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Product Review: PetTherapeutics Dog Beds






In the fall of 2023 the Center for Canine Behavior Studies was asked to provide feedback on a variety of PetTherapeutics luxury dog beds formulated to provide outstanding comfort and reduce anxiety. 5 homes received luxury pet beds and a total of 11 rescue dogs of various sizes and breeds had regular access to the beds. 8 were male, 3 female, and their ages ranged from 1 to 15 years old. The homes were mainly inhabited by adults, with the exception of one home with two children. All of the homes had a variety of other pet beds available to the dogs, and the dogs also had regular access to human couches and beds.


All of the participants were impressed by the beds' aesthetic and structural design. It is clear how much thought and detail were put into the construction of each bed. The luxurious designs are complementary to any home decor. 


A majority of the beds were placed in a common room, like a living or dining room. All but 2 of the dogs approached the bed and sniffed it when it was introduced to the home. If the dogs laid on it, it wasn’t for a long duration, generally less than an hour. All of the dogs seemed to appreciate the high back and sides, and many curled into the corners or leaned on the siding. None of the participating dogs were destructive to the beds. Some owners found that their dogs used the beds more after taking the legs off or adding blankets/plush fabric to the beds. 


In summary, the bed's exquisite design impressed our team. The pet beds/sofas are far more attractive than traditional dog beds and elevate the aesthetics within the living space. The dogs included in this observation would utilize the pet bed more often when in the company of their humans. All of the dogs are given access to human furniture and seem to prefer the human furniture to any type of pet bed. However, if the human furniture was off limits, these luxury beds would be a great substitute for the dogs. Modifications are suggested to accommodate small breed dogs and senior dogs. 


Below is a more detailed observation and feedback from each home:

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Dr. Nicholas Dodman - Rusty, 15 year old Shepherd mix; Weighs 65 pounds. 


Rusty showed some interest in the bed initially, sniffing it for a few seconds each day as it was a novel object in the environment. He got on it for a few minutes on day 3 but did not seem to get comfortable and soon hopped off to be on his Orvis bed. He pretty much ignored the bed for the next few days and only got on it again once – on day 13 of the study. This time he curled up on it and went to sleep for a couple of hours. We had to wake him up and take him out for his “last thing” walk or he may have been on it for longer.

 

The bed I received was attractive looking. It was cushioned and covered with a nicely patterned fabric. I made no modifications to it but thought removing the legs or adding a blanket or fleece might make it more attractive to my dog. I think the test bed is a good product and was thoughtfully designed. Elevation of the test bed on short legs makes it more suitable for shelters etc., although the slight elevation could be a challenge for older arthritic dogs. My dog is old (15 years old) and arthritic, so I did briefly consider removing the short legs.

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Vivian Zottola: George, a 10 year old Cockapoo weighing 35 pounds. 

The beds are beautifully crafted, and the fabric used is of good quality. I actually like showing it off and it now sits in my living room. I'm certain many people will find these beds appealing and buy them. My male cat, Nino, and a spunky adolescent female dog guest used the bed occasionally and preferred the bed without the pillow on it. My senior dog, George, who has arthritis, could not jump on the bed as it was too high. He laid on it a few times after I removed the legs and the pillow, but overall, he found his own bed more comfortable.

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Nahid Shirzadkhan: Toffee, a 10 year old Chihuahua weighing 10 pounds. 


As a product designer with nearly a decade of experience, including four years specializing in pet products, I find this dog bed impressive. It's stylish and fits well in homes, matching different interior designs. However, we must remember that our main customers are pets, not their owners. Many pet products prioritize pleasing owners over meeting pets' needs. While it's important for a product to look good, pet owners care most about their pets' comfort and well-being. If a product fulfills all their pet's needs, they might overlook its appearance. So, while this bed looks nice, we need to focus on what pets really need: comfort and functionality. We should balance making products look good with ensuring they're practical and comfy for pets.

 

Get into the details, for your reference I have a 10 years old chihuahua, his name is Toffee. Many small dog breeds, like Toffee, encounter back knee challenges such as patella luxation as they age. When I received the bed, I quickly realized that the height of the bed posed difficulties for him, especially given his condition. While the bed's height may be suitable for younger dogs, it doesn't consider the needs of senior dogs. To ensure the bed caters to a broader market, including senior pets, adjusting the height to a lower level or allowing owners to customize the bed's height according to their dog's needs and preferences would greatly improve accessibility and comfort. Toffee initially struggled to use the bed, particularly on our slippery parquet flooring. I had to reposition the bed closer to a carpeted area to help him access it more easily. Even then, he sometimes needed assistance from me to get onto it. Adjusting the height to accommodate senior pets like Toffee would make a significant difference in ensuring their well-being and satisfaction.


Toffee, like many dogs, prefers soft and fluffy materials for sleeping. However, I found the material of the bed to be somewhat uncomfortable and stiff for him, especially for extended periods such as overnight stays. Additionally, the bed's size is a bit restrictive, particularly when Toffee wants to share it with his favorite toy. He struggles to fit comfortably, and it becomes even more challenging given the limited space. Considering this, I believe that the size and shape of the bed need to be adjusted to better accommodate the average size of small dog breeds. This would ensure that dogs like Toffee have ample space to stretch out and relax, as well as share their bed comfortably with their beloved toys.


