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Bringing home a new puppy means you need to go bed shopping! There are a few things you should consider in particular before purchasing a bed for your puppy to ensure they are comfortable and cozy. 

What size dog bed for a puppy?

If you know your puppy will grow to a much larger size, it’s reasonable to purchase a larger bed than necessary for your puppy so they have room to grow. Of course, this depends on how you plan to use the bed, too.

If you are wanting to put the bed in your puppy’s crate, the bed will need to fit, and puppies are often crated in a smaller space than they will be when fully grown. This is done to help with potty training.

Depending on the style of bed, it may be flexible and fold into the smaller space, or you may need to consider purchasing a smaller bed now and a bigger bed in the future.

You should also consider how your puppy prefers to sleep. Do you have a puppy that is a short-haired breed that gets cold more easily? Do they like to sleep tucked into a ball? 

If this is your dog, they would likely enjoy a much smaller bed. A dog that lounges around with a warm coat might prefer a bed mat, or a larger, cooler bed.

two puppies sleeping together

Do you even need a dog bed for a puppy?

If you’re unsure of what your puppy will prefer, don’t fret! You truly don’t need a dog bed for your puppy, especially before you bring them home.

I did not have any dog beds when I brought Windi home as a puppy. Rather, I used old blankets until I could trust him not to destroy a bed.

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Being Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retrievers, my dogs also have a thick coat that keeps them warm, so I was not concerned about him having a bed for warmth.

If I was bringing home a Whippet puppy, or another short-haired breed, I would definitely consider having a cozy bed. This is especially true if the weather wasn’t warm.

In fact, my dogs often prefer no beds in their crate and will pull beds out of the crate to lay on the cool plastic in the summer. This is one area where you really need to consider your dog’s characteristics!

Can a bed be too big for a puppy?

No. A bed that has bolsters that are difficult for a puppy to climb over may be a problem. Also, avoid a bed that’s too big to fit into their crate. However, in general, there are no rules about a bed being too big for a puppy. A bigger bed will take up more space in your home, but it won’t be detrimental to your puppy.

If your puppy is especially small, make sure they are able to climb over any raised edges on the bed, and that the bed isn’t so plush they sink deep within it and struggle to walk on it.

As long as they can maneuver their way around the bed, you can pick a bed bigger than necessary!

puppy sleeping in warm bed

Does a puppy need a bed for their crate?

Beds are not required for crates. In fact, they can be a danger for some puppies if they ingest pieces of the bed. They also may require frequent cleaning as some puppies find the texture of dog beds an ideal choice for a place to potty within their crate.

If your puppy enjoys beds, and would otherwise be cold, a bed is a reasonable thing to include in their crate.

Choosing a bed that is tough and sturdy will reduce the risk of ingesting pieces.

My personal dogs are fluffy and get warm easily, so they prefer not to have beds within their crates.

I have tried several different types of beds and blankets, and they almost always push them out of the way or even pull them out of the kennel before stretching out on the plastic floor.

It might seem harsh to not give your puppy a bed in their crate, but if your dog is always trying to move them out of the way, the bed isn’t serving any purpose for your puppy.

With new puppies, I often give them old blankets as I determine if they enjoy the bed, and what aspects they enjoy. This will give you valuable information before purchasing an actual dog bed for them.

This may also change with age or with the climate, so make sure you are aware that your dog’s preferences may change and you may need to adjust as they grow.

5 Best Puppy Beds

Depending on what your puppy enjoys about beds, these are a few of my favorite kinds of beds for new puppies.

Western Home Raised Dog Bed

This bed is one I personally own – I actually have several! My dogs enjoy the softer support of the cot-style bed, while the airflow allows them to stay cool.

With young puppies, the climb on top of the bed may be a struggle until they are more coordinated.

It’s also a bed that’s not as easy to put in a kennel unless it’s exceptionally large, and they mostly stay in one place within my home because they can’t be squished into different spaces.

However, it still rates as one of my top bed choices for puppies because it’s free of stuffing that can be ingested, is easy to clean and won’t soak up urine, and can easily be made warmer for dogs that prefer more warmth by adding a few blankets.

K9 Ballistics Tough Dog Crate Pad

This bed rates highly because of the tough exterior that resists rips and tears from puppy teeth and nails, keeping them safer from the stuffing inside.

It’s also waterproof, making it longer-lasting than other beds that may be subject to repeated accidents from a puppy being potty trained.

This bed also fits nicely within a crate and can be folded and moved if you want to take the bed to other locations.

Moveability is a big plus for me because I like to teach my dogs to settle on a bed and then take the mat to outdoor patios, events, and other places where I want my dog to settle.

Snoozer Cozy Cave Bed

For puppies that can’t get enough of cuddling under the blankets, consider this bed that will let them cozy up under the hood and tuck themselves in nice and cozy!

It’s also fully washable, which is an important consideration with puppies, and replacement covers are available.

Different sizes are available so different breeds can still have a snug and cozy bed. The edge of the hood can also be held open with a removable plastic tube for dogs that enjoy being under the covers but struggle to wiggle their way under them without a stiff ledge.

Best Friends by Sheri Donut Bed

This bed is another perfect option for puppies that want to sink into something cozy, but might not burrow under the blankets.

It’s also plush enough to let dogs do some digging and rearranging to make it fit their exact idea of comfort!

Depending on the size, it can either be washed in its entirety or has a removable and washable cover.

The durable bottom also keeps any accidents from seeping through the bed and onto your floors.

Bedsure Orthopedic Puppy Bed

Finally, if your pup loves to cuddle up against something and lean into it, or rest their head on a pillow, a bed like this one gives them lots of options for ways to sleep and rest their head!

It’s also washable and has an inner waterproof lining.

My dogs enjoy resting their heads on pillows when sleeping, so instead of sleeping on super plush beds, they will treat them like a giant stuffed toy or a pillow.

A bed like this one, with a supportive center and an edge for resting their head, is something they would actually use as a bed rather than an oversized pillow.