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I slept with earplugs for many years thanks to my dad’s incessant snoring. I promised myself I would never marry someone who snores, and thankfully my husband barely makes a sound while he sleeps. In the early years of our marriage, I slumbered in a noiseless and peaceful environment — until someone new entered our bed.
Our puppy, Gidget, arrived in a pink basket one Easter morning 13 years ago, and we made the mistake of immediately allowing her to sleep with us. Like so many Shih Tzus, Gidget has an elongated soft palate and a short and flat muzzle, which results in nasal stuttering and gasping while she sleeps. Unfortunately, her breathing — and tossing and turning — kept us up most nights.
Our vet confirmed her bedtime vibrations were normal for her breed and gave us tips and strategies to get Gidget out of our bed. However, we were just too tired at the end of the day to apply her practices.
Restless sleep became our norm, until the day I discovered a game-changing product while researching a story about how pet owners can keep a tidy house.
My cleaning source stressed the importance of buying a one-piece pet bed that could be thrown into the washer and dryer. That's when I discovered a bed that would forever improve our sleep and make our dog's day.
When the Best Friends by Sheri Calming Shag Vegan Fur Donut Cuddler arrived at our door, I could barely get it out of the box before Gidget was rubbing her face and body against the soft material. Just seeing Gidget act like a puppy again was worth the $38!
Weeks later, Gidget was spending much of her waking days and all of her nights in this bed — and I just had to know its backstory.
How the product was invented
The bed's inventor, Shohreh Samani, was working in the textiles business when she noticed her Pomeranian sleeping on a pile of fluffy fabric samples she was considering for one of her decorative pillow designs.
“It was an ah-ha moment,” Samani said. “I interviewed vets and trainers, who told me for a pet to get a good night’s sleep, which is crucial to their health and wellbeing, that it was important they felt a sense of shelter and security.”
So Samani set out to design a bed that was reminiscent of a mother’s fur coat. “I wanted it to have deep crevices along with walls to support the head and neck,” she said. “It also had to be malleable enough to cater to the two primary sleeping styles of dogs and cats: curling and sprawling.”
Veterinarians approve of the comfortable design
The veterinarians I spoke with agreed with Samani’s assessment. “Many dogs prefer to rest and sleep curled up in a ball. A round bed, particularly one with raised edges to rest their heads, is perfect for them,” said Dr. Jennifer Coates, author of Vet-Speak Deciphered for the Non-Veterinarian.
“The enclosed design can create a sense of security, especially for anxious dogs,” adds Dr. Leilani Alverez of New York City’s Animal Medical Center. “Plus, the fabric is scrumptiously soft, like snuggling with a warm fuzzy blanket!”
Most dog beds are made using recycled fibers, yet this one is filled with fresh AirLOFT threads that are meant to provide long-lasting support.
“While recycled fibers help the environment by giving plastics a place to go, the dirty secret is they lose tensile strength every time they run through the recycling process, which means they become softer and less resistant to pressure. You want fibers that don't compact so they hold up over time and provide a cushion between your pet and the hard floor underneath,” says Melissa Homer, Chief Cleaning Officer at MaidPro.
The entire bed is machine washable, and Homer recommends washing it once a week.
The bed is promoted as “self-heating” due to its polyester fabric, so I wondered if it could help with Gidget’s 13-year-old arthritic legs.
“It’s a good choice for aging pets,” said Coates. “Cold temperatures tend to worsen stiffness and pain, and the extra warming provided by a well-insulated bed reflects a pet’s body heat back towards them. This can be beneficial for dogs and cats with arthritis and other orthopedic problems. The warm bedding is especially beneficial for skinny, elderly cats since they tend to heat-seek and have trouble maintaining their body temperature.”
I was concerned when I caught my dog licking the long fibers, but Coates reassured me that it shouldn't be an issue.
“As long as a fur bed does not shed excessively, a normal amount of licking shouldn’t pose much of a risk," Coates said. "However, dogs who are aggressive chewers would probably be safer using a bed made of a tougher material.”
The bed comes in two shades — frost and taupe — but Samani notes new colors are on the horizon. Once it arrives, it’s important to remember to throw your new bed in the dryer for ten minutes to fluff it up, then hand it over to your pet and prepare for a moment of love at first sight!
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