If your dog is prone to anxiety or reactivity, especially when left alone, when meeting new visitors, or even during thunderstorms, giving them one the best calming dog beds to use as their safe place is a great idea.
I reached out to Meg Marrs, CEO and founder of the dog care and training resource website
K9 of Mine, to ask her what pup parents should look for. She told me there are two styles of dog beds that work particularly well for anxious canines: Bolsters: "Bolsters are raised edges that run along the sides of a dog bed," Marrs explained. "Bolsters are great for dogs who like to curl up or lean against something when they sleep. Many dogs feel a bit safer and more protected when they can lean against a surface, so bolsters are great for dogs who need a bit of extra security." Cave style: If your dog likes to burrow or nest under blankets, a cave-style bed is another great option Marrs recommended. "These beds are actually a bit like sleeping bags and have a cover that can usually lie flat or pop up like a tent," she said. "The inside is often made of soft sherpa fleece or some other kind of soothing, extra-cozy material. Some nervous pups simply adore this style of dog bed.”
The good news is, you can find both bolsters and cave-style beds in an array of sizes, colors, and textures. Plus, I've even included a heated option below. For more details on
the best calming dog beds you can buy on Amazon, keep scrolling.
Pro tip: If you're looking to provide even more comfort for your pup, pair your bed with one of
the best dog blankets. 1 A Bolster Bed Made With Memory Foam
With more than 4,700 five-star ratings, this
Furhaven dog bed is a popular option for a bolster bed and is available in sizes from small to jumbo plus to suit a range of dog breeds.
It's designed with bolsters on three sides of the bed for security and comfort. Much like a human-size couch, one side is left open to make it easier for a dog to climb into. Pet owners can choose from a wide range of colors and fabrics, like super soft chenille and velvet for the cover as well as different types of interior foam, including orthopedic foam, memory foam, and cool gel foam. Dogs with thick or long hair or who get warm easily might especially appreciate the cooling gel. Though this pick is not water-resistant, the zippered cover can be removed and is safe to throw in the washer. Just remember to air dry it or but it in your dryer on low heat.
Helpful review: “We bought this bed for our 120 pound, 10-year-old Rottweiler. She injured her knee and could no longer get on her couch. Every bed we purchased was too small or she wouldn't use it (hence her own couch). She immediately gravitated to this bed and I must say the mattress is high quality and therapeutic for her.” Available sizes: Small, Medium, Large, Jumbo, and Jumbo Plus 2 A Cave Bed With A Sherpa Lining
While small prey hunters, like dachshunds and terriers, are
naturally prone to nesting or burrowing — it mirrors their behavior of flushing out animals from tunnels — dogs of all breeds and sizes can also have a natural instinct for burying themselves in blankets as a form of self-soothing. For those pups, this AmazonBasics pet cave bed is a great option since it has a removable top cover that makes it den-like. It's also super soft with a sherpa fleece material on the inside and microfiber on the exterior. The bed is available in small to extra-large sizes and blue or tan colors.
If there's one downside it's that this pick is not water resistant and the manufacturer recommends only spot-cleaning it; however, some reviewers have said that they haven't had any issues with machine-washing and drying the cover of the bed on gentle and low cycles.
Helpful review: “From the moment I unboxed the AmazonBasics Pet Cave, Nellie was in HEAVEN. She hopped right on and snuggled in. She's been spending most of her time on it since opening it yesterday. While at work, sometimes I check in on her with my Wyze cam (yes, I am a crazy doggy daddy) and today she's so cutely snuggled in. I think it makes her feel safe and secure wrapped in the little cocoon.” Available sizes: Small, Medium, Large, and X-Large 3 A Faux-Fur Dog Bed That Mimics A Bolster Also available on chewy.com, $35 and Walmart, $35
Best Friends by Sheri calming cuddler dog bed has plenty of calming and soothing properties going for it — as well as more than 55,000 reviews. Most notably, it is made with a soft shag faux fur exterior that may remind dogs of snuggling up with their litter mates or mom when they were young. In addition, it comes in a donut shape that has a subtle raised rim that’s similar to bolsters and the material on the very bottom is water-resistant. You can choose from taupe or frost gray colors.
The entire bed is safe to throw in both the washer and dryer as is, but if you opt for the large or XL sizes it may be too big for your machine. Instead, some reviewers report it's easier to unzip the cover and wash it by itself. To keep the faux fur cover as fluffy as possible, the manufacturer recommends against air drying and thoroughly drying it in the dryer instead.
