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First Look: Carlson Portable Dog Cot Review

This post may contain affiliate links. We may earn money or products from the companies mentioned in this post.

This post is sponsored by Carlson™ Pet Products. I am being compensated to help share the Carlson Portable Dog Cot, but we only share information we feel is relevant to our readers.  Carlson™ Pet Products is not responsible for the content of this article.

It’s been several years since I raised my last puppy with Guide Dogs of America, but I still attend monthly meetings and help out at puppy kindergarten and obedience classes.

A few months ago I was working with our area leader teaching the dogs “place” using a Carlson Elevated Portable Dog Cot.

First Look: Carlson Portable Dog Cot Review. We really liked this elevated portable dog cot...
First Look: Carlson Portable Dog Cot Review

The Carlson Portable Dog Cot was the perfect tool to teach “place”. Not only that, but I could think of hundreds (not literally…maybe a dozen) of other uses for an elevated portable dog cot.

Guess what? I recently got my hands on a large red Carlson Portable Dog Cot for review.

Carlson Portable Dog Cot Specifications

Our review of the Carlson Portable Dog Cot.
Portable Dog Cot – Collapsed. It gets very compact.

The specs!

First and foremost I like to look at the details of any new doggy product I bring home:

From the Carlson Pet Products website:

Carlson Large Portable Pup Bed

  • Color: Red
  • Dimensions: 48” L x 26” W x 9” H
  • Ideal for medium to large breeds
  • Sets up and folds down in seconds for storage/travel
  • Easy carry case included
  • Durable, waterproof nylon is easily washable
  • Sturdy, all-metal frame
  • Model: #8035

**These are the exact specs for the Pup Bed I have at home. You can get different colors or sizes. Here’s a look at the adjustable options:

  • Colors Available: Red, Green, Tan, and Gray
  • Sizes: Small (26″ L x 26″ W x 9″ H) or Large (48” L x 26” W x 9” H)

What’s Included in The Box

  • One Carlson Large Portable Pup Bed
  • One Carry Bag
  • Instruction Manual

I’m not going to bore you with all the details and descriptions so lets hop on over to our review of this portable dog cot.

First Look: Carlson Portable Dog Cot Review

Carlson Portable Dog Bed Poolside. Raven reviews this portable doggy bed.
Carlson Portable Dog Bed – Raven often times likes to use only half her new bed and let her paws dangle

I was excited to get our hands on our very own Carlson Portable Dog Cot. As you can see Raven enjoys relaxing poolside on her new dog cot.

The Dog’s Initial Reaction

It arrived just in time to let our newest puppy, Charlie test drive it before he left for Seattle. Here are the first reactions from our 4 dogs:

Linus: Hopped up, laid down, jumped off.

Stetson: Same as Linus.

Raven: She got on the cot and curled up and only used half of the bed. Raven is a 70 pound Golden Retriever and she decided to only use half of the bed!

Charlie: Our 14-week old puppy. He was hesitant to get on at first, but that quickly changed when I added a few treats to the mix. He was up and on the portable dog cot like it was his new favorite toy. Portable Dog Cot = Treat Machine 🙂

Initial reaction from the dogs: THUMBS UP!

A Human’s Initial Reaction

My first thoughts after opening our new doggy bed:

Everything arrived on time and I like the packaging Carlson uses for both the Portable Dog Cot and the Portable Pet Pen.

Very, very easy to set up. Pull out of the box. Remove cover. Fold-down. Setup in seconds!

Canvas feels very sturdy and the frame is made of steel. From Carlson: Designed to handle up to 95 lbs.

Lightweight and even before removing it from the box I could tell it would be very easy to transport for visits to the park, beach, and adventures camping.

Honestly, this bed looked very comfortable so much so I wanted to try taking a nap on it. Yeah, my legs would hang off the end, but maybe if I had two running lengthwise I could have my own portable cot! Oh, and I exceed the 95 lb weight limit 🙁

Initial reaction from the human: THUMBS UP!

