Your adult dog will sleep anywhere from 12 to 15 hours a day, and a puppy or an older dog may sleep more!
Spending that much time laying down means that the choice of bed you choose can have a significant impact on your dog’s health and welfare, especially for a senior dog or one who has any type of arthritis, joint problems, or other health issues.
While there are many standard dog beds that are good quality and provide a comfortable rest for your dog, an orthopedic bed may be the best choice you can make. But what is an orthopedic dog bed and is it right for your dog?
The Difference Between an Orthopedic Bed and an Ordinary Bed
The main difference between a standard bed and an orthopedic bed is the quality and type of support material used to construct it.
A standard bed is normally filled with a polyester, cotton, or foam filling, with some also having material to control odor, cedar chips for example.
Due to the nature of these materials to compress, become lumpy, and create pressure points, your dog’s back, joints, and hips will not be fully supported.
An orthopedic dog bed is designed and manufactured with materials that provide complete support for a dog’s joints and spine. The most popular material used is a layer of memory foam that contours itself to your dog’s body and won’t flatten or pancake over time.
This ensures that pressure points won’t be created as your dog sleeps, and he’ll wake up rested and refreshed instead of stiff and sore.
Here’s a great video that shows how pressure mapping sensors were used to check out well various dog beds provide support. If you have a large dog, you’ll definitely want to check it out:
Could an Orthopedic Bed Be Right for Your Dog?
How do you know if an orthopedic bed is the right choice for your pooch? Here are some of the most common situations where this type of bed would be greatly beneficial:
~ Age–Just like their human counterparts, dogs tend to develop arthritis and stiffness in their joints as they get older and commonly suffer from muscle loss
~ Hip dysplasia–Primarily associated with large dog breeds, this painful joint disease usually begins to affect dogs as they get older. However, even dogs as young as a few months old can exhibit symptoms in rare cases.
~ Other joint diseases–Inflammatory joint disease, degenerative joint disease, spinal joint disease
~ Recuperating from injuries–such as soft tissue injuries to tendons or ligaments or recuperating from surgery or a broken bone
~ An active lifestyle–Dogs who live a very active life need a sound, restorative sleep to keep them on the go
Dogs are no different from their owners when it comes to needing good quality restful sleep to be healthy and enjoy making the most of their life.
So when deciding on a dog bed, ask yourself what type of bed is the best for you as you age and recover from a hard day’s work. I’m sure you would want an excellent mattress that supports your whole body without lumps and pressure points.
Your pooch will receive the same benefits from a quality orthopedic bed!
How to Choose a Quality Dog Bed
Ok, you’ve made the decision that an orthopedic dog bed is the best for your best friend! But with so many different brands, shapes, and sizes out there, how do you choose the best one?
The answer 100% depends upon the size, needs, and sleeping habits of your pooch. Here are some important things to consider:
~ The size of your dog–Dogs need to be able to fully stretch out and still have their body supported. If in doubt, it’s always better to buy a larger bed.
~ Quality of materials–The best orthopedic beds have a solid core of certified non-toxic high grade memory foam. Cheaper beds may contain materials such as shredded memory foam, foam chips, or polyester fiber, to name a few.
Beds with these types of fill are not as effective in eliminating pressure points and do not have the orthopedic benefits that a high quality, solid core memory foam bed provides.
~ Shape of the bed–Your dog’s sleep habits will be the best guide to the shape of bed that will provide the most restful sleep. Many small dogs feel more secure and comfortable in a bed with sides where they can curl up, such as a nest bed.
Does your pooch sleep on the couch with his head up on the armrest? He may prefer a bed with a bolster on one end that acts as a pillow.
Many large dogs love to sprawl out on their sides, so a large rectangle bed with several inches of memory foam may be just what is needed.
~ Removable cover–No matter what size or breed of dog you own, the one thing you have in common with every other dog owner is that your dog bed is going to get dirty and smelly. It’s very important to choose a bed that has a removable cover that is machine washable!
~ Waterproof liner–Whether your dog just came in from the rain or snow or if he’s a puppy or senior pooch who just didn’t make it outside in time, a waterproof liner is necessary to protect the integrity of the memory foam and make it last as long as possible.
If in doubt, one of the best resources for determining the best orthopedic bed is your dog’s veterinarian, especially if you’re purchasing a bed for a dog that is recovering from an injury or surgery.
They will be able to assess your dog’s needs and guide you in understanding the best type of bed to meet those needs.
