The 10 Best Vet Recommended Calming Dog Beds of 2022

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When dogs get anxious or stressed, they may turn to destructive behaviors or have accidents in the house. They need to find a sense of security to help them calm down. 

While not a cure-all, calming beds may help your pooch relax and get needed rest. But not all products are equal. When choosing a bed for your furbaby, you need to know what you should look for. 

As a retired veterinarian and dog owner, I have a vested interest in finding the best calming dog bed. So, I reviewed several products currently on the market to help you find the right product for your pal’s needs. 

After evaluating more than 30 calming do beds, I chose the “Best Friends by Sheri Donut Dog Bed” as our favorite because the design encourages nesting which helps to relax your pooch.  With a non-toxic filling,  this bed gives your pup adequate support for his joints, head, and neck. The product is also machine washable for easy cleaning.

But I understand that you might have different needs, whether you’re searching for a bed for an extra-large breed or a self-warming bed. That is why I prepared a shortlist of our top 5 best calming dog beds that address different needs. 

In addition, in the review section below we listed our top 10 choices so you can find the best pick for you and your furry family member. 

But first, let me explain the benefits of calming dog beds, how they can help anxious pups. I’ll describe the different styles or types of calming beds out there and give you some rules of thumb to help you make the best choice for your pal’s needs & some tips on how to ease his anxiety.

Calming Dog Beds Can Help With Anxiety, But They’re Not a Magic Cure

Dalmatian dog is cuddling in his donut calming dog bed

Whether your pooch is a rescue with a traumatic past or gets scared during fireworks or thunderstorms, there are many things you can do to help your pup deal with his anxiety. By offering a comfortable, supportive place to sleep, calming beds help many pups to relax and feel safe. But they’re not an instant cure-all. It often takes a combination of several things to ease canine nerves. 

Below, we’ll explain different types of calming beds and how they work. Then we’ll share some pointers to help you find the right product for your needs. 

What Are Calming Beds, And How Do They Reduce Anxiety? 

Also called anti-anxiety beds, these sleeping products are designed specifically to soothe your pooch and relieve stress. They frequently have a round shape with raised edges and a soft center. The donut shape surrounds or swaddles your furbaby. 

Our dogs can experience anxiety much as we do. This happens when they anticipate something unpleasant will be happening soon. All breeds can and will have anxious moments, but if the fear is continual or out of proportion, it can lead to an anxiety disorder and unwanted behavior. 

How can you tell if your pup is experiencing anxiety? Depending on the cause and the dog, signs can vary from trembling and hiding to aggressive behavioral changes. Some cues that your pup is feeling anxious include:

  • Tail-tucking
  • Trying to escape
  • Drooling, or panting, 
  • Pacing and restlessness
  • Whining or barking
  • Destructive behavior
  • Peeing or pooping in the house

There are many reasons that a pup can start showing signs of anxiety. Fear-based anxiety can be the result of loud noises, unpleasant experiences, a change in environment, or other stimuli. For some canines, separation or being left alone sets off feelings of anxiety. And as some dogs age, they lose cognitive function which can result in confusion and stress.

Calming beds create a snug and cozy feeling like a den. This helps to provide your special pal with a sense of security that’s reassuring and calming. Snuggling into the bed can encourage dogs to relax and fall asleep. With a good night’s sleep, your furbaby is more likely to have a positive attitude and calmer behavior.

Most calming beds are made from materials that are chosen with your dog’s needs in mind. Some products have memory foam or polyurethane fibers and often have a faux fur top. By providing a soft but supportive sleeping surface, these beds help give your pup a sense of security, And the fluffy top may remind some pooches of snuggling in a puppy pile with their mama. This memory offers a powerful calming effect.

