Eric Shannon’s life took a sharp turn the day in 2005 that his 6-month-old mixed breed puppy, Hank, was diagnosed with hip dysplasia. Hank’s veterinarian told Eric that a supportive yet comfortable bed was critical. At that moment, Big Barker Dog Beds became inevitable, though it would be almost 7 years before Eric realized it.
Impressed with the incredible reviews every Big Barker product has on Amazon, I contacted the company and got to speak with the forthright, funny, dog-adoring Mr. Shannon himself.
The Origins of Big Barker
After Hank’s diagnosis, Eric started looking at dog beds. “What I found was not supportive enough for Hank; just thin egg crate foam or polyfill bedding that bunched and flattened.” He tried many beds but found that nothing did everything he thought a large, orthopedic dog bed should do.
What is Special about Big Barker Beds?
- 10-Year Warranty that it will not compress or flatten out. Eric knows the fine quality of the American-made foam he uses. As he said to me, “It’ll last a lifetime but who would believe that? So I made it 10 years.” When I asked him what people need to do to activate that policy, he paused. “I’m not sure, that’s never happened.” then followed up with “just contact us“.
- 90-day Return Policy. Any reason at all, send it back for a full refund. No restocking fee. “It’s an big purchase,” Shannon explains, “I want people to feel comfortable trying it.” They have less than a 1% return rate.
- Comfort. The beds are comfortable. Really comfortable. Dogs (and apparently people) really take to it with an over 99% satisfaction rate.
Are They For Every Dog?
The original Big Barkers are designed for large dogs and are a bit too supportive for smaller companions. People started asking for similar beds for their more light-weight companions; Shannon responded with the Mini Barker.
Why Don’t You Use Memory Foam?
Because Eric likes the feel, support, the long-wearing and predictable high-quality of the American-made foam. “The memory-foam used in dog beds is from China, “ he explains, “and I cannot guarantee the durability, quality or even what is in that foam.” He also notes that for some heavy-coated dogs like Newfoundlands the heat-retention of memory foam can be a problem.
Is the Optional Liner You Offer Truly Waterproof?
“We test every shipment,” Eric reports, “By filling a piece with water, tying it up and leaving it overnight. We haven’t had a fail yet.” The liner is made from hospital-grade fabric that is quiet, soft and, as above, seriously waterproof.
You Say Dogs Don’t Chew Your Covers Much, Why?
“That wasn’t on purpose – our beds aren’t chewproof,” Eric honestly points out. And I would counter that no fabric bed is chewproof. What Big Barker does is move the zipper out of obvious reach which means your dog isn’t lead into temptation. It also doesn’t present folds of fabric a dog can start to gnaw on.
Eric’s drive to create the best possible orthopedic dog bed is obvious when you speak to him. And, having spoken to him, I see even more clearly why Big Barker dog beds have such loyal fans – of both the two- and four-legged variety.
Now you know.