We have always considered Sophie to be our princess, and she has long-lived up to that name. Through the years we have tried different sleeping arrangements with her but it always seemed like no matter how comfortable we attempted to make her cage, she preferred to be in bed with us. As difficult as it is having a long dachshund sleeping in bed with you, especially since they always insist in the horizontal position, there was a draw to take her to bed with me that when it came time to go upstairs to bed, I wasn’t able to resist, and she was always more than happy to comply. We started this tradition early on as a puppy, when she made her position known, she had no interest in sleeping alone. Sophie the puppy was one of the cutest and cuddliest things I have ever experienced and I would nuzzle into her and cuddle with her all night long. She just simply wanted to be with me, and I with her. Since she injured her back, we have had to change this arrangement somewhat. We have been strongly encouraging her to sleep in her cage, mostly because of her incontinence issues. There are still many a nights though that she is tucked in underneath the blankets with me, fully equipped with a diaper and drag bag for protection. But for the most part, she has learned to accept her cage and will spend the night in there. We have purchased her two different pet beds, especially made for pets with incontinence for her to use. I wrote an article referring to these beds called Dog Beds for Pets With Incontinence, and I now have a follow-up to share.
The first bed is from the company Pooch Pad. I bought this bed first, and used it for a little over a month before I bought her another one from Kuranda. I really like both beds and feel like they both have a place in our routine, and they both have their pros and cons. The Pooch Pad bed has a special fabric that absorbs urine, making the surface Sophie is laying on dry the second the wetness occurs. I did not buy the crate pad, I bought the pet bed because I felt like it looked more “cushiony.” The problem with the bed is it is a little too “cushiony” for Sophie, and she has a tendency to flop off of it. It works great when she is laying on the floor in the living room, but in her crate, she will flop off and get wedged between the crate and the pillow, laying on the metal tray. For a bed to be used outside of the crate, it is very nice and I really like it. If you are planning on using it inside of a crate, unless the crate is smaller than the bed itself to prevent the bed from sliding around the crate enabling the dog to flop off, I would get the crate pad instead. I especially like it as a bed for her to use when she is in her wheels, as it is the perfect height for her to rest the front part of her body on as she rests in between wheeling around. The fabric works just like the company says it does, and it launders very well and holds up to multiple washings. When I bought the bed I didn’t buy any extra bed coverings, and having only one, there where many days when it was soiled and waiting to be washed and I couldn’t use the bed. So I would recommend, if this is to be your only bed, buying at least two coverings so you have an extra. I used this bed exclusively for about 6 weeks, but I couldn’t keep up with the laundry. Having two kids, the last thing I need is more laundry, so I really wanted to try one of the mesh beds.
I purchased her mesh bed from Kuranda because of the great reviews the company has received. As I was reading through the reviews, I discovered they have a fabric especially for pets with incontinence that they don’t advertise on their website. I called and placed the order over the phone and got this special fabric that seemed to be made especially for us. The Kuranda bed is wonderful for me because it like a godsend when it comes to cleaning it. There is no laundry to clean other than her blanket that she will burrow herself under. You can wipe it clean with a cloth or spray it with a hose, and I have done both. It is durable, holding up well to daily assaults. Initially, my kids thought it was a trampoline, so we almost lost it right away, but that was averted and Sophie has been using this as her bed that is in her crate. We will say this, she is getting used to it. She doesn’t like it as much as the initial bed I bought for her from Target, the one that has been soiled beyond belief because it wasn’t designed for incontinent pets. Initially she wasn’t tolerating it well at all, but after figuring out the air conditioner was blowing up from underneath the bed at night making her cold, we covered the vent by her cage, she has been doing much better. She is adjusting, and as long as she has a blanket covering her and something soft to lay her head on, she is doing okay with it. Both of these beds have found a place in our routine, and I am grateful I have them both. Both have virtually eliminated the use of the puppy pads, so they are green products as well, by producing far less waste. My impression is, if you have a pet with incontinence the mesh bed is so easy to clean it is worth it, but if you are going with the Pooch Pad for comfort, buy more than one covering, and realize you will be washing the cover all the time. Also, be aware of the size of the bed in relation to the cage, because we have the problem of the bed sliding around and Sophie flopping off it.
The only bed that is truly fit for our princess, at least in her eyes, is my own. In that sense, she isn’t too much different from my kids. But from the human perspective, both of these beds are really nice, and I hope my experience in trying both of them is helpful to you if your situation is similar to ours.