Reasons Dogs Love Calming Beds

Even if a  bed has properties that can help relieve your pup’s stress, it’s useless if your pal won’t use it. But rest assured, dogs love these beds. Here’s why:

  • They ease anxiety – Calming beds are designed to help relieve your dog’s anxiety. The shape and bolsters give your pooch a sense of security that triggers the autonomic nervous system to help your furbaby relax and calm down.
  • They encourage restful sleep –  Like their human parents, dogs sleep better if they’re relaxed. The calming effects of these beds help your pooch settle into restful slumber, and that leads to a better attitude and positive behavior.
  • They’re soft and comfortable – The soft faux-fur surface of a calming bed is comfortable because it’s reminiscent of snuggling with littermates. With an added bolster, dogs have a headrest that helps to align the head and neck. Supportive materials in the middle offer cushioning that can take pressure off the joints. 
  • They’re soothing and warm – Because the faux-fur mimics the feel of a mother’s coat, it’s soothing to dogs. The materials also help to retain your pup’s body heat to keep him warm and comfortable.

Does My Dog Need a Calming Bed?

Many dogs benefit from calming beds. You should consider getting one if you have a pooch that shows anxiety: 

  • When he’s home alone
  • If there’s a loud noise like a thunderstorm or fireworks
  • Because he’s older and is feeling confused

Bear in mind, a bed alone may not be enough, but it is an important piece in the puzzle. Combined with other calming aids and proper training, you can help your pooch overcome anxiety.

Types of Calming Beds

white large terrier is resting in his bolster calming dog bed

Because not all dogs are the same, there are different types and styles of calming beds. Some provide orthopedic support for older dogs, some have bolsters, and others are more like a cocoon. Let’s take a look:

  • Bolster-style Beds – These beds have a raised edge or bolster on three sides. They’re good for larger pups because they provide an easy entry, a side to lean against, and a headrest.
  • Cave-Style Beds – With a cave-style dog bed, there’s a pocket that your furbaby can climb into. It offers a cocoon-like feeling that’s soothing for both small and large dogs.
  • Donut-style Beds – Donut beds have a soft middle and a raised bolster all the way around. Many small breeds like this style because they can curl up in a tight ball and feel like they’re snuggling with a pile of puppies.
  • Orthopedic Dog Beds – Because older dogs often experience joint pain, they can benefit from an orthopedic bed made from memory foam. For some pups, pain triggers feelings of anxiety, so providing a supportive place to sleep is comforting.
  • Self-warming Dog Beds – Imagine curling up in your favorite chair by the fire and you can see why warming beds help to calm some pooches. If feeling cold stresses out your furbaby, this may be the way to go.

13 Rules of Thumb When Purchasing a Calming Dog Bed

Shiba Uno is laying in her caved-style calming dog bed

Not all calming beds are created equal. So, when you’re searching for a sleeping pad for your pooch, there are some important things to consider. Below are some rules of thumb that you can use to help you with your decision.

