Dogs certainly need plenty of stuff. From food and treats to crates and leashes, they’re needs often seem never-ending.
So, we always try to be cognizant of the fact that budgets are finite, and owners have to be selective when choosing which items they buy and which ones they do without.
With that in mind, we’ll go ahead and admit that you needn’t buy a new blanket for your dog if your budget has been stretched to its breaking point. You can just give your dog one of your old blankets.
But blankets designed specifically for dogs are certainly valuable tools that you and your dog will both appreciate. The best ones will last longer, keep your dog more comfortable, and be easier to keep clean than one of your old hand-me-downs. Plus, many feature cute dog-themed patterns and designs that will make you melt with their cuteness.
So, if you can fit a dog blanket in your budget – why not?
We’ll talk about some of the reasons blankets are helpful for dogs, what you’ll want to look for when buying them, and a few tricks for keeping it looking great for years.
We’ll even point out a few of the best dog blankets on the market and identify the one we think is better than the rest!
Quick Picks: Best Dog Blankets Around
See our quick picks below, or keep reading for full reviews and more details!
Why Does Your Dog Need a Blanket, Anyway?
Some of you are likely reading this and wondering why a dog would need a blanket anyway. Most dogs don’t like being covered with a blanket, so what’s the point?
In practice, blankets are actually beneficial in a variety of different ways. Some of the most notable situations and circumstances in which dogs (and owners) will benefit from blankets include:
Short-Haired Dog Breeds
Dogs with short hair or thin coats – greyhounds, Chihuahuas, Chinese cresteds, and even pit bulls – can get chilly pretty easily. But by giving your dog a blanket to nest in, you’ll help them stay warmer and more comfortable.
Even if they don’t have particularly short hair, lanky dog breeds can struggle to stay warm. This includes dogs like Afghan hounds, whippets, and Weimaraners, as well as mixed breeds with long and skinny bodies.
If you give these dogs a blanket to snuggle up with, they’ll stay much warmer in the winter.
Nervous or Anxious Dogs
Blankets aren’t only good for keeping your dog warm – they can also help provide a sense of security (hence the term “security blanket”).
Dogs rarely crawl under a blanket or enjoy having one draped over them, but nervous and anxious individuals will often feel more secure when given the opportunity to cuddle up with a blanket.
Owners with Fancy Furniture
If you have nice furniture, but you don’t want to prohibit your dog from snoozing on the couch or recliner, a durable blanket can help protect your things.
Furniture covers have the same effect, but some owners prefer blankets over proper covers.
Not only will a blanket help shield your stuff from claws, but shed hair, dirt, urine, and saliva too.
Dogs Who Ride in the Car a Lot
If your dog accompanies you wherever you go, you probably already know they can cause a lot of damage to your vehicle’s upholstery (you should see the backseat of my truck – it looks like Edward Scissorhands and Freddy Kreuger were playing patty-cake back there).
By laying a thick and durable blanket across your seats or cargo space (or opting for dog car seat covers), you can eliminate most of this damage.
Dogs Who Need a Cushioned Crate
A thick, memory-foam mattress is the best thing to use in your dog’s crate, but blankets are a good alternative if you lack the funds for a top-notch dog bed. Just be sure to buy a blanket that is large enough to fold over. This will help keep your dog’s joints cushioned enough for comfort.
New and Lonely Puppies
Young puppies often experience a bit of loneliness when they’re separated from their mother and siblings. But a nice, comfy blanket can help provide them with the warmth and body contact they’re missing.
This will often help prevent your puppy from crying while she’s in her crate.
Extend the Life of Your Dog’s Bed
If you do lay out the money for a nice, premium dog bed, you’ll certainly want to ensure it lasts a long time. And while some of the best dog beds have really durable covers, others don’t. But you can make sure any dog bed will last longer by simply using a blanket as a cover. Additionally, this will help keep the bed cleaner and smelling fresher.
Things to Look for When Buying a Dog Blanket
There are a lot of dog blankets on the market, but there’s a huge difference between the good ones and the bad ones.
But you can usually ensure that you end up with the former rather than the latter by looking for blankets that have the following features or characteristics.
Your dog’s blanket will become dirty and smelly after a few days or weeks of use (depending on how you use it and how dirty your pup is). So, you’ll need to wash it regularly to keep it clean. But be careful, as many dog blankets are not suitable for machine washing – they must be washed by hand.
