Have I bought Halloween costumes for my headstrong hound dog Maggie knowing she’ll wiggle right out of them? Yes. Do I buy her toys every other week even though she abandons them after a few days? Absolutely. Like many pet owners, I go to ridiculous lengths to make sure my Maggie is living her best life. Add the perfect dog bed to that list of things I’ll pursue, doggedly, for Maggie.
Maggie sleeps a lot — as in, she spends 16 hours a day curled up in a little ball snoozing. And because of that, at least in my mind, she’s become very discerning about what she sleeps on. My boyfriend and I can tell immediately if she’s comfortable. There are signs: snoring, drooling, and some light whimpering and kicking during the occasional doggy dream. And when she’s not, she’ll either pace around despondently or — against our wishes — hop on the couch or our bed.
With that in mind, we knew that getting Maggie the best bed was essential. What we didn’t know is that finding Maggie’s Goldilocks bed would lead us on a three-year winding journey that cost upwards of $500. And we especially didn’t expect to finally find The One — Yeti’s Trailhead Dog Bed — from a brand known for cups that keep your wine chilled for hours.
The number of polyester-filled beds we went through is beyond me. Poly-filled beds are soft, hypoallergenic, and — a selling point for us at the time — affordable. We thought the shaggy ones we found at the local pet store were enough to support all 45 pounds of Maggie, but time and time again, they’d flatten, left too deflated for Maggie’s taste. The strongest of the bunch lasted a year, while the other four barely made it six months.
After about two years of failed polyester-filled beds, we decided to shell out a bit more money for memory foam. These offer plenty of support, often recommended for dogs with orthopedic issues. But after one summer day out at the lake, Maggie took a nap in her bed before her nighttime bath: a fatal mistake. Even after Maggie was clean, we smelled the musty stench of lake water throughout our apartment and realized it was radiating from her bed. For an entire week, we washed the cover over and over with different detergents, cleaned the memory-foam padding with solutions suggested on online forums, but the smell persisted. The memory foam held onto odors like it was made to do so. We were back to square one.
Three years deep into our search, my boyfriend found what he thought could be our saving grace. While looking for yet another Koozie to add to his growing collection of Yeti products, he noticed dog gear on the site. When he sent me a link to the dog bed, the first thing I noticed was its price tag. It cost twice as much as any of the other dog beds. But after a few weeks, my boyfriend, a staunch Yeti enthusiast, finally convinced me. By that point, I was desperate to end this quest. Desperate enough to shell out the $300.
When the Trailhead Dog Bed arrived, the box was much heavier than I expected. The bed itself weighs about ten pounds, which seemed like a good signifier of sturdiness. Then, I noticed it came in two separate pieces rather than one: a structured pillow bolster (Yeti calls it the “Home Base”) and a removable, cushy pad (called the “Travel Pad”) that fits inside. And instead of a simple cover, both the bolster and pad had a waterproof bottom and thick, quilted cover. While I inspected the bed, Maggie was at my side, wagging her tail excitedly. She hopped in, got comfortable instantly, and was snoring soon after.
This has been Maggie’s near-constant state since buying the Yeti dog bed almost two years ago. She especially enjoys the Home Base pillow bolster. Now, instead of just nestling into a ball, she also frequently lounges with her head or paws resting on the elevated perimeter. I’ve noticed that she doesn’t get up to reposition herself nearly as much and she likes flopping one ear over the edge of the bed.
The bed’s quilted cover is machine washable and it hasn’t smelled like anything other than Maggie since buying it — even after two summers and multiple lake trips. It also survived something I’m sure no other bed could. While staying with my boyfriend’s sister a few months ago, we brought in Maggie’s bed and placed it in her living room. Zoro, the adorable and unruly wiener dog of the house, made a beeline straight to the Yeti bed and began to mark his territory. It all happened so fast — the Yeti bed’s potential flashed before my eyes. I was sure that this eight-pound toy dog had flushed our $300 investment down the toilet. But to all of our surprise, when I took off the cover, not a drop of pee made it through to the bed’s padding. And, after just one rinse cycle, the cover didn’t smell or stain. I was in complete awe.
We’ve now had the bed for about two years, and it still looks brand-new. It’s as fluffy as it was straight out of the box and the cover gets pristine after a quick wash. And, more importantly, it meets Maggie’s high standards. And while there’s still the rare occasion that she still hops on the couch, she seems perfectly content lounging on her Yeti, snoring away.
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