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Cost Comparison Between an Orthopedic Bed and a Standard Bed
The saying goes, “You get what you pay for”, and that’s very true when purchasing any type of dog bed. Depending on the size of bed needed, you can spend anywhere from $10 for a small standard bed and anywhere from $120 to $500 for a very large high quality orthopedic bed.
While the initial investment in a higher quality bed can seem much more expensive, if you’re replacing a cheaper bed that gets worn out every year, the higher cost bed can be more economical in the long run.
But there are great quality beds for every budget, so you should be able to find an orthopedic bed your dog will love!
What Is An Orthopedic Dog Bed? The Best Bed For Your Pooch!
Several years ago I needed to buy a bed for our dog who was coming home from surgery for a torn CCL. When her surgeon recommended an orthopedic bed and I was shown all the benefits it would provide, I knew it was the best bed for our girl and every large dog!
After researching all of the alternatives and with guidance from our veterinarian, we made the choice to purchase a high quality memory foam bed, and we couldn’t be happier.
She sleeps soundly and wakes up without being sore and stiff. It was the right choice for our pooch, and just may be the right choice for yours!
Have you ever bought an orthopedic dog bed? Do you think your dog would benefit from one? Share your questions and comments below!
Thanks for your interesting post about the orthopedic bed. I have never heard about this kind of dog bed in our country—most of the pet shops here selling the dog hut only. I believed many dog lovers would like to seek this bed for their dog. I have an old dog called husky with joint pain at one of its back legs. I have made a stainless steel hut for him, and its bed place covered with soft grass carpet made from polypropylene. It is washable every day with water spray from the top, and the dirt came out from the bottom of the rug. It is much more expensive than an orthopedic bed sold by Amazon. I believed this bed has a significant potential to grow if the article can present in social media more frequently. It can form a dog lover community to invite people to join to share their experience with their dog.
A great orthopedic dog bed would be a good alternative to a bed that can’t provide the kind of support many dogs need, and the fact that it costs less is a win-win!
Actually the difference is so very glaring in the level of quality that an orthopedic bed offers Rather than having to settle for just an ordinary bed for the dog. It is always better to go a step further and actually give them the very best treatment and get then the right beds. This is really awesome to see here and thank you so much for sharing here
You’re welcome, and I totally agree!
Thanks for putting together an article that will help us dog lovers look after our best friends.
I think that any product that can assist our pets when they’re most vulnerable is a great idea. I would purchase a product like this if my dog was ever injured or struck down by an illness.
You’re exactly right! When our beloved pets are the most vulnerable is when they need us to care for them the most!
Hi Janelle, I warmed to this article immediately as like you I love my dog.. I am also a mum, grand mum and great grand mum so we have a little in common. My dog sleeps in a kennel inside a shed and on a sleeping bag. But I am thinking having read your post that a more comfortable bed might be something I should look seriously at getting for him. He is spending more time sleeping now as he is well past the puppy stage.
I do like the idea of purchasing an orthopaedic bed for my dog and will certainly take a closer look. Our dog is a farm worker and spends all of his time outdoors so I will also need to take on your suggestion of a removable cover and waterproof liner..
Thank you for this post which has awakened my thinking regarding the sleeping comfort of our dog.
You’re welcome! Your dog must be very active, and I’ll bet he’d love a great orthopedic bed after a full day on the farm. Thank you so much for stopping by!
In used to think a dog bed is a dog bed is a dog bed. I had no idea how beneficial an orthopedic bed can be for a dog. Our small dogs lay quite comfortably on our sofa and couches. They seem to prefer these than any dog bed. But we have not bought an orthopedic bed or two.
Your article is food for thought and maybe signifying time for orthopedic beds.
I used to think the same way! Our dogs would sleep on whatever surface we put a blanket on, so I thought they must be comfortable.
But seeing how both of them loved the orthopedic bed we got for Sasha after her surgery, I realized that they need a great mattress just like we do. At night Sasha still prefers to sleep right between my husband and I, but our male, Tahlen, won’t sleep anywhere but on his bed now!
Wow, I had no idea. Now I feel like I am hurting my pour baby pooch. I want to thank you for the information on the size, type, material, and even costs for the proper bed. I am going to have to purchase one so that my little one is comfortable in this life. I like how you explained every aspect of the choice, reason, solution to this unknown problem. (well unknown to me, but now informed) Thank you for all this information as I appreciate it and I know my dog will too.
You’re welcome! I’m glad to pass on the information and hope your baby pooch loves his/her bed!
