Higher Ground: Benefits of Elevated Dog Beds in Your Kennel
By Beth Klein
Elevated dog beds have become very popular with many kennel owners in recent years. There are many benefits to using elevated dog beds, some of which are: cost effective, easy to sanitize and they improve the appearance of your kennel.
Elevated beds are also referred to as “cot–style” beds. They have a hard frame, usually either plastic or metal and suspend a fabric so that the dog can lie on the bed and be elevated up off the floor. Sometimes the design is entirely plastic. There are a wide variety of options within this bed type. Since there are plenty of options to choose from, you can decide which qualities are the most important to your facility and your business.
Cleaning and Sanitizing
Depending on what brand you choose, some of them will have a solid fabric option that is a non–absorbent material. Others only have a vinyl weave option which is very breathable and won’t harbor bacteria, while others have a solid material option. Both of these types of beds can be power washed and cleaned daily with normal cleansers and detergents. A third option, but one that isn’t generally ideal for a professional pet care facility, is a canvas fabric. This one is most likely to harbor bacteria and takes the longest to dry after cleaning.
There is also the option of a bed that is totally solid plastic. These are more often used as a training platform but sometimes they double as bedding in a board & train facility. While this option is very easy to clean and sanitize and it will also be very durable, it may not give your customers the impression of providing luxurious comfort to their furry family members while they’re kenneled. They might be a better option for a playroom or daycare rather than for use in overnight runs.
There are some brands of elevated dog beds that are chew–proof and offer some kind of guarantee. For some facility owners, this is a major selling point. Everyone knows how rough dogs can be on facility amenities during a stay. Investing in pet bedding that comes with a chew–proof warranty could be extremely appealing. Look for a brand that offers a metal frame and a solid material as this will be the most durable. Bonus points if there are no access points to the fabric edges since the edges and corners will be the first target of a destructive dog.
Grow Your Business
While pillow beds and/or towels might initially seem like a good option, they often start to look old and dirty very quickly. Elevated dog beds are more durable and they will continue to look newer for longer, which could significantly improve the look of your facility and help to acquire new customers.
Your two–legged customers want to know their four–legged family members will be comfortable, safe and happy while they’re staying in your facility. A quality, clean-looking dog bed can go a long way to impress a new customer. Some elevated bed options come with padded accessories to put on top of the bed to create a very cozy affect. There are even some elevated bed styles that are designed to look like mini human beds for an elegant look for your luxury suites.
Not only do elevated beds stay looking clean and new longer, they are also healthier for dogs’ joints. Allowing a dog to lie on a surface that is suspended above the ground relieves any pressure points like elbows, shoulders and hips by evenly distributing the dog’s weight. Dogs feel better when they sleep on elevated surfaces which is especially important for older dogs.
Another consideration is that a durable dog bed will be safer for anxious guests. Dogs that are stressed out will often be destructive as an outlet for all that nervous energy. Sometimes destructive dogs are just high-energy and are looking for entertainment. Regardless of the reason, ingesting bedding that was torn up is a very serious concern. Using a chew–proof, elevated bed allows those dogs to still have bedding and gives your customer the peace of mind that their dog is safe and comfortable.
Let’s Talk About Cost
There is a huge variety of options when it comes to elevated beds. There are metal frame beds, PVC frame options, hammock types, platform types…the list goes on. Generally, the cost of the bed will directly relate to the quality of materials and construction. Find a brand that offers some kind of wholesale pricing or volume discount option and one that has some kind of guarantee; ideally a chew–proof warranty, but any guarantee is better than none. Most of the brands that offer those two things will be worth the initial investment and will save you time and money in the long run.
When considering cost, don’t forget to factor in the time and cost of doing laundry, making repairs on cheaper bedding options or the cost of frequently replacing alternative bedding options. Spending a little more upfront on your pet bedding will end up saving you time, money and frustration over the long–term. Not only will they save you money, but will also give your kennel a more polished look which will help to grow your business and gain new customers.
There are some companies that also offer referral programs. If you use and promote their products, you’ll earn commission on sales that you generate for them. This commission is usually available in store credit or could be paid out via check, depending on the company.
In the end, it’s easy to see why so many pet care professionals are migrating to elevated beds in their kennels. Board & train facilities also get a lot of use out of elevated beds for training “place” command. The defined area is excellent for setting the “place” boundaries, and if the “place” area is also a bed, it translates seamlessly to when the dogs go home.
Pet bedding may seem uncomplicated, but actually there are a lot of factors to consider. Hopefully, if you’re in the market for new bedding for your kennel, this has helped to give you some good tips on choosing the type of bedding that’s right for your business.
Beth Klein has been working for Kuranda Dog & Cat Beds since 2009. She began in shipping and production and has held roles in customer service, account management and is now assistant director of web design and marketing. Kuranda Dog & Cat Beds has been making chew-proof, elevated pet beds since 1987. Kuranda offers retail sales on www.Kuranda.com, a donation program for animal welfare organizations on www.shelterbeds.org and has a website dedicated to pet care professionals, www.KurandaPro.com. All pet beds and products are manufactured in and shipped from Glen Burnie, Maryland.