As dogs age, arthritis problems often arise, leading to stiffness, soreness and pain in the bones and joints. Along with proper veterinary care and management, orthopedic dog beds can be a valuable tool in helping to manage and even treat your dogs pain and discomfort.
Orthopedic dog beds come in many types, but they are all similar in that they all share therapeutic benefits for dogs suffering from arthritis, hip or elbow dysplasia, dogs recovering from orthopedic surgery, as well as helping to maintain healthy joints on young dogs prone to orthopedic problems. Orthopedic dog beds work to support the dogs body when laying down, and more evenly disperse pressure, minimizing the strain placed on the most common areas of soreness in dogs, such as the hips, back, shoulders and elbows.
The most basic type of orthopedic dog bed is the foam "egg crate" type bed, named for the divited appearance of the foam. While the peaks and valleys of this type of bed help to minimize pressure points while the dog is laying on it, the standard foam it is made from is not terribly strong, and as a result this type of bed is most helpful when used for small and medium sized dogs. Larger dogs (and humans, for which this type of bed was originally conceived) tend to be too heavy for this type of bed, and the advantages of the design are lost when too much weight is put on it.
Memory foam is a newer type of orthopedic dog bed that has been rapidly gaining popularity among owners of older large breed dogs. Memory foam beds are dense enough to support and disperse the weight of big dogs, but also designed to constantly adjust and contour around the pets body, ensuring constant and even support through all of the major contact areas.
Other features commonly seen in conjunction with orthopedic dog beds include "pillow top" type beds and covers to increase comfort, as well as raised beds (to allow the dog to stand back up more easily after laying down) and heated beds, to keep the joints warm and supple throughout the night and in colder climates.
If your dog is suffering from arthritis or other mobility problems, an orthopedic dog bed can be a valuable tool to help to keep your best friend more comfortable while he is resting, as well as minimizing soreness and stiffness upon rising.