

Quizz got my old memory foam pad from my bed. Slip covered it, with interchangeable covers and he is one very happy dog. The cat even likes it. (But not at the same time.)

Brilliant solution!

sp said...

that's genius! i have been using discarded couch cushions, old memory foam, etc. as dog beds, but making custom, water-proof covers is a huge pain. and of course the resulting beds are never quite big enough for my dog(s), those space hogs. whoa, that's suddenly an odd visual - SPACE HOGS. like, from the future?

Desertflower said...

Great idea! Thanks

Kari in WeHo said...

Thats a great idea! We will have to try that


Daisy Dog said...

Wow. great idea! I wonder if I had that setup I could get the dogs off my bed.. LOL! Oh, and they are our babies :)

forsythia said...

Daisy Dog is right. They are our babies!

bitt said...

that's so adorable that they love to sleep together. I personally love when my dog sleeps next to me. I can't fall asleep without her. but she likes her own bed and leaves in the night to get some deeper snoozes.

PoochesForPeace said...

this is GENIUS!!! I'm a little jealous i didnt think of it myself haha. You are one good dog owner.

susan said...

I agree, great idea and it looks pretty spectacular without taking up too much room. Your dogs must feel like they really scored big :)

Dog Supplements and Vitamins said...

Great pictures, thank you for sharing these.

Christine said... might have just solved one of our biggest problems. No one in our house is sleeping. My dogs walk up and down the hall all night long on wood floors click click click click, and they whine, because no one will let them of their beds because between the 3 dogs they weigh as much as anyone of my kids. I didn't want to do a huge dog bed because we have no where to put it. But a crib matress would be comfy and I can slide it under my daughters bed.

Laura and Hans said...

Ditto Forsythia!!

Keri said...

i'm planning on buying one for my little pit! i love that you can clean it so easily just by washing the sheets! perfect.

Viva said...

that's a great idea. thank you for sharing. I am looking for a new bed for my pit. but one thing bother me a lot is my pit shedding a lot & hair always sticky to her bed. can't even remove after washing it. If i buy a crib mattress, hair also sticky to the sheet. right? any solutions?

Foam-By-Mail said...

Good on you for finding a way to get your gang a cozy pet bed in a way that fit your style and budget. It's a pity that some people assume pets wouldn't appreciate a little extra comfort, especially as they age. Your pictures are first-hand evidence that they certainly do :D