  • Size: For the full calming effect, you want to choose a bed that’s the right size. Look for a product that’s large enough for your furbaby to fit without being too spacious. Remember that creating a cocooning effect is part of the goal in a calming bed.
  • Material: When choosing a calming bed for your pup, you want it to last. Make sure the material and construction are designed to stand up to your pup without falling apart. You want a product that’s non-toxic and dog-safe. It should be free of any parts of fasteners that could tear off and become a choking hazard.
  • Stuffing: The stuffing in a calming bed should be thick and comfortable. The fill should retain its shape to provide a soft sleeping area for your pooch.
  • Waterproof Lining: Particularly if you’re buying a calming bed for a senior pooch, look for a waterproof lining. This will make it easier to clean up after your pup has an accident, and it will help provide a dry surface for sleeping.
  • Odor Resistant: A pleasant-smelling bed provides a more comfortable sleeping experience. And it’s more pleasant for you as well. Look for products that have antibacterial faux-fur because they tend to resist odors more effectively. 
  • Machine Washable: It’s important to have a bed that’s easy to clean. Dogs get dirty, and sooner or later they’re bound to have accidents. Look for products that are machine washable and dryer-safe. The best options will have a washable filling.
  • Removable Cover: If the inside of the dog bed is not machine-washable, choose a product that has a removable slipcover. You should be able to toss the cover in the washer to clean it. Usually, the manufacturers advise air drying to avoid shrinking the material.
  • Non-Slip: The last thing an anxious dog needs is for his bed to slip out from under him when he climbs into it. Check to make sure the bottom is slip or skid-resistant. 
  • Anti-anxiety Features: Pick features that fit your pooch. If you have a snuggler, go with a round or oval donut-style bed. Pups that like hiding under the bed or the covers may prefer a cave-style bed. For older pooches, go with an orthopedic option to provide extra support.
  • Orthopedic Features: If your dog is aging or shows signs of joint pain, look for a bed with orthopedic features. Supportive fill like memory foam can provide a sense of support that helps to comfort older pups.
  • Eco-Friendliness: Check to see if the bed is eco-friendly. Environmentally friendly materials are frequently made from recycled materials such as clothing fibers, plastic bags, or plastic bottles. They should be non-toxic materials that provide adequate support and comfort for your pooch.
  • Warranty: A calming bed is an investment. Check to see if the manufacturer offers a warranty. Knowing that the product is backed with some guarantees may also provide assurance that you’re purchasing a high-quality product.
  • Made in the USA: We’ve all heard stories about imported products. To ensure that you’re purchasing a quality bed that’s safe and built to last, look for products that are made in the USA or other countries that have standards for product quality and safety.

Our 2022 Top 10 Best Calming Dog Beds

Boxer puppy is sleeping in his self-warming calming dog bed

After reviewing more than 30  elevated dog beds with stairs using the criteria mentioned above, we chose our 10 best calming dog beds that we think are essential to your fur baby getting the proper rest that he needs. 

Best Friends by Sheri The

  • Material: faux fur or shag
  • Durability: reinforced double stitching
  • Stuffing: Air Loft Fibers
  • Machine Washable: Yes
  • Waterproof Lining: Yes – on the bottom
  • Removable Cover: Yes
  • Warranty: No
  • Made in the USA: No
  • Best for: Top Pick Overall / Donut-Style Dog Bed

The round shape of this bed creates a cozy pocket for your pup to snuggle into. The cover is a soft shag or faux fur depending on the bed size. It comes in a variety of colors and four sizes ranging from small to extra large.

Featuring responsibly sourced, pet-safe materials, this product has a resilient Airloft fiberfill. The sides are secured with durable double-lock stitching, and the cover is removable. Small-sized beds are safe to machine wash and dry. For larger sizes, you can machine wash and dry the removable cover.

This product has 360-degree bolsters for your furbaby to rest his head. The bottom is water-resistant to help keep your floors clean. There’s a 30-day return policy for unused beds.

What We Like

  • It’s machine washable and dryer safe
  • It’s portable and easy to move from room to room
  • It’s pet-safe and made with non-toxic materials

What Dogs Love About It

  • The cover mimics mom’s fur
  • It’s soft and supportive

What We Don’t Like

  • The faux fur can get matted when you wash it
  • The fill can shift around and leave open spots

Friends Forever Donut Bed, Faux Fur Dog Beds

  • Material: synthetic plush faux fur
  • Durability: High
  • Stuffing: non-toxic fiberfill
  • Machine Washable: Yes
  • Waterproof Lining: No
  • Removable Cover: No
  • Warranty: Yes – 1 year
  • Made in the USA: No
  • Best for: Affordable Price

Available in Small, Medium, and Large sizes, this donut-style bed features plush faux fur that should remind your furbaby of snuggling up to mama. The non-toxic filling offers support for the head and body.

This product is easy to clean. It’s machine washable and dryer-safe. There’s a raised rim around the edges to make a cozy place to snuggle in and feel secure. It comes with a 1-year warranty.