In addition, I'd like to address a safety concern regarding the design of the bed. With support provided on only one side and the other side completely open, there's a risk of accidents occurring. Toffee, for instance, has attempted to roll over on the bed only to accidentally fall off due to the lack of support on one side. This design flaw is particularly concerning given the bed's considerable height.


I appreciate the color of the product, as it seamlessly matches with any home decor. However, to make the product more appealing to dogs, we must consider their color spectrum. Dogs are almost color blind, they primarily see colors in shades of blue and yellow due to their limited color vision. It's worth noting that most BARK dog toy products are blue for this reason. Incorporating indicators in these colors would significantly enhance the bed's visibility to dogs within their environment. Even small indicators, such as patches or tags in these colors, could make a notable difference. To test this theory, I placed a small blue ball on the bed and observed that Toffee was drawn to it, using the bed more frequently afterward. This simple addition could enhance the bed's appeal and usability for dogs.


From the owner's perspective, another important consideration is the bed's durability and ease of cleaning. While the cushion can be detached and washed, maintaining the cleanliness of the rest of the bed's body can be challenging if it becomes dirty. However, I appreciate the clever way the cushion is attached to the bed with small rubbers, which helps keep it in place. Therefore, making some adjustments to allow for easier removal and washing of the entire cover would be highly advantageous for pet owners. This adjustment would simplify the cleaning process and extend the bed's overall longevity and usability and ultimately, this provides a more convenient and practical solution for pet owners, enhancing their overall satisfaction with the bed.


I appreciate the weight of the product, as it provides stability and prevents it from moving around. This feature is particularly beneficial for puppies with lots of energy who may tend to jump or play vigorously. The weight ensures that the bed stays in place, offering a secure and comfortable spot for puppies to rest and play without the risk of it shifting or tipping over.


Overall, the concept of having a small version of a sofa for dogs is truly remarkable. It offers a cozy and stylish spot for our furry friends to relax, mirroring the comfort and luxury we enjoy in our own furniture. With some adjustments, I am confident that this product will undoubtedly capture the market's attention.


Thank you for providing me with the opportunity to offer feedback on the bed you sent. It's greatly appreciated to have the chance to share my thoughts and insights on its design and functionality. Your openness to receiving feedback demonstrates a commitment to continuous improvement and customer satisfaction, which is commendable. If you require any assistance with the design process, I would be more than happy to lend my expertise. Once again, thank you for valuing my feedback and for the opportunity to be part of the process.

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Robin Grimm: Fancy, 4 year old Greyhound, 70 pounds; Sam, 5 year old Greyhound, 80 pounds; Davey, 12 year old Rat Terrier, 12 pounds; Mr. Peabody, 4 year old Dachshund, 21 pounds; Hazel, 1 year old Italian Greyhound, 10 pounds. Dudley, 5 year old mixed breed, 55 pounds.


Mr. Peabody, my most insecure dog, used the bed the most in comparison to the other dogs in the home, on average for a half hour each day.  Davey, a blind dog, used it a few times initially and is taking to it more and more. Big old Dudley squeezed in once, but that's typical Dudley, he has to try everyone's stuff. Peabody seemed very comfortable when he was in it. It's hard to judge in our house, because our dogs only stay in a room where we are - so unless I put the bed in the bedroom/sitting room, it's not going to get huge use...and when we are in that room, the dogs are on the bed or settee’ with us. My bed was a crushed velvet fabric. The room the bed is located in tends to be used more in the summer when the sun shines in that sliding door in the late afternoon, so I suspect they will use it more then.

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Allie Tellier, Brutus, 5 year old boxer/bulldog mix, 70 pounds; Shelly, 13 year old pit bull, 35 pounds.


I was in awe when I received this bed. It was beautifully designed, easy to set up, and very sturdy. My bed resembled a miniature leather couch. The bottom cushion buttons to the frame of the couch to stop it from slipping off. The bed was placed in our main living room which is adjacent to our dining room. Shelly was the first to investigate the bed, as I expected. She curiously sniffed every inch while wagging her tail. She brought a toy to it and laid down for a few minutes. In the days that followed, Shelly would lay on the couch sporadically, but much prefers laying with her humans on their couch. Shelly will also lay anywhere there is a blanket, and I found when I added a blanket to the bed that Shelly was more apt to use the bed.


Brutus did not interact with the bed for the first week, which is typical for him since Shelly touched it first. In the weeks that followed, Brutus would lay on the bed while our family ate dinner, or if all of the spots on the human couch were taken. He didn’t last long in it, opting for his other preferred spots in our home - our bed. Brutus is a shy, socially anxious dog so his behavior towards the bed did not surprise us. He too preferred to use it when there was a blanket on it. The height was no issue for either dog, even with Shelly’s arthritis. 



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