The right fill, size,
make the perfect dog pad.
By Pat Volchok
The perfect AN EXPENSIVE DOG BED can take a big bite out of Regrettably, manufacturers are not required to
the old wallet. But is such a bed really worth it? This state whether the spun polyester used in dog beds is
pooch pad, is the question I recently posed to Costco’s Kirkland made of new (virgin) or reused materials. Studies
Signature™ dog-bed buyer, Kim Thuringer. have shown that virgin polyester fill provides the best
for less Shaking her head, Kim reports that a top-quality loft and all-over consistency, which is why Costco
dog bed, if made correctly, will definitely provide allows only virgin spun polyester in its poly/cedar
comfort and support for the family pooch. But the fiberfill beds.
Consumer reporter use of superior materials and high-end construction All fill information should be listed on the label.
techniques shouldn’t necessarily translate into a If fiber content is not provided, I suggest not buying
Pat Volchok gives grandiose price tag. the bed. I also suggest not purchasing a spun-poly-a behind-the-scenes To prove her point, Kim grabbed a pair of scis- ester-filled dog bed if the fill is not contained in a
look at Costco products sors and removed a pillow lining from an unzipped removable, tear-resistant inner pillow lining such as
and services. Kirkland Signature dog bed. Before I could say thetypeusedby Costco.
Send your questions to: Kirkland Signature three times, she literally tore into Size matters. Bed size and shape are also
buyingsmart@ the subject of quality dog beds. We covered fill, size important considerations. Some dogs like to curl up
and shape, fabric and other characteristics that make in a nice safe little ball and may be better suited for a
costco.com a difference in pet beds. Here’s a look. doughnut-shaped bed. Others like to sleep tummy
First, the fill. “The first item to consider when up, spread-eagled across a larger surface. Just make
choosing a dog bed is the type of fill used,” she says. sure the bed provides enough space for your pooch to
I learn that some dog beds are filled with hard have freedom of movement.
Styrofoam pellets. Others are made with solid, light- The right covering. The quality of a bed’s
weight foam whose properties include shape reten- outer covering is also critical, as it gets the most wear.
tion, sturdiness and super cushioning power. Whatever the fabric, it must be soft to the touch yet
Memory foam is the new kid on the block and par- durable and washable. Washing instructions should
ticularly welcomed by older dogs, as it conforms to a be listed on the label. If a dog-bed cover cannot be
pet’s body, relieves pressure points and bounces back washed, I suggest not buying the bed.
to its original shape rapidly. Poly/cedar fiberfill Also, stay away from 100-percent-cotton outer
blends are also popular, because the cedar helps dis- covers, as they may shrink, fade or age rapidly.
pel pet odors and deters some bugs, while the spun Prewashed fabrics are a nice bonus and speak to the
polyester fiber creates a super-soft pad. overall quality of the bed. Finally, if the bed contains