Can a Dog Bed Be Too Big?

Do you remember the last time you shopped for a bed for yourself? Most people try to find the largest one possible without overwhelming the room, leaving you with 4” of space on the sides.

For humans, too little of a bed is problematic, and that applies to dogs as well. However, there are also situations when a dog bed can be too big. It might sound crazy but give us a few minutes of a read, and you’ll see we’ve got the method behind our madness.

  • Ideal Sized Dog Beds
  • When Can a Dog Bed Be Too Big?
  • Other Reasons Why You Don’t Want a Big Dog Bed

Dog Bed Sizing

Before we get to the “oversized” issue, it’s best to figure out what’s ideal first.

There’s a general formula recommended for dog bed shoppers that involves measuring your dog from snout to tail and then adding approximately 6” to the length. Then, you repeat a similar process for the width.

One Size Doesn’t Always Fit All

Now those calculations are great if you’re getting a custom-made bed, but that’s pretty rare when there are so many quality dog beds on the market today. Nevertheless, those measurements give you a pretty good idea of the optimal size. You’ll just adapt for round or uniquely shaped options.

While a dog bed with a bit of wiggle room sounds perfect, those guidelines change depending on your pup. If your fur baby squirms and moves around all night, then consider going slightly larger.

The same applies to puppies who outgrow their beds quickly. Unless you cherish the idea of dog bed shopping every month, larger could be better. But that’s not necessarily true across the board. Remember, this blog is entitled “can a dog bed be too big?” and yes, it can.

Yes, a Dog Bed Can Be Too Big

We’ve identified three situations where it might sound crazy, but a large sleeping area can do more to keep our furry friends awake than lull them to sleep.

  1. When puppies need a nurturing, safe space to sleep
  2. Special dog beds – like warming or calming
  3. Orthopedic use – easy access to side supports

Top Reason to Avoid Oversized Dog Beds

We just mentioned that puppies could outgrow their beds. So, it’s sometimes wise to shop for something they’ll grow into instead of wasting money upsizing. That seems like a smart move, right?

Well, it’s always a good idea to save money whenever you can. But, there are times when you don’t want to do that because dog beds can be too big for some fur babies.

Puppies are Like Babies

Most puppies and some small dog breeds like to feel safe, secure, and nurtured. You’ve probably seen donut beds or tent-style dog beds designed for the little ones. They surround the pup with padding and protection.

So, the first reason why a dog bed can be too big is if you bought it for a puppy that prefers close, cozy quarters. It’s not just a “want,” as it could impact their sleep – and yours.

A Dog Bed is Too Big When the Purpose is More Than Sleep

Have you heard of warming or calming dog beds?

Warming Beds

They might seem trendy, but they’re very beneficial in some instances. Doggos that run cold want that counterbalanced, just as we do with wool socks or a layer of blankets. That’s when a warming bed can make all the difference. It uses your pup’s heat and circulates it back through the material and padding. Warming beds don’t work well if they’re too big, though.

Calming Beds

The same principle applies to calming beds. They’re designed to comfort physical ailments and relieve anxiety.

However, calming beds only work when they’re the correct size. They need to be large enough to be comfortable but more custom fitting. Your dog needs to feel the sides of the bed and have access to the bolsters that double as pillows. When a calming bed is too big, you might as well just call it a bed.

can a dog bed be too big, dog bed size

Easy Access to Orthopedic Features

A third reason why a dog bed can be too big is when needed for physical therapy or to comfort older dogs with joint and muscle pain.

You’ve probably seen dog beds with bolsters or supports three or four sides. Those aren’t to keep your dog from falling out of bed. Instead, they double as pillows and limb supports and are particularly handy for larger dogs.

Support From All Sides

One of the primary uses is neck support. You’ll see some dogs rest their neck on the side with their head hanging off the bed. It’s more comfortable for them than to lay flat. If that’s the one purpose, then the size of their sleeping area doesn’t matter.

However, if your dog needs extra support for the rest of their body, they need easy access to the other bolsters. In this case, an oversized dog bed might be just a bit too much.

Other Reasons a Dog Bed Shouldn’t Be Too Big

We’ve covered reasons why sometimes bigger isn’t better from your dog’s perspective. But there are some other considerations as well.

  1. Dog beds for crates
  2. Travel beds
  3. Proximity to your bed

Dog Beds for Crates

When it comes to dog beds for crates, throw the starting formula out the window. The only thing that matters is if it fits in the container.

You can’t squish an oversized bed into a dog crate, or you run the risk of it folding over or trapping your little one. And, if you have a puppy, you have to be even more careful of those size restrictions.

Travel Beds

The purpose of the dog bed can also determine the optimal size you should buy. When you’re taking your pup on the road, you don’t want to go crazy trying to figure out how to get a 4’ bed on an airplane!

Proximity to Your Bed

A dog bed can also be too big if your room is too small. If you’ve designated a spot next to your bed for theirs, you don’t want to go overboard. Leave yourself some wiggle room so you don’t accidentally step on your precious fur baby in the middle of the night.