If I didn’t notice about Importance of Orthopedic Dog Bed,I would’ve bought a normal bed for the lovely dog. I need to buy a bed for make it last as long as possible. so I will have to buy Large Rectangle one. I also keep in mind buying a bed consists of removable cover and waterproof liner as well.
You’ve saved my time. I bookmarked your page.Thank You
Thank you, and I hope your dog enjoys his/her new bed!
I have two very spoiled doggies and they have bed in almost every room. I really appreciate your article. comparing regular beds to orthopedic beds. I do have one bed that is an orthopedic bed for my older dog, but confess that I didn’t give it that much thought. It looked comfortably so I bought it. Now that I have more knowledge from your article, I will look to replacing their beds. Thanks
Glad I could help, and thank you for stopping by!
I have 2 wee dogs and both of them are ageing and I treasure them. Liberty is 13 and Maddi is 10 so they could both do with a bed upgrade and having one that will support their old bones will be perfect for them.
I have recently bought myself a new bed as I am getting up there as well and mine is orthopaedic so the girls are in for a treat when I buy them each one of these- Thank you
I will bet that they’ll love them and get a much more restorative sleep!
An orthopaedic dog bed is a great gift idea. My sister just finally got her adorable golden retriever pup she has been wanting for years. I am not sure where the pup’s gonna stay to sleep but when it gets a little bit older or reach its full grown size, I think it would be nice if he’s finally gotten its own bed which is right for its body. I never thought there are beds like this to give more comfort for our beloved dogs. I think it’s also a good idea to customize a full dog bed cover to prevent chewing or scratching their orthopaedic bed. Thanks for sharing another great product that’s necessary for our dog’s well being.
Until we had to find an orthopedic dog bed for Sasha, I never even knew they made memory foam beds for dogs! Now I think it’s an essential element for helping your dog stay healthy.
Thank you so much for stopping by!
I was looking for some information on Orthopedic Dog Bed and found your article informative. You left no stone up-turned in explaining all details about Orthopedic Dog Bed.
The advice and guidance on choosing Orthopedic Dog Bed is super helpful. Your post “8 Best Orthopedic Dog Beds” is insightful and I am interested with BarksBar Gray Orthopedic Dog Bed and let me see whether or not our dog likes it and the price is also under my budget.
I have taken some great insights from your post.
I’m so glad I could help, and the BarksBar bed is a great choice!
This is very informative, and I absolutely love your site! I am thinking about getting a dog soon, and I want to do all that I can to properly take care of him or her. We are their voice, so it’s important to know how to care for them. Are there any pieces of advice you could give me about caring for a dog? Thanks!
Thank you so much for visiting, and I’m excited that you’re going to be getting your dog soon! The best advice I ever got when getting a new dog was to look at my lifestyle, space, and work schedule to see how much time and energy I could realistically devote to a dog. Then look at what type of dog would be the best fit.
So when we were looking for a dog that would be a companion to our black lab years ago, we decided that getting a puppy just wouldn’t work for us at that time. We wound up getting a German Shepherd mix from our local animal shelter who was about 4 years old, and she was a beautiful fit for our family.
Good luck and have fun finding a great dog for your family!
Great informative site my best friend normally sleeps on my bed or the couch. been trying to get him to sleep in any bed.
so i have a question u mentioned “the size of the dog bed” is there a orthopedic bed sized for a bullmastiff?
If you don’t know this type of dog they are huge im pretty sure mine is at or over 150 lbs and when he stands on his back legs he’s as tall as me im 6′.
I’ll bet he’s a beautiful dog! The orthopedic dog bed I can recommend is a giant Big Barker bed. It is high quality and the dimensions are 60″ x 48″ x 7″. I reviewed this bed and others that I consider very good beds for the money, and you can check it out here if you’d like, Orthopedic Dog Bed Reviews–8 Quality Beds Worth Your Money.
Thanks for stopping by!
Thank you for the suggestion i will definetly look into it here when i can afford it.
Hi there Janelle,
Thank you so much for creating and sharing this very helpful article about orthopaedic dog beds, I am sure my ageing canine is going to appreciate it when I get him one.
I had actually not heard of these specialist types of dog bed before until I see this rather intriguing article on social media. I has actually got the DIY craftsman out in me and rather than throwing the memory foam mattress I have replaced, I am going to set about salvaging it and making a rather comfortable memory foam dog bed.
Is there a specific orthopaedic dog bed that you specifically recommend?
