Dog Bed Vs Cot – Which One Should I Get?

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If you’re thinking about buying a new bed for your precious pup, you might have run into the question of dog beds v/s dog cots. 

Both of these choices are great options; however, it’s important to make an informed decision based on their benefits & drawbacks. It would be best if you considered your lifestyle, needs, and your puppy’s liking.

One dog might love their cot, while another won’t even come near it. It all depends on your dog’s age, curiosity, and preferences.

I mean, no matter how many beds or cots we buy for our pup, the sofa is still his favorite place!

Dog Rio dozing off on his favorite sofa
My dog, Rio, dozing off on his favorite sofa.

Dog Bed Vs Cot Comparison

Pros/Cons

Dog Bed

Cot

Pros:

Pros:

– Soft & cuddly, made of a super soft material like fleece or cotton

– Filled with soft & supportive stuffing like cotton or foam

– The fluffy & soft design of a dog bed is actually a lot like a dog!

– The design of a cot, the air is able to pass under the bed easily which will take your dog’s body heat away & keep him cool

– Since the cot is made of waterproof material, it’s very easy to clean

– Cots are made of very durable fabric, which is usually covered with PVC

Cons:

Cons:

– The materials of a dog bed aren’t usually very breathable, can make your dog overheat very easily

– Tends to hold on to odors, regardless of how you clean it

– Not durable for chewers

– The cot fabric doesn’t provide as much support as a memory foam bed

– Has no materials that can trap heat, such as cotton or foam, therefore can’t keep your dog warm in the winter

– Installing a cot can be a difficult & time-consuming process

What’s the Difference?

Now, what is the difference between a dog bed and a cot? After all, a human cot is just another word for a foldable bed!

However, for dogs, these two products couldn’t be more distinct. In fact, due to the difference in design, some dogs refuse to approach a cot!

A dog bed is what we think of when we think of a pup snoozing. They are usually made of a soft material like foam or cotton and covered in a plush fabric like suede or faux fur. A dog bed serves to protect your pooch from the floor.

Therefore, a comfy bed will support their joints, prevent callouses, reduce the risk of hip dysplasia and arthritis, and keep your pup warm. 

A bed can be circular, rectangular, with bolsters, or just a plain pad. They can come with special materials like a cooling gel, orthopedic foam, or mesh fabric. 

On the other hand, a cot is an elevated sheet of fabric held taut on a metal frame. The cot is usually elevated by 6-7 inches. The fabric is typically a heavy-duty, weatherproof material that can withstand harsh temperatures and harsh chewers.

A cot is usually made of a steel frame, which is durable and rust-proof.

Weighing Each Option

Consider these features to decide on the best option for you.

Pros of a Dog Bed

Dog napping on orthopedic bed
  • Soft & Cuddly: Dog beds are usually made of a super soft material like fleece or cotton. So, it’s the perfect option for the winter to trap your dog’s body heat & keep him nice and warm.
  • Protects Joints: Since dog beds are filled with soft & supportive stuffing like cotton or foam, this holds up the natural curves of your dog’s body & prevents joint pain, arthritic, & hip dysplasia.
  • Inviting for Puppies: The fluffy & soft design of a dog bed is actually a lot like a dog! Therefore, you’ll find that young puppies will naturally gravitate towards a comfy bed because it reminds them of their mother’s fur.

Cons of a Dog Bed

  • Not Breathable: While it’s true that a dog bed is very good at holding on to your dog’s body heat, this could actually be a negative in the warm summers. The materials of a dog bed aren’t usually very breathable. This can make your dog overheat very easily.
  • Hard to Clean: A dog bed tends to hold on to odors, regardless of how you clean it. Some dog beds come with a machine-washable, removable cover, which is definitely useful. However, it is better to keep a dog bed indoors so that it doesn’t get filthy. 
  • Not durable: Some big dogs can mistake their beds for a toy. They’ll take pleasure in chewing it up & ripping it to shreds! Unfortunately, most beds cannot handle an attack like this, and they will start tearing up. Therefore, soft mattresses aren’t recommended for chewers.

Pros of a Cot

Original Elevated Pet Bed Coolaroo
  • Air Circulation: Thanks to the design of a cot, the air is able to pass under the bed easily. This provides your cot with a bit of air circulation, which creates ventilation. The cold air passing under the cot will take your dog’s body heat away & keep him cool. This makes a cot a fantastic option for the blazing hot summers.
  • Easy to Clean: Since the cot is made of waterproof material, it’s very easy to clean. Just take a garden hose & wash it down! So, cots are a great option for outdoor seating because you can just wash them whenever it gets muddy.
  • Durable: Cots are made of very durable fabric, which is usually covered with PVC. This fabric is puncture resistant & tear resistant, so it’s the ideal option if you have a dog who loves to rip up his beds.

Cons of a Cot

  • Uncomfortable: Since cots have no padding, they aren’t suitable for older dogs with joint issues, or arthritis. The cot fabric doesn’t provide as much support as a memory foam bed. However, some cots come with a removable orthopedic support layer.
  • No Warmth: A cot has no materials that can trap heat, such as cotton or foam. Therefore, it can make your dog feel quite cold in the winter. We recommend using a cot with a heat-retaining blanket if your dog sleeps outside in the cold.
  • Hard to Assemble: Unlike a bed, you need to assemble a cot. While this might be as easy as screwing together two steel pipes, it can also involve drilling & screws! Depending on the brand you get, installing a cot can be a difficult & time-consuming process.

Can’t I just use the floor?

A cute black and white bernadoodle puppy sleeping on the kitchen

This is a question I had when I first got my puppy. Since I live in a hot area, my dog would always sleep on the cool floor, no matter how many beds I bought. I wondered if I should encourage him to use the bed, or let him stay on the floor.

The truth is that there is no real harm in sleeping on the floor. Dogs with long hair prefer to sleep on the floor because it is much cooler than a bed. If you find that your dog avoids the bed, try buying a cooling cot; chances are the bed was just too warm!

Sleeping on the floor is only an issue for older dogs with joint issues or dogs with arthritis, as the hard floor may intensify their symptoms.

Conclusion

We would recommend a dog bed if you live in a colder climate & you have a younger dog who isn’t comfortable with the idea of a harder cot. On the other hand, we recommend a cot if you have a dog who loves the cold, the outdoors, and getting dirty!

You must consider your dog’s personality, age, and mobility level and choose the best option for you.

If you found this article interesting, please share it with your friends. Leave a comment below if you have a bed or cot you love! Thanks for reading!

Meet our writer

Anoushka’s love for animals began with taking care of the cows & chickens on her family farm. As she grew older, this love transformed into a love for dogs. She volunteers in a dog shelter, so she is well-versed in the care and comfort of all breeds of dogs.

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