Aldi have launched an outdoor pet product that’s had dog owners rushing to the middle aisle to pick up the must-have Specialbuy – and naturally, I’m one of them. The £20 sunshade dog bed was a sell out last year, but we were able to get our paws on it in store on May 12 ahead of the heatwave and Jubilee Bank Holiday.
The sunshade dog bed from Aldi’s Pet Collection is a great way to keep sun-worshipping dogs cool when the sun it out, providing a shady spot to snooze while you potter about the garden or relax on the patio. It offers a waterproof and UV50 canopy, to keep your dog safe from harmful sunrays and any drizzle (you know what the Great British weather can be like).
We bought a very similar Barkhaus bed from B&M last year and had to return it a day later because it simply wasn’t suitable for large breeds and ripped the moment Frank stood on it. But we’ve been really pleased with the quality of the Aldi bed – and it was even a penny cheaper!
The bed was fairly easy to set up, coming with the mat, two long poles, two short, four connectors and then flexible fiberglass poles for the canopy. It was fairly easy to assemble with poles slipping through the edges of the fabric bed and joined by corner pieces that have the legs attached. The canopy section is erected much like a tent with slots in the base for the poles.
Everything fitted together as it should, with canopy clips to make sure it doesn’t ping off. My only irk was that one of the four clips have been put on backwards which leaves a twist in the elastic, but that’s just cosmetic – it still functions perfectly well.
Once assembled, the bed measures at 105cm long by 85cm tall by 80cm wide and can take the weight of up to 60kg, which means Phoebe and Frank can both safely and comfortably fit on it together. The sturdy steel frame seems to be very durable and like it will last a long time, while the polyester used for the base is much tougher than other brands we’ve seen. The bed is available in green or grey – I was too excited to check what I’d picked up when I was in store, but was more than happy that it was grey when I took it out of the bag, though green would have been fine.
The idea behind the bed is brilliant, it’s designed to keep your dog cool as the space beneath the bed means cool air can circulate underneath, the canopy sheilds them from the sun, and the distance from the ground means they won’t be lying on the grass amongst insects, so are at a lower risk of getting ticks.
Because the canopy is detachable, it means you can use it with or without, so it’s really like a two-in-one. For the sunnier days though, the canopy really is needed and because of it’s high domed shape, it does throw a good amount of shade beneath it. It’s also really lightweight and can be easily moved around the garden with very little effort.
Phoebe is a real sun worshipper and loves nothing more than finding somewhere to bask in the rays, whereas Frank prefers to find a cooler spot. This bed is perfect for both of them as Phoebe loves to lounge on it, but it still protects her from the sun, and Frank loves the fact it’s higher off the ground and offers much loved shade.
As soon as I put the bed up both dogs were quick to hop onto it for a lounge, but to help protect the fabric and prevent a repeat of the Barkhaus return, I laid a blanket down to stop claws penitrating the polyester. I don’t think the Aldi bed would rip – particularly not with smaller dogs – but I’d rather take precautions to lengthen the life of the bed. What’s more is that the bed can be hosed down when it inevitably gets dirty from muddy paws, and dries quickly in the sun ready for your dogs to use again.
Phoebe loves the bed so much we even had to bring it into the living room for her the first day we set it up as she wouldn’t come in from her day of lounging. We are considering getting some indoor raised beds without a canopy, but for now, we’re just obsessed with the Aldi Pet Collection sunshade canopy bed for the garden.