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A Dog Bed Mat Vs. RuffRest

A Dog Bed Mat Vs. RuffRest

4 min read  •  By Leena Chitnis, Founder, Timberdog®

Before inventing the RuffRest, I searched the internet for “travel dog bed,” and found it strange that the only images that popped up were of roll-up dog bed mats, taco-shaped sleeping bags, or car seat covers for dogs. “Where’s the comfort in that?” I asked aloud while scrolling, as I was certain that someone had invented something more substantial by now. I saw a handful of options out there, but nothing exciting or versatile, as I needed a traveling dog bed mat to be.

As pet parents, we are forever trying to balance comfort with a streamlined experience. Often, one is sacrificed for the other; i.e., minimalism can translate into an experience lacking comfort. That’s why we need our travel gear to be highly versatile: we want to pack the least, while having each item execute the most.

The dog bed mats out there provide no warmth, softness, or elevation to protect your pet from the ground. If you’re out camping, for instance, the cold, damp earth is going to win every time, going straight through your dog’s mat or sleeping bag. I should know. When I was a novice camper, I went out without a sleep pad and the earth sucked the heat right out of me as I tried to catch some Zs in my “40 degree” bag. It was not only a miserable night, but a dangerous one, and I ended up hightailing it to my car at 4 a.m, blasting the heater. 

I started to think. Why shouldn’t our dog bed mats be more substantial? Taking it a step further, I thought - why not also build in a multifunctional, Swiss Army Knife quality? Why should I have to choose between a thin, uncomfortable mat, or lugging my dog’s giant foam bed from home for comfort? Furthermore, why must we carry a separate dog blanket and all the rest in a piecemeal manner? There had to be a dog bed out there that did it all - provide a padded sleeping experience, a built-in sleeping bag for coziness, and a suitcase-style opening to carry all of our dogs’ things. An ultimate - yet highly portable - travel pet bed.


I looked at thousands - yes, thousands - of dog beds, both indoor and outdoor, before creating RuffRest the Ultimate Pet Bed with the aggregate of features I believed to be the best and most regularly-used by dogs and pet parents. In fact, I know those features are the most widely-used because I took my hunch to online pet forums and conducted multiple focus groups. And just for fun, I added a few “nice-to-haves” for dog parents, as well.

I wanted my dog, Kashi (and Timberdog mascot!) to have luxury when traveling and camping and for me to be able to have the packing experience be hassle-free. One night, I scribbled on the backs of some old bills at the kitchen table, and very quickly, RuffRest took shape. To this day, I’m so glad that I was not educated as a designer, because this allowed me to create boldly, without technical fetters. In fact, I was rejected by scores of highly-trained industrial designers and manufacturers when I showed them my sketches. It can’t be done, they said. Due to the bed’s 16+ features, one expert even laughed and called it a kitchen sink before hanging up on me. But I persevered. I knew that if I needed such a practical and useful dog bed, others would, too.

RuffRest combines all of the best elements from your search for a solid dog bed mat. It elevates your dog and provides insulation from the earth, while providing warmth from an integrated sleeping bag. It opens like a suitcase to store items, but not haphazardly: an at-a-glance organizer allows you to compartmentalize your dog’s items and find them quickly, so you never have to search through dark bags again. The organizer can also be hung up in your hotel room next to your things, or folded up to keep inside your tent. And for the forgetful or minimal person, the shoulder strap handily converts into a leash, with reflective stitching so that drivers can easily avoid your dog. 

Unlike any other dog bed mat or pet bed on the market, RuffRest also has built-in safety features. The colorful trim around the bed does double duty as a zipper hood to keep your dog from chewing on or being poked by zippers. The loop “accents” on all four corners of the bed come with reflective strips, so you won’t trip over the bed after dark. And every organizer comes with a large medical ID card - necessary for those times when you have to board your dog or leave him with friends. All the emergency information they need is right at their fingertips.

Today, RuffRest is a reality, individually-crafted from the best materials - memory foam, ballistic nylon, and sherpa fleece. And its modularity allows you endless configurations for anywhere you roam with your pup: as a durable camping dog bed, a portable hotel sleeper, an office nap station, and pretty cool Van Life digs. It’s even flight-friendly for your travel adventures.

I have put so much thought and heart into this design for the past five years, because creating and innovating is my passion. But to do it for a dog - Kashi - who completely changed my life, RuffRest continues to be a labor of love. I hope you and your dog can sense this when you use RuffRest, or any of the products from Timberdog. We strive to be ahead of the pack, because our dogs aren’t just our best friends. They’re family.

Photo Credit: Michael Vanderveen

Ever notice that all the pet content out there is eerily similar? Timberdog prides itself on an authentic blog:
- We never use AI to write our articles; that’s why our content is always fresh, current, and real.
- Blog posts are written by experts in their fields, not hired copywriters.
- We never censor comments (unless harmful to others).
- No money is ever received for promoting products.
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