The Orthopedic Benefits of Heated Pet Beds

Heated pet beds not only offer comfort on a cool winter night, they can also provide benefits to pets with certain health conditions. Let’s review some common canine symptoms and some health problems that can be helped by a heated pet bed.

How to Tell if Your Dog Could Benefit from a Heated Bed

Your dog may be a candidate for a heated bed if he shows any of the following symptoms:

  • Cannot run
  • Cannot get up easily from a lying-down position
  • Cannot easily climb stairs or jump
  • Limps or moves stiffly after exercise 
  • Moves slowly or tentatively

Heat Offers Relief from Arthritis and Joint Disorders

Arthritis is the common term used to describe a condition that veterinarians classify as joint disease. It can be further divided into inflammatory and non-inflammatory types. Symptoms of inflammatory joint disease include joint pain and swelling (inflammation), while the symptoms of non-inflammatory joint disease include joint degeneration with accompanying stiffness and pain.

A heated bed can help soothe an arthritic pet’s stiff joints and loosen his tight muscles. A pet bed with orthopedic features can also provide additional support for the pet’s entire body, which can allow him to sleep more comfortably.

Heat Can Help Soothe Pain of Hip Dysplasia

Hip dysplasia is a condition in which an animal’s ball-and-socket hip joints do not fit together properly. The ball slips out of the socket and causes abnormal wear and tear to the joint, which results in pain and difficulty walking and standing.

Genetics plays a role in the development of hip dysplasia, but improper nutrition and excessive exercise levels at an early age have also been implicated as potential causes. Since the condition damages a dog’s hip joints, heat may help ease the pain and stiffness associated with hip dysplasia.

Dogs with Back Problems and Senior Pets May Enjoy Heated Beds

Dogs that have suffered a spinal injury or that have a medical problem with their spine, such as intervertebral disk disease, may find a heated orthopedic pet bed offers them pain-free rest.

Older dogs may find a heated bed more comfortable than an unheated one since heat helps increase circulation and improve flexibility.

What to Look for in a Heated Pet Bed

Here are a few things to keep in mind when selecting your dog’s heated pet bed:

  • Select a memory foam mattress that features additional support beneath the memory foam. The memory foam will help mold the bed to your dog’s unique shape, while the underlying support will prevent him from sinking too far into the foam and ending up almost on the floor.
  • Choose a bed that’s appropriately sized to your dog’s body. He should be able to stretch out completely, and the bed should be able to support his weight to ensure his comfort.
  • Pick a bed that has a low side to it so that your dog can get in and out of the bed easier than a bed whose sides are all the same height.
  • Look for a chew-resistant electrical cord to ensure your pet’s safety.

Once you've selected your pet's bed, set it up in a draft-free area in your home to further ensure his warmth and comfort.