Unless you enjoy breaking out the washboard and doing your Little House on the Prairie impersonation every few days, you’ll want to select a blanket that can be tossed in your washing machine.
Some blankets can also be machine dried, which is obviously ideal, but it isn’t that big of a deal to let your blanket drip dry if an otherwise-ideal blanket isn’t safe to use in the drier.
For the sake of your own nose, you’ll want to be sure you select a blanket that is relatively odor-resistant. Regularly washing your pet’s blanket will help keep the odors at bay, but it is also wise to look for blankets that are made from materials that don’t retain odors.
Some owners should only purchase blankets that are designed to be waterproof, but other owners probably needn’t worry about waterproof materials or treatments when picking a blanket.
For example, if you plan on using the blanket primarily for indoor snuggling purposes, it doesn’t really matter if it is waterproof. If your dog has an accident or starts rolling around on the blanket after her bath, you can just wash it.
Your pup may not have a blanket for a few hours, but this isn’t the end of the world.
On the other hand, if you plan to use the blanket to protect expensive furniture or the backseat of your vehicle, it is very important to select a blanket that will repel any water, slobber or pee your dog produces. It’s also important to stick to waterproof blankets if you intend to use them in any type of outdoor context.
It’s also worth noting that if your dog is older or has some kind of medical issue that causes incontinence, a waterproof blanket is probably a good idea (as is a waterproof dog bed).
A Color That Matches Your Dog’s Fur
This certainly isn’t a mandatory requirement for those shopping for a dog blanket, but it will ensure that the blanket looks better once it’s coated in your dog’s hair. This means you’ll be able to go longer between washes, which will likely help ensure the blanket lasts longer.
Heavy-Duty Seams and Stitching
Some dogs like to chew on their blanket, so you should always try to stick to those that feature high-quality stitching. No conventional stitching will be completely immune to an aggressive chewer’s teeth, but by sticking to blankets with durable stitching, you won’t have to replace them as often.
The Five Best Dog Blankets Around
If you are in the market for a dog blanket, you’ll want to start with the following five products. We’ve not only tried to assemble the very best ones on the market, but we’ve also tried to pick ones that are well-suited for a variety of different applications.
Some, for example, are good for canine comfort, while others are good for protecting your stuff.
1. Rivers West Tundra Waterproof Fleece Blanket
About: The Rivers West Tundra Blanket is not specifically designed for dogs, but it is easily among the best options on the market for your four-footer. Rugged and travel-ready, this is a great blanket to take with you when you go on adventures with your pet.
Features: The Rivers West Tundra Blanket features a multi-layered design, comprised of soft and comfortable fleece outer layers and an internal membrane that will shield your pup from water and wind. The fleece layers are also pretreated by the manufacturer to prevent them from absorbing water.
The blanket comes with a built-in strap and carrying handle, which makes it easy to roll up neatly and throw in the car when heading out the door. It is also machine washable, making it easy to keep the blanket clean and looking its best.
The Rivers West Tundra Blanket is available in 11 attractive colors to suit your tastes and décor.
- 48” x 60”
- 48” x 30”
PROS: Most people who tried the Rivers West Tundra Blanket were happy with their purchase, although it is important to note that many used the blanket for their own needs, rather than a pet. However, several customers did use it for their dog and reported that it worked well for such purposes.
The Rivers West Tundra Blanket is soft and comfortable, and it will work well as a crate cushion. However, its durability and waterproof nature are its most impressive features. It would be a great blanket to use in the car, when you go to the park, or during camping trips.
CONS: There weren’t very many complaints about the Rivers West Tundra Blanket, but a small number of customers reported that the strap included with the blanket didn’t match the ones in the photo. However, this is a very minor issue, that probably shouldn’t stop you from buying this blanket if it otherwise seems like a good choice.
2. Mambe 100% Waterproof Pet Blanket
About: The Mambe Pet Blanket is a great option for protecting your floors, furniture and car upholstery from the wear and tear your dog can dish out. It will not only help protect your belongings from your pet’s claws, but it’ll also help prevent your stuff from drool and urine too, as it is 100% waterproof.
- 100% waterproof (urine too!). Perfect for dogs and cats with incontinence, droolers, and lickers.
- Soft, thick Polartec Classic 200 Fleece (solid colors). Luxurious and silent, not "crinkly".
