Elderly dogs tend to be more sedentary and spend a lot of their day snoozing. Many are also a bit stiff and arthritic, which makes it more challenging for them to move around. The right bed will make their days and nights more comfortable, so consider an orthopedic bed for your senior dog.
These beds are made of special orthopedic memory foam that is comfortable, yet supportive. It eliminates pressure points and alleviates adverse effects of stress on sore joints. It insulates from the cold if it is placed on the ground and also offers many other features that make it a great bed for elderly dogs.
Ideally, a dog bed should be heated, whether they are plugged into a power outlet or have an insert that can be warmed in the microwave oven. A warm bed will help ease elderly joints when it’s cold.
Beds for older dogs should be liquid resistant for those little accidents that can occur with age-related incontinence. They should also have a removable cover that can easily be taken off and washed when needed. Alternatively, choose a bed with a plastic cover that’s easy to clean, and put a soft washable blanket over it for your dog to lie on. They aren’t likely to be too enthusiastic about sleeping on a soiled bed.
It’s better if your dog’s bed is off the ground. If you don’t want to use a thick orthopedic bed, then consider a hammock bed or even a cushion bed that is well padded so they aren’t lying on a hard surface. Sleeping on such a surface can lead to stiffness and the formation of calluses on their hocks and elbows.
While a super-soft bed may look comfortable, it may cause your dog some difficulty. A soft bed can be difficult to get in and out of purely because they may sink deep in the cushioning. Dogs often like to circle several times before lying down and it may be harder to walk around in a very soft bed. Firmer foam will be just as comfortable for them and easier to maneuver around. Make sure the bed is low to the ground and doesn’t have a high side so your dog can easily climb in and out.
When you’ve purchased the ideal bed for your dog, the next step is to choose the perfect spot for it. If they sleep indoors, keep their bed in the family room. By doing this, your pet will feel less isolated and like they're still a part of the family. For outdoor dogs, their bed should be well away from any drafts and out of the sunlight so that they don’t get too hot. If your finances allow, purchase two beds, one for outside and one for inside.
A comfortable bed is important for all dogs, but especially for seniors that spend a lot of their time sleeping. The right bed in the right location will provide a clean, comfortable, and restful place for them to spend their time.