beds crates and gear

Dog Beds. Where Should Your Dog Sleep? The Bed Versus Crate Debate

What’s a dog’s life really like? Exhausting. Between going on walks, chasing tennis balls, and general mischief, your pet pooch is worn out by the end of the day. That’s why your dog deserves a comfortable and safe place to sleep at night. Both dog beds and dog crates offer benefits to sleepy pups, and there are many varieties of each to accommodate dogs of all sizes and types. Here are some things to consider when deciding on the best place for your dog to sleep.


  1. Why a crate? Many pet owners believe using a crate is the ideal way to housetrain young dogs. Limiting your puppy to a confined space is the first step to teaching him to relieve himself outside. Another good reason to choose a crate—for dogs of any age—is the comfort it provides. It’s in many dogs’ nature to seek out a den-like environment, so a crate is a natural place for unwinding.
  2. One of the most common types of dog crates is a wire crate. As many wire crates are foldable, dog owners who travel frequently by car will have no trouble bringing these crates along. Many wire crates also allow for dividers, effectively making the crate expandable as a puppy grows. Lastly, the open-air nature helps dogs stay cool when it’s hot outside.
  3. Also popular are plastic crates. If your dog is particularly attracted to cozy spaces, a plastic crate provides an especially insulated environment. They’re the standard for air travel, so if you and your dog are jetsetters, this would be the choice for you. Lastly, plastic crates are resilient and stand up well to dogs that are especially feisty.


  1. Like people, some dogs are a little claustrophobic. If your dog has this temperament, he may prefer a dog bed over a crate. And if your dog wakes up earlier than you, he will likely want to stretch her legs rather than wait for you to open the door to a crate.
  2. Dog beds come in wide varieties of firmness. One good way to get a sense of your dog’s preference is to watch where he naps. Does he sleep on hardwood floors, or does he gravitate toward the sofa? If it’s the former, consider something thinner, such as a mat bed. If it’s the latter, your dog will get a better night’s sleep on a bolster bed, which has more padding.