If you have a dog that simply gets out of bed, stretches and then goes about his day, then you don’t know how lucky you are. It is likely that your dog has had a good night’s rest on a surface that is supportive.
However, if you notice that your dog is one that rises slowly, sore and stiff then it might be that the bed is either inferior or worn out.
It does not matter even if your dog is getting on in age, no dog should wake up sore and stiff. It is time to get a good supportive dog bed.
What is an orthopedic dog bed and the benefits of using it?
While there isn’t a technical or legal definition of what orthopedic means when it comes to dogs, an orthopedic dog bed can be described as one that supports the back, joints and overall body.
Basically, an orthopedic dog bed can be defined as one that reacts to and supports a dog’s bulk in a superior way. An orthopedic dog bed is really just one that you can’t flatten down.
There are so many benefits to getting an orthopedic bed for your dog. They are beneficial for working dog, older dogs or dogs that happen to suffer from hip dysplasia or arthritis.
They can also be great for dogs that have just undergone surgery. Having an orthopedic dog bed helps to create additional support for your dog’s muscles, joints and spine when your dog relaxes and rests.
The bed distributes your dog’s weight in a bid to help alleviate the pressure put on the joints.
Orthopedic dog beds help to eradicate turning and tossing, whilst also increasing overall comfort when your dog rests.
How do they work?
When trying to find the very best dog bed for your doggie, there are quite a lot of things to consider.
A quick search on the internet or your local pet store will tell you that there are quite a lot of orthopedic dog beds available for sale. It is easy to believe that your dog does not need one of those beds.
This is because most dog owners falsely believe that an orthopedic bed is more suited to older dogs. Simply, all dogs regardless of their age and size can benefit from an orthopedic dog bed.
An orthopedic dog bed is designed to form a shape around your dog’s body and fill any gaps that are present.
This makes sure every one of the pressure points are distributed all along the surface and your dog’s body is supported all over.
For a bed to be able to redistribute weight, it will have to be formed of two variants of foam. The top needs to be a viscoelastic (4lb memory foam) and that needs to be bonded to a base layer of HR foam.
This allows the dog to sink into the proper amount and no more. If beds were just a block of memory foam, the dog would simply sink down to the floor.
This type of orthopedic dog bed is one of the most popular types. It has a great advantage of being able to mold to your dog’s body shape by sensing heat.
This makes it extremely comfortable to rest on since the contours of the bed are shaped to the contours found on your dog’s body.
This dog bed is great in the sense that it helps to alleviate joint pain in older dogs as well as those dogs that suffer from arthritis.
Now the waterproof bed is simply an orthopedic bed that is waterproof. This type of bed is perfect for your little pup, who is not quite house trained yet.
It helps to ensure that little “accidents” on the bed do not ruin the material.
Cooling orthopedic beds can be great for those with active animals. After a long day of tricks or running around, your dog will be happy to enjoy a cooling sensation to help heal and reduce muscle stiffness.
This type of dog bed can also be used during the warmer seasons to ensure your dog remains cool while resting.
With bolster (couch-styled)
This style of dog bed is usually round or oval and has a cushioned bottom and a raised side.
Your dog will appreciate this style of bed if he or she likes to lean against something for security, or likes to sleep with his head resting upon a raised pillow.
Many smaller dogs find this type of bed to be cozy as the cup shape helps retain body heat. This kind of bed is great for dogs who like to curl up.
What makes a great orthopedic dog bed?
One factor you always have to consider when buying a great orthopedic dog bed is that it is the correct size for your dog.
To do this, you will have to take proper measurements for your dog and find the bed that best suits him. One thing you do not want to do is pick a bed that is too large or too small.
Pad thickness and density
An important factor that every dog owner has to consider when getting an orthopedic dog bed is how much support it is able to offer.
Basically, if you have a larger dog, the bed should be able to offer more support.
You should always remember that memory foam is always much better than regular old foam when it comes to support.
Usually, a dog bed gets worn out quite easily, it does not even have to be used by a destructive dog.
When you now add that to the fact that orthopedic dog beds with memory foam can cost quite a bit, it makes sense to look for one that you are sure can last for quite a while.
This is why you should always go for the dog bed with the highest quality materials as you would a great dog water dispenser.
You should perhaps also look for products that come with an inner liner that is waterproof.
This might not seem like a bid deal, but having that waterproof inner liner can help secure the foam from smells and water skills, making the bed last much longer.
