A wise man once rightly said that the dog is a man’s best friend. Few pets, or even people, can match up to the loyalty and love your dog will show you. Buying a dog often means falling helplessly in love with it.
But what do you do when Fido grows too old to sleep comfortably on his old dog bed? Or if he’s sick or suffering from arthritis? Given that human lifespans are generally much longer than those of dogs, you’ll probably experience this at one time or another.
An orthopedic dog bed is the answer to both of the above questions. Orthopedic dog beds are designed to allow your furry friend a comfortable night of sleep regardless of age or any ailment-related issues.
Typical dog beds regularly suffer from flattening – a phenomenon you may also have experienced with your own bed. Flattening occurs when you sleep in the same position over a period of time of time, causing your (or your dog’s) mattress to form a depression where you put most of your weight. Over time, this depression grows into what is pretty much a hole in your bed.
This is why orthopedic dog beds are the best beds for older dogs.
Top Five Best Orthopedic Dog Beds
Orthopedic beds come in a number of different flavors. Some will come with bolsters, others won’t. Some will have heating capabilities, others won’t. Some even install a layer of memory foam over orthopedic foam, which allows the bed to mold itself to your dog’s body.
The following guide will help you find the best dog bed for older dogs.
Serta mattresses have always been regarded as high-quality and comfortable, and their foray into the field of pet mattresses does not disappoint. Their dog bed contains orthopedic foam and has a removable, machine-washable cover.
It is also quilted, which is an added attraction for most dogs. Furthermore, the bed is designed to match almost any décor style (unless you’ve chosen something really over the top).
The bed may not be comfortable for larger dogs that prefer to sprawl when sleeping, but for smaller dogs or dogs that curl up when sleeping, you’ll find no better product than Serta’s Pillow Top dog bed.
FurHaven’s pet bed is suitable for both cats and dogs. Its large size and thickness make it suitable for large to medium dogs or really large cats. Its plush faux fur is comfortable on paws and noses. The bed has a removable cover which can be machine washed and also features a water-resistant base. Its orthopedic foam is structured in an ‘egg-crate’ style, which provides more support for hurting joints and bones. The foam core can also be washed, but you’ll need to do that by hand.
The bed is available in a variety of sizes from small to jumbo, allowing you to choose the one best suited to your dog. It also comes in over a dozen different colors, which means you’ll be able to select the color that best matches your house’s décor!
Milliard’s premium dog bed is one of the most comfortable dog beds on the market. It contains a layer of memory foam above a much thicker layer of polyurethane orthopedic foam. This gives your dog full support while also molding to your dog’s body. Even if your dog prefers sleeping in an unusual position (maybe all fours in the air?), the memory foam will shape itself to provide optimal support.
This combination of memory and orthopedic foam creates a dog bed that is soft enough to eliminate pressure points yet firm enough for your dog to stand up when he needs to. The bed also comes in a variety of sizes for you to choose from. It features a removable cover that can be machine-washed, dried, and has a non-slip base to prevent the bed from skidding out from under your dog. The cover is also waterproof, which means you can safely allow your dog to go play in the creek without worrying about him coming back home and spoiling the bed.
On a sadder note, your dog will have more frequent ‘accidents’ as he ages, which is another benefit to having a waterproof cover.
This orthopedic bed comes in two sizes: medium and large. They are five and six inches thick respectively, which is enough to provide support for all but the largest dogs. It comes in three variants which are all the same color (gray), but have different trim colors.
Since solid memory foam is often too firm for most dogs, the mattress is filled with shredded memory foam that is packed tight to achieve the perfect balance between firmness and flexibility. The bed has a waterproof lining and a non-skid base for added protection. It also has a removable cover to facilitate quick and easy cleaning. Since the cover is waterproof, you won’t have to worry about spills and ‘accidents’ getting through to the foam and damaging it. The cover is also designed to last, and it will outlast any cheap dog bed you’ll find at your department store.
Better World Products, which sells this mattress, also donates ten percent of all its profits to The Humane Society of the United States. This organization is an active participant in the fight against animal cruelty and abuse. This means that if you buy this dog bed, you’re not only helping your dog – you’re also helping other animals all over the country.
If that doesn’t make you feel good, I don’t know what will! The company also gives you a one-year guarantee and claims that if you have any issues with the bed, they’ll take back the mattress and give you a full refund.
