Focus on bedding

Pets spend a considerable proportion of their time sleeping, which means that providing a safe, warm and comfortable bed is one of the most important things you can do to enhance the quality of your pet’s life.

When it comes to choosing a bed for your cat or dog, there is a huge choice of shapes, styles and colours, with options to match all budgets – you’ll certainly find plenty of food for thought when looking. Whichever bed you choose, it’s a good idea to keep in mind some practical considerations:

Cats

Our feline friends tend to choose their own space to sleep, and it’s almost never where you’d like it to be! Their natural instincts draw them to elevated spots where they can safely observe everyone else, so the top of wardrobes, bunk beds and sofa arms can be popular spots for a snooze. However, cats also like peace and quiet, so you may find that underneath the bed becomes a similarly popular location for a catnap. Place your cat’s bed in a warm, accessible but quiet place and it’s sure to become a favourite spot for a snooze. You’ll find that your cat will arrange things how he / she wants them, but placing a blanket or jumper inside offers some extra warmth and comfort along with familiar smells – important when introducing a new bed. You can even place a heated pad under your cat’s bed for added comfort.

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Dogs

Dogs can also have firm views on where they’d like their bed to be, shunning their lovely warm beanbag for a spot on the doormat or utility room floor, or dragging the bed to a preferred location. Trial and error will usually get you both to a successful end result. Practical considerations are important – dogs will inevitably introduce mud, leaves and worse (depending on what they’ve been rolling in!) into their bed, along with a build-up of moulted fur. For this reason you’ll want to choose bedding that can be easily cleaned, ideally by going in the washing machine.
Cushions and pillows become lumpy after a few washes as the filling moves around, but by choosing one with a removable cover or providing a fleecy blanket on top you can minimise the problem of the smelly bed!

Rabbits and guinea pigs

Living outside, it’s important that your small furry pets have sufficient bedding to keep them warm at night. Wood-shavings and sawdust are not recommended for use in sleeping areas, so choose a good quality meadow hay or timothy hay. Recycled paper bale can also provide a practical and environmentally friendly solution – it’s dust-free (so no allergens or irritants) and highly absorbent.

Hamsters, gerbils and mice

In the wild these animals like to burrow and dig and will make nests out of grass and natural materials – therefore it makes sense to replicate these conditions as far as possible for your pets. Once again, wood-shavings and sawdust are not recommended for use in sleeping areas and so we recommend a bedding made from natural fibres that won’t cause any harm if digested.

And now all this talk of bedding is making us sleepy……. Off for a lie down!……

Until next time, best wishes from Shailen and The Ralph Site team,
The Ralph Site, non-profit pet loss support.

Please note: The Ralph Site is not affiliated with the third-party organisations in any of the links shared here, and the views, ideas and suggestions expressed in this and other blogs are simply shared with the intention of helping you, our friends, take care of the special animals in your lives.

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