The Benefits of an Orthopedic Dog Bed

An orthopedic dog bed offers a variety of benefits to older dogs or dogs with arthritis or hip dysplasia. These include additional support and comfort for the dog's muscles and joints, along with better weight distribution when your dog is at rest.

Other dogs that may benefit from an orthopedic dog bed include active dogs, such as working or service animals, or dogs that have recently had surgery and face a long recovery. Some owners opt to start their puppies out on orthopedic pet beds to prevent muscle and joint problems from developing.

Choosing the Right Bed

Pet owners are faced with a wide range of choices when they shop for orthopedic dog beds. Here are a few things to keep in mind:

Select a bed that's the right size for your dog. Choose a bed that's big enough for your dog to stretch out completely. Pick a size that's appropriate for your dog's weight, too, to ensure he'll receive proper support from the bed.

Foam Core Gives Good Support

Pick a bed with a high-quality core. Foam is a common material found in orthopedic dog beds. It contours to a dog's body shape and alleviates painful pressure points. The foam core may help your dog sleep more comfortably because he may be less likely to toss and turn in an effort to find a comfortable sleep position.

When shopping for your dog's new bed, you'll be faced with a number of foam choices, including memory, orthopedic and egg-crate foam. Memory foam works with your dog's weight, his body contours and temperature to create a snug nest in which your dog sleeps. Orthopedic foam does provide extra support over regular dog beds. Egg-crate foam also offers the additional benefit of keeping your dog warmer in cold weather and cooler in warm weather.

If heat helps your pet feel more comfortable, choose a heated dog bed. Most heated beds feature chew-resistant cords and offer dog owners the opportunity to provide a warm place for their dogs to sleep at night. Some heated dog beds are designed for outdoor use, but most are meant only to be used indoors.

Choose a machine-washable bed cover that can be removed easily. This makes cleaning your dog's bed easier, and also allows you the opportunity to change the cover to something softer and warmer should your dog's comfort needs change.

Finding a Good Spot to Snooze

Set the bed up in a cozy, draft-free area of your home. Your dog probably already has a favorite sleeping spot (or two) in your home, so help ease his transition to the new bed by placing it near a spot he's already familiar with. Let your dog sniff and examine the new bed before you completely remove his old one to help the transition go smoother.