What We Like

  • It’s easy to clean
  • It has no toxic materials
  • It’s durable
  • It’s a good value for the money

What Dogs Love About It

  • It’s soft and cozy
  • The faux fur is soothing

What We Don’t Like

  • The black rubber non-skid dots on the bottom of the bed tend to fall off
  • It has a chemical smell when it comes out of the package

Big Barker 7″ Pillow Orthopedic Dog Bed

  • Material: microsuede cover
  • Durability: High
  • Stuffing: 3-layer, 7” Orthopedic foam interior
  • Machine Washable: cover only
  • Waterproof Lining: No – Not included but available separately
  • Removable Cover: Yes
  • Warranty: Yes – 10 years
  • Made in the USA: Yes
  • Best for: Orthopedic Dog Bed

Made for large dogs, this bed features a soft, durable microsuede cover and mattress. It’s made for maximum comfort and support. With three layers of orthopedic memory foam, the Big Barker is designed to improve mobility and ease joint pain in dogs that suffer from arthritis.

This product is manufactured in America and complies with CertiPUR-US standards for content, durability, and emissions. It’s non-toxic. Carefully designed for larger breeds, this product has a 10-year quality guarantee to retain at least 90% of its shape.

What We Like

  • Made in the USA
  • Easy to Clean
  • Meets CertiPUR-US durability and emissions standards

What Dogs Love About It

  • It’s comfortable
  • It provides lots of support

What We Don’t Like

  • It can tear easily if your dog claws at it
  • It’s not chew-proof

Aspen Pet Self Warming Beds

  • Material: faux lambswool
  • Durability: Good
  • Stuffing: Mylar lining, polyester fiberfill
  • Machine Washable: Yes, “fluff” dry
  • Waterproof Lining: No
  • Removable Cover: No
  • Warranty: No
  • Made in the USA: No
  • Best for: Self-Warming Dog bed

Made for dogs that love a warm, cozy nest, the Aspen Self-Warming Bed features a mylar lining that reflects your pup’s body heat. The lambswool and corduroy cover mimics the soft feel of snuggling in a puppy pile. 

This product features a 360-degree bolster and is available in a variety of shapes, sizes, and colors. It has a non-skid bottom to prevent the bed from sliding across the floor when your furbaby gets in or out. 

Cleaning is a snap with this bed. You can hand wash or run it through the washer in a cold setting. Air dry or set your dryer to “fluff’. This bed is made in China.

What We Like

  • It’s sturdy and durable
  • It’s easy to clean
  • It’s lightweight and portable

What Dogs Love About It

  • It’s soft and cozy
  • They help dogs stay warm 

What We Don’t Like

  • The filling can shift around and create uneven bedding
  • It’s not made in the U.S.

K&H Pet Products Thermo-Snuggly Sleeper Heated Pet Bed Sage

  • Material: faux suede
  • Durability: Good
  • Stuffing: foam walls, poly fiberfill
  • Machine Washable: Yes
  • Waterproof Lining: Yes – bottom
  • Removable Cover: Yes
  • Warranty: Yes – 1 year
  • Made in the USA: No
  • Best for: Bolster dog bed

With supportive foam walls for your pup to nuzzle against or rest his head, this snuggle bed features a removable low-watt electric heater. The thermoregulated dual thermostat controls respond to temperature changes so that they can warm your pup only when he’s in the bed. 

The cover is removable and machine washable. Although made in China, this product has certification from MET Labs that it meets electrical safety standards for California and the USA. It’s available in medium and large sizes. 

What We Like

  • It’s easy to clean
  • It has certification for electrical safety
  • It’s well-made and has firm sides

What Dogs Love About It

  • It warms to a dog’s body temperature
  • It’s soft

What We Don’t Like

  • The pillow’s fill tends to bunch up over time
  • There’s not enough fill in the center for some dogs

Furhaven Pet Dog Bed – Round Plush Faux Fur Refillable Ball Nest 

  • Material: faux suede
  • Durability: Good
  • Stuffing: foam walls, poly fiberfill
  • Machine Washable: Yes
  • Waterproof Lining: No
  • Removable Cover: Yes
  • Warranty: Yes – 1 year
  • Made in the USA:  memory foam – Yes; cover – no
  • Best for: Cave-Style bed

