Shih Tzus might have originally been bred as lap dogs for Chinese royalty, but today they spend most of their time lounging on their owner’s carpets and couches (and laps, of course). While your pup may seem perfectly content with his spot on the floor, the truth is that he really should have a bed of his own. The perfect bed gives your Shih Tzu the support he needs while also providing the space, comfort, and security he deserves. Here we’ve compiled a guide to finding the best bed possible for your furry friend.
Why a Dog Bed?
Things to Consider
So what goes into picking the perfect bed for your four-legged friend? Shopping for your pooch isn’t much different than shopping for yourself–after all, dogs like to be comfortable just like us! Due to their small stature and adorably flat faces, shopping for a Shih Tzu requires some extra consideration. Like other toy breeds, Shih Tzus are susceptible to a range of orthopedic issues, including hip dysplasia and back pain. As a Brachycephalic, or “short-headed” breed, they can have trouble breathing due to their compressed head, face, and airways. When shopping for your Shih Tzu, it’s important to look for a bed that will alleviate joint pain and allow for proper breathing while your pup snoozes. After making sure that your Shih Tzu’s health is taken care of, it’s time to think about comfort, durability, and style.
Size is one of the most important factors to consider when choosing a bed. A bed that is too small will give your pup sore joints from a lack of support, sore muscles from being cramped, and definitely not enough quality sleep. The best way to avoid these problems is to measure your Shih Tzu from the tip of his nose to his tail, and then from shoulder to shoulder at the widest point to find the minimum length and width that his bed should be. Ideally, you should add 6-12 inches to those measurements so that he can stretch out.
Suede, shag, microsuede, shearling, fleece, nylon canvas…like fillings, the options are endless when it comes to the fabric for your Shih Tzu’s bed. Ideally, the fabric will be easy to wash and durable enough to withstand little teeth–some also resist mold, mildew, and water. The right fabric can even help out with temperature regulation, cooling down dogs with thicker fur and vice versa.
Removable bed covers make washing incredibly easy, which comes in handy when your furry friend has too much fun playing in the mud. Even if your pup is a neat freak, all dogs inevitably shed and salivate, which causes bacteria to build up. To keep your home clean and your Shih Tzu healthy, you’ll want to choose a bed that’s easy to take care of.
Your Shih Tzu’s bed should suit his personality–is he shy and anxious, burrowing under blankets when he sleeps? Does he roll and kick, dreaming of the squirrels he chases in the backyard? Here are some of the best beds on the market, in all different styles to suit all different pups.
- Reversible sides with cozy knitted corduroy for the cold and cooling suede for warmer weather
- Can accommodate an orthopedic insert if necessary
- Easy to clean–the whole thing can be machine washed!
- Raised sides for head and breathing support
- More affordable than most beds on the market
- Some reviews report loose seams that lead to rips
- Easy to move, but might slide on hardwood or tile floors
- Four-inch memory foam base to alleviate joint discomfort
- Bolsters included for added head and breathing support
- Water- and tear-resistant, removable and machine-washable cover (with replacements available for purchase)
- Cover fabric certified as “Skin Contact Safe” according to European REACH safety standards
- More expensive ($100+)
- Some reviews report zipper-snagging and breakage when used
- Urine may soak through cover and into foam, not waterproof
- Can be difficult to reassemble if foam is removed for washing
- Cools pups down and offers joint-relief by lifting them off the hard floor
- Bolsters for head support and better breathing
- Sturdy frame that’s easy assembly and easy to clean
- Breathable mesh center that repels moisture, mold, mildew, bacteria, and odors
- Center may begin to sink and stretch over time
- Lacks additional cushioning (but blankets and pillows can be put on top)
- Machine washable and designed not to lose shape
- Anti-skid base to keep everything in place on hardwood floors
- Easy assembly and easy to travel with
- Cozy and secure, perfect for extra privacy and comfort
- Pup may be unable to stretch out–depending on what size you get, there might not be too much wiggle room
- Shape may change over time or after washing, depending on your machine
- According to some reviews, base may be thinner than expected–a larger size may be needed to accommodate extra padding
- Safe heating provides warmth and comfort
- Medium is the perfect size for most Shih Tzus (26”x20”x5”)
- Removable cushion and heater for easy cleaning–the cover and pillow can be thrown in the washing machine and line-dried
- Bolsters offer extra head and breathing support, PLUS extra sense of security
- Needs to be plugged in, so the bed will need to be near an outlet
- Reviewers report thin padding and variable heat results
- No anti-skid bottom, so the bed might slide on hardwood or tile floors
Picking the right bed for your Shih Tzu is just as important as choosing the right food, or taking your pup to a skilled vet–the right bed will provide extra support for a Shih Tzu’s joints and ensure that he is breathing properly while he sleeps. Depending on your pet’s size, age, and preferences, specialty beds can provide extra orthopedic support and temperature regulation. By choosing the right bed you are promoting good health and giving your Shih Tzu his own space for sweet dreams!