- Protect your expensive furniture and save time laundering bedding. Also great to cover pet beds and...
- Available in two sizes: Medium: 48"x58" (approx 4'x5'), Large: 58"x84" (approx 5'x7')
Features: The Mambe Pet Blanket is primarily designed as a protective blanket, but it is very comfortable for pets too. Made from Polartec Classic 200 Fleece, the blanket is not only soft and cozy, it doesn’t make “crinkly” sounds like some other blankets do. This is important, as these types of noises are often off-putting to dogs.
A truly premium product, the Mambe Pet Blanket is machine washable (use cold water and dry on a low-heat cycle), made in the USA, and guaranteed for life. This blanket is available in three different colors: Buff, Cappuccino, and Chocolate.
- 48″ x 58″
- 58″ x 84″
PROS: Most owners who tried the Mambe Pet Blanket had only good things to say about it. Several were very happy with the way it protected their belongings from accidents and saliva, and others mentioned that it was helpful for shielding hardwood floors and furniture from pet claws.
Additionally, most owners reported that it was very comfortable and that their dog seemed to enjoy laying on it.
CONS: Most of the problems mentioned by owners who tried the Mambe Pet Blanket were relatively minor. A few complained that the blanket was heavy and that it takes a long time to dry. It may also collect pet hair, but most blankets will suffer from this problem.
3. bogo Brands Large Fleece Pet Blanket
About: The bogo Brands Pet Blanket is a soft and cozy blanket that features an adorable paw-print pattern. This is a great blanket for use in your dog’s crate, or for covering his bed or your furniture, and it’ll help ensure your pup stays warm and cozy when the temperatures fall.
Features: The bogo Brands Pet Blanket is made from an ultra-soft fleece material to provide maximum comfort, and it is large enough to cover the bottom of many crates and dog beds. You could even add it to a backpack-style dog carrier to keep your pooch warm while you’re out and about.
The bogo Brands Pet Blanket is machine washable and backed by the manufacturer’s 90-day, money-back guarantee. Note that this blanket appears black and white in some photos, but the manufacturer describes the color as Tan.
- 60” x 39”
PROS: Many owners (and, more importantly, their dogs) seemed to really like the bogo Brands Pet Blanket. Several reported that the blanket is not only adorable but also extremely soft to the touch. It was also described as being lightweight and easy to carry around. Many large-dog owners were also pleased with the blanket’s size.
CONS: A few owners mentioned that the blanket seemed to wear out after a few months of use, and a few complained that it wasn’t very thick. But given the blanket’s very reasonable price, these are pretty minor concerns.
4. PetFusion Premium Pet Blanket
About: The PetFusion Pet Blanket is a luxurious blanket that will help keep your dog warm or protect your furniture from shed hair and claw marks. It isn’t a great option for outdoor use, but it should work very well in your home or car. It would probably also make a great blanket to use in a backpack-style carrier.
- ULTRA SOFT & COZY: (I) Sized for larger dogs. (II) 100% polyester micro plush, suited for all 4...
- PREMIUM MATERIALS & CONSTRUCTION: (I) Shed (pill) resistant. (II) Dense fibers. (III) Stylish...
- DOUBLE LAYER REVERSIBLE: (I) Dark or light tone, you choose. (II) 200 GSM. (III) 53 x 41 inches
- PROTECTS FURNITURE/PET BED: (I) Protects from scratching, clawing, & unwanted pet hair. (II) Great...
Features: Most pet blankets are soft, but the PetFusion Pet Blanket is softer than most, as it is made from 100% polyester micro plush. The fabric features very dense fibers, which are guaranteed not to shed, and a few other impressive details, such as stylish seams and stitching.
The PetFusion Pet Blanket is available in Chocolate and Slate Gray, and both versions are reversible. The reverse side of the Chocolate version is a light cream color and the reverse side of the Slate Gray blanket is light gray. It is machine washable and backed by a 12-month guarantee against manufacturer defects.
- 31” x 27”
- 44” x 34”
- 53” x 41”
- 60” x 48”
PROS: The PetFusion Premium Pet Blanket received the best reviews of any blanket we examined, and most owners who tried it were very happy with their choice. Most owners reported that it was very soft and that their dog seemed to like using it. A few even reported that it held up well and continued to look great even after being washed several times.