Available in a range of sizes and a variety of styles and colors, this dog bed from Furhaven is made to give your pooch a sense of security. It’s made with micropile velvet on the surface and eggshell memory foam in the interior.  The firm supportive foam should help take pressure off your pup’s joints

This bed has an attached hood that functions as a blanket or a burrow for your pooch’s comfort. With a removable and machine washable cover, this product is easy to keep clean. There’s a 1-year limited warranty on the bed. The foam is made in the USA and meets national standards for durability, emissions, and content.

What We Like

  • CertiPUR tested to meet US quality standards
  • It’s easy to assemble the hood
  • The cover is easy to remove for cleaning

What Dogs Love About It

  • It’s soft and well-padded
  • It feels like a cozy den

What We Don’t Like

  • The plastic tubing for the hood is flimsy
  • The lining can shed and leave fibers everywhere

Furhaven Pet – Ultra Plush Orthopedic Ergonomic Contour Dog Bed

  • Material: brushed quilted fabric
  • Durability: Fair
  • Stuffing: fluff-filled bolster, egg-crate foam base
  • Machine Washable: Yes
  • Waterproof Lining: No
  • Removable Cover: Yes
  • Warranty: Yes – 30-day return, 90 days for defects
  • Made in the USA: memory foam – Yes; cover – no
  • Best for: Easiest to clean

Designed like a sofa for your dog, this product from Furhaven features fluff-filled bolsters on three sides and a memory foam base. The cover is made of soft, brushed fabric. It comes in a range of sizes. It’s easily removable and machine washable.

The orthopedic egg-crate foam offers your furbaby support and air circulation to help soothe achy joints. With soft bolsters, your pal will have a comfortable spot to rest his head. There’s a 90-day limited warranty for defects. 

What We Like

  • It’s certified by CertiPUR to meet US standards for emissions, durability, and content
  • The memory foam is made in the USA
  • It’s easy to remove and clean the cover

What Dogs Love About It

  • It’s supportive and comfortable
  • It has plenty of space for large dogs

What We Don’t Like

  • The product quality varies between beds
  • The fabric can tear if your dog likes to paw at his bed

PUPPBUDD Calming Dog Bed

  • Material: nylon and faux fur
  • Durability: Fair
  • Stuffing: eco-friendly fiberfill
  • Machine Washable: Yes
  • Waterproof Lining: Yes 
  • Removable Cover: No
  • Warranty: No
  • Made in the USA: No
  • Best for: Extra-Large dog breeds

Featuring a durable nylon and faux fur cover, this bed from PUPPBUDD is designed to comfort and soothe your anxious pup. The oval design fits the canine shape for restful sleep. Eco-friendly fiberfill on the inside offers firm support to ease joint pain.

This product has a raised rim to create a snuggly center and comfortable headrest. The bed is fully washable and dryer safe. Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for cleaning. Suitable for a dog up to 100 pounds, the XXX-Large size will fit many large breeds.

What We Like

  • It’s easy to wash
  • The fill is thick and plush
  • It helps calm anxious dogs

What Dogs Love About It

  • It’s soft and cozy
  • The faux fur feels like another dog

What We Don’t Like

  • The cover is thin and rips easily
  • It doesn’t retain its shape well

Nononfish

  • Material: plush faux fur
  • Durability: Fair
  • Stuffing: virgin pearl cotton
  • Machine Washable: Yes
  • Waterproof Lining: Yes
  • Removable Cover: No
  • Warranty: No
  • Made in the USA: No
  • Best for: Bed & Blanket Set

With a donut shape and wrap-around bolster, this calming bed is designed to let your pooch nest. It has a faux fur cover that mimics sleeping with littermates or mom. There are crevices in the product to help your furbaby burrow into the bed. The bottom is waterproof and skid-resistant.

