He’s been by your side for millions of miles on mountain hiking trails and city streets. He’s accompanied you on numerous hunting trips and weekend getaways. He’s your best friend, you constant companion, you’re closest confidant, he’s your dog. Do something for him by making sure he’s comfortable in an orthopedic dog bed that is perfectly suited for all his needs.
Why Choose An Orthopedic Dog Bed?
As our best friends get older, they need a firmer cushion to support their tired bodies. Thick, firmer cushions help to relieve discomfort from arthritis, hip dysplasia, and pressure points caused by old age muscle loss. Choosing a bed with bolsters, or raised areas like the arms of your couch, gives your pooch something to rest their head and neck on for even more comfort. A thicker, firmer bed also makes it easier to get up from if your aging pup is experiencing any muscle weakness.
How Do You Choose An Orthopedic Dog Bed?
Picking the right orthopedic dog bed is going to depend a lot on your dog, your living situation, and your budget. Your dog’s size and favorite sleeping positions are absolute musts to consider as well as where you plan on putting the bed. Finally, orthopedic dog beds have a wide, wide range in prices.
- Size Considerations: The bigger the better when it comes to the bed for your older buddy. Make sure the bed is something he can lay out on without hanging over the edges. Also, factor in his favorite sleeping positions. If he’s a sprawler, you might want something even bigger. If he sleeps tucked in a tight ball, you might be able to get away with something smaller. Another consideration is where you are putting the bed and if you have the space for a king sized one.
- Pad Density and Thickness: In order to help relieve some of your best friend’s pain, you want a firm pad that will bounce back to its original shape immediately. You don’t want anything that squishes down and then stays squished or something that is so soft your dog will practically have to swim to get out of it. It also needs to be thick enough so that pressure points don’t poke through it and rest on the floor. Generally speaking, two-four inches is thick enough for most dogs, but you may have to go thicker for larger breeds or heavier pals. Memory foam, like the stuff in some human mattresses, seems to be a popular choice as it is firm and doesn’t lose its shape easily.
- The Shape of It: This is totally up to your dog’s preference. Let’s bring back the bolster idea. Most dogs love these to stretch their head and neck on. They also provide a back rest or barrier between the bed and the wall. Bolsters can also make your dog feel cozier and surrounded by comfort. When picking the shape of your dog’s orthopedic bed, you will need to again consider their sleeping habits. Most sprawling sleepers will fit better on a rectangular shape, while balled up sleepers will fit an oval or circle shape.
- Ability to Clean: The ease of cleaning an orthopedic dog bed should be a huge consideration. Choose a bed that has a waterproof or water resistant cover that can be removed and machine washed. Trust me, you and your dog will be thankful for it. Older dogs not only struggle with pain and discomfort, but some can experience incontinence issues as well, so waterproof or water resistance is a must.
- Special Features: After you’ve found a bed that covers the basics, you can start looking to add some bells and whistles. For example, some beds have an almost sleeping bag like top so that your buddy can burrow in nice and cozy. Other’s have an oval indent in the center of the pad to make the perfect outline for a balled up sleeper. There are heated and cooled beds too. You can get a little crazy with these extra features, I would just say find one that you and your pup are comfortable with.
So now that you know what to look for in an orthopedic dog bed, let’s get to the list of the top seven beds on the market.
The 12 Best Orthopedic Dog Beds in 2018 – Reviews and Comparison
How Do You Get Your Dog To Like Their New Bed?
No matter which orthopedic dog bed you choose, if he doesn’t use it, it won’t do him any good. Getting your pup used to his new sleeping space may be harder than you think so here are some tips to get him comfy in his new spot.
- Put the bed in a familiar location: Place the new bed in the same spot that the old bed was, but don’t get rid of the new bed just yet. Your pup may not take to the new bed like you planned, so keep the old one around just in case. Place the new bed in the old location and see what happens. If there is some resistance continue reading.
- Make it smell familiar: If your pup has a favorite blanket, toy, etc, place it on the new bed. You can even try lying with your dog on the bed if that helps.
- Have fun on it: Play, give treats, and praise your pup for using the new bed. Make lying on it fun, not a punishment.
Sometimes dogs just won’t take to a new bed and that’s okay. Don’t give up after just one day, keep trying for at least a week before you decide if the new bed is a no-go. If after a week he still doesn’t want the bed, you might have to try something else. Fortunately here are 12 orthopedic dog bed options to try.