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Are Orthopedic Dog Beds Good For Arthritis? (& Senior Dogs)

As our dogs age, they may experience joint pain and arthritis. It’s heartbreaking to see them struggle to move around, especially when they used to be so spry and full of energy.

Fortunately, there are ways to make their golden years more comfortable and enjoyable. One solution that has gained popularity among pet owners is orthopedic dog beds. But are orthopedic dog beds good for arthritic dogs?

Orthopedic dog beds are a must-have for arthritic dogs because they provide support and cushioning and evenly distribute weight. This reduces stiffness and pain in sensitive joints and muscles and improves circulation. Orthopedic beds are generally made from memory foam that provides a comfortable sleeping surface.

This article will explore the benefits of orthopedic dog beds for arthritic dogs and why they are necessary for pet owners who want to ensure their dog’s comfort and well-being.

Are orthopedic dog beds good for arthritis? 
A dog on an orthopedic bed.
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Understanding Arthritis in Dogs

Arthritis is a condition that affects the joints and causes pain, inflammation, and stiffness. 

It’s a common problem in dogs, especially older dogs or those with injuries or genetic predispositions to the condition. I can especially relate to this as I have a senior German Shepherd who has arthritis of the spine.

The most common type of arthritis in dogs is osteoarthritis, which occurs when the cartilage in the joints wears down over time, causing the bones to rub together.

Symptoms of arthritis in dogs can include limping, difficulty getting up or down, stiffness, and a reluctance to move or play.

Paying attention to these signs and taking action to help alleviate your dog’s discomfort is essential. 

While there is no cure for arthritis, there are ways to manage the condition and improve your dog’s quality of life. 

“One of the best decisions that I’ve ever made is to purchase an orthopedic dog bed for my dog, Willow, and that has drastically improved her quality of life.”

World of Dogz
German Shepherd on Orthopedic Bed
My German Shepherd, Willow, on her Orthopedic Bed

Did you know an orthopedic dog bed can help alleviate pain and pressure on your dog’s joints while they sleep? That’s exactly what’s happened as my dog has continued using it.

Why Orthopedic Dog Beds Are a Must-Have for Arthritic Dogs

Orthopedic dog beds are specifically designed to support the joints and muscles of dogs with arthritis or other mobility issues.

As a dog owner, I know the importance of keeping our furry friends healthy and comfortable. That’s why I highly recommend investing in an orthopedic dog bed. Let’s look at their benefits.

The Benefits of Orthopedic Dog Beds

  • Provides Support: Orthopedic dog beds provide support and comfort to dogs with joint problems such as arthritis or hip dysplasia. These beds are made of high-density foam that conforms to your dog’s body, reducing pressure on their joints and promoting better blood flow. This helps alleviate pain and discomfort and can even help prevent further joint damage.
  • Improves Posture: Orthopedic dog beds can help improve your dog’s posture by providing a comfortable and supportive sleeping surface. This can be especially beneficial for dogs with spinal problems or other issues that affect their posture. Sleeping on a supportive bed allows your dog to rest comfortably and wake up refreshed and energized.
  • Reduces the Risk of Pressure Sores: Dogs who spend a lot of time lying down risk developing pressure sores, which are painful and can be challenging to treat. Orthopedic dog beds can help reduce this risk by evenly distributing your dog’s weight and relieving pressure on sensitive areas of its body. This can help prevent pressure sores, making a big difference in your dog’s comfort and well-being.

How Orthopedic Dog Beds Work

High-Density Foam

Orthopedic dog beds are made of high-density foam, which evenly distributes your dog’s weight, reducing pressure on sensitive areas such as their hips, elbows, and shoulders. This helps alleviate pain and discomfort and can even help prevent further joint damage.

Raised Edges (Bolsters)

Many orthopedic dog beds have raised edges (bolsters) that provide additional support and comfort for your dog. These raised edges can help your dog feel more secure and cozy while providing a comfortable place to rest their head. This can be especially beneficial for dogs who like to curl up when they sleep.

Non-Slip Base

Orthopedic dog beds often have a non-slip base that keeps the bed in place, even when your dog moves around. This can be especially beneficial for older dogs with trouble getting up or down or dogs who like to scratch or dig before settling in for a nap.

The non-slip base helps ensure the bed stays in place, providing your dog with a stable and comfortable sleeping surface.

Here’s a great video that explains how an orthopedic dog bed can work for a dog with hip dysplasia:

How a Real Orthopedic Dog Beds Helps with Hip Dysplasia | Big Barker

Choosing the Right Orthopedic Dog Bed

Below are some factors to consider when selecting the perfect bed:

  • Size: Choosing a bed that’s the right size for your dog is important. The bed should be big enough for your dog to stretch out comfortably but not so big that they get lost. A bed that’s too small can be uncomfortable, while a bed that’s too big may not provide enough support.
  • Material: Orthopedic dog beds come in various materials, including memory foam, egg crate foam, and even gel-infused foam. Each material has its benefits, so choosing the one that’s right for your dog’s needs is important. Memory foam is great for dogs with arthritis or other joint problems, while gel-infused foam can help keep your dog cool on hot days.
  • Shape: Orthopedic dog beds come in various shapes, including rectangular, round, and even cave-style beds. The shape you choose will depend on your dog’s sleeping preferences. Some dogs prefer to stretch out, while others like to curl up in a cozy spot.