Why I Love the Carlson Portable Dog Cot

Obviously, the awesome portability is at the top of our list of things I love about the new dog cot. I also love:

  • Portability!
  • Ease of use.
  • While I’ve only had it for a couple weeks it feels very durable.
  • It’s extremely lightweight.
  • Easy to clean – I’m considering moving my dogs to these elevated beds because they are so much easier to clean compared to their regular dog beds.
  • Perfect size for our dogs. I have a 55 lb Aussie Mix, a 70 lb Golden Retriever, and a 80 lb Labrador Retriever.

We are not regular adventure dogs. Most of our outings are for the benefit of socializing one of our service dogs.

These outings do not require a portable dog cot, but as I said I could think of many ways we could use our dog cot with our pups:

  1. Camping, Fishing, Hiking, Backpacking – The last time we went backpacking was at the Narrows in Utah a couple years ago and Linus hasn’t camped with us in…I can’t remember. While we’re not regular outdoorsmen we do make the occasional excursion with our dogs.
  2. Dog Beach – The service dog organizations don’t allow our pups to go to dog parks including dog beach. Once again we are not regulars, but we do partake in outings to dog beach from time to time.
  3. Parks – We do have a regular outing to the park with our guide dog group and this would be a perfect time to use our portable dog cot.
  4. Pickleball Tournaments – My parents purchased a motorhome to travel to pickleball tournaments. Yep, this would be a good time to bring your dog cot.
  5. Home Indoors and Outdoors – I currently have mine setup in my office. I also bring it outside when I’m doing yard work. It’s portability makes it easy to move from one place to another.
  6. Training – As I mentioned in the introduction the portable dog cot is a great tool for teaching cues like “place” or “go to your bed”.
  7. Other Outings – I’m not involved in events like Agility, Nosework, Rally, etc., but I imagine there would be a use for a Carlson Portable Dog Cot between runs.

What else? Can you think of anything to add to this list?

How would you use a Carlson Portable Dog Cot?

I Wish My Carlson Portable Dog Cot Had…

After using our Carlson Portable Dog Cot for over 2 weeks here a couple of things I’d add to the product:

  1. I wish the canvas was removable for replacement – It’s the first thing I envision will wear out. I haven’t seen my dogs do it yet, but I often see them digging into their beds before they settle in.
  2. I wish the feet had a no-slip pad – I have a bunch of spare no-slip stickers I had for my furniture that I added to my dog cot, but I wish they came standard with this product.

What Others Have Said About the Carlson Portable Dog Cot

Carlson Portable Dog Bed Review
Carlson Portable Dog Bed Review

One thing I always do before purchasing a new product is to check out the user reviews on Amazon.com.

There are a lot of great things said about the dog cot including:

  1. Great for the money.
  2. Loving the portability.
  3. Ease of use.
  4. How easy it is to clean.

There were two main groupings of negative reviews.

  1. The “large” dog cot needed to be larger.
    • My thoughts: The dimension are clearly listed: 48” L x 26” W x 9” H. This size is fine for my dogs between 55 lbs and 80 lbs.
  2. The rivets were breaking.
    • My thoughts: This is something I’ll have to report back on in a future update. The good news: several Amazon users found DIY fixes for this issue.

Over the next few months the one thing I’m going to keep an eye on is the durability of our dog cot especially the rivets.

I’ll report back with any updates.

A Final Word On Carlson Pet Products And The Portable Dog Cot

We’ve had and used the Carlson Portable Pet Pen now for a year and a half and love the product!

It’s been durable and has lasted through two litters of puppies. That’s 14 puppies in total!

We’ve come to trust the Carlson brand and even though this is a sponsored review we think highly of the products we’ve tested and reviewed.

After two weeks of use, we’ve seen the same high-quality in the Carlson Portable Dog Cot and while we wouldn’t mind seeing a few minor additions it’s definitely a product we’d recommend for the outdoor adventure dogs or even if your just looking for an elevated dog bed to use at home.

What about you guys?

Have you ever used an elevated portable dog cot?

Tell us about your experiences in the comment section below.

Carlson Portable Dog Cot Review. Our first look at the portable dog bed. Great for camping, hiking, backpacking...and other outdoor activities.
Carlson Portable Dog Cot Review

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  1. One of the things I like about these cots vs a regular dog bed is there’s no inner stuffing. Since we raise puppies we almost always end up with a piddle or two on our doggy beds. When it gets into the stuffing it’s pretty much there to stay.

