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Big Barker Dog Bed Review: An Arthritic Dog Owner Weighs In

Consider this fact…

Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis in dogs, affecting around a quarter of the canine population.


The first question you need to ask yourself before you jump into buying something like the Big Barker Orthopedic Dog Bed is how serious you are in finding a dog bed that prevents and reduces joint pain, stiffness, and mobility issues. Moreso, if you have a large breed dog predisposed to these conditions.

Can you guarantee that your dog will never develop debilitating conditions like arthritis or hip and elbow dysplasia? Do you want to improve your dog’s overall restfulness and quality of life, especially in his senior years?

If your answers are “yes” and “no,” respectively, I recommend you opt for something like a regular dog bed, such as the Furhaven Lounger Bed from Amazon.

A German Shepherd on a Big Barker Orthopedic Bed. Big Barker Dog Bed Reviews.
My German Shepherd giving a high five on her Big Barker!
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However, many owners who dream of having a dog bed proven through scientific studies to significantly improve canine joint function, gait, discomfort, pain, and inflexibility think of the Big Barker.

The Big Barker bed is widely known for improving your dog’s nighttime restfulness and helping maintain an ordinary, active lifestyle.

In this Big Barker dog bed review, I’m going to examine:

  • Comfort and support
  • Practicality and safety
  • Durability and style
  • Special features 

But first, if the title of this post grabbed your attention, you may be wondering about my experience caring for a dog with arthritis.

However, if you’re a regular reader of my blog, you’ll know that my 7-year-old German Shepherd Willow was recently diagnosed with spinal osteoarthritis. Below are recent CT images of her lower spine showing the areas affected.

CT image of German Shepherd with Spinal Osteoarthritis

Lacking time to go through a detailed review of the Big Barker Dog Bed? Worry not! Here’s a quick table detailing everything about this bed crisply. Give it a read before you head on to buy one!

Review of Big Barker Orthopedic Dog Bed



Proven to reduce pain and stiffness in arthritic dogs and improve their overall quality of life. Prevents the onset of joint and mobility conditions especially in large breeds.



Reasonably priced considering the high-quality materials used. 10-year “can’t flatten, won’t flatten” warranty and 1-year risk-free trial. Payment plan available.

Comfort & Safety


Uses 7 inch deep multi-layered foam made in the USA and certified by CertiPUR-US® to meet strict standards for content, performance, and longevity.

What I Like

Knowing my dog is comfortable
The look and quality of the bed
The 10-year guarantee

What I Don’t Like

The sofa edition is expensive
May not suit all dogs

Summary: The Big Barker is, for me, the best orthopedic dog bed out there. You need to know some things before buying this bed – this is why I put this Big Barker review together. Being the owner of a German Shepherd with arthritis of the spine, I want to help you prevent and ease joint and mobility issues in your dog. Improve your dog’s nighttime restfulness and help maintain an ordinary, active lifestyle so you can enjoy those walks together again.

From $239.95

What Is The Big Barker?

The Big Barker is an orthopedic dog bed designed for large breeds made with 7-inch deep quality layers of foam. It is the only dog bed clinically proven to reduce joint pain and stiffness in dogs with arthritis or hip dysplasia.

The Big Barker dog bed also helps prevent these conditions by providing much-needed extra support.

In layman’s terms, it’s a REAL bed, but for dogs!

Big Barker features:

  • 7 inches deep orthopedic foam
  • A real human bed – but for dogs
  • High-quality materials
  • 10-year guarantee
  • Machine-washable

Although the Big Barker is just too powerful for small dogs, the good news is that you can try the Barker Junior, which is designed and calibrated specifically for smaller breeds weighing less than 50 pounds.

So, what do I mean when I say it’s a REAL bed, but for dogs?

Check Out This Video Showing The Difference Between

a Big Barker and a Normal Dog Bed…

Big Barker vs Normal Dog Beds: Can You Feel the Difference?

The Evidence

The University of Pennsylvania conducted this recent study to evaluate the Big Barker in dogs with osteoarthritis.

This study aimed to see if the Big Barker bed could reduce orthopedic pain, improve joint mobility and function, boost activity, and improve sleep quality. The dogs evaluated weighed over 70 lbs (31.75kg) and were at least 3 years old.

The results were quite striking in that the Big Barker improved joint function by 17.6% and overall quality of life by 15.1%. Pain severity was reduced by 21.6%, and joint stiffness was reduced by 12.5%.

