Dog Beds for Arthritis
Receiving a diagnosis from your vet that your dog has Arthritis can be devastating. Although not curable, it is however manageable and establishing a plan with your vet to minimise the impact of the condition has to be the key priority to ensure that your dog has the best possible quality of life.
What is Canine Arthritis?
Arthritis (osteoarthritis – OA) is the most common cause of chronic pain in dogs. It affects 4 out of 5 older dogs. It is a disabling and progressive disease which initially focuses on moving joints but eventually affects the whole dog and is a major cause of euthanasia due to loss of quality of life.It is an extremely complex disease that requires a dedicated owner collaborating well with their vet to control the pain, maximise the mobility and ensure a full and active life for their dog
Signs of arthritis in your dog may include -
- Decreased energy levels
- Changes in stance / posture
- Sensitivity when being groomed / stroked
- Increased sleep
- Lameness / Weakness in limbs
- Restlessness / Low Mood
Treatment & Management
Your vet will advise the best course of action in terms of possible surgery, medicinal pain relief, massage, acupuncture, hydrotherapy, joint supplements and potential changes to diet, exercise regime and mobility around the home.
Best Dog Beds for Arthritis
A good dog bed can play a critical role in improving the quality of life for your arthritic dog primarily through -
- Even cushioning of exposed joints / pressure points
- Maintaining correct spinal alignment
- Providing insulation from excessive cold / warmth
- Facilitating easy access / egress by using a bed with the correct height and defined edges
- Allowing full freedom of movement during sleep
Thus providing enhanced comfort and support to facilitate your dog achieving the REM stage of slumber that may help to improve vitality and pain reduction upon waking.
One misconception is that younger dogs don't need such a bed. However, research indicates that investment in a quality bed at this stage can play a preventative role in helping to avoid / delay the onset of musculoskeletal complaints in later life.
Beware however that many unscrupulous dog bed manufacturers and retailers are claiming that their dog beds are 'orthopaedic' when in reality the structure and filling of the bed is wholly inadequate to meet the above criteria.
Memory Foam Dog Beds are widely branded as being 'Orthopaedic' but there are some significant downsides to such beds in terms of overheating, speed of reaction to movement and, critically, the potentially toxic chemicals contained in them or applied to them as fire retardants. It pays to do your research prior to purchase.
Please have a look at Berkeley's Waterproof Orthopaedic Dog Bed Mattress which is fully approved by Canine Arthritis Management.
Further Information & Resources
There is a huge amount of really helpful information available on the excellent Canine Arthritis Management website.