November 27, 2019

You want your dog to be healthy and happy, and making sure that he is comfortable at all times is important to both of you. This should include making certain that he is comfortable when he is resting as well. Some dogs are perfectly happy sleeping in your bed or on your furniture, but this can be problematic for short dogs and for older dogs with arthritis. To prevent injury, it is best to consider purchasing a dog bed for your furry friend.  

How to start using a dog bed (if not already using one)

Many dogs easily adapt to using a dog bed for the first time. If your dog has never slept on a dog bed before, then you may need to help him transition to using one. Most dogs rely on their owner’s cues to know what something is or how it is used. For example, if you sit on the couch in your living room, then the couch must have the “sit” function and your dog may try to sit next to you. And if you sleep in a bed, then the bed must have the “sleep” function. But what does he think of a dog bed if he’s never seen one before? With plenty of treats and positive reinforcement, you can train your dog to use his new dog bed for sleeping upon. It may also help to put the dog bed right up against your own bed to give him the idea that his new dog bed is an extension of your bed.

Things to look for when buying a dog bed

A tan and white pit bull laying in green grass

Dog beds should be comfortable, especially if your dog was already used to sleeping on furniture prior to your purchase. Beds should be wide enough to support your dog’s size because, even though most dogs sleep in the nose-to-tail position, some dogs might like to stretch out their legs. Dog beds covers should be made of a sturdy, waterproof material to withstand chewing and fluids like urine or vomit. Beds with removable covers are best because many of them are machine-washable, making clean up much easier.

In some cases, you might find that your dog prefers to sleep on your wood or tile flooring. This may be because the floor helps to dissipate body heat by conduction, keeping your dog cool. However, there are lots of dog beds available that can help with this.

One type of bed is the hammock-style or elevated bed. This bed is usually made up of a stretch of thick mesh fabric that is stretched over a low-lying frame. Because air can flow beneath the bed, this can help keep your dog cooler. Hammock beds can also keep pressure off of your dog’s elbows when he goes to lie down. However, these beds can sometimes tip over easily and may not be the most comfortable for dogs with aching joints.

Many of the foam orthopedic beds available for dogs can provide extra comfort for larger, older dogs or dogs with orthopedic injuries. The best foam beds are ones that are gel-cooled so that your dog won’t get too hot while sleeping on them. And because many of these beds are low-lying and flat on the ground, your dog won’t risk tipping over while getting on or off of it.  

The best dog beds for older dogs

Here are a few examples of some of the best dog beds available today.

Affinity Pillow-Top Orthopedic Dog Bed

The Affinity dog bed has a soft pillow attached to the top of it, and the bed is covered with a sturdy fabric that can withstand damage and can help reduce foul odors from repeated use. The memory foam can help keep your dog cool in the summertime yet can also keep him comfortable during the colder months. The cover is machine-washable for easy clean up of spills, and the overall soft feel of the bed is beneficial for older dogs with joint pain and inflammation.

BuddyRest Divinity Bolster Memory Foam Dog Bed

The BuddyRest dog bed is also smell-resistant and waterproof, so even though the cover is washable, you will not have to worry about washing the bed as often as you might wash other beds. The memory foam is highly resistant to pressure so it will not develop “dips” over time, and Tactile Pressure Mapping was utilized to minimize pressure on joints and heighten comfort. The memory foam bedding can reduce joint stiffness through support and can help relieve arthritis pain. The pillowed edges can help create a nest-like feeling for your dog, and he may even choose to use the edge as a headrest. Grips are on the bottom of the bed to prevent the bed from sliding across the floor.

ToughPup Orthopedic Memory Foam Dog Bed

The ToughPup dog bed is made of some of the most durable materials available, so it is especially great for dogs who are rough on their bedding! The memory foam component provides comfort while the gel-infused portion of the foam bed helps with body temperature control. Overall, the bed can reduce arthritis pain by helping with joint pain and relieving pressure on the joints. The ToughPup is sized for a crate or even a car ride, which is excellent for helping to keep older dogs comfortable during travel.  

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There are many dog beds available, and you will want to make sure to pick the right one for you and your dog. Some of the most comfortable beds are made up of memory foam, making them the best kind of bed for older dogs and dogs with arthritis. You will also want to be sure that they are washable, sturdy, and built to keep your dog’s body temperature regulated. Most importantly, you will want to make sure that your dog is happy with his bed, that it helps his joints and seems to alleviate arthritis pain. Dog beds like these can make a world of difference in your dog’s sleep and quality of life!


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Meet The Author

author Dr. Erica Irish

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