Data from activity monitors worn on the dogs’ collars also suggested improved nighttime restfulness due to decreased activity.

Approved by Veterinarians and Other Experts

The Big Barker orthopedic bed is trusted and approved by veterinarians. You can find many vet reviews on their website, such as the one below:

“I’ve been a veterinarian for 20 years, and I’ve never found a better bed or better product than the Big Barker… I have found this bed to be amazing. Not only is my own dog happy, but I can’t get him off this bed!”

Dr. Kim Bowers, DVM

You will also find many excellent testimonials from pet owners worldwide, and many vet clinics, dog rescues, shelters, and police units use the Big Barker.

Here’s a review from the vet that I’d recommend to you if you’re looking for a comfortable bed for your dog with arthritis:

Veterinary review of the orthopedic dog bed Big Barker Bed

Safety Standards

When you’re on a tight budget, it’s tempting to take the cheapest alternative. But would you, however, put your dog’s safety at risk by purchasing an unsafe product?

The Big Barker foam is certified by CertiPUR-US. Concerns about imported substandard foams containing lead, arsenic, and other dangerous chemicals that can progressively poison your dog led to the formation of this organization. You can relax knowing your dog is resting on safe foam made in the US.

Why I Like The Big Barker Orthopedic Dog Bed

As the proud owner of Willow, of course, I was gutted to learn that she has spinal osteoarthritis. So, did I buy the Big Barker after her diagnosis, you may wonder? The honest answer is no, as I already had the bed.

German Shepherd Lying on Orthopedic Dog Bed
Willow on her old Silentnight bed

In fact, I’ve always had an orthopedic bed for my dog due to the German Shepherd’s predisposition to joint conditions. Before investing in the Big Barker, my dog had a Silentnight pocket-sprung orthopedic bed, a popular and trusted UK brand.

So, why did I switch?

Three main factors caused me to switch allegiance from a company and product that I was already happy with. These were…

  • Recent scientific studies prove the effectiveness of the Big Barker
  • The Big Barker’s 10 years “can’t flatten, won’t flatten” warranty
  • Trusted reviews from veterinarians and other experts

When you compare Big Barker to other similar products, the differences are quite noticeable. Here are the many reasons why I like this bed:

  • 7 inches deep American-made foam. The Big Barker bed is hand-made and can support the weight of over 300lbs (136kg) of dog. Now that’s a lot of dog! It looks and feels like a real human bed and is comfortable enough for you and me to sleep on. It’s great for snuggling up together and is super easy for your big dog to walk on and off it due to its raised height.
  • It won’t flatten or lose its shape. This Big Barker bed is explicitly designed for dogs weighing more than 50 pounds (22.6kg). My dog is rather large at 88 pounds (40kg), yet the bed easily supports her weight, as you can see in the below photo.
  • Scientifically proven to improve joint function, pain, and stiffness. I want my dog to sleep well, be comfortable, and be pain-free. The multi-layered bed reduces pressure and provides comfort by preventing your dog from sinking into the hard floor.
  • Keeps your dog cool. The Big Barker’s unique foam allows air to circulate through it, keeping it cool and preventing your dog from overheating. This is great for big dogs, especially those with double coats, such as my German Shepherd.
  • Trendy-looking, made with quality materials. I’m a stickler for things looking nice in my home, and I love how this bed looks. The Big Barker comes in four colors, khaki, burgundy, chocolate, and charcoal grey. The cover is made from quality 100% microfiber, made for expensive couches and upholstery, and it’s lovely and soft. 
  • Machine washable removable cover. There’s nothing worse than the stink of a dog bed that hasn’t been regularly cleaned! Having a high-shedding breed, I need a bed that I can clean frequently. The Big Barker’s cover is easily unzipped for safe removal and is machine washable. Zippers are used around 3 sides, so removing the cover is super easy.
  • 10-year warranty. This was a biggy for me, which gave me both confidence and trust to buy this bed. No other brand came close to this when I looked around. The next best I could find only offered a 3-year guarantee for a comparably priced product.
  • Choice of styles to suit your dog’s preference. Chose the Big Barker 4″ headrest edition for extra comfort. But if your dog prefers to lie his head flat, you can opt for the sleek version. There is also a NEW sofa edition if your dog likes this shape. Dogs that prefer to sleep while leaning their backs against something will love the sofa style with its 4″ high and 8″ thick bolsters. You can check out my review of the Big Barker Sofa Edition here.
  • 1-year trial. You can also have the Big Barker for a full year, and if you or your dog aren’t thrilled with it, you can return it under their no-obligation guarantee. This makes purchasing the Big Barker dog bed risk-free.
  • Easy to customize. You can choose to have your dog’s name embroidered on the cover and get custom sizing and different color coverings. However, you probably won’t need these as there’s already plenty of variety. You can also choose special features such as a waterproof liner if your dog is elderly, suffers from incontinence, or is currently being house-trained.

