January 07, 2020 6 min read 0 Comments

There’s nothing better than climbing into your comfy bed at the end of a busy day, especially if you’re physically exhausted. The same holds true for your dog! Many dogs love to curl up on their beds and fall asleep, and there are many different types of beds from which to choose. However, if your dog has arthritis, then you might find that not all dog beds are created equal.


Dog arthritis

Like in humans, arthritis is a general term for inflammation of the joints, and there are many different variations and causes. For most senior dogs, arthritis refers to the wearing-down of the cartilage that is present on the ends of the bones that make up the joint spaces. Cartilage can be worn down gradually, which is common for older dogs, or it can be damaged much earlier in life due to injuries or congenital issues like elbow dysplasia and hip dysplasia.

When it comes to your dog’s arthritis, it is important to consider additional factors outside of the joint spaces like overall health and your dog’s body weight. Because joints are made up of more than just cartilage, it is possible for other tissues in the joint space to become inflamed or swollen.

Joint inflammation can be caused by infection, immune-mediated diseases, and cancer. If your dog is overweight, then excess body fat will put more pressure on the joints and negatively impact your dog’s mobility. By maintaining an ideal body condition score and checking in with your veterinarian twice a year for a thorough physical exam, your dog can have better mobility and less arthritis pain.


How can you help your arthritic dog?

Your veterinarian will help you determine the best course of action for managing your dog’s arthritis. If there is an underlying cause for your dog’s arthritis (e.g. Lyme disease), then your veterinarian will prescribe medications. Some of these may be non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or NSAIDs that can provide pain relief by relieving inflammation.

In some cases, like with immune-mediated joint disease, a steroid drug may be necessary. Other pain medications like gabapentin may also be recommended. Your vet will also talk to you about joint supplements containing glucosamine and chondroitin, and there is abundant anecdotal evidence to support the benefits of CBD oil for pain and arthritis in dogs.

You will want to make sure that your dog doesn’t over-exert himself. This means that he may need to avoid high impact exercises like running and jumping, at least for a short amount of time. If he is having trouble walking over slippery surfaces, then you can place rubber bath mats or runners in high-traffic areas to help improve your dog’s traction.

The hard floor may be rough on his joints, your dog may also benefit from an orthopedic dog bed. This is especially true if your dog is used to sleeping in your bed but maybe your bed is too high for him to jump on.


What to look for in a bed for a dog with arthritis

There are numerous factors to consider when purchasing a bed for your arthritic dog. Memory foam is one of the most popular options because of its durability and comfort. It is especially effective for large breed dogs because the cushioning takes the pressure off of joints like the knees and elbows, and the foam itself maintains it's cushioning longer than traditional beds with polyester stuffing.

Large dog beds can be difficult to clean when spills occur, and not all beds are small enough to fit in your washing machine. Therefore, dog beds with removable covers are highly recommended. The covers should also have Velcro or concealed zippers so that your dog is not likely to swallow any small metal pieces if he chews on his bed.

If your dog prefers to sleep on cool surfaces, then not all memory foam dog beds will suit him. If you’ve ever slept on the memory foam mattress, then you may be familiar with how warm they can be. It is difficult for the kind of conductive cooling that your dog might be used to, and so it is a good idea to find a dog bed where the memory foam has a gel-cooled layer to help regulate temperature.

When purchasing a dog bed, you will also want to make sure that the bed is large enough for your dog to rest upon. Even though some dogs love to curl up when they sleep, you will want to buy a bed that will cover the length of your dog’s body. Otherwise, his arthritic joints won’t be supported if they are past the edge of the bed.


Best bed for a dog with arthritis  

The following dog beds are just a few examples of some of the products available that meet all of the criteria mentioned above, and all three are available for purchase here at BuddyRest.com. Buddy Rest has recently won the 2019-2020 Global Brand of the Year for Best Dog Beds!

1. Oasis Plush Pillow Dog Bed

The Oasis dog bed is a memory foam bed with a gel-cooled layer to help prevent your pup from overheating while he sleeps. It is machine washable which makes it easier to clean, and the suede material wicks away moisture from urinary accidents or drool. 

The Kevlar thread keeps the bed edging intact if your dog is prone to chewing on fabric, and there is a small pocket to tuck the zipper head under so that your dog can’t chew on it. The bottom of the bed has a never-slip bottom so that it is easier for your dog to get into and out of the bed without the bed slipping across the floor.

2. Romeo Advanced Orthopedic Bolster Dog Bed

This bed also contains a memory foam layer and was specifically designed for use in older dogs with arthritis pain. There is a cooling layer to help prevent your dog from feeling too warm while he sleeps, and the soft siding of the bed creates a nest-like bed for the dog who enjoys curling up when he falls asleep. 

The suede fabric is not only machine washable but is also antimicrobial, so it is less likely to accumulate odors and will rarely need to be washed. The fabric is also waterproof, and the seams of this bed use Kevlar thread to help prevent tearing. Like the Oasis bed, the Romeo bed also has a pocketed zipper and a non-slip surface on the bottom.

3. Crown Supreme Memory Foam Dog Bed

Crown Supreme beds are all handmade and use gel-infused memory foam to help maintain temperature neutrality. This particular bed was designed for orthopedic comfort and helps to reduce joint pain. The siding or bolster has a “nest” effect on the bed to help your dog feel comfortable and safe, and the Kevlar quilting on the top layer not only provides durability but also provides one of the most comfortable sleeping surfaces for your furry friend. The bed’s fabric is water-resistant and antimicrobial.

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Most dogs are very good at hiding signs of arthritis, and as pet owners, we may not notice the signs until our dogs are very painful. Be sure to check in with your veterinarian twice a year for a thorough physical exam and ask if she suspects that your dog has arthritis. You can also ask for advice on how you can help your arthritic pup feel better. Also, consider purchasing a sturdy orthopedic bed to help keep him comfortable and relieve arthritis pain!

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Meet The Author

Dr. Erica Irish author of beds for dogs with arthritis

Dr. Erica Irish

Erica has worked in the veterinary field since 2006, starting out as a veterinary technician before graduating from the UF College of Veterinary Medicine in 2013. As a general practitioner in an animal hospital, she has many interests and is especially interested in dermatology, cardiology, internal and integrative medicine.

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