  2. Your review of the Carlson Portable Dog Cot was very informative. I will tell my son about it for his German Shepard Brooklyn. She is outside during the day and the cot would be ideal for her. I also like that it’s easy to clean as she gets into the dirt.

  3. My only concern for an older dog is sometimes their balance is not as good and they may not like the elevated feeling of this bed versus a standard plush dog bed.

  4. My dog Maffy would love this, especially as he’s so old! Great article, thanks!

  5. All of our dogs have to sit and wait for their food too (the old timers aren’t too good at it anymore, but that’s more a reflection on us then them). I always notice that meal time is a good time to work on training. It seems like puppies will do anything for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.

  6. No sun damage after a couple months outside is very good. We had a popup chair we left outside for several months and the canvas material broke down and tore I think mostly from the sun beating down on it day in and day out. I’m glad Remy gives you a break once in a while. I’m sure that’s after his afternoon jog 🙂

  7. That article helped me out not to remove Tar from dog fur, but from my human foot! 🙂

  8. Thank you so much for writing this review. I like how you are using the Carlson cot for “place”. At mealtimes we use “place” to get my dachshund to sit nice before he eats dinner. The portability of this bed is an added bonus! We can make my dog have good manners on the go.

  9. We keep a green Carlson cot set up almost all the time on our apartment balcony. It hasn’t faded even though it’s been outside for months. My senior Lab mix Ace will use it on occasion but he is a little nervous that he will slip on it. Remy the 60-pound weim naps on it most afternoons in the sun for an hour or so. It is the perfect size for him.

  10. Thanks for stopping by! We’re enjoying our Carlson Portable Dog Cot. If you’re looking for something that’s highly portable and elevated this might be the dog bed for you.

  11. I am just looking for a portable bed for my dog. I think this is a good one. I love your review. Thanks…

  12. One thing I didn’t think about too much was how smelly our plush dog beds get. Since this one is much easier to clean and probably not as smell absorbent we can hopefully reduce the dog smell in our house.

  13. I did mention this in an earlier comment. Stetson had some issues from laying on the cement frequently when in formal guide dog training. These types of cots would be helpful to reduce any type of irritation on elbows and joints.

  14. We haven’t had ours long enough to know if it would eventually sag. That’s something we’ll report back on after using our cot for at least several months.

  15. As I’ve mentioned many times I love the portability of these cots and would highly recommend for people who travel or do things like camping, visit parks, and of course pickleballers.

    Funny thing you brought up the dog strollers. I was contacted by a stroller company, but we don’t usually put the Labs, Goldens, or service dogs into strollers so I declined working with them. Maybe down the line I’ll find a use for them with my dogs.

  16. It may work well with your doxie especially for traveling. If you do consider the Carlson bed check out the small version which is about half the length of the large one we reviewed.

  17. Make sure you take a look at the small version which is 26″ L x 26″ W x 9″ H and should be a better fit for a smaller dog like a Jack Russell Terrier.

  18. The weight limit is 95 lbs. I’m not sure how it would hold up to a dog and a kid, but I have seen pics of two Labrador Retrievers on one. If you look at the picture of Raven (70 lbs) above you could see there’s room for her plus 1, I’m just not sure it would withstand the extra weight.

  19. Are you thinking about getting a Newfie? Yeah, this one is rated for up to 95 lbs and Newfies regularly exceed that weight limit. At this time all I know is they have the small and large versions. I’ll ask and maybe they have something in the works.

  20. While we don’t camp too much anymore I think this would be the perfect bed for camping. Having a little elevation is nice especially with the critters and grime on the ground. One user wrote and said that he likes it because when camping it keeps his dog from accidentally lying in sap! I hate getting sap in dog fur (it happened to Linus a few months back). We actually wrote about tar getting in Linus’ fur and how we removed it. I wonder if the same solutions would work with sap. If you’re interested take a look at this article: Remove Tar From Dog Fur

  21. It is easy to clean. We haven’t hosed ours off yet, but one of our biggest issues in our house is…DOG FUR! It’s tough to remove dog fur from other dog beds, but with the Carlson Portable Dog Cot you can just brush it off or even just shake it a little. You could also easily vacuum or as mentioned hose it down.

