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!