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8 Best Outdoor Dog Beds for Adventurers

dog rests on outdoor dog bed

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While there’s no better place for our dogs to relax than directly on our laps, there comes a time in every dog’s life when a comfy outdoor dog bed makes for a solid second option.

Whether you’re lounging together in the backyard or out on a camping adventure, it’s important to keep your dog’s health and safety front of mind. Potential outdoor hazards like sun, heat, insects, and even parasites can all put your canine companion at risk. 

A good outdoor dog bed can provide a safe haven for your dog to rest, but it’s best when used along with broad-spectrum parasite protection. Dogs can be exposed to harmful parasites through contaminated soil, other animals, and even mosquito bites. Ticks and fleas are also prevalent in grassy and wooded areas. 

Before embarking on outdoor adventures with your four-legged friend, ask your veterinarian about a monthly broad-spectrum dewormer. You can also find out whether a tick and flea protection product makes sense for your pet. 

Of course, picking the right outdoor dog bed for your pup can be tricky when there are so many options available. To get started, consider the type of bed that would best suit your dog’s needs depending on how she is most likely to use it. We’ve rounded up some of the best outdoor dog beds to choose from.

8 Best Outdoor Dog Beds

A Raised Dog Bed

dogs relax on raised dog bed

Raised outdoor dog beds, like a Kuranda, keep your dog elevated from the cold, wet, or dirty ground. They aren’t stuffed and fluffy like some of the other options available, but that actually makes them easier to wipe down and clean quickly (no machine washing necessary). They also tend to be easier to take apart and transport from location to location, or even to throw in your car.

A Canopy Dog Bed or Cover

canopy dog bed shades pet

On hot summer days, dogs run the risk of overheating in the sun. By throwing a pet cot canopy—like this one from K&H—over your dog’s outdoor bed, you can keep her safe and cool in the shade. Remember to keep a collapsible dog bowl filled with water nearby to ensure your pet stays hydrated. 

A Cooling Dog Bed

A cooling dog bed is another good option for hot days. Your dog will appreciate an outdoor dog bed that provides some added relief from the sun. Cooling beds like the Gen7 Cool-Air Cot Pet Bed are made from mesh that provides for a cool airflow through the material and prevents water from pooling. Combine a cooling bed with a canopy and you’ll have an ultra-comfy area for your dog to snooze.

A Heated Dog Bed

dog on heated pet mat

In colder months, heated pet bed options are the perfect accessory for hanging outside in the backyard or taking your adventures to the woods on a camping trip. Outdoor heated dog beds keep dogs warm even on the coldest nights. Some—like the waterproof Good Life, Inc. WarmPet bed—also make good therapy mats since they help increase blood flow and reduce some of the pain often associated with inflammation and arthritis. Pets who have thin hair coats should be careful with a heated bed, as any type of heating element may cause thermal burns if it comes into contact with exposed skin.

An Orthopedic Dog Bed

Dogs with sore joints can comfortably enjoy the great outdoors, too, as long as they have a little extra support. A good outdoor orthopedic pet bed—like this one from FurHaven—will be water-resistant to protect from the elements, as well as provide a comforting orthopedic core to remove pressure from muscles and joints and keep your pet’s weight evenly distributed.

A Dog Bed With all the Bells and Whistles

dog on comfy outdoor dog bed

Rather than choosing between a raised bed or a cooling bed, the K&H Pet Products Original Bolster dog cot offers the best of both worlds. It provides an elevated position for your pup to stay off the ground, combined with a mesh center to allow for air flow and a cooling atmosphere. This particular bed also has a fluffy bolster around the outer rim that’s the perfect spot for your pup to rest her head during an outdoor snooze.

A Portable Pet House

For an all-around, completely enclosed, safe from the elements option, a dog-house-like product is your best bet. But that doesn’t mean you have to go with something that remains stationary. A product like the Heininger 3096 PortablePET HoundHouse Kennel and Shelter offers the best of every possible outdoor option. The weather resistant fabric keeps your dog cool when it’s hot and warm when it’s cold, plus it’s resistant to the elements. Its elevated position keeps your dog off of cold floors, while the covered canopy top keeps her shielded from the sun and wind. Plus, the synthetic mesh flooring provides ample ventilation. This particular product also comes with a mat and travel storage bag, so it’s easily packed up and moved around, or stored when not in use.

A No-Frills Waterproof Pet Pillow

If your dog prefers to only occasionally relax in the great outdoors, a waterproof pillow like this Snoozer option is comfortable, durable and easy to clean and transport. You can easily throw it in your car or by the pool, so you never have to pick and choose where your dog joins you on your outdoor adventures.

Outdoor Safety for Dogs

No matter what you’re looking for in a dog bed, safety should be the first item you check off the list when you’re trying to find an outdoor product. Choosing the best outdoor dog bed—combined with regularly checking your dog for ticks and fleas and investing in year-round parasite protection—means you can always enjoy the great outdoors with your furry best friend, no matter what Mother Nature throws your way.

Credelio Indications

Credelio kills adult fleas and is indicated for the treatment and prevention of flea infestations, treatment and control of tick infestations (lone star tick, American dog tick, black-legged tick, and brown dog tick) for one month in dogs and puppies 8 weeks and older and 4.4 pounds or greater.

Credelio Important Safety Information

Lotilaner is a member of the isoxazoline class of drugs.  This class has been associated with neurologic adverse reactions including tremors, incoordination, and seizures. Seizures have been reported in dogs receiving this class of drugs, even in dogs without a history of seizures. Use with caution in dogs with a history of seizures or neurologic disorders. The safe use of Credelio in breeding, pregnant or lactating dogs has not been evaluated. The most frequently reported adverse reactions are weight loss, elevated blood urea nitrogen, increased urination, and diarrhea.  For complete safety information, please see Credelio product label or ask your veterinarian.

Interceptor Plus Indications

Interceptor Plus prevents heartworm disease and treats and controls adult roundworm, hookworm, whipworm, and tapeworm infections in dogs and puppies 6 weeks or older and 2 pounds or greater.

Interceptor Plus Important Safety Information

Treatment with fewer than 6 monthly doses after the last exposure to mosquitoes may not provide complete heartworm prevention. Prior to administration of Interceptor Plus, dogs should be tested for existing heartworm infections. The safety of Interceptor Plus has not been evaluated in dogs used for breeding or in lactating females. The following adverse reactions have been reported in dogs after administration of milbemycin oxime or praziquantel: vomiting, diarrhea, decreased activity, incoordination, weight loss, convulsions, weakness, and salivation. For complete safety information, please see Interceptor Plus product label or ask your veterinarian.

Disclaimer: The author received compensation from Elanco US Inc., the maker of Interceptor Plus and Credelio, for her services in writing this article. Recommendations in this article are the author’s and are not recommendations of Elanco. 

Interceptor and Credelio are trademarks of Elanco or its affiliates. Other company and product names are trademarks of their respective owners.

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