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How to Get Your Dog to Use Their New Dog Bed: 7 Expert Ways

Written by: Ashley Bates

Last Updated on April 4, 2024 by Dogster Team

Beagle puppy in dog bed at home

How to Get Your Dog to Use Their New Dog Bed: 7 Expert Ways


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Dr. Lorna Whittemore

BVMS, MRCVS (Veterinarian)

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

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Some dogs have no problem flopping themselves onto a fresh piece of furniture. But you might have a picky pooch who needs time to warm up to a new item. So, if you want to come up with a little list of tips to get your dog warmed up to and cozy inside their new bed—this is definitely the list for you.

We will go over some surefire ways to get your pup interested. You can implement one or a combination of these methods—whatever works! Your little furball of love will be enjoying your latest gift in no time.

The 7 Ways to Introduce Your Dog to Their New Dog Bed

You checked out your pooch’s new squishy bed, if it were bigger, you’d probably sleep in it yourself. But your dog might feel differently. After all, it doesn’t smell like home or any of its favorite things—yet. So, how do you coax your dog into relaxing?

1. Enjoy the Bed Yourself

Get down on the floor and let them know it’s totally okay! Once you get down and let them know this new bed isn’t a scary monster but a plushy haven for luxurious naps, they might change their mind.

Having a human that they trust the most show them something means they are more likely to trust it themselves. Call your dog over, and let them sniff around.

2. Use Their Appetite to Your Advantage

It’s time to bring out your dog’s favorite snacks. Get something they absolutely adore eating, and place it in the bed. They’ll be sure to at least interact with the bed for a few minutes at a time. Once they associate this new comfy spot with food, they’re much more likely to warm up to it!

dog bed with dog bone snack
Image by: Jareerat, Shutterstock

3. Put an Article of Your Clothing in It

Nothing makes them quite as cozy as their humans. Since they feel at home with you, try putting an article of clothing that smells like you into their dog bed. This might make them feel comfortable and more accepting.

4. Put Their Favorite Toys in It

The new bed will feel like home in no time if you make it familiar. What better way to do that than placing a few of their very favorite toys in the bed? At first, they might go over, grab the toy and get it out of the new bed. But if you continue this, they might give in.

dog bed with toys
Image by: Pixel-Shot, Shutterstock

5. Put It In a Kennel

If you keep your dog in a kennel throughout the day while at work or away, try to put the bed in the kennel. If they seem very hesitant to get in the new bed, ensure there is enough room for them to avoid it if they choose.

6. Put a Cozy Blanket in It

You could always make the bed more appealing by putting a cozy textured blanket on top. Some dogs can’t resist rolling in a blanket—so use it to your advantage if you think it would work for your pooch.

dog bed with yellow blanket
Image by: everymmnt, Shutterstock

7. Put It Next to You

If the bed is a reasonable enough size, you can put your pup beside you on a couch or bed, encouraging them to cuddle up close to you. Pet them and talk to them while they enjoy the new space, reassuring them that all is well.

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How to Buy the Best Dog Bed for Your Specific Dog

All dogs are different—so you should shop accordingly. If this is your first time buying a dog bed for your pup, you probably don’t know what they like/dislike quite yet. This is a process of trial and error. However, if you know your dog well, you will likely know what works.

Here are some various bed styles and who we think they work best for.

an empty dog bed
Image by: Jareerat, Shutterstock

The 4 Dog Bed Styles

1. Donut Beds

golden retriever puppy lying on a dog bed
Image by: Olena Rudo, Shutterstock

Donut beds are perfect for dogs who want to cozy up in a curled position. These dogs might need a cozy layer of warmth, such as hairless, toy, or miniature breeds.

2. Bolster Beds

Image by: Javier Brosch, Shutterstock

Bolster beds have a padded layer around the rim that acts as a pillow—or head support. It’s also great for joint support. Dogs who like to prop up on the arms of chairs and couches might be extra interested.

3. Couch Beds

pembroke corgi lying on the couch dog bed
Image by: Jus_Ol, Shutterstock

Couch beds resemble real couches and are often bought for aesthetics. If you see a dog bed that matches perfectly with your home décor, how can you not give it a go? Luckily, you can find beds that are as comfy as they are attractive.

4. Elevated Beds

dog on a wooden bed with cushion
Image by: Lenti Hill, Shutterstock

Elevated beds are usually made out of breathable material, like mesh. They are best for dogs who overheat easily—such as double-coated breeds.

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The 5 Different Dog Bed Materials

Beds are constructed from all sorts of fabrics. Some are cheap and easy to make, and others are expensive and issue-specific. Here are some common materials you might see.

1. Plush

jack russell terrier lying in gray dog bed
Image by: Natalia Duryagina, Shutterstock

Many dog beds are made out of plush material because it is comfortable, fairly cheap, and often washable.

2. Mesh

Rhodesian Ridgeback puppies lying on elevated dog bed
Image by: everydoghasastory, Shutterstock

Mesh is most often used in breathable beds, like elevated beds. It helps with circulation and airflow.

3. Memory Foam

hand pressing on a memory foam bed
Image by: Polonio VIdeo, Shutterstock

Memory foam focuses on the joints, creating a comfortable place to lay without straining the body.

4. Polyfill

Polyfill is a common filler for beds, but it could be better for long-term use. Most dogs will rip up or tear out the stuffing in these beds—definitely not recommended for heavy chewers if you want longevity.

5. Egg Crate Foam

Egg crate foam is supposed to be a cheaper version of memory foam—supporting the joints. However, it shouldn’t be relied upon for serious health issues like arthritis.

Before you purchase a bed, you should also check the care instructions. See how to clean the bed. Sometimes, it’s a determining factor whether something is machine washable.

Final Thoughts

It shouldn’t take much convincing to get your dog on board with his new bed. In most cases, it will be just a few days before your dog is enjoying the setup. In rarer cases, your dog simply might not like what you’ve chosen. This could be a process of trial and error at first.

But once you get it right, they might be super excited to have a new napping spot after a brief investigation.

Featured Image Credit: New Africa, Shutterstock

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