For everyone who has a dog bed, you know that at some point you’re likely going to have to buy a new cover for it, rather than just throw the whole thing out. Here are just a few thoughts about buying a dog bed replacement cover that you need to consider.
Homemade or Store Bought?
Some folks, like my mother-in-law, are exceptional seamstresses and can pretty much make anything you might need. Need a wedding dress and bridesmaid dresses? Yup. Need a beautiful afghan? Yup. Need a new dog bed cover? Of course, she made those as well.
We had a couple of dog beds that were still in good shape but didn’t come with covers, making them difficult, if not impossible, to wash. She whipped us up a couple of sturdy, almost burlap-like covers that are still in excellent shape 10 years later.
But if you’re like me and left to figure it out yourself then you’re likely going to have to go out and buy a new cover. Which is OK, if you first take the time to figure out the right size and color before you go.
What You Need to Know
There are a few things that I’ve read about that make a lot of sense:
- Non-slip: for all dogs but especially those that hit the bed at full gallop or tend to wrestle with their pal.
- Washable and dryable: and doesn’t shrink or change color too quickly.
- Zippered, snaps, or Velcros: you have different options and each has its own good points and drawbacks. You may also need to consider if your dog is rough with their bed and which one might best hold up to their horseplay.
- Protection: it should offer some protection from mold, dust, mites, and even liquids. Depending on yours and your dog’s lifestyle, you may want to consider a waterproof cover. Or, alternatively, get one that has a waterproof liner to stop any leaks, including accidental ones from your dog.
- Material: soft and breathable seems to be the norm. It shouldn’t scratch or irritate your dog at all or they simply won’t use it and you’ll be quickly shopping for another one.
- Size: seems obvious, right? But there are some folks who go to the store with a guess-and-by-golly attitude, thinking they’ll recognize the right size – and then have to go back if they guess wrong. At least with buying a dog bed cover online you’re right at home and can quickly take measurements. What you don’t want to have happen is that the foam doesn’t go inside and you have to double it up or stuff it in just to have a reasonable chance of using the darn thing.
- Color: most of us like our dog beds to sort of fit in with our furniture. Covers for your dog’s bed will help you do that easier. It may be that the original dog bed didn’t come in the right color but you bought it anyway. Check out covers to see if you can make it match that way.
How’s the Foam?
Before investing in any covers, you need to know that whatever they’re covering is worth covering. Don’t bother buying a new cover if the foam (or whatever’s inside the bed) is flattened out or has an obvious dip in the middle, like two of ours.
A new cover on mashed foam might make a pretty sight but won’t be of much use to your dog if they’re still bottoming out on the floor.
Take the time to take the cover off and inspect the innards to make sure they’re worth covering. If not, save your money on a cover and go straight to buying your pet a totally new bed, they’ll thank you for it.
Old Smell/New Smell
Something that I always think, and that my wife scoffs at me about, is whether or not the dog(s) will like a new cover. I’m sure it still smells like the manufacturing plant or, worse yet, the plastic that it came wrapped in. Sterile smells wouldn’t seem too appealing to dogs who can smell better than us.
Dogs don’t dwell on “memories” quite as long as we do. Is the bed comfortable? I’ll take it. Is the bed mine and mine alone? I’ll take it. Is the bed around my people? I’ll definitely take it.
When our son went away to college a year ago and his beagle began sleeping in our room we needed to get another bed (because two weren’t enough). In order to ensure she and the other dogs knew it was hers, we threw the blanket on top that she used to sleep on in our son’s room. That seemed to work!
So if you need to encourage your dog to lay down on their newly covered dog bed, or even a new dog bed for that matter, you can always put a piece of their favorite person’s clothing on top, which should encourage them to lay down.
Sometimes the big spender in me (yeah right) thinks it would be good to have a few dog bed covers…for each bed nonetheless. Painting your walls? Switch covers. Need to do laundry because the cover got muddy when your dog brought in the backyard? Switch covers. Of course, I haven’t bought more but there is some sense in what I say, I’m sure of it.
When it comes down to it if the foam is still in good shape but the cover isn’t, buy a new one. Zippers, snaps, and Velcros wear out and before your dog rips everything to shreds, replace it with a new cover.
I’ve been looking at the Coolaroo covers and they seem to offer a lot of different sizes and colors, even replacements for their Elevated Pet bed. I’m looking for companies that take the time to ensure the fasteners are extra strong and any stitching will hold up to our dog’s “exuberance.”
Let me know if you have any experience with replacing your dog bed covers. Have you just replaced the whole thing or is the foam holding up? I know if we buy a quality mattress, like memory foam, it’ll hold up for years. So getting a new cover shouldn’t be all that unusual.
Thanks for reading.