The bed can be hand or machine-washed and tumble-dried on a low heat setting. There is no removable cover. A paw-print blanket is included with your purchase. It’s available in a variety of sizes and colors. 

What We Like

  • It’s made with non-toxic materials
  • It’s easy to clean
  • It’s affordable

What Dogs Love About it

  • It’s soft and easy to burrow into
  • It has fur that feels like mom

What We Don’t Like

  • It’s not chew-proof
  • There’s not enough cushion/fill in the bed 

Best Pet Supplies Pet Tent 

  • Material: faux suede, linen, or corduroy
  • Durability: Good
  • Stuffing: poly-foam
  • Machine Washable: Yes
  • Waterproof Lining: Yes
  • Removable Cover: No
  • Warranty: No
  • Made in the USA: Yes
  • Best for: Tent-Style calming bed

Made with durable materials, this tent bed is designed to feel like a cozy den to your pooch. It comes in different sizes, colors, and cover fabrics. Select the product that’s best suited to your furbaby’s needs. 

There’s supportive polyfoam filling and a plush cuddle pillow to help your pup relax and feel secure. The product is machine-washable. It’s easy to assemble and take apart so you can bring it with you on trips. This product is made in the US.

What We Like

  • It’s made in the US
  • It’s durable and sturdy
  • It’s easy to set up and move around

What Dogs Love About It

  • It’s warm and cozy
  • It helps dogs feel secure

What We Don’t Like

  • Some beds tend to collapse inward
  • It has a chemical odor when it comes out of the package

Veterinary Tips to Help Ease Your Dog’s Anxiety

Labrador is staring out the window while laying on his donut bed

If your pup is showing signs of anxiety, consult with your veterinarian. A physical exam and workup can rule out any underlying diseases. Fido’s doctor may also have helpful recommendations for you. In addition to a calming bed, here are things you can try to help soothe your furbaby.

  • Exercise Your Dog – Some dogs show anxiety because they have excess energy. Try a long walk or another exercise. Physical activity can help reduce aggression and feelings of anxiety.
  • Remove Anxiety Triggers – If you know what makes your pup anxious, remove it if possible. Sometimes easing anxiety is as easy as avoiding stressful situations.
  • Make a Safe Place – A dog that’s prone to high anxiety and is hard to calm may need an escape. In this case, you should set up a “safe house” or a quiet sanctuary where your pup can retreat. Set aside a room where you can dim the lights and block out sound with white noise like soothing music.
  • Use Dog Appeasing Pheromones – When a female dog nurses her puppies, she releases calming pheromones. Dog appeasing pheromones are designed to mimic these natural chemicals. You can choose from sprays, infusers, and collars to deliver the soothing substance to your pooch.
  • Talk to Your Vet About Medications – There are some anti-anxiety medicines available for dogs. If other actions and resources don’t seem to help soothe your pooch, consult with your veterinarian.
  • Try Behavior Modification – Behavior modification helps some pups overcome anxiety. Talk with your veterinarian about ways to retrain your pooch. You may need to consult with a certified animal behaviorist.

The Final Woof

mixed 16 years old Jack Russell is sleeping in his red calming dog bed

After evaluating the various products, we recommend Best Friends by Sheri Donut Dog Bed as the Best Calming Dog Bed.

This classic donut-style sleeping mat checks most of the boxes of our desirable criteria. It has a soft, faux fur cover that has a calming effect on many pups. The design encourages nesting which helps to relax your pooch. 

With a non-toxic filling,  this bed gives your pup adequate support for his joints, head, and neck. The product is also machine washable for easy cleaning.

Photo of author
Dr. Libby Guise earned her DVM from the University of Minnesota in 1994. After working in private practice in Wisconsin for two years, she joined the USDA as a Veterinary Medical Officer. In 2011, Libby came home to focus on raising and teaching her adoptive daughter. She lives in Wisconsin with her daughter, husband, and two furbabies: Charis, a lab-mix rescue pup, and Chesed, a Springer Spaniel.

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