May 23, 2005

Dog Beds

Three weeks 'till red girl comes home so I thought I'd set up her beds so that Thommo has a chance to get used to them, and choose whether he wants to stay in his bed or move to the new one.

Thommo has a soft sided crate in the living room, a cushion bed in my bedroom and a trampoline bed on the balcony outside my room. He usually sleeps in his crate until I go upstairs to bed, he'll sometimes sleep on the end of my bed, but usually on the balcony in summer and on his cushion in winter. I carried Diesel upstairs when he was little, but he eventually stayed in his crate downstairs - the stairs were very scary for him with restricted use of his legs. Though Joel usually slept downstairs too, unless I'd been away or there was some change to routine.

Should you sleep with your dog? It depends. There has been quite a bit written about dominance and leadership and dogs on furniture. My feeling is that if you and your dog have a relationship problem maybe he shouldn't be on the bed until you have it sorted, but simply kicking him off the bed won't solve the problem.

Of course if you do sleep with your dog, you may have to face the prospect of explaining to your sleep therapist how you would like to get a good night's sleep despite the snoring, farting, squeaking, whining, pushing, scratching and barking.

One third of dog owners do sleep with their pets, and they are catered for in the marketplace by special mattresses that have a mattress top which can be removed and washed to create a healthy sleep environment. These dogs' owners can also discuss night-time temperatures more accurately than their fellow office workers, knowing that it was a three-dog night.

Of course giving Fido his own bed allows you to go to the trouble and expense of finding a bed that matches not only his personality but also your decor - a leather club lounge, or a Moroccan tent? And a sleeping bag for nights away from home?

I use the Snooza range. I bought one and really liked it so haven't really tried anything else, and they are Australian made. In the soft crates they have wool-filled Pet Futons. The raised beds have survived the weather well on the balcony. Thommo has a Cuddler in my room, and Joel's Orthobed is still under the table in my study. I'll get Red Girl a Snooza Cushion for her wire crate, and she can graduate to a Cuddler of her own.

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