Easy of maintaining
One thing any dog owner would tell you is that dog beds can easily accumulate fur, as well as a particular funk over a period of time.
You should be able to easily clean your dog’s bed and this is a factor you have to always consider when looking for the best orthopedic dog bed.
You should also remember that a dirty dog bed is not just one that smells and looks bad, it is one that makes your dog uncomfortable and could even affect its health.
You should get one that has a great easy to clean feature like those found on elevated bowls for dog’s food and water.
It is important that the bottom of the bed comes with features like a built-in non-slip rubber backing to ensure that the bed does not slip under the force or weight of your dog.
This feature is one that is important, not for you, but for your dog. Whichever orthopedic bed you get, it has to be one that comes with the shape that is right for your dog. It should not be too big or too small.
Does spending more means more quality
Let’s be honest, if our dogs could get a hold of our credit cards, we wouldn’t have to concern ourselves if they got the very best or not.
One thing is sure, they would get the biggest toys for dogs and a quality orthopedic dog bed would also be on the list.
To have a very good night’s rest, your dog requires a dog bed that offers support without any painful pressure points. this helps to boost his energy and overall health, which in turn could lead to fewer visits to the vet.
So, when you have the chance to spend a bit more money on orthopedic beds, you should jump at it, as you are getting more quality, whilst saving you money in the long run.
How to get your dog to like his new bed?
Trying to get your dog to enjoy his new bed might seem like a simple feat, right? You simply just lay the bed down and your dog then simply lays in it.
This is not always the case unfortunately, there are some dogs that need a bit more encouragement.
For example, if you happen to have dogs that have never slept in a bed before, it might be a little bit difficult for them to comprehend the idea of what a bed is.
That being said, here are a few tricks and tips to help you introduce your dog to his new bed:
Make the new bed smell like home
Try rubbing your hands on the new bed, or putting an old shirt on top of it. Your scent will help your dog feel comfortable with the bed.
Similarly, you can try putting one of your dog’s blankets on top of it, so he will know that the bed is his.
Move the bed to a familiar location
Even if you eventually want the bed to end up in a particular spot, you can try getting your dog acclimated to it by putting it where he usually likes to nap.
Make the new bed a happy place
Toys, treats, and praise can help your dog warm up to his new bed. See if you can catch his trying it out, and tell him what a good dog he is!
How to clean and maintain your dog’s orthopedic bed?
Step 1 – Get The Loose Dirt First
Vacuum the dog bed before washing to remove any dirt. Before applying any liquid to the bed, to clean a dog bed, run your vacuum over it a few times to remove all the loose hair and dander that inevitably collects there.
Vacuuming can also remove unhatched eggs from fleas and other insects.
To get everything, try running a lint roller over the bed after vacuuming. Don’t neglect the corners where hair and other debris tend to accumulate.
Step 2 – Attack Those Nasty Stains
Use a spot cleaner to remove excess dirt and debris. If there are stains from mud, feces or urine, or anything else on the bed, try using a spot removal treatment before washing.
Once you have washed and dried the bed, those stains will be much harder to remove.
Make sure to use a non-bleach cleaner on the stains, which can be found at most pet supply stores. If for some reason you do not have the option of using a non-bleach product, definitely avoid products with chlorine.
Treat the stains as directed, and rinse the bed thoroughly several times. Squeeze out as much water as possible, and repeat several times before moving on to washing.
Step 3 – Get That Bed Seriously Clean With Hot Water
If it is small enough, place the dog bed into a washing machine.
When you clean a dog bed, make sure to read the instructions on the tag of your dog bed for the manufacturer’s recommendations for how to care for it.
Assuming it complies with the guidelines, and if it fits, put the bed in your washing machine and wash it in hot water.
If it has been a while since the last time you cleaned the bed, you may want to run it through the entire cycle twice.
If the bed is too large for your washing machine, you can take it to a laundromat and use an extra larger washer, or wash it by hand in your bathtub.
If you choose to wash the bed yourself, first, fill your bathtub with hot water. The hot water will kill any remaining insects and eggs remaining on the bed.
Pour a capful of mild detergent into the water, then add a 1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar or white vinegar.
The vinegar is a very effective deodorizer, it is much cheaper than most commercial products, and most importantly, it is also safe for your dog.
When choosing the detergent to use, make sure to pick a pet-safe detergent.
