As much as we'd all like our furry friend to cuddle up next to us in bed and drift off to sleep, there's a darker side to that scenario.
Sure it sounds like the perfect way to fall asleep, that is until fido takes over the bed, stretches and pushes you to the very edge, or lays on the blankets effectively trapping you in what feels like a furry straight jacket.
What I'm trying to say here is that it's not always feasible for one reason or another to have your pup sleep with you in the bed, but that doesn't mean you can't provide a warm cozy sleeping solution for them elsewhere.
Rather your dog is too old to still get up into the bed, has joint problems, is too much of a bed hog, or it's just time to break them of being on the bed, one solution is to purchase a heated dog bed. A heated dog bed will make certain your dog stays toasty warm even in an otherwise cold house.
That said, not all heated dog beds are created equal and not all are made for our larger dogs. In this article, I intend to help identify which heated dog beds are best all around for our larger dog breeds.
Quick Comparison: Best Heated Dog Bed
#1 - K&H Lectro-Soft Heated Pet Bed
#2 - RIOGOO Pet Heated Pad
#3 - Upgraded Pet Heating Pad with Timer, Temp Adjust, and Chew Proof Cord
#4 - Homello Pet Heating Pad
Below you'll find more detailed reviews on each of the products we looked at and more insight into why we chose the heated dog beds we did in this article.
If you believe we missed one, please let us know in the comment section below this post.
What Dogs Benefit from a Heated Dog Bed?
Let's be clear, heated dog beds are not right for every dog. There are breeds of dogs like Malamutes and Huskies who simply are unlikely to benefit from a heated dog bed. These dogs are actually fine being outside in the snow and cold most of the time. They mainly need an enclosed space to shelter against the wind and they will be fine because of their thick coats. Dogs that could benefit from a heated dog bed mainly fall into two categories.
First, there are those dogs of any age who either do not have a thick coat or they are hairless breeds. Especially small dogs who do not have a lot of hair could benefit.
Other dogs that could benefit are senior dogs who may have a painful condition like arthritis or hip dysplasia. Any kind of painful joint or spine condition could benefit from a heated dog bed.
There are some conditions that your dog may have that a heated dog bed would only aggravate. Skin conditions are especially problematic when using a heated bed. See your Vet to determine whether a heated bed is right for your dog.
What Types of Heated Dog Beds are Out There?
Pet bed heating generally falls into three different categories.
1) Pet beds that are powered by electricity.
2) Pet beds that are self-heating.
3) Devices that are not beds themselves, but are meant to heat your pet's bed.
The first type of bed should have a chew proof electric cord. Normally it will have settings to provide just the right amount of heat for your dog. The advantage of this type of bed is that it can be preheated so your dog has a warm place to lay down right from the start of nap time.
The second type of bed has a special fill that traps the body heat of one's dog and directs that heat back to its occupant. Obviously, this type of bed is very safe.
The third option is items like flat heaters or mats that go under your dog's bed to keep that bed warm. There are other items that can be warmed in a microwave and preserve heat. These products are inserted either under your dog's bed or in it.
What Training is Required to Get Your Dog to Use his/her Warm Bed?
One issue that will crop up to get your dog to use his/her bed warm or otherwise is training. Most dogs must be trained to use their bed and some breeds are easier to train than others.
Fortunately for us, golden retrievers are super intelligent and generally thought to be easy to train. Of course they do often carry a stubborn streak so there's that to deal with.
Generally, training is accomplished by first enticing your dog onto his/her bed with treats. First, get your dog used to getting on the bed with a treat and verbal command of some kind.
Once getting on the bed on command is accomplished, you can teach your dog to lay down with a treat and verbal command 'down' or 'lay down.'
With enough practice, you can combine the commands that your dog gets on his/her bed and lay down come bedtime. Reward your dog with extra treats and praise when he/she lays on the bed and stays there. There are plenty of Youtube videos that talk about these key points of training.
We will now discuss some heated dog beds that are available and attempt to come to a determination as to what bed is the best heated dog bed.
