For most dogs, chasing a ball tops the list of their favorite past time activities. Some will happily chase after a ball well into their golden years. But, all of this running and jumping puts a strain on their joints. Sometimes even a simple game of fetch can result in an injury. Having an orthopedic dog bed for your dog can really ease those achy joints.
According to PetMD dogs who tend to run and jump more may end up with joint related problems. Problems such as an anterior cruciate ligament, or ACL, tear. They are more likely to develop osteoarthritis as well.
PetMD also touches on what causes these joint problems. Splitting the issue up into two different categories: developmental and degenerative. Developmental joint problems are issues that your dog is either born with or just gradually develops over time. Degenerative joint problems happen when the ligaments start degenerating over a period of time. Usually caused by constant use. Degenerative joint issues normally result in secondary osteoarthritis.
Don’t be fooled though. It isn’t just older dogs that develop arthritis. Younger dogs may have it, too. Especially younger dogs who are considered a large breed. Our home actually is currently treating a younger dog who has arthritis.
Our 3 year old Boston Terrier, who only weighs about 17 pounds, suffers from osteoarthritis. His is secondary due to an injury when he was only 6 months old. Our roommate at the time let him outside and forgot to close the gate. He got out of the gate and our next door neighbor hit him with his car.
The accident could’ve been a lot worse than it was. He suffered from a lot of lacerations. As well as a broken leg. A local, well known veterinarian did surgery on his leg to repair it. He still warned us that the leg may bother him. We were also warned that more than likely he would develop arthritis in that leg.
Boy, was he right! Like I’ve said before, it never gets super cold where I live. But, when the temperature drops, my Boston knows it before we do. The poor guy automatically starts limping on his once hurt leg.
If you check out my last post, you’ll see why I made the switch over to dog beds that contain memory foam. I was so thankful for our orthopedic dog beds whenever we experienced that accident.
So, how do you know if your dog is suffering from arthritis? Well, I just went off what I thought was an “old wives tale”. The one that says people who have arthritis begin to ache whenever the weather changes. Well, apparently, that isn’t just an “old wives tale”. It’s actually the truth. Achy bones during cold weather isn’t the only sign of arthritis in dogs though.
Symptoms of Arthritis in Dogs
- Hesitant to get up after either a long or short period of sitting or lying down.
- Acts like their joints are painful when you touch or move them.
- Joints may be swollen and tender.
- The joints may feel warm to the touch.
- If your dog is licking or chewing at a specific area over and over, he or she may have arthritis in that area.
- Hopping like a bunny
- Moving slower than usual when trying to get around.
- Noticeable change in how fast your dog moves.
- Limping or a change in overall gait
Curious what’s the best way to diagnose arthritis in a dog? Visit your veterinarian. Joints that ache aren’t any fun for your dog. Your vet will be able to tell you what to do for your dog’s specific case of arthritis.
Orthopedic Dog Bed Benefits for Dogs with Arthritis
There’s one really important thing you can do if your dog has arthritis. That’s keeping him or her comfortable in their favorite environment. Your home, of course! You may need to incorporate doggy steps and stairs. If you haven’t already, I’d definitely recommend investing in a raised feeder.
But, what’s the #1 thing you need to do to keep a dog with arthritis comfy? Invest in a good orthopedic bed. Have you ever had the pleasure of sleeping on a memory foam mattress? Then you KNOW the relief it can give you. Especially if you’ve been sleeping on the same mattress for years. Ahem, totally guilty here!
According to Pet360 one reason an orthopedic bed is so great is because it conforms to your dogs body. Having this feature really helps cushion achy joints.
But, what are some other reasons a nice comfy bed and a dog with arthritis are a winning combination?
Benefits of an Orthopedic Dog Bed
- Lessens the chance of your dog developing bed sores from prolonged periods of laying down
- Reduces pain
- Reduces stiffness
- Encourages healing
- Helps hold in heat allowing circulation to increase
Finding The PERFECT Orthopedic Dog Bed
Having the right dog bed is perfect for any stage of your dog’s life. You want to find the right fit for your dog. You’re going to want to make sure the bed you pick is has certain features. Plus, I’m sure you’d like the bed to last a while. So, finding one that is high quality is priority, too.
There are a lot of options out there on the market. With all of these options, how do you find the best fit for your dog?
Orthopedic Dog Bed Features You Should Look For
Most of the beds you find in this category are going to be waterproof. This is important for older dogs. As well as dogs with injuries.
Older dogs may have a problem holding their urine. While an injured dog may not be able to get up to use the bathroom.
This is another common feature when it comes to dog beds that have memory foam. Having a removable cover makes it easy to keep the bed clean.
