So you’re looking for a dog bed for an older dog, and you’ve familiarized yourself with the types of dog beds available. If you’re wondering which pet beds might be best for your older dog, consider the following:
Orthopedic Dog Beds
An orthopedic dog bed will be sturdy and offer support for your older dog’s bones and joints because the bed is designed to distribute the dog’s weight evenly. Also, these beds are more firm than, for example, a plain mattress bed or pillow dog bed, so dogs often find that these types of beds are easier to get in and out of. It’s tough to watch an old, arthritic pet get his paws tangled in an overly cushy bed. Firmer is better in this case.
Quality is also important when it comes to purchasing beds for older dogs. Orthopedic beds are usually high-quality beds, sometimes incorporating box springs, medical-grade foam, or memory foam that forms itself to the dog’s body. Veterinarians often recommend this type of bed for older dogs that suffer from joint issues.
Heated Dog Beds
Heated dog beds can be combined with an orthopedic dog bed to help your senior dog sleep better. If you have a dog with joint issues, heat can help ease their pain and stiffness. These beds essentially incorporate a heating pad into the bed’s design. Look for a design that still allows a removable cover for washing.
Cooling Dog Beds
Our last dog was a large Lab mix who lived to be almost 14. In his youth, he loved sleeping on tile and wood floors in the summer to cool off. As he got older and his arthritis became an issue, this was no longer possible, but he was just too hot to lie on cushy foam beds in the summer. The answer? A cooling bed, which is constructed of plastic or a similar material and filled with water or a special gel.
Raised or Elevated Dog Beds
Dog beds that are raised off the floor allow senior dogs to more easily climb in and out of bed. Many different types are available, including dog cots and beds that are made to look like real furniture. They provide good support for arthritic dogs, and you can find cushions constructed of many different types of fabrics and fillers.
Travel Dog Beds
Young pups who travel can lie down and feel at home almost anywhere. Senior dogs, not so much. If your older companion still travels with you, be sure to bring along his travel bed to give him a comfy place on which to lie down. May of the orthopedic mattresses can be transported. Just roll it up and stash it in the car when not in use.
Beds to Avoid for Older Dogs
As cute as they can be, avoid buying donut, bolster, or nest beds for arthritic dogs as they can be hard to get in and out of. Ditto for kennels and crates and covered dog beds, unless your older dog is still spry and can easily enter and exit them.