Keeping a dog bed on board to give your pup a comfortable place to rest is a practical must-have for any pontoon owner. But because of the unique conditions on the water, your average at-home dog bed might not do the job. Choosing one that’s built for use outdoors won’t only help your pooch stay calm and comfy, but will also guarantee satisfying performance against the elements. Find out more about the best boat dog beds and discover which one’s right for you by checking out this concise guide.
The 5 Best Boat Dog Beds
With a set of four raised legs, this pet cot keeps your pup off of the hot pontoon floor for maximum cooling performance. The breathable mesh material lets air flow freely so your pet can keep comfortably cool throughout the entire ride.
Its sturdy metal frame holds the fabric taut, support weights of up to 200 pounds. And its durable, waterproof construction promises easy maintenance that resists odors, mildew, bacteria, and other common contaminants.
Easy and durable, this simple dog bed is made from waterproof material that’s puncture-proof and easy to clean. The ultra portable design rolls up into a convenient size, ideal for taking with you even when you explore the shore.
Using refined stitching over non-slip material, the bed stays securely in place even on smooth pontoon floors. The washable design lets you toss the bed into the washer to effortlessly clean it in time for your next trip.
For nervous pups who prefer a confined, quiet space to relax while the pontoon is underway, this collapsible soft dog crate provides maximum privacy.
The design has three zippered mesh doors that keep your pet cool and comfy even with complete closure. The patented screw-in frame design allows easy set-up without the need for tools, so you can put up your pet’s private space anytime during your trip.
Inside, a removable soft pad gives your pooch a plush place to sleep and rest, and allows easy cleaning with washing machine compatible performance.
Simple and streamlined, this basic choice provides your pup a spacious sleeping surface that’s out of contact with the hot floor underneath.
The rubber feet let the bed sit perfectly still while the boat is underway, preventing unwanted slipping and skidding while you sail. Its taut fabric surface supports weights of up to 150 pounds, and its intuitive metal frame let you set-up and assemble the bed with zero tools.
Made from premium grade materials, this elevated dog bed comes in a range of sizes to meet your pup’s needs.
Ideal for a small pup, this water-resistant pet bed provides generously stuffed cushioning comfort with raised side walls for added security. The oval-shaped bed uses oxford material that resists moisture for easy maintenance and odor-free performance.
Plush and effortless, this pet bed provides maximum comfort for your pup while letting you wipe off stains and moisture to maintain its brand new look and feel for months after you pop it out of the package.
What to Consider When Buying a Boat Dog Bed
Take a peek into the boat dog bed market and it’s easy to see how your options can be pretty diverse. And that’s actually what makes it so hard to make a solid decision.
It can be tough to picture out which qualities will actually come in handy when you’re out on the open water. But this list of considerations should help shed light on what’s most important when buying a good bed for your dog.
There are lots of different dog bed styles for pontoon boats, and choosing the right one will ultimately depend on what you need and what you’re looking for.
These will look pretty much like the typical dog bed you have at home. Standard beds use stuffing material that gives the bed a plush, cushy comfort. They’re ideal for dogs that need the extra soft feel, like senior dogs or pups with anxiety, but they won’t always do so well on shore.
Fabric dog crates provide complete privacy and closure, which may help if your dog gets nervous on board. The covered tops also mean that your pup won’t have to be too exposed to sunlight. Typically equipped with removable inner comfort pads, keeping a dog crate maintained usually means just tossing the pad into the wash.
They’re also usually collapsible, so you can stow them away or take them with you when you need them off the boat.
Finally, there are dog cots. These are designed to lift off of the ground with a set of legs, so your pooch won’t have to be in contact with the hot flooring throughout the trip. They use a piece of fabric that’s held taut over the frame, usually with a mesh center panel for better breathability.
Durable and utilitarian, the dog cot design is a good choice for no-frills, portable performance.
Weatherproof dog beds come in many shapes and forms, but they all achieve the same thing. Using the right kind of materials, certain dog beds can resist moisture penetration, protecting the material from developing foul odors over the long haul. These beds will also typically use material that’s suitable for extended hours of sun exposure.
Weatherproof construction can come in handy if you plan to keep your pup’s bed on the pontoon at all times. The feature also helps minimize the amount of time and effort you spend on cleaning and maintaining your bed of choice.
It can get pretty hot on a pontoon, and your pup doesn’t have the sweat glands to cool itself off. It's important to find a bed that can regulate temperature to keep your dog cool on the boat. Mesh fabrics that allow air to pass freely through the bed construction can feel much cooler to touch than dense mattress-like material.
Choices like dog crates can be just as cool to stay in as an open bed or cot especially if it has panels that can be opened up to let fresh air in. Some beds also offer detachable roof structures that you can use to give your dog reliable shade while you’re on the boat. However it’s important to consider how wind can play a factor when it comes to the safety of a roofed dog bed, especially when you’re underway.
There’s a reason why all of the furniture on your pontoon is drilled in place. A moving vessel can cause all the unsecured stuff to move around while you’re underway, and a dog bed is no different. Unless you’re willing to drill that in place as well, it’s best to look for a bed that won’t slip around when you’re on your way.
Cots with rubber feet or beds with non-skid undersides can be especially effective at staying put while your boat is underway. Low-profile designs that stay as close to the pontoon floor as possible can also be particularly reliable against strong winds, resisting any unwanted movement or slippage as the gusts blow over.
Ease of Maintenance
A dog bed at home already needs significant care because of accidents and pet fur. Toss in the elements, sun exposure, and humidity, and it becomes even more difficult to keep a dog bed in check. A good dog bed should be both comfortable and easy to maintain, letting you get rid of stains and dirt with little fuss.
Some beds will use a removable cover that you can toss into the wash for easy cleaning. Then there are others that use waterproof material that resists moisture absorption all together. Others still let you wash the entire bed - stuffing included - to achieve fresh comfort with each new use.
Last but definitely not least on our list of considerations is durability. If you’ve got a big pooch, or even just a small one that loves to nibble, durability should be one of your main concerns. Dog beds that are made from durable, high-grade materials are more likely to see you through the next couple of years.
Constant use can easily wear away and fray fabrics, tear up covers, and flatten out stuffing. If your dog tends to chew on things when nervous, then a structured bed with sturdy framework should be your first choice.
Keep Fido Comfy On Board
When it comes right down to it, the best boat dog beds are the ones that match your unique situation. While every bed brings something unique to the table, the only way to really tell if it’s right for you is if it matches your pup’s preferences. Make sure you consider your pontoon size, space, and your dog’s distinct needs to find the right bed to keep it comfortable and cool while you sail away for the weekend.