Thick Solid Memory Foam
Having a thick layer of memory foam will help the foam better contour to your dog’s body. Make sure that your dog’s is at least 4” thick.
Dogs who are injured or older have a hard time getting up. The last thing they need is a bed slipping from underneath them. If the bottom of the bed is non-skid, this will help prevent that problem.
You’ll also want to focus on the size of the bed you’re considering. Most beds come in various sizes. It’s definitely important that your dog fits in their new bed.
A great one size fits all choice is the PetFusion SerenityLounge Dog Bed. It has all the features you’d want in an orthopedic dog bed. Plus, it’s a nice size. Giving your dog a lot of extra room.
PetFusion SerenityLounge Dog Bed Features
- Dimensions are 36 x 28 x 4” - probably leaving your dog with plenty of room to spread out
- A 4” solid memory foam base
- Reduces joint pain
- Improves health, mobility, and energy
- Includes a water and tear resistant cover
- Non-skid bottom
- Removable cover is machine washable - making cleanup a breeze!
- The soft, but durable suede microfiber cover makes spot cleaning easy
If you’d like a variety of sizes, there are other great options out there. The PetFusion Ultimate Pet Bed & Lounge is available in three different sizes. This comfy bed is available in small, large, and extra large. Plus, just like the SerenityLounge Dog Bed, it has all the features you’d want in an orthopedic bed.
PetFusion Ultimate Pet Bed and Lounge Dimensions
Small - 25 x 20 x 5.5”
Large - 36 x 28 x 9”
X-Large - 44 x 34 x 10”
PetFusion Ultimate Pet Bed and Lounge Features
- Available in 3 different sizes
- Includes a 4” solid memory foam base
- Provides overall comfort
- Reduces joint pain
- Improves health, mobility, and energy
- Support bolsters are filled with recycled “green” polyfill
- Contains 65% polyester and 35% cotton twill - making this bed durable and comfortable
- Removable cover is water and tear resistant
- Easy to remove machine washable cover
- Modern color and style - fits in with any home decor
- Comes with a 12 month manufacturer warranty
You can also buy a replacement cover for this bed. Which is actually perfect. Having a replacement will allow your dog to still use the bed even while you wash it.
There’s another thing I LOVE about a high quality memory foam bed. I don’t have to worry about replacing them often. That is a definite perk of owning one. With our other beds we had to throw them out a regular basis. Our dogs were notorious for destroying them. They’d lose their “comfort” quick, too.
We don’t have that problem with any of the beds that have memory foam. Would YOU want to destroy a memory foam mattress?! I know I wouldn’t.
Why memory foam though? Why is that this type of material is preferred over other possible materials? Well, as you may know, it isn’t present in only the pet industry.
Why Memory Foam Is Preferred Over Other Dog Bed Material
In the 1960’s memory foam came onto the scene. The original purpose for the foam was actually to make aircraft cushions safer. The public didn’t get to really experience the wonder of it all until the 1980’s.
But, when it was first introduced to us, it wasn’t affordable. Your everyday family wasn’t able to afford it. Hospitals picked up on the trend, though.
Bed sores present a lot of dangers in a hospital setting. Patients having to spend a fair amount of time in a hospital bed ended up with these sores. In an attempt to ease this problem, hospitals began using memory foam on their beds.
Hospitals were able to realize a HUGE difference. Patients had fewer bed sores. The memory foam also helped patients rest easier.
As you know, dogs can suffer from the same ailments humans do. Hospitals trust memory foam. Why wouldn’t we trust it for our pets?
This type of bedding for our dogs is known to help relieve some of the pain that comes with arthritis. It’s also known to relieve other body aches as well. It’s durable and conforms to the shape of your dog. Giving him or her the best rest possible.
Other beds are possibly filled with cheap fillers. Fillers that will cause your dog’s bed to eventually go flat. Then, once again, your dog will feel like they’re sleeping on the bare floor. With high quality, solid memory foam this isn’t something you’ll have to worry about. Your dog will always have that extra padding.
It’s honestly hard to put a price on your dog’s health. It doesn’t matter if they’re old, young, big, or small. Investing in an orthopedic bed is going to benefit them. They aren’t the cheapest dog beds you’ll run across. Some orthopedic dog beds may run in a price range as high as $400.
Take a minute a think about how much you spend replacing other dog beds. I’m sure you may have spent quite a bit replacing cheaper dog beds.
With an orthopedic bed you’re getting something that lasts much longer. The initial cost may not seem appealing. But, the end result is well worth the cost.
As you can tell, I really love our memory foam dog beds. As well as our own memory foam mattress toppers. In my next post I can’t wait to touch on other great tips. Tips that will help you make sure you’re getting the best bed for your dog. All the way down to how the specific SHAPE of a dog bed can benefit your dog.