DOG BEDS FOR OLDER DOGS
As your dog grows older, the right choice of dog bed can make a big difference to prolonging the active, happy life of YOUR pet.
The simple matter is that dogs will tend to sleep far more in old age. They are likely to start to become slower and more creaky and they are likely to want to spend more time in the comfort and security of their bed.
So what factors need to be taken into account when choosing dog beds for older dogs? Here are a few pointers –
Access and Egress
Or, put simply, how easy is it for your dog to get onto and off their dog bed?
Dogs with stiff or inflamed joints can often experience difficulty particularly getting up and out of bed after a sleep. Having a raised sleeping area or a firmer, higher mattress can really help an older dog walk on to and off their bed.
A Berkeley Waterproof Orthopaedic Mattress is designed to be slightly firmer like a mattress for humans. It is also around 20 cm high. It can be used as a bed on it’s own or it can be raised even more by using it in conjunction with a sleeping platform similar to our wood bed frame thus putting much less strain on your dog’s legs.
The pocket springs in the core of the mattress help to retain the shape of the bed and actually give your dog a helping lift when getting up.
Warmth and insulation
Elderly dogs may find it more difficult to regulate their temperature. Remember that dogs can get too hot as well as too cold.
It is important to chose a mattress that is fully ‘breathable’. This allows free circulation of air to help maintain a constant temperature and wick away any moisture.
Natural materials like wool and cotton can adapt much quicker to temperature than say, memory foam. Memory foam can be stiff until it warms up and then fail to disperse heat resulting in your dog getting uncomfortably hot.
If your dog can maintain a comfortable body temperature he/she is less likely to move around during sleep which can be painful and disturbing to their rest.
Some dog beds can look incredibly comfy and snug but the reality is often quite different. Underfilled beds or those filled with a cheap foam or similar can quickly break down, become lumpy and can disperse around your dog. This can mean that he/she ends up lying virtually on the floor thus providing minimal insulation and precious little cushioning for exposed joints.
A Berkeley Waterproof Orthopaedic Mattress has a multi-layer construction of wool and cotton with a central core of pocket springs which acts as an air dam. This keeps your dog far away from the cold floor and pushes air through the wool and cotton layers with each movement of your dog.
Correct spinal alignment
Uncomfortable, lumpy, uneven bedding will inevitably lead to joint strain and muscular discomfort.
Your dog needs a firm bed that will gently support his/her body. Hundreds of individual pocket springs in a Berkeley Waterproof Orthopaedic Mattress operate independently across the total surface area of the bed.
Bed Size and Shape
We see so many dogs that have beds that, in our opinion, are too small. If in doubt, always choose a bed that you think might be too big rather than too small. Nest or doughnut-shaped beds can be incredibly restrictive – a thing to be avoided with all ageing dogs with reduced mobility.
With the onset of increasing age many dogs develop occasional incontinence. This needn’t be a major issue so long as the cover on your dog bed can be easily cleaned either through spot cleaning or machine washing. Buying an additional replacement cover is always a good idea so that covers can be swapped over quickly.