Our Top 4 Heated Dog Bed Choices for Large Dogs
The best heated dog bed for your large dog depends on your dog and his or her needs. That being the case, here are our top 5 picks in order and they all make great heated beds for large dog breeds.
Lectro-Soft Heated Outdoor Pet Bed
Our first product to look at is made by K&H Pet Products. It is the Lectro-Soft Heated Outdoor Pet Bed. This bed comes in three sizes. The largest is 25 x 36 inches. The medium size is 19 x 24 inches. The smallest size is 14 x 18 inches.
This bed has orthopedic foam that is wonderful for those dogs with achy or arthritic joints. It has a thermostat control and an extremely hard to chew steel wrapped electrical cord that is 5.5 feet long. This bed is not recommended for aggressive chewers though.
This bed has a fleece cover that your dog should find pleasant to lay on. It has a one year warranty. This bed takes 60 watts of electricity and is designed to give your pet just that level of warmth to maintain his/her body temperature.
RIOGOO Heated Pet Pad
Next, we have the Pet Heating Pad made by RIOGOO. This is designed as an indoor warming mat. Again, there are three sizes. The largest, described by RIOGOO as extra-large, is 32 x 20 inches. The size down from that is 22 x 18 inches. For smaller dogs, there is the 18 x 18-inch mat.
This mat has a removable and washable polyester cover. There is a special hand-held device to set both the power level and warmth and the time the mat is to be on. You can set the mat to be warm between one to twelve hours and if you forget to turn the power off it will go off automatically.
This mat also has a very chew-resistant power cord. It has seven layers of protection between the heating cord and your pet's body to make him/her comfortable. It has a one year warranty. This mat is specially designed for senior dogs who suffer any type of arthritic pain or joint or spine issue. Keep this mat away from water and do not fold it.
Upgraded Pet Heating Pad with Timer, Temp Adjust, and Chew Proof Cord
Next, There is a blue heating pad offered on Amazon that is in only two sizes and works well under regular pet beds. This pad is both for outdoor or indoor use. The standard sizes are 29.5 x 17.7 inches for the larger pad and 19.5 x 15.8 inches for the smaller pad.
This pad has a removable and washable fleece lining. The pad itself can be kept clean with a simple wet cloth. It is not recommended that you use cleaning chemicals to clean this pad. Never let your pet directly on this pad without the fleece cover.
Unlike other pads, this pad is very flexible and can be rolled up. Like all pet heating devices with an electric cord, this pad's cord is chew resistant and 83 inches long. This pad has 6 standardized heat settings allowing temps between 86 to 131 degrees Fahrenheit. It has 5 timer settings. There is the default time plus a 2-hour setting, an 8-hour setting, a 12-hour setting, and a 24-hour setting. The heat automatically shuts off when the time of any of these settings lapse.
There are safeguards with this pad to prevent overheating. Should the pad overheat there are circuit breakers in place to shut down the heat and protect your pet.
Homello Pet Heating Pad
The last product on Amazon that I want to discuss is the Homello Pet Heating Pad. This pad has three standard sizes. The largest is 33 x 21 inches. The medium is 28.3 x 18.9 inches. The smallest is a square pad that is 17.7 x 17.7 inches.
This pad has very good heat efficiency. It takes about ten minutes to warm up. One great thing about this pad is that not only is the cord to this pad chew resistant, but Homello also backs up their product by offering a full refund should your dog ever damage the cord by biting it.
The temperature on this pad is adjustable and the maximum temp is only 104 degrees Fahrenheit. Due to the thick but soft nature of this pad, it is meant to be slept on directly by your dog. It is great for older dogs with arthritis or sore joints. Sick or pregnant dogs can benefit from this bed.
You should not attempt to fold this bed, but it is waterproof and fireproof and easy to clean. This bed also has power-off protection should it accidentally overheat.
There are tons more similar products on Amazon and other such sites to choose from, but I've done my absolute best to narrow them down to the top 4 choices.
The best solution for our own golden retriever is the Lector-Soft and it's what we currently use.
If you feel like I've missed one that should be on this list or you disagree with one of our choices, please don't hesitate to comment below or reach out and let us know!