Serta’s second contribution to our list, this couch-shaped orthopedic dog bed, is easily one of the best products for your pet. It contains four inches of orthopedic egg crate foam to provide maximum comfort to dear Fido. It also comes with couch-like bolsters to give your pet a place to rest his or her head to alleviate (or prevent) neck and shoulder pain. This dog bed also comes with a removable, zippered cover to allow easy cleaning.
It may not be the best choice for huge dogs who prefer to sprawl asleep, but if you’ve got a smaller dog or your dog prefers to curl into a ball and fall asleep, this is the right bed for you. In fact, its cover is so plush and comfy that you may end up having to solve disputes between your cat and dog over the bed!
Other Orthopedic Dog Beds
This dog bed combines orthopedic foam with bolsters to create a nest-like bed for your dog. Once your dog sinks into the nest, he’s not going to want to come out anytime soon.
This four-inch dog bed is made out of solid memory foam to allow your dog a comfortable night’s sleep. It has a waterproof cover to protect the inside from spills, and it’s suitable for medium to large dogs. It’s filled with hard memory foam to provide a firm sleeping place.
Another variant of the product above from Brindle, this one is made from soft memory foam which emphasizes contouring over firmness. It also comes with a removable waterproof cover, so you’ll never have any problem cleaning it.
This extra-large bed will allow your pet to snooze with tons of space to spare. The mattress is shaped like a pillow at one end - an ingenious alternative to the traditional couch-like approach. It’s also waterproofed to protect the inner material and comes in a number of colors from which you can choose.
This Simmons product combines memory and orthopedic foam to create a finely balanced bed which falls between both extremes of firmness and softness. It’s also shaped like a couch and has bolsters for your dog to rest his head on.
Dog Conditions That May Require an Orthopedic Dog Bed
If you’re wondering why exactly you should buy an orthopedic dog bed, we’ve compiled a list of conditions that may be alleviated by doing so:
- Bone injuries
- Neurological or orthopedic conditions
- Hip dysplasia
- Joint problems
- Muscle loss due to old age
- Soft tissue injuries
An orthopedic bed should eliminate pain by removing pressure points that may hurt your dog. As you can see above, many factors may lead to pain.
Sadly, the problems above are relatively common in dogs; every dog owner may have to look for a dog bed at some point in his or her life.
Buyer's Guide for Orthopedic Dog Beds
What should you look for when buying an orthopedic dog bed? What features turn a simple dog bed into the most comfortable dog bed?
First, you have to understand that this mattress is ultimately for your dog. Many dog owners buy a particular dog bed merely because they think it will match their interior design or they find it cheap. Yes, cost and looks do matter, but they shouldn’t be the only criteria you consider when choosing a dog bed.
Now we’ve got that out of the way, we can look at several factors that are essential in any orthopedic dog bed.
A combination of orthopedic and memory foam is always a plus point when buying a dog bed. As we mentioned earlier in the article, orthopedic foam adds firmness to a mattress while memory foam conforms to your dog’s body shape, creating a comfortable depression in which your dog can sleep. Many dog owners recommend getting a dog bed with bolsters. This is because dogs can rest their head on the bolsters and this effectively relieves (or prevents) neck pain.
A dog bed with a non-skid base is safer for your dog. Dogs are rambunctious and boisterous creatures, and you don’t want your pet to go running wildly onto his bed just for it to slip out from under him. Seeing that may be hilarious to you, but your dog probably won’t get the joke.
For your own benefit, look for a dog bed with a removable, machine washable cover. This will make it easier for you to clean your dog bed when it gets dirty. A waterproof cover is always a huge plus since it adds an extra layer of protection to the internal foam.
While you may be tempted to buy a heated bed for your dog, you may be better off sticking with simple orthopedic foam. This is because heated beds pose burn hazards, especially to older dogs or dogs with mobility problems.
Because orthopedic beds come in dozens of sizes, you’ll also have to choose the right bed size for your dog. How do you do that? Look for a dog bed in which your pooch can sprawl comfortably. Also, don’t buy a gigantic dog bed for your Chihuahua. He won’t even be able to get on it!
Most people fail to actually realize the effort involved in choosing the right orthopedic bed for their dog.
A few decades ago, no one realized the suffering that older and ailing dogs went through. Luckily, due to breakthroughs in science, we were able to understand that even pets require support as they grow older.
A dog will be your most loyal companion throughout its life. It’s painful to see such a dear friend suffer as he grows older and experiences arthritis and other vagaries of old age. Now that you’re armed with the right information, get out there and choose the right orthopedic bed for your trusty companion.