  22. Stetson had to stay in the kennels when he started his formal guide dog training and spent a lot of time on the cement floors. I noticed after just two months he ad bald and callused elbows. When he got back home his elbows returned to normal, but it goes to show you that in a short time there can be some damage to joints.

  23. No more wet dog smell!! My dog loves to lounge on the grass and enjoy her mornings bird watching and soak up the sun. It had been an everyday issue of my dog going getting wet from the morning dew on the grass. Since we’ve had the Carlson cot, she doesn’t come in the house smelling like a wet dog anymore. Love this!

  24. I like the portability of the Dog cot and also, the fact that your pet will not have his joints contacting the cement which causes the swollen lumps on elbows and other parts of their body.

  25. Thank you Colby for this detailed review! I had given up on portable dog cots in this price range because they all had issues with sagging to the ground. Which defeats the purpose of a cot. I was excited to read your Goldy, Raven, had no such issues and fit comfortably in the Carlson!!!

  26. I play Pickleball & would be interested in the portable cot. We are in tournaments and the cots. would be much better for our dog to lay on instead of the cement.
    Also, I’m interested in the dog strollers.
    Thank you,

  27. This bed looks nice! My 11 pound dachshund gets anxious at my parents’ house and it’d be great to have a bed to bring with us to give him a familiar place to settle down…but he already has four beds so he really doesn’t need another. One of the beds he has is an elevated mesh cot for outdoors which he uses, but the assembly is more complicated and it’s not convenient to bring over to someone else’s house. I’ll keep this on my radar though, in case portability ever becomes a real issue!

  28. Your article was very informative and will be perfect for my Jack Russell who likes to sun everyday. Can’t wait to get my cot!

  29. Thanks for introducing us to this bed. I am wondering how it holds up if you have a 70 lb. dog and a 40 lb. kid that likes to cuddle with his best friend. Let me know how the rivets hold up and if there is a weight limit.

  30. This is something that would come in handy for my mother-in-law when she goes to her summer home. It would help to keep her long-haired dogs from having to lay in the dirt.

    I wonder if they’ll start making them for extra large dogs…like for dogs the size of a Newfie?

  31. This cot looks great. I currently have an outdoor cushion for my dog but it sits on the ground so there isn’t any air circulating around. I think the cot would keep her cooler in the summer. I like to bring her camping too. I like that the cot folds up and is easy to travel with.

  32. Great article! I love how portable this bed is, especially for the large size. Traveling with pets is always hard especially when you want them to have their own space and place to lay without getting furniture dirty aka furry. It also looks easy to clean!

  33. My dog George has hip dysplasia and I am wondering if having him elevated would relieve some of the pressure on his hips. This would be a great addition to our backyard because he wouldn’t have to lay on the cold, hard, cement which can be super uncomfortable for a dog with arthritis and dysplasia.

  34. I’d love to see Carlson make the fabric removable/replaceable. It would also be kind of neat to have different types of fabric tops maybe even with a cushion as one of the options. @Pamela, this might be a good option for you and Honey. Let me know if you have any specific questions.

  35. It is lightweight and very portable and shouldn’t be a problem of someone your size to transport. I’d say it’s similar to plush dog beds. If your dog finds plush beds to be “safe places” he might find the same with the Carlson portable dog cot. We had the cot out in the sun for a period of time and didn’t notice the canvas getting too hot. However, we haven’t had very hot weather here yet. I’ll have to keep you updated on this one.

  36. This seems like a great product for our little Yorkies. She likes to lay in the sun, but sometimes the cement is too hot for her to lay on. With this cot she will be able to be out in the sun as long as she wants. Thanks for introducing this product to us.

  37. I’m looking for a portable bed for when we’re off the boat with Honey. And this looks interesting. But if, like you suggested, the cloth was replaceable you could also install a mesh fabric. It would be good for hot weather.

    Perhaps Carlson will add this feature in a future version.

  38. That cot looks great!! I like that you said the product is lightweight and easy to put up and take down. I’m small in stature (only 5’2″) and not very strong, so the big crates are difficult for me to lug around places and to put in my car. Sounds like this would be perfect for me to take places so my dogs could have a place to relax. Do you think it could work like a crate where it could be a dog’s safe place? Having a carrying bag to go along with it is a bonus. Do you think the material will get hot if you are at a park in the sun?

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