Benefits of Choosing the Right Orthopedic Dog Bed

What happens if you buy the ideal one?

After doing detailed research and arriving at the best one for my dog, Willow, I observed a lot of benefits. Here you go:

  • Improved Comfort: A bed that’s the right size and shape for your dog can improve their comfort and overall well-being.
  • Reduced Joint Pain: An orthopedic bed of high-density foam can reduce pressure on your dog’s joints, alleviating pain and discomfort.
  • Better Sleep: A comfortable and supportive bed can help your dog sleep more soundly, improving overall health and well-being.
  • Easy to Clean: Look for a bed with a removable cover that’s easy to clean. This will make keeping your dog’s bed clean and fresh-smelling easier.
  • Long-Lasting: Investing in a high-quality orthopedic dog bed can pay off in the long run, as it will last longer than a cheaply made bed.
  • Stylish: Orthopedic dog beds come in various styles and colors, so you can choose one that complements your home decor while providing comfort and support for your furry friend.
Dog Sleeping on Orthopedic Sofa Bed
My arthritic dog sleeping on her Big Barker orthopedic sofa bed

Tips for Helping Your Arthritic Dog

It’s heartbreaking to see our dogs suffer from arthritis. Fortunately, there are things we can do to help alleviate their pain and improve their quality of life. Here are some additional tips for helping your arthritic dog in addition to providing them with an orthopedic bed.

  • Simple modifications to your home: These can help make life easier for your arthritic dog. For example, adding a ramp or steps to your home can make navigating stairs easier for your dog. Non-slip mats can provide traction on slippery surfaces, making walking easier. In lieu, you can place the dog bed in a suitable place that enriches your dog’s life.
  • Control their weight: Keeping your dog slim can help decrease the load on their joints. Feeding your dog the right amount of high-quality food is essential. Go easy on commercial dog treats and feed safe fruits and vegetables instead.
  • Exercise in moderation: Physical therapy, massage, and daily exercise can benefit dogs with arthritis. Controlled exercise is a must. Start with short walks, up to 10 or 15 minutes, three to four times per day, and find a soft surface for the activity if possible.

Are Orthopedic Dog Beds Worth It?

You may be wondering if orthopedic dog beds are worth the investment. The answer is yes! 

While these beds may be more expensive than traditional dog beds, they offer numerous benefits that can improve your dog’s comfort and well-being.

Even if your dog is not suffering from joint problems, an orthopedic bed can still benefit their overall health and well-being by helping prevent these issues in the first place.

They can also improve posture, reducing the risk of developing pressure sores and providing a cozy spot for your furry friend to rest and relax. 

I chose the Big Barker Orthopedic Dog Bed for my German Shepherd as it’s the only bed clinically proven to reduce orthopedic pain, improve joint mobility and function, boost activity, and improve sleep quality in dogs with osteoarthritis. You can read my first-hand review here.

Orthopedic dog beds are also worth it as they will last longer than an average dog bed. For example, the Big Barker has a 10-year guarantee. Therefore, it will last a lifetime, making it a one-time purchase.

So, what’s the bottom line?

Investing in an orthopedic dog bed is a smart choice for pet owners who want to ensure their dog’s comfort and well-being.


Are Orthopedic Dog Beds Easy To Clean And Maintain?

Yes, orthopedic dog beds are designed to be easy to clean and maintain. Many come with removable covers that can be machine-washed or spot cleaned. The high-density foam core is also easy to clean with a damp cloth. By following the manufacturer’s instructions for cleaning, you can keep your dog’s bed clean and fresh-smelling.

How Often Should I Replace My Dog’s Orthopedic Bed?

A good rule of thumb is to replace the bed every two to three years or sooner if it shows signs of wear and tear. Signs that it’s time to replace the bed include flattened or lumpy foam, rips or tears in the cover or an unpleasant odor. Regularly washing the cover and vacuuming the bed can help prolong its life.

However, investing in a quality product like the Big Barker will last your dog’s lifetime as it won’t need replacing.


  • Sharon Waddington

    Sharon Waddington is the founder of World of Dogz. With over 30 years of experience working with dogs, this former Police Officer has seen it all. But it’s her trusty German Shepherd, Willow, who steals the show as the inspiration behind this website. As Sharon’s constant companion Willow has played a pivotal role in shaping her passion for dogs. Find her on Linkedin!