Helpful review: “Omg so soft and silky but at the same time it's fluffy and a little firm. Stuffing is great. The edges are perfect for my dog to prop his head on. He loves this bed. Soon as it came he laid in it and wouldn’t get out.” Available sizes: Small (23 inches), Medium (30 inches), Large (36 inches), and XL (45 inches) 4 A Heated Bolster-Style Bed
Although some dog beds claim to be self-warming, this
K&H Pet Products pet bed is actually heated with low-wattage electric heat under the sleeping area that, along with bolsters, make the bed extra warm and comforting (so comforting, in fact, that several reviewers mentioned their cats are big fans of it, too). Because of the low 6-watt power, the bed never gets hot. When the dog is not in it, the bed's temperature is no more than 10 to 15 degrees above the ambient air temperature.
To be extra safe, however, you may want to unplug the bed when not in use and don't allow your dog to use it they are wet. The heater is also removable, so the bed can be used year-round, and the cover and sleeping pillow can be removed as well to be machine washed and dried. The bed also comes with a limited one-year warranty. Pictured here is the large-sized bed (31 by 24 inches), but you can also get it in a
medium size (26 by 20 inches). Helpful review: “These beds were a hit right out of the box! I have two beagles and they love snuggling at night. The problem is that they were taking over my bed and I found my space shrinking more and more every night. So, I began training my dogs to sleep on their own beds but they would refuse. They destroyed so many beds I can't even count them. Then I found these electric beds and voila! My dogs loved them immediately. [...] Because these beds are warm my dogs love snuggling in them and it made the transition from my bed to their beds a breeze.” Available sizes: Medium and Large 5 A Cult-Favorite Cave Bed Also available on Walmart, $57
Like other cave beds on this list, this
hooded bed has a thick memory foam base that you can choose the size of depending on your pup’s preferences. It’s lined with a warm sherpa and the exterior is made of a soft suede that your dog will love curling up in. The removable cover is machine washable, and you can remove the piping that props up the hooded design in order to convert it into a blanket, if that’s what your furry friend prefers. This comes in a bunch of different colors and two sizes and has more than 20,000 reviews. Helpful review: “This snuggle bed is a really great product. Unfortunately, my dog is a huge burrower and will dig into my sheets and blankets ripping holes and whatnot. So my mom suggested a burrow bed and I went to a few different pet stores and the problem I kept running into was that it was either too small (for cats) or WAY expensive ($100 on a bed that my pup may or may not eat is pricey for me). So I decided to try this one out because I liked the color options, the sizes seemed big enough, and the price was the lowest I've found. It came quick, and he absolutely loves it. He burrows in it frequently for his anxiety (loud noises scare him and our neighbors like fireworks) and also to keep him warm.” Available sizes: Small and Medium, with either an 18-, 24-, 35-, or a 44-inch base 6 A Pet Tent That Small Dogs Can Burrow In Also available on chewy.com, $39
For a small dog who loves to burrow,
this pet tent is a great option that will calm down your pup. There’s a removable pillow inside that your dog can rest on, and the entire bed is machine washable for easy cleaning. Pictured here is a cream corduroy design, but this bed comes in nine different colors including different textures like a faux suede or a linen. While this pet tent comes in four sizes, the largest is really best for a dog 15 pounds or less, which is something to keep in mind. Helpful review: “We've had the Pet tent for a few days and she loves it. It's easy to set up and fits her perfectly with a little room to spare. She is an 18lb Jack Russell mix. [...] This is placed in the corner of our family room behind a loveseat. It's her safe haven. Anytime she feels uneasy or anxious, she gets in it and feels safe. Perfect for her.” Available sizes: Four sizes, ranging from 16-by-16-by-14 inches to 19-by-19-by-19 inches 7 An Affordable Cave Bed Lined With Faux Fur
In contrast to some of the pricier cave beds on this list, this
affordable cave bed has a similar design, albeit without some of the fancier materials. This one lacks the memory foam base or sherpa lining, but it does have a 6-inch base that’s soft and lined with faux fur. This bed comes in just two sizes, the largest of which is best for dogs under 35 pounds. The exterior cover is made of a microfiber that’s machine washable, and the entire bed comes with a money-back guarantee should you or your pet not love it. Helpful review: “I literally pulled this out of the box and put it down and the dog was in it and snuggling within a minute! I’ve never seen her get comfortable so fast. I’m highly impressed. soft and luxurious and the attached blanket is super for burrower-type dogs like Chihuahua’s and Yorkies.” Available sizes: Small and Medium 8 A Convertible Cave & Bolster Bed For A Small Dog Also available on Chewy.com, $45
