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.
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1. The Overall Best Bolster Bed
With more than 1,700 five-star reviews, 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: “Of all the dog beds I’ve gotten my dog, this is by far his favorite! The cover feels really nice and soft and the foam mattress is super comfortable (I even tried sitting on it myself). I haven’t tried to remove/wash the cover but it seems like it would be easy enough. I chose this one specifically because there’s a plush ridge around it and my dog likes resting his head on raised surfaces. It’s perfect!”
- Available sizes: Small, Medium, Large, Jumbo, and Jumbo Plus
2. The Overall Best Cave Bed
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: “This is the perfect cozy cave for our Jack Russell/Dachshund mix. She always wanted to be ‘tucked in’ by being covered with blankets. Now she can do it herself by burrowing into this bed like a cozy nest. It is pretty squishy, so if you want something firm, I would not recommend it. If your dog likes to hide and be covered up, this is a good choice.”
- Available sizes: Small, Medium, Large, and X-Large
3. The Best Faux Fur Bed That Mimics A Bolster
This Best Friends by Sheri calming cuddler dog bed has plenty of calming and soothing properties going for it. 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: “We have all been AMAZED at how well this bed actually works for my daughter's super sweet but anxious little Bichon. I bought it for him hoping that it would calm him; he gets stressed and anxious often. It took him a little while to get in it, but once he did, it was a night-and-day difference! He loves it!! He even slept in it the whole 5-hour car ride home, and that never happens. The bed arrived as promised and looked exactly like I expected. I fluffed it in the dryer for a few minutes with a dryer sheet so it would smell familiar. It is wearing well and he is one happy and calm dog when he's in it.”
- Available sizes: Small (23 inches), Medium (30 inches), Large (36 inches), and XL (45 inches)
4. The Best Heated Bolster-Style Dog 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: “My dog LOVES this bed. She suffers from anxiety and this seems to help her.”
- Available sizes: Medium and Large
Meg Marrs, founder and CEO of the dog care and training resource website, K9 of Mine