Most dogs love to accompany their owners on overnight trips (it’s much better than spending the night in a kennel), but you’ll need to keep your dog comfortable during your travels.
One of the best ways to do this is by bringing along a portable travel bed, on which your dog can snooze through the night.
There are a number of portable beds on the market that are great for exactly this kind of purpose, but some of the models are better than others. Below, we’ll explore some of the most important things to look for in a travel bed and recommend six great options for your next trip.
|Quick Picks: Best Travel Dog Beds
|Canine Hardware Travel Bed
|Best for camping – lightweight and minimal space
|Carlson Elevated Travel Bed
|Best raised bed with cooling ventilation
|Kurgo Loft Wander Dog Bed
|Waterproof roll-up bed, great for outdoors
|Ruff and Tuff Self-Inflating Dog Bed
|Roll-up bed with foam and air for better comfort
|Kopeks Elevated Bed
|Elevated outdoor bed for larger dogs
Continue reading for more in-depth reviews
Why Use a Travel Bed?
There are a variety of reasons to bring a portable bed with you while you are traveling, and there aren’t many drawbacks to doing so.
Some of the most important reasons to bring one along include the following:
Your dog may not be allowed to sleep on the furniture in your home away from home.
Travel beds can help anxious dogs feel a little more secure at night.
Travel beds not only give your dog a place to sleep, they give him a place to hang out.
Portable beds can often be used in conjunction with your dog’s crate.
Portable beds will help contain shed hair and keep your host’s home cleaner.
What Characteristics Should You Look for in a Portable Travel Bed?
Modern dog owners have a variety of portable travel beds from which they can choose, but some work better than others, and you’ll want to be sure to pick out one of the best possible models.
Just be sure to look for a portable bed that includes the following features and characteristics:
Beds made with high-quality materials offer better comfort and durability than those produced by manufacturers who try to cut corners by using cheaper fabrics. It’s also important to scrutinize the materials used in the frames of elevated dog beds, as these are responsible for supporting your dog’s body weight.
A well-cushioned bed will be more comfortable for your pup’s joints and help provide a better night’s sleep. Look for beds that are at least 1 inch thick, but thicker is always better. Loft isn’t applicable to most elevated beds, as they cushion your dog’s joints by keeping her entire body off the ground.
You’ll need to wash your dog’s portable bed from time to time to remove the saliva, hair, and dirt it will collect. This is easiest to accomplish with a machine-washable bed, so they’re generally preferred to those that require hand washing.
If your dog’s bed isn’t large enough, she probably won’t use it; and, if you pick a bed that is too large, you’ll just be making it harder to transport the bed.
There aren’t any hard-and-fast rules or guidelines for determining the perfect bed size for your dog, but you can usually get a good idea by simply measuring the space your dog takes up while she’s snoozing. Just be sure to add a bit to the length and width for a little wiggle room.
Beds that absorb fluids – particularly urine – often develop pretty funky odors over time, and they are often more difficult to keep clean than those with water-resistant coatings or fabrics. If you are forced to choose a bed that doesn’t feature a water-resistant coating, consider applying a pet-safe water-repelling spray yourself.
If you are forced to choose a bed that doesn’t feature a water-resistant coating, consider applying a pet-safe water-repelling spray yourself.
Obviously, you’ll want a travel bed to be portable and easy to lug around – that’s pretty much the point. The best beds typically roll or fold up quite compactly and feature straps, buckles or clips to keep them secure. Elevated beds usually take up more space than conventional pet beds, but the ones detailed below are still pretty easy to stow in the car or a suitcase.
Elevated beds usually take up more space than conventional pet beds, but the ones detailed below are still pretty easy to stow in the car or a suitcase.
Best Portable Dog Travel Beds
The following six portable pet beds are great options for owners on the go, and most feature the characteristics you’d want for your dog. Just be sure to select one that is well-suited for your pooch’s specific needs.
1. Chuckit! Travel Dog Bed
About: The Chuckit! Travel Dog Bed is an oval-shaped portable bed that rolls up and fits in the included stuff sack, making it easy to take with you on trips. The double-offset quilted design provides luxurious comfort and prevents the filling from clumping.
- Machine washable fabrics make it easy to keep the bed clean (use a low-heat setting when drying)
- Bed measures 30 inches by 39 inches
- Polyester microfiber top and rip stop nylon bottom provide comfort and durability
- Blue and gray color pattern
The majority of owners who tried the Chuckit! travel bed loved it. Dogs appear to appreciate the suede-like feel of the surface, while owners approved of the bed’s durability– several owners reported years of problem-free use. Additionally, many owners were happy to find that the bed took up very little space once it was inserted in the included stuff sack.
Aside from the complaints relating to dogs chewing up the bed, there were very few negative comments or reviews concerning the Chuckit! bed. However, a very small number of owners reported that their dog did not like the crinkling noise the nylon cover made, so it might not be ideal for super skittish dogs.
