Andersen is an older dog and has several joint issues. He is also my best friend and I want to make sure that he is as comfortable as possible at all times. With this being said, I decided it was time to consider getting him a new dog bed.
I started reading about orthopedic dog beds and how they can help dogs that suffer from joint pain. You may think that picking out a dog bed should be a fairly easy task, but as with everything I do for Andersen I wanted to make sure that I found the best possible bed for him.
What is an Orthopedic Dog Bed?
I started out by researching exactly what an orthopedic dog bed is. What I found was that there are no real rules about what makes an orthopedic dog bed. There are no standards for softness, bed fill material, height, etc. that have to be met in order for a bed to be labeled as being orthopedic.
When an orthopedic bed for a pet is recommended, most vets are talking about beds that are made from a memory foam or other similar fiber that helps relieve the trauma to the pressure points when the dog is lying down so that there is no part of their body that feels the hard floor below them.
From what I found a quality orthopedic bed will have at least 2 inches of foam or soft material that has a bit of give to it in order to accommodate the different pressure points on a dog’s body, mainly their hips and elbows.
Reasons to Consider an Orthopedic Dog Bed
The reason that I was looking for an orthopedic bed for Andersen is because of his arthritis and obvious joint pain. Hip dysplasia, bone injuries, generalized muscle loss from old age, and soft tissue injuries are just some of the other reasons you may want to consider purchasing an orthopedic bed for your pet.
Essentially, the idea behind these types of beds is to help alleviate any stress or pain your dog may have from any type of ailment.
Choosing the Right Orthopedic Dog Bed
As mentioned there is no set standard for orthopedic dog beds. With that being said you will find different beds with many different features. The first thing that you should consider before choosing a bed is how your dog sleeps most often. Andersen typically sleeps in a ball or all sprawled out and he likes to have something to put his head on.
One feature of many of these beds is the bolster. Bolster can help provide head and neck support, which allows dogs to lie down more comfortably.
Another thing to consider is the material that is used on the inside of the bed. The thickness, density, and integrity of the materials is important. In many cases, memory foam is often the best choice for orthopedic beds.
You also need to consider the size of your dog when choosing the right bed. This really goes without saying as you will want a bed that your dog can actually fit inside.
I ended up choosing an orthopedic bed that was made of a thick bottom layer and a memory foam top. When it came, I was worried that Andersen was going to simply walk away and continue sleeping in his old bed. However, he finally decided to give the bed a try and I can tell that he really enjoys it. He looks much more comfortable and has stopped waking up throughout the night. Overall, the orthopedic bed seems to be worth the purchase.