CONS: There really weren’t many complaints about the PetFusion Blanket. A few owners mentioned that it was a little thin, but that’s about it.
5. EXPAWLORER Pet Blanket
About: The EXPAWLORER Pet Blanket is a cute and comfy pet blanket that will help protect your furniture or keep your pet warm on chilly nights. It is very soft to the touch and features an adorable paw-print pattern.
- Two Sizes Available: There are 2 optical sizes S - 30”(76cm) * 20”(52cm) and L - 40”(104cm) *...
- Cute Paw Pattern: Our pet blanket is designed with stylish and lovely paw pattern in 3 different...
- Ultra Soft Material: Our pet blanket is well made of top grade ultra-soft coral fleece material,...
- Keep House Clean: This thick blanket helps to keep the hairs off of your furry companion from...
Features: The EXPAWLORER Pet Blanket is primarily intended for indoor use, and it will make a great addition to your dog’s crate. But no matter where you use it, your dog will surely appreciate the comfort the ultra-soft plush material provides.
The manufacturer does not indicate whether or not the blanket is machine washable, but several owners reported that they machine washed and dried (on low heat) the blanket without any problem. The EXPAWLORER Pet Blanket is available in three different color combinations, including Brown, Pink, and Purple.
- 30” x 20”
- 41” x 31”
PROS: The EXPAWLORER Pet Blanket receive really positive reviews from most of the owners who tried it. This actually caught us a bit by surprise. We figured it was simply a cute and affordable blanket that probably wouldn’t last very long, but most owners raved about it and reported that it was surprisingly durable.
It’s probably not sturdy enough for outdoor use, and it isn’t waterproof, but it deserves serious consideration for owners looking for an indoor blanket.
CONS: There weren’t many complaints about the EXPAWLORER Pet Blanket at all. A few owners mentioned that the small size is, in fact, small, so you’ll probably want to go with the larger size, even if you have a pint-sized pup.
Our Top Selection: It Depends…
If you are looking for a durable blanket to use outdoors, you should probably go with the Mambe Pet Blanket.
It isn’t the coziest blanket of the bunch, but it is 100% waterproof, it’s pretty big, and it’ll probably provide more protection to your floors, furniture, and car than any of the others. It is a bit pricey, but it is cheaper than having your couch reupholstered.
On the other hand, if you are looking for a soft blanket to use in your pet’s crate, and you aren’t very worried about durability, the PetFusion Blanket is probably the best option. It is incredibly soft, and it’ll help keep your pet warm and cozy while chilling in his crate.
Caring for Your Dog’s Blanket
Even if you select one of the low-cost blankets discussed above (such as the EXPAWLORER or bogo Brands blanket), you’ll want to take good care of it so that it lasts for years.
Fortunately, that’s pretty easy to do – just try to employ the following tips and tricks.
- Use a lint roller regularly to remove any shed hair that clings to the blanket. Keeping your dog’s blanket free of shed hair will not only ensure it looks its best, but it’ll also help prevent the hairs from winding up all over your home.
- Wash the blanket regularly and follow the manufacturer’s care instructions. Just be sure you don’t wash your dog’s blanket too often, as this may lead to premature wear. A once per week schedule is a good rule of thumb (as well as anytime it becomes really wet or dirty).
- Keep your pet’s nails trimmed. Your pet’s nails will cause tiny tears in a blanket over time, so try to keep his nails trimmed or filed.
- Treat it with a stain- and moisture-repelling spray. One of the best ways to keep your blanket looking its best is by treating it with a stain-repelling product. Just be sure that you let your pet’s blanket air out for a day or two before giving it back to your pet.
- If you have the time, allow blankets to drip dry. Even blankets that are safe to throw in the dryer will last longer if you limit the amount of time they spend tumbling around in your dryer.
Again, if you haven’t already acquired all of the mandatory things your pup needs (including vaccines, a good crate, a high-quality leash, and an ID tag, among other things), you’ll want to forego buying a new blanket until you do. Just use one of your old blankets (or even a towel, if you have a small dog) until you are ready to move onto optional dog supplies.
However, if you are ready to get your pooch her very own blanket, you want to be sure to get good value for your money.
If you simply look for the features we discuss above and start your search by considering the five mentioned above, this should be pretty easy to accomplish.
Have you stumbled upon a particularly awesome dog blanket? Tell us all about it. We may even include it in a future article update!