2. Carlson Pet Products Elevated Pet Bed
About: The Carlson Pet Products Travel Bed is an elevated pet bed that provides your pet with a cool and comfortable place to sleep. Despite the robust and durable materials used in the construction of the bed, it folds up easily and weighs relatively little, making it great for taking with you on vacations.
- Designed for dogs weighing up to 95 pounds
- Bed measures 46.5 inches long by 24 inches wide by 7 inches tall
- Comes with a carrying case to protect the bed during transport
- Can be used indoors or outdoors
Most owners who tried the Carlson Elevated Bed liked it, and most pets seemed to like it as well. The elevated design was especially appreciated by dogs with hip, joint or bone problems, and it helps to keep dogs cool during hot nights, making it very well-suited while camping or taking a trip to the beach.
Very few owners had anything negative to say about the Carlson Elevated Pet Bed. However, it may not be the ideal choice for those with strict space constraints, as it is a pretty large bed.
3. Kurgo Loft Wander Dog Bed
About: The Kurgo Loft Wander Dog Bed is a waterproof bed that rolls up quickly and easily, making it great for traveling with your pooch. The bed features a Microtomic rip stop top, waterproof Rufftex bottom and a polytech fill.
- Includes super-convenient carrying handle
- Backed by a lifetime warranty against manufacturer defects
- Available in two colors: brown and cherry red
- Available in both medium (36 inches x 25 inches) and large (36 inches x 48 inches) – both are about 1.5 inches thick
The majority of owners who tried the Kurgo Loft Wander Bed were happy with their purchase. Many praised the rubberized bottom, which helped to keep the bed in place, while dogs seemed to love the comfort the bed provided. The handle was also a welcome addition, according to many owners who purchased the bed.
The only common problem most owners reported was the lack of sufficient padding, but this only seemed to be a problem for a small subset of dogs and their owners. A few owners also complained about the price of the bed (especially a portable bed only used occasionally when merited), but most still consider it to be a good value.
4. Ruff and Tuff Self-Inflating Travel Dog Bed
About: The Ruff and Tuff Self-Inflating Dog Bed is an inflatable, foam-core bed that is easy to use and provides your pooch with a comfortable place to rest or sleep. A perfect bed for traveling pet families, the Ruff and Tuff bed rolls up quickly and features two nylon buckle straps to keep it compact and tidy.
- Bed measures 42 inches x 32 inches x 2 inches thick
- Machine washable and comes with a one-year warranty
- The bottom is water- and puncture-resistant, while the fleece top provides great comfort for your dog
- Available in three colors: charcoal, tan and green
The Ruff and Tuff Travel Bed received glowing reviews from most owners who tried it. Most dogs appeared to find the bed extremely comfortable, while owners loved the ease with which the bed could be inflated or deflated. Additionally, several owners praised the bed’s construction and durability.
Complaints about the Ruff and Tuff Travel Bed were very rare, but a small number of owners found it too bulky when rolled up. It is also a little more expensive than most of the other options, but high-quality materials often increase the price of travel beds.
5. Kopeks Elevated Indoor-Outdoor Portable Bed
About: The Kopeks Elevated Bed is a mesh-topped portable bed, made with a steel frame and reinforced PVC connectors to provide the durability and rigidity you’d want in any pet bed. Although the Kopeks Portable Bed does not fold or collapse, it is easy to assemble and disassemble and requires no tools to do so.
- Two supports are placed under the middle of the bed to provide plenty of support
- Bed measures 48 inches long by 36 inches wide by 7 inches high
- Mesh top and elevated design allow plenty of airflow to keep your canine cool and comfortable
- Comes with a nylon carrying case
Most owners liked Kopeks Elevated Bed and found that it provided their pup with a comfortable place to sleep. Several owners also reported that the bed was very easy to put together and take apart, which makes it great for taking on adventures.
Unfortunately, the manufacturer does not provide a recommended weight range, and a few owners of medium to large dogs reported that the bed was not strong enough for their pup. This is disappointing, as the bed is certainly large enough for big dogs, and it is much larger than necessary for small pups.
Our Recommendation: The Chukit! Pet Travel Bed
While the Carlson Elevated Pet Bed is a good choice for owners seeking a bed that will keep their pooch up off the ground, the Chuckit! Bed is likely the best choice for most owners. Not only is the Canine Hardware Bed well-suited for travel, it is made from durable materials, provides a comfortable sleeping spot for
Not only is the Chuckit! bed well-suited for travel, it is made from durable materials, provides a comfortable sleeping spot for your pup, comes with its own stuff sack and received positive reviews by the vast majority of owners who tried it.
It is also quite affordable, which is always a nice bonus!
Dog Travel Checklist: Don’t Forget the Essentials!
In addition to your dog’s bed, don’t forget to bring along these other canines essentials while traveling:
- Dog Food
- Rabies & Vaccination Paperwork
- Portable Dog Bowls
- Collar, Harness, and Lead
- Favorite Treats
Do you use a portable bed when traveling with the pooch? We’d love to hear all about it. What model did you choose? Does your dog like using it while living on the road? Let us know in the comments below.