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How to Choose the Right Dog Bed

By: Dr. Amanda Landis-Hanna
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During the holidays many people want to purchase their beloved companion a bed worthy for a king.  But with so many choices of beds, how is someone supposed to pick the best one for their dog?  It seems that the options are endless!  Here are a few things to consider when shopping for a bed for your dog:

  1. Does your dog have any health conditions? 
  • Some dogs with conditions such as arthritis need a very padded bed, with a great deal of support.  Orthopedic beds, or beds made with an egg-crate type of lining are often the best choices for dogs with arthritis.
  • A dog with hypothyroidism may have difficulty regulating his body temperature, and may often feel chilled and seek sources of heat during the winter.  You can consider getting a raised, sling-type of bed for year round comfort.  You can place the sling over a heating duct in the winter, or over an air conditioning vent in the summer.
  • A dog that is recovering from surgery or injury may need to be confined for a portion of the day to enhance healing.  These dogs need a bed that offers semi-firm padding, but that can also be washed frequently.  Look for a firm mattress that has a waterproof lining or a removable cover, and wash it weekly in hot soapy water.
  1. How does your dog like to sleep?
  • If she prefers a sofa or bed type of environment, look for a bed with a bolster or pillow built in.  These beds (such as the one with Sailor in the photo) offer the snuggling capability of a pillow, with the head and neck elevated.
  • If she prefers to sleep on the floor or tile, she may not like as much padding.  You can consider giving her a comforter or thick blanket to sleep on.  Some level of padding is advisable to help prevent excessive callus development on her elbows.
  1. Where does your dog like to sleep?
  • Some dogs sleep in a single location.  Every single time.  Those dogs generally need a single dog bed, or a dog bed on each floor of the home.
  • Some dogs will spend a portion of the day outside, and may even enjoy sunbathing.  Elevated, sling-type beds are ideal for these situations, because they keep her out of the dirt, and also allow for good airflow around her coat.  These beds are also highly washable, due to their mesh material.  Look for material that is sunproof, or has been treated with UV coating, to help the bed last longer.  (And always remember to apply sunscreen to any exposed skin.)
  • A dog that is used to sleeping with humans can be difficult to break of this habit.  To help protect her back and joints, consider getting her stairs or a ramp to help her get onto and off of the bed.  Ramps are especially important in dogs that have any history of back problems, to help protect their vertebral disks from bruising or rupture.  Remember that sleeping with a dog may impact a human’s quality of sleep, so you may also want to consider getting an extra large mattress if this is your preferred method of sleeping J

As you and Santa do your holiday pet shopping, I hope these tips help you choose a bed worthy of the King or Queen in your home!  As always, we love photos…please share photos of your pet taking a nap with #Voyce.

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Posted on Dec 21, 2015 by VOYCE Health
Vets & Experts