Salvaging your memory foam mattress is a great idea, and I’m sure it will make a wonderful dog bed!
As far as recommendations go, my top one would be the Big Barker. Those are the beds we bought for both of our German Shepherds, and they love them! Our male, Tahlen, sleeps on his every night, won’t sleep anywhere else. Sasha has always slept on our bed since she was a puppy. So her bed is in our shop where she keeps my husband company while he’s working.
Both beds have been used for several years and are holding up beautifully. In addition to the Big Barker, there are several on the market that I reviewed and would recommend. If you’d like more information on them, here is the link to my blog post: https://lovemypooches.com/otho…
An orthopedic dog bed sounds like it might be perfect for our Sassy, she is getting older and does not get around as good as she use to. I got a memory foam mattress for my bed and it is awesome I sleep like a baby most of the time. Do most of these beds come with a waterproof covering that you talked about or is this something we have to purchase separately? I know our mattress did not come with one but I went ahead and bought a good quality one as we sleep with 2 of our dogs and I wanted to protect the mattress. I really do think this would be great for Sassy as she cannot get up on the bed any longer.
It sounds like an orthopedic bed would be great for her! Most quality beds come with a removable liner for cleaning, and some come with a waterproof or water resistant liner. I do recommend choosing a bed that has one, especially when you have an older dog.
Good luck in choosing her new bed!
Will be reading your site often, totally awesome, Wish I Would have read your article on ear infections about 11 years ago as Sammy has suffered with his ears for a long time, will also be checking out your beds next time its time to purchase one he usually gets a new one for Christmas , he has 6 beds but his favorite is my bed on my body pillow. looks like you love dogs as much as I do . Thanks for sharing all your information And Bless you and your family.
Nice to meet another dog lover, and I hope you’ll stop by often! Watching a dog suffer with ear problems is so hard, and it was a godsend when the treatment worked. Thank you for taking the time to comment!
I love this blog/review of dog beds. When we brought home our tiny 6lb Airedale puppy, we bought him a memory foam bed which the cat soon took over.
We bought him a larger one for himself but now, he is 89lbs and we’re in the market for yet another larger one. You say to get one large enough for him to stretch out on? No wonder he like to sleep on our bed where he can do that.
Both of our German Shepherds like to stretch out and loved when we got them bigger beds. Now the only time we’re sharing a bed with them is during a thunderstorm, so everyone is more comfortable!
Our english springer milly has been diagnosed with arthritis and we want her to be as comfortable as she can, so choosing the right bed for her is important.
I never knew the difference between an orthopedic dog bed and a normal one so this is great that i have come across your post to help me make a decision about what to look for:)
Thanks for the info.
I’m so glad this is helpful for you, I know Milly will be much more comfortable on her orthopedic bed!
Good information. My dog loves his bed, but we got it from my sister and have taken care of him for the last nine years. I will probably need to purchase a dog bed when I get a new dog and this was great information for that!
I’m so glad to help! When you’re ready to purchase a new bed, I have a review of 8 beds that I think are worth the money. So if you’d like to take a look at those, you can find it here.
Thanks Janelle, I had no idea an orthopedic dog bed existed! Delighted to know now as my son and I are aiming to get a dog this year so this is great information to consider. Do you have specific beds you can recommend or link too from here?
I have a review of 8 orthopedic dog beds that are worth considering, and you can find that here. Good luck to you and your son, picking out a new dog is a wonderful experience!
We bought our dog a memory foam bed from amazon. It is truly amazing if you ask me. But if we are watching tv, Ellie has no interest to sleep on her bed and will just lay on the hard floor by our feet. Can’t say we didn’t try 🙂
My daughter went through the same thing! She bought a rectangle bed based on how much my dogs love theirs, but her dog would only lay on it if they made him. Turns out he is a snuggler and she wound up getting a nest style bed that he sleeps in every day now.
Never knew that an orthopedic bed exists for dog as well. I really appreciate this comprehensive post on the topic. I should bookmark it for future use. However, I would like to ask you a question if you don’t mind. What if my dog sleeps with me on my orthopedic bed? Is orthopedic bed for human beings differ a lot from orthopedic bed of dogs?
Memory foam beds for humans are made of very high quality material and need to be able to support a full grown man. In fact many orthopedic dog bed manufacturers tout the quality of their beds as being as good as those made for humans. So I would think that your dog sleeping on your orthopedic bed would get the benefits and support from your mattress.