Choosing a good bed for your dog is essential, both for their physical and mental wellbeing. This statement holds to be even truer when the animal is older, has mobility problems and suffers from chronic diseases or pain.
There are several things to consider when choosing a dog bed:
This could possibly be the most important parameter. The ideal bed would be one that evenly distributes the weight of the animal. Inadequate beds will force the animal to distribute all of its weight on the body’s protrusions (hips, elbows,…) This not only causes discomfort at bedtime, but especially upon waking. The pressure points should always be taken into account with special regard taken in animals that are older, very skinny or with orthopedic problems. Given that joint problems usually cause pain “when cold”, an inadequate bed can cause the dog to suffer from discomfort, slowness and limping during the mornings after rising. In the case of heavier dogs, support calluses may appear especially on the elbows or on the side of the tarsus and hips. A mattress that evenly distributes the weight is essential for avoiding this.
The beds must be breathable and allow for the dog’s thermoregulation. In addition, it’s important to take into account the climatic conditions of where the dog lives, breed and illnesses it might have. In colder climates, and for animals with ligamentous injuries, it is recommended to use thermal mattresses that retain the animal’s temperature and prevent pain caused by cold and humidity in the case of joint problems, to the extent possible. Furthermore, the caloric contribution of the mattress will accelerate the recovery from injuries.
The viscoelastic material has proven to be very suitable for use in mattresses due to its ability adapt to the body and regulate temperature. For dogs, the use of shredded viscoelastic in mattresses maximizes the previous advantages, forming a thermoregulatory layer around the pressure points, which are also usually the injured joints.
The material of the bed should be hypoallergenic. If not, animals with allergic tendencies can get contact dermatitis, which can then become complicated. Another separate case are those dogs who, due to health problems, need to lie on a mattress for extended periods of time. In these cases, it is more likely that bedsores appear, namely wounds that come from the constant support on the mattress. We should be aware of changing the animal’s position every couple of hours. There are special anti-bedsore mattresses on the market that minimize this problem. A bed with air cells that can be alternated would also be helpful, since it alternates the pressure points.
This is a parameter to keep in mind especially for those cases where there is urinary or fecal incontinence, wounds or dermatitis. The mattress must have a washable cover, or in the case of incontinence, a cover that repels liquids. There are also antibacterial materials with which we can control odors.