The Big Dog Bed Company came into being because of the difficulty we experienced finding a large, good quality bed for our German Shepherd, Ludvic. We thought we can’t be the only people having this problem. Not only were the available beds not big enough, but the filling was inadequate and quickly became flattened. Even when we did find a well filled bed of the right size, there was the problem of an almost permanently damp bed. Whether coming in from a wet winter walk or following a swim in the summer, if Ludvic were to use his bed while wet, the water would soak into the filling so that neither he nor the bed would dry for hours filling the house with wet dog pong!
So the Big Dog Bed Company was created with the aim of making the beds we couldn't buy - good looking, extra large beds that are firmly filled, waterproof and odour free with a long useful life. That was over ten years ago now, and while there has certainly been an improvement in the availability of quality dog beds on the market since then, we still feel ours offer a unique combination of features.
Over the last ten years, we have learned more about what dogs and their owners want in a bed. For the first two, before going to market, we trialled different materials to find those that did the job we wanted. We have offered a range of bed styles with different fillings, but you have voted with your wallet and decided that foam is best.
Our beds are still largely focused on larger dogs, but we now also cater for smaller furries in our Active Recovery® pressure relief range for dogs with arthritis and joint issues. We have also branched out into the veterinary sector in the belief that dogs should be comfortable wherever they are, at home, in the car, on holiday or when in the vets. The latter is particularly the case now since the procedures that vets are able to perform are increasingly complex and often result in your dog having a prolonged stay in their kennels.
Over the last six years we have also worked with veterinary physiotherapists to develop equipment for rehabilitation from injury, but also to create beds for dogs suffering with injury, arthritis and other issues that require specialist beds. This is the Active Recovery® range.
Our testing before selling ethos remains in place and before anything new is offered for sale, we test it for a minimum of six months and frequently longer. New materials are tested for at least a year to ensure they are robust enough. A new design of physiotherapy equipment is trialled by a number of veterinary physios to make sure it is safe, robust, and useful. It is this partnership between veterinary professionals and ourselves that has led to the development of all the physio equipment offered here and continues to deliver new designs. If there is something you need, but can't source, speak to us as we may be able to help.
BDBCo.VET is part of the Big Dog Bed Company and it is under this banner that we offer our veterinary products.
Big Dog Bed Company is run by Dru Ross with her brow being regularly wiped by Co-Director, Hamish Ross. We both grew up with dogs - Beagles, Retrievers, Labradors, and mutts so, as soon as life and home were dog suitable, we got our first dog together. There was no argument, it was going to be a German Shepherd.
Our founding dog, Ludvic is no longer with us now, but is immortalised in our company logo. He was a fabulous dog who had a huge fan club and went absolutely everywhere with us, but he required a hip replacement at the age of eight and suffered with a spinal problem in his later years. It is his history that led us into the veterinary world and the development of a pressure relief or orthopaedic bed – the Active Recovery® range.
Our Chair Dog is now Monty, the Beauceron; a dog that is full of fun, energy and with a significant sense of humour. He enjoys agility and squirrel chasing. He does not enjoy the car. He also likes modelling the beds, but he doesn’t like his photo taken at any other time, bizarrely!
Made in the UK
All our beds and veterinary equipment are designed by us and made in the UK. We purchase a small amount of specialist fabric direct from the manufacturer in Belgium and The Netherlands, however, everything else is sourced in the UK. The range of products we now offer across the domestic and veterinary markets means that we currently working with six different factories.
We’d love it if we could get everything made in one place, but the products are too diverse. That said, we have a fantastically supportive team of UK manufacturers working with us, who are always willing to help in the development of new product ideas, so we are very happy to be working with them.
We do not have a shop. We sell at a limited number of shows and professional conferences. If you are local to us in South Oxfordshire and would like to view our beds or veterinary equipment, you are welcome to make an appointment to view at our office. However, we do not hold a full range here as many of our products are shipped direct from the factory. Email or call to make an appointment.
We are extremely aware of the need to minimise our carbon footprint. This can be difficult to achieve as we do not have control over all elements of our materials or suppliers, but where we can, we do, where it does not compromise the quality of our products.
The principle way we minimise our impact on the environment is to make beds that last. Our oldest bed still in use is 8 years old. The longer a bed lasts, the lower its lifetime impact on the environment since the owner has avoided buying a new bed for many years with the carbon and financial cost of so doing. Yes, foam is made from fossil hydrocarbons, ie oil, but it is recyclable, so when it is time for a new bed, you can recycle the foam and put the cover in the textile recycling bin.
The fabrics we use also minimise the everyday environmental cost of having one of our dog beds. The cover will require washing only occasionally, reducing the water and electricity use of this activity. It requires little or no soap and should be done at no higher than 30ºC.
If the cover of your bed is looking a bit tired, but the foam cushion is in good condition, you can buy a new cover which further extends the life of your bed. By using good quality components which ensure the beds have a long useful life, we are limiting the overall impact of that bed on the environment.
We have trialled using recycled components for the cushion filling, but unfortunately, they do not have the lifespan of those we are using. Natural fibres are also an option. These, however, do not have the reliability and consistency of quality that a manufacturer material does. We are constantly reviewing the materials that are available and should we find an option that delivers the same quality with a lower environmental impact, we shall certainly adopt it after an appropriate trial period.
Our office is home based so there is no commuting involved in getting to work. The electricity is supplied from solar PV panels on the building. For when the solar panels are not generating sufficient to meet our needs, our electricity supplier is 100% renewable. One of our vehicles is 100% electric.
We try to keep our packaging to a minimum. We use boxes for a limited number of items, but wrap most of our products in plastic sheeting. This is necessary due the wide range of shapes and sizes of our products. It also means that if the parcel is left outside at your instruction because you aren’t in when it arrives, it doesn’t matter if it rains. Wherever possible we reuse packaging in which we have received goods. We do not want to compromise your bed arriving in good condition by using low quality packing materials. Handling by courier companies can sometimes be quite rough, but we have only had a bed damaged once in transit. Should this happen to you, please take a photograph of the damaged parcel before opening to check the bed.
Our boxes are supplied by a UK company and are manufactured using a minimum of 90% recycled material. We don't achieve 100% because the outer layer of the box is made using virgin fibre as it is stronger. Using recycled fibre for the outer would require more fibre so it is a trade off between new fibre and more fibre. The box is 100% recyclable
The photographs on this website are a mixture of commercially available pictures, photos that we or friends have taken and also photos received from customers of their dogs looking comfortable on their new beds.
We love to receive photos of your dogs enjoying their bed. Please do send them to us.
The best may be integrated into the website at some point unless you ask us not to.