Everybody appreciates a great night’s sleep, and our four-legged pals are no different. Our beautiful pets tend to function properly after a great sleep, especially the senior dogs. As our dogs get older, their health tends to deteriorate, (check out our list of dog beds here) and one of the main health issues affecting them is joint stiffness and pain. Senior dogs tend to be less mobile, especially after long walks or in the morning. Therefore, they need a high-quality bed where they can rest their aching joints and bones.
The right dog bed can guarantee your dog more than just a good night’s sleep. It can make sure that their aching joints and bones are well rested on soft memory foam. Remember, a senior dog requires more than 10 hours of sleep per day. And the only way you can make sure that your dog gets a good night’s sleep is by getting a high-quality dog bed. So here are a few things to keep in mind when choosing a bed for your older dog.
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Things to Keep in Mind When Choosing a Bed for a Senior Dog
One of the main factors to consider when looking for a bed for your senior dog is support. A soft bed might seem comfortable to an aging dog, but if your dog has joint issues, it shouldn’t sink into the bed. A firmer bed can provide more support to your dog’s weak joint and bones. And it will be easier for your pooch to get in and out of bed.
A bed with fillings that can be moved around is not a good option. A great bed should be soft enough for your dog to rest its back and firm enough to prevent your dog from sinking to the floor. So, you can test the bed when shopping by pressing it with your hand. If the fillings move or you feel the floor, then your pooch will never be comfortable on it.
Softer memory foam can support your aging dog’s skeletal system while reducing the probability of developing elbow calluses. Elbow calluses are quite common in senior dogs, and they can be very uncomfortable and itchy for some dogs. Memory foams can hold heat, which makes them a great option for senior dogs with arthritis.
2. Anti-Slip Back and Bottom
Dogs tend to twist and turn while sleeping, and at times they can move the bed from one spot to another. So, look for a bed with an anti-slip bottom and back. This will stop your four-legged pal from moving the bed when turning.
Senior dogs tend to get stiff joints in the morning; therefore, hopping out of bed or lifting their legs can be very painful. Even walking on slippery floors can cause your dog a lot of pain, so don’t get an elevated bed. The bed of an aging dog should be low, and without walls or railings. This will prevent your dog from having to step over, down, or up to access the bed. Some dog beds have lower sides that can allow your pet to get onto the bed easily.
4. Waterproof Materials
Urinary incontinence is quite common with senior dogs. Your aging dog is bound to have bladder accidents when sleeping, and this can destroy his or her beds, especially if it doesn’t have a waterproof liner. Make sure you get a bed with a waterproof liner that can stop the urine from seeping into the mattress and making it hard to clean. Make sure the bottom is also waterproof to prevent the urine from soaking into the mattress from the bottom.
5. Mattress Thickness
The thicker the mattress, the more support it will offer your dog, which can help reduce joint pains. The thickness of the memory foam you choose will help ease joint pains and aches. So, for a small to medium-sized dog, look for memory foam that is over 5 inches thick. Anything less than that will not provide adequate support. Bigger dog breeds need a bed that is over 7 inches thick.
The size of the bed matters, especially when buying a dog bed for an aging pooch. Senior dogs need ample space to change their sleeping position and spread out. Therefore, look for a roomy orthopedic bed, but make sure it’s not too big if you have a small-sized dog. Small-sized dogs tend to feel insecure when left sleeping on big beds. So, make sure you measure your dog for the bed.
Take a tape measure and measure your dog from the tip of the tail to the nose and then from shoulder to shoulder while he is in his usual sleeping position. And then add six to twelve inches to these measurements, and you are good to go.
7. Sturdy Covers
A thin bed cover can tear easily, especially if your dog has sharp claws. Senior dogs tend to struggle a bit when getting up or moving. Therefore, they will claw at the bed cover a bit as they stand up and start moving. Look for a bed with a thick and tightly woven cover that you can easily remove and wash. Remember, maintaining removable and machine-washable covers can be quiet easy. Just make sure it has two covers.
Temperature can be a great sleep disruptor, and most of the time, our four-legged pals get too warm. Therefore, look for a bed that is made using thermoneutral materials. These materials cannot retain too much heat and will provide your aging dog with uninterrupted sleep.
Some materials like wool or fleece are known to retain heat, which can affect your dog’s sleep. If you think a memory form can be too warm for your dog, you should get a gel-infused memory foam. The gel can help keep your dog’s bed cool.
Senior dogs have several special needs. Other than a change in diet, these dogs require a comfortable dog bed, where they can rest their weak bones and joints. Remember, older dogs have several health issues, with the main one being aching bones and joints. You have to make sure that you get your dog a comfortable dog bed where they can rest for over 10 hours. This way, your four-legged pal can age peacefully and have fewer health issues.