We’ll admit it: We’ve been sleeping on the job. Our test dogs – and their test families – have been trying out dozens of beds, seeking to discover the qualities that contribute to a pooch’s good night’s sleep . . . and which construction details help us keep the beds clean and in one piece. We’ve identified a list of features that a good bed’s gotta have, and a few things that make some beds hard to live with.
The first time I ever noticed booties for dogs advertised in my pet supply catalogs, I laughed out loud. How frou-frou can you get? I have since realized that there are some very legitimate purposes for dog boots, and have revised my opinion of their usefulness. In fact, the dog boot industry is a highly specialized one, with different styles of boots produced for different purposes.
Dogs in the wild don’t need baths. Why do our dogs? Well, they don’t need baths, but if they want to live in our homes, and sometimes even sleep in our beds, they have to look and smell cleaner than dogs normally do. Shampoos can be formulated for general cleaning, or for specific purposes, such as killing fleas or soothing irritated skin. Since there are more effective methods of accomplishing both of these tasks, we’ll focus only on the sudsy substances that do the best job of cleaning your dog’s hair, without irritating his skin, or making him sick.