Choosing the Best Dog Bed for Arthritis

The information in this article was reviewed and approved by registered veterinary nurse, Beth Walker

Animed Veterinary Nurse, Beth Walker

Arthritis in dogs is characterised by inflamed and stiff joints, and can be very painful. It’s estimated that 4 in 5 senior dogs are affected by it, with some breeds like labradors more prone to the disease than others. If your dog is diagnosed with arthritis, making sure they can rest comfortably is very important. Dogs with arthritis need a bed that fully supports them, is easy to get in and out of, and is located somewhere warm and free of draughts. In this blog, we’ll guide you through how to choose the best dog bed for arthritis for your pup, so that they can sleep soundly and wake refreshed.

Considerations When Choosing a Dog Bed for Arthritis

All dogs are different and will have their own preferences when it comes to the type of dog bed. Some will prefer to curl up in a basket, others may like to stretch out on a mattress, and some might feel most comfortable with their head propped up in a bed with sides.

As well as taking your dog’s preferences into account, the main things to consider when choosing a bed for a dog with arthritis are:

  • Can your dog easily change their position and move in their bed?
  • Can your dog get in and out of the bed without difficulty?
  • Is the bed big enough for your dog to stretch out comfortably?

If you have the space to offer your dog more than one bed, do. This way you can provide them with more than one style so that they always have a couple of options.

In households with more than one pet, make sure each dog has their own bed. It’s important that they have their own space – but they always have the option to share with other pets if they want to.

Memory Foam Dog Beds

For dogs with arthritis, it’s very important that they get adequate support from their bedding. The mattress should be both soft enough to conform to their body, but firm enough to offer plenty of structural support. Memory foam is a great way to ensure this.

Standard, ready-made memory foam dog beds are available at Animed. You might also wish to explore made-to-measure mattresses, or cutting memory foam to size for you to cover if you have specific dimensions in mind.

The Danish Design Retreat Eco-Wellness Dog Bed is made with 100% recycled blended memory foam crumb, which moulds to your dog’s body shape. It’s available in two sizes and colour schemes and is made with a water-resistant inner and a removable cover.

Getting In and Out of Bed

Consider the size of your dog and how they will get into their bed. Smaller dogs with shorter legs will need low down beds. Bigger dogs on the other hand might benefit from a raised bed when it comes to getting out.

If your dog loves raised sides to rest their head on, but their arthritis means they struggle to step over them, dog beds with chamfered edges can help. This creates a gap for your dog to step through for easy access.

Avoiding Slips

Dogs with arthritis often find it difficult to walk on slippery surfaces like tiles, laminate flooring and wood. When they wake up after a snooze, they are at their most stiff, and a slippery floor is even more difficult to navigate.

Dogs with arthritis benefit from having a non-slip surface to step out on to when they get out of their bed, such as a rug. Even better, keep your dog’s bed in a carpeted room if you have one. This will ensure your dog is able to find their footing and climb out of bed safely.

You can prevent the bed itself from moving around on the floor by adding a sheet of non-slip material like Dycem underneath. This should still allow your dog to adjust the position of their bed if they wish, but prevent it from sliding under them.

Where to Put Your Arthritic Dog’s Bed

Dogs with arthritis should be nice and warm when they rest, as the cold can make their joint pain worse. Make sure you position your dog’s bed in a warm room away from any draughts. However, avoid having it directly next to a source of heat like a radiator, as they may get too hot.

As with all pets, dogs with arthritis should have a space to rest that is away from the hustle and bustle of the household. Make sure their bed is somewhere quiet, away from footfall and children.

You should also make sure that your dog has enough room to get in and out of bed. Depending on how they like to get in, they might need more space around the bed than you realise. Be mindful of this and choose somewhere with plenty of space.

Extra Bedding

As we mentioned, it’s important that dogs with arthritis are warm enough in bed. You might want to give them blankets. However, if you do, make sure that any loose blankets don’t end up bunching up, forming an obstacle or creating an uncomfortable lump underneath your dog.

If you’re using loose blankets as extra padding beneath your dog, put them inside a duvet cover or pillowcase to help keep them smooth and in shape. You can also tuck them around the mattress to keep them flat.

Wrapping Up

However your dog likes to sleep, there are plenty of styles of dog beds for every preference. When choosing a dog bed for arthritis, following our advice will help ensure your arthritic dog is able to get in and out of bed safely, and that they are fully supported when they rest. For more advice on how you can adapt your home to help your arthritic dog, see our blog ‘Arthritis in Cats and Dogs – How to Manage It’.

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