What Size Dog Bed Do I Need?

by Raymond Archambault
Published: Last Updated on
big dog sitting on bed

Just like you, there’s no denying that your pup feels better when they get a good night’s rest. Choosing the perfect dog bed can be confusing with the wealth of options littering the market. After all, they come in different sizes and shapes.

One of the most common reasons people return dog beds is due to choosing the wrong size – this also happens with dog crates. While you might assume that a smaller bed for your four-legged companion doesn’t matter, it can have adverse health repercussions.

For instance, sore muscles and joint problems from being cramped in a small space, back and hip problems, and inadequate sleep can be detrimental to brain function. As a dog owner, it’s important to have a dog bed sizing guide and understand different dog breed sizes. In this guide, we’ll review what bed is best for your dog’s needs.

Factors to Consider

Here are a few pointers to permit an informed decision when it comes to ‘what size dog bed do I need?’

1. Measure Your Pup

Contrary to a customized bed, there’s no standard dog bed size. Granted, it would be a breeze if you could select a queen size, twin, or king-size bed for your dog. It would be an ideal fit for your pup with no qualms.

However, that isn’t the case, which means that eyeballing the size of a dog bed isn’t a foolproof way to know if it’ll be a snug fit for your pup. An ideal way to ensure you choose the right option would be to measure your dog just as you would for clothing. Next, add up to 12 inches to the measurements to give your dog ample room to stretch comfortably.

For accurate measurements, use a tape measure from the tail to the tip of your dog’s nose. That should be the length of their bed. Next, measure your pup from one shoulder to the other at the broadest point. That’s the lowest width that the dog bed should be.

Remember to add a stretching allowance of 12 inches to these measurements. Document the measurements as they’ll help you pick the ideal-sized dog bed.

2. Your Pet’s Personality

All pups are different, as are their sleeping positions. Therefore, you need to factor in your pup’s personality when shopping for a new dog bed. The ideal size goes hand in hand with the suitable type of bed.

For instance, does your pup curl up when they sleep? Most pups inherently fall asleep when curled up to feel safe and for warmth. Therefore, most dog bed sizes are appropriately provided that they’re not too small and you don’t require an overly large bed.

Secondly, does your pup stretch when sleeping? A bigger bed with ample room will be an ideal option to curb any discomfort for dogs that prefer to stretch. Besides ushering in the extra room, an oversized bed will provide excellent support for pups with joint and back problems.

brown dog sitting on bed

Source: Unsplash

3. Bedding

Factor in the washability of a dog bed. Based on the material, some beds might require a wash to eliminate fleas, mites, debris, and dirt that your pup brings onto their bed after a brisk walk and playing outside.

Your pup’s bacteria, hair, and saliva can build up in an instant on their bed. Therefore, waterproof beds with antibacterial fabric are excellent options to consider. A standard dog bed lacking waterproof and antibacterial properties might require immense elbow grease. For a big dog bed, you may need to take it to your local Laundromat for a wash with a commercial washing machine to get it spick and span.

4. Dog Bed Fill

Finding a large and loose dog fill bed can be a breeze, for instance, one filled with soft substances such as pellets and foam shreds. Although it’s an affordable option, it’s tedious to maintain due to the frequent, thorough cleaning required. It also deteriorates relatively quickly as a result of the filling disintegrating.

Once the filling begins shifting, shrinking, or flattening, the most comfortable or usable space of the bed shrinks, after which it becomes uncomfortable for your pet. It becomes too small for your pup.

Given that you get what you pay for, it would be wise to invest in a pricier bed that will last longer than frequent purchases of cheaper beds. A memory foam bed is a great investment, with some having stay-clean and antibacterial covers that make it a breeze to keep sanitary and spotless.

5. Weight

Now that you know the width and length of your dog bed, it’s essential to weigh your pup. Several dog sizes are classified by weight. Make sure you check the measurements on the bed to guarantee your pet’s comfort. You’ll find the information on the product page’s ‘dimensions and weights section.

Dog Bed Sizes

To ensure you get the right bed for your pooch, let’s review different sizes and types of dogs.

Small Dogs

It’s a dog bed best suited for dogs that weigh less than 25 lbs, such as a Boston terrier, Chihuahua, Poodle or French Bulldog. They vary in style, granting free rein to choose the perfect option for your pup.

Medium Dogs

If your dog weighs 25 lbs to 50 lbs, such as Bulldog or Corgi, a medium-sized dog bed is right up your alley.

Large Dogs

If your pup weighs between 51 lbs and 100 lbs, such as a Labrador, Golden Retriever, or German Shepherd, you’ll want a large dog bed that varies in shape and style. Opt for one that fits your large pup with ample room for stretching.

Extra Large Dogs

If your pup weighs more than 100 pounds, for instance, a Rottweiler, Bernese Mountain Dog, or Great Dane, an extra-large bed is ideal. To ensure your dog sleeps comfortably, check the dimensions to avoid unwarranted surprises or disappointments.


Let’s discuss the answers to the most commonly asked questions about dog bed sizes.

1. How do you know the perfect bed size to buy?

Use a tape measure from the tip of your pup’s nose to the tail. Next, measure your pup from one shoulder to another at the widest point to get the appropriate minimum width of your bed. Add up to 12 inches to the respective measurements to give your pup ample room to stretch comfortably.

2. How can you tell if your pup’s bed is overly small?

A bed that’s too small for your pup will be uncomfortable and cramped. Therefore, if your pet is still growing, it’s advisable to size up. The right size dog bed will fit their sleeping style and affect how well they snooze. If you’re unsure, it’s always better to go a size up.

3. Do pups prefer smaller or bigger beds?

Even though your dog curls up rather than stretches, a bigger bed with ample room is a safe bet to curb discomfort when your pet wants to stretch. An oversized dog bed has extra room to provide excellent support for pups with joint issues.

4. How can you get your pup to like their new bed?

In a nutshell, make the new bed smell like home. To do so, rub your hands on the new bed and put an old t-shirt on it. Your scent will allow your pup to get comfortable with the bed. Similarly, you can put one of your pet’s blankets on the new bed to evoke a sense of familiarity.


Although choosing the right dog bed size can be a tedious and confusing process, it doesn’t have to be. Armed with the knowledge from this guide, you can take guarantee your dog’s comfort and safety by choosing the right size bed.


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