convertible bed really covers all of your bases if you have a small pup who you think might like a cave bed, but has never tried one before. This bed easily changes from a cave-style design to a classic bolster bed and the base is made of a microfiber-covered soft foam for plenty of extra comfort. The entire dog bed is machine washable, and this comes in two sizes for dogs up to 25 pounds. Helpful review: “My Yorkie puppy just loves burying deep inside. She has 2. One in the bedroom. One in Fam room. Wouldn’t be without them!!” Available sizes: Standard and Jumbo 9 A Budget “Warming” Bed That Reviewers (& Their Pets) Love
While the other “warming” bed on this list has a built-in heater,
this one is a bit lower-tech, and is made with the self-warming mylar materials that are used when producing space blankets. The bed is covered in a sherpa lining and a fleece bottom, with a four-sided bolstered edge they can nestle into. It’s available in five different sizes and both a round and rectangle design so you can match your space and your dog’s size. Helpful review: “This is a great bed, at a great price! We recently adopted a dog and were looking for an affordable bed not knowing if our new pup would even like sleeping in a dog bed. From our experiences with our past dogs they loved having beds with high sides so they had something to lean on. This bed offers exactly that with the inside of the bed offering plenty of padding too!” Available sizes: 18, 22, 24, 30, 35 inches (round and rectangle shape) 10 An Open Pet Cave For Puppies & Small Dogs
cave bed is definitely for small dogs and puppies, but its three-sided design is perfect for a pup who loves to cozy up while still having a view of what’s going on. The base is made of a high-density foam that is soft and easy to rest on, and the exterior is constructed from microfiber fleece that’s super warm. And the interior lining can be removed to free up some space or to give them a second sleeping space. This is available in a few different patterns and styles but only one size, suitable for puppies and small dogs up to 10 pounds. Helpful review: “I purchased this bed for a chihuahua I just rescued, and was worried because I've purchased pet beds in the past but my animals haven't used them. I'm so happy she was able to wiggle in there even with the cone.” Available sizes: One size (best for dogs under 10 pounds) 11 An Orthopedic Bolster Bed That Comes In Large Sizes Also available on Walmart, $88
For an older dog or one with any muscle or bone ailments, this
orthopedic bed will provide a warm and soft spot for them to rest comfortably. The foam base is 2.5 inches in height, and the bolsters give your pup some support to sleep against. The machine-washable cover can easily be zipped off to clean, and there’s even a TPU layer inside the foam to prevent any water or urine from soaking through to your floors. This one comes in three different sizes, the largest of which can cater to a dog as big as 125 pounds. Helpful review: “My dogs love this bed. I used to have small individual beds but my dogs would all try to cram together into one, so I bought this large orthopedic bed and they love it! When we got our newest puppy, he had quite a few accidents on it while he was potty training, but it cleaned up beautifully. The inner foam is covered by a waterproof liner so I was able to use my small Bissell carpet cleaner on it and it took the smell and stains out completely. I’ve had this for many months now and it’s held up perfectly to all 4 of my dogs. I think it would be great for older dogs with joint issues as the foam is firm yet soft and comfortable.” Available sizes: Medium, Large, Extra-Large, and Extra-Extra Large 12 An Elevated Bed With Bolsters, Great For Hot Weather Also available on Chewy.com, $74
If your dog loves to sleep outside, this
elevated bolster bed is a great choice, and has a waterproof denier fabric base that is breathable with a three-sided bolster your pup can snuggle up against. The largest size can accommodate dogs as large as 200 pounds, and since this bed is outdoor- or indoor-friendly, you can leave it wherever your furry friend prefers to rest. The bolster is also removable for more versatility and the feet have slip-resistant cases over them that protect your floors and prevent your dog from moving around. Helpful review: “I wasn't sure how my Olde English Bulldogge would like this bed, but he absolutely loves it. It's easy to clean and very well put together. I will never buy a cushioned dog bed again. From now on, these raised beds will be the only way to go.” Available sizes: Small, Medium, and Large Expert: Meg Marrs, founder and CEO of the dog care and training resource website, K9 of Mine
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This article was originally published on
March 27, 2020