Designing a Dog-Friendly Bedroom

Believe it or not, I've been a happy camper ever since Lazarus, my rescued pit bull, got done demolishing my erstwhile TempurPedic mattress. That's because...

Julia Szabo  |  Sep 23rd 2010


Believe it or not, I’ve been a happy camper ever since Lazarus, my rescued pit bull, got done demolishing my erstwhile memory foam mattress. That’s because I now have a lovely new custom mattress by Bond Bedding that’s a much better choice for our animal house. (To order your own, call Burt at 201-656-7130 and tell him I sent you.)

This firm, secure mattress happens to be designed for resiliency, with layers of cotton plus a layer of Dacron, just to make it more paw-friendly – a big plus when you have as many large dogs as I have, all energetically pouncing on the bedeach night.

This heavenly handcrafted mattress – it’s called the Essex Quilted model- has a lower profile than that memory foam number I had. So, instead of overwhelming my handsome West Elm bed,this one actually enhances its design -and even makes my tiny bedroom feel more spacious.

All this, and the mattress was delivered to me on time, just days after I ordered it. Amazing.

Now I’m determined to protect this marvelous mattress with all I’ve got. I intend to enjoy it for many years to come. The dogs will still be sharing it with me – I love the sweet sound of their snoring, and can’t imagine not having a three-dog night every evening. But from thisweek forward, I’m reinforcing a few precautions we seem to have grossly neglected here in our animal house.

Let’s call it safe sleeping.

First, I resolve to always keep one excellent mattress protector on the mattress, plus a clean one in reserve.The problem with having only one protective layer is that, should an accident happen, you need to strip the bed – but you can’t leave it unprotected while you wash the bedding and the mattress protector, or something else might occur when you’re not looking.

After that, I’ll be sure to use only high-thread-count sheets (they’re more durable, so they rip less easily than cheap sheets do) and to tuck all sheets in tightly. Tight tucking will confound those canines – they know who they are! -whose favorite activityis stripping the bed while I’m out of the room.

On top of my favorite fuchsia-tie-dye matelasse bedspread, I’ll lay out a plain, blue, quilted mover’s blanket for yet another durable layer of protection. Yes, I’m that serious about protecting this mattress.

Most important, I won’t leave the room for the daywithout grabbing all the pillows and stowing them high out of dear Lazarus’s reach. This sweet, handsome dog is perfect in just about every respect but one: he has an insane, pre-programmed need to shred anything soft and stuffed.

I can’t seem to explain to Laz, a.k.a. Lazzmtazz, why redecorating our place by wrecking the comfy, cushioned items is not in his best interest, for without these items, it’s his bones on the hard floor. So, it’s up to me to outsmart this determined decorator dog, to ensure that he and his pack-mates will always be able to enjoy softness supporting their joints.

I’ll also be sure to keep a set of steps handy for older dogs to dismount from the bed safely, whenever they feel the need to. Before, I was keeping the step-up folded beneath the bed; I think it’s a better idea to have it ready at all times.

To keep things smelling nice, I’ll bebathing the dogs more often. After all, a squeaky-clean canine – like a clean human – won’tpermeate the bedding with a funkyscent.

Speaking of things smelling nice, I won’t overlook aromatherapy as a way to keep everyone, canines and humans, calm in the bedroom. Lavender essential oil is wonderfully fragrant and soothing, as everyone – male and female – seems to agree.

Then again, any fragrance that you love to breathe in deeply will keep you feeling calm – and those positive vibes will spread to your dogs, so you’ll all enjoy a good night’s sleep together.I’m a fragrance hound, so my recommendations for super-sensuous scent are the “precious essentials” Jasmine, Neroli, and Rose. Spritzing these on and around the bedding will guarantee sweet dreams for all species concerned.

How do you keep order and calm in your bedroom? Please share tips in the comments!