Harsh commercial cleaners can be very irritating to a dog’s skin, and some can even be toxic. Pet stores offer dog-friendly detergents and cleaners, which should be free of these chemicals.
Use these to clean a dog bed rather than harsh, toxic cleaners. When the water is ready, put the bed in the tub and make sure the water covers it completely. Then let it soak for at least 15 minutes.
Step 4 – Rinse Away That Dirty Water
After the bed has been soaked, drain the water from the tub, then squeeze out the water that’s accumulated in the foam filling.
Rinse the bed thoroughly with warm water, then squeeze out that water as much as you can.
Repeat the rinsing process several times, making sure that there are no soap bubbles in the water that you squeeze out.
Step 5 – Get It Dry
Ensure that you have gotten as much water squeezed out of the bed as you can. Then, if it fits, throw the bed in your dryer and dry thoroughly.
If the bed is too large for your dryer, and if the sun is out, leave the bed outside and let it dry. You can also place the bed near an indoor heater, but keep the bed at a safe distance and don’t leave it unattended.
Make sure you dry the bed completely so that no mold will grow within the foam.
Voila! The bed is clean, the smell is gone, and you can rest easy knowing your dog is sleeping safely.
Step 6 – Keep The Bed Clean
Between washes, take these steps to maintain the bed as clean as possible, to make washing easier.
Put a comfortable blanket over the bed, remove it regularly to launder. Occasionally wipe down the outside of the bed with an 8-to-1 mixture of water and apple cider vinegar.
If it is small enough, place it in a large garbage bag and then place the bed with the plastic bed in a pillowcase or cover completely with a blanket of sheet. Vacuum it between washes.
Does and Don’ts to do with an orthopedic bed
- Make sure you keep your dog’s orthopedic bed clean in between washes by getting rid of any loose dirt or cleaning up spills or liquids before they have a chance to slip into the foam
- Make sure you place your dog’s bed in an area that is comfortable for your dog
- Be sure that the soap you choose does not have any harsh or toxic chemicals
- Do not place an indoor bed outside as doing so could ruin the material and wear on the durability
Frequesntly Asked Questions
How often should you clean your dog’s bed?
Trying to determine how often you should clean your dog’s bed actually requires that you take into account a couple of different factors:
You have to pay attention to the type of activities your dog engages in, if your dog is an outdoor one that loves rolling in the mud, then that mud is definitely going to get transferred onto his bed.
If your dog happens to have allergies, then that would increase the frequency of washing.
How much hair your dog sheds is also another factor to consider.
Typically, most dog owners tend to wash their dog’s bed either once or twice a week depending on the factors listed above.
Above all, if your dog’s bed smells, then it is definitely due for a wash.
What size to choose for my dog?
A rule of thumb to always consider is to have a bed where your dog can comfortably stretch out its leg in front.
This means you have to make sure the bed is big enough for your dog to feel comfortable, but not so large that it begins to get lost in it.
Every dog bed manufacturer comes with its own measuring guide, but generally if your dog is the size of a chihuahua, you should get a small bed with a 40 X 30 measurement.
If your dog is an Irish Wolfhound, you are both better off getting an XX-Large with a measurement of 100 x 70.
What thickness should I pick for my dog?
It is important that any orthopedic bed you choose has to be at least 2 inches worth of filling so your dog can be comfortable laying on it.
Which style of dog bed should I choose?
Orthopedic beds come in all shapes and sizes. Some are flat, while others have bolsters. Pick the one that you think your dog will love.
One mistake you can make when it comes to purchasing a dog bed is going for the cheap option.
The truth is, all dogs are hard on their beds. It is so easy for them to scratch at the covers, nibble the zippers and even move their beds to a different spot they prefer.
If you are looking to get a bed for your dog, it is best to get an orthopedic dog bed that is stain-resistant, durable and super supportive. Your dog will definitely love you for it.
Photos from: vitalytitov / depositphotos.com, jmpaget / depositphotos.com, damedeeso / depositphotos.com, graphicphoto / depositphotos.com, damedeeso / depositphotos.com.
- What is an orthopedic dog bed and the benefits of using it?
- How do they work?
- What makes a great orthopedic dog bed?
- Does spending more means more quality
- How to get your dog to like his new bed?
- How to clean and maintain your dog’s orthopedic bed?
- Does and Don’ts to do with an orthopedic bed
- Frequesntly Asked Questions