Is The Big Barker Bed Worth It?

The Big Barker sleek edition will set you back at around $290, and the Big Barker headrest edition (seen below) is about $330. This is for the extra-large size that is recommended for a German Shepherd. The new Sofa style is $390 for a size XL. The bed sure is the Rolls-Royce of orthopedic dog beds but is the Big Barker worth it?

The Big Barker is worth the cost as it helps prevent and improve your big dogs’ joint pain and stiffness, especially during aging. Its 10-year guarantee will last a lifetime, making it a one-time purchase. You will spend less than buying other poor-quality beds that need constant replacing in the long run.

German Shepherd on Big Barker Orthopedic Bed. Is the Big Barker worth it?
“Hey, I can ever keep an eye on those pesky squirrels from my Big Barker!”

Here’s another way to look at it. Even if you don’t want to fork out an initial $240 for a dog bed, the bed is guaranteed to last for 10 years. That works out to $24 per year! 

So, what’s the sense of buying low-cost beds that flatten like pancakes every 12 months or so and must be replaced regularly? Without a doubt, you’ll spend a lot more money in the long run on beds that do not even protect your dog. If you prefer to spread out the cost, there is also a payment plan.

Because Big Barker is so confident in their product, it can issue a 10-year guarantee. It’s a proper bed made with premium therapeutic foam, the kind that you and I would find in any quality mattress. You only have to look at Willow’s photo above to realize how amazing the foam is, and she is a big dog!

How Long Do Big Barker Beds Last?

Like a human orthopedic bed, Big Barker beds will last at least 10 years. However, most can last beyond 10 years with proper care and cleaning. Factors that can also influence how long a Big Barker will last are usage and daily maintenance.

Are Big Barker Beds Waterproof?

Although Big Barker beds are not 100% waterproof, the microfiber cover is water-resistant. Microfiber is a densely woven fabric, and the cover will keep saliva, wet fur, excitement pee, etc., at bay. However, it will soak through if you spilled a glass of water on the cover and didn’t dab it up.

Nonetheless, you can get waterproof liners, which are highly recommended if your dog is potty training or incontinent. The liners are also machine washable.

Can You Wash Big Barker Beds?

Big Barker bed covers are machine washable. Wash them at a cold temperature to prevent shrinkage. You can also clean the foam by soaking it in soapy water for 15 minutes before squeezing out the water by firm pressing. Do not wring the foam and leave it to dry for a day or two.

Are Big Barker Beds Chew Proof?

Big Barker beds are not chew-proof as the microfiber cover is not a chew-resistant material. However, the high-quality cover is tear-resistant and can withstand more nesting and digging than typical dog bed covers. On the other hand, dogs can chew through it if they are determined.

However, note that the zippers are well hidden, reducing temptation, which is super cool if your dog is a power chewer! Worst-case scenario, the company will ship free fabric to patch up the tear, or you can get replacement covers.

Does Big Barker Manufacture Beds For Small-sized Dogs?

The foam of Big Barker dog beds is too strong to the extent that it’s ideal for large-sized dogs. While there are different sizes for these beds, Big Barker’s beds are widely recommended for large breeds to experience perfect calibration and support.

Where Are Big Barker Dog Beds Made?

Big Barker dog beds are made in their workshops in Pennsylvania and Delaware, USA. They have over 20 professional staff who have substantial expertise in upholstery and furniture manufacturing. Most orders are dispatched within one business day, and beds can be shipped worldwide.

Are Refurbished Big Barker Dog Beds As Good As New Ones?

Big Barker dog beds have incredible durability. Having said that, the refurbished ones sold on Amazon and other marketplaces need to be checked and experienced, as the quality solely depends on the usage in the past.

However, if you’re ready to work a bit on the upholstery side, you can certainly choose this bed for your dog with arthritis.

Is The Big Barker Right for You?

No product review wouldn’t seem right without at least one negative, including this Big Barker dog bed review. So, if I had one criticism of this product, it might be that it may not suit all dogs. However, there is a Junior Edition for dogs weighing under 50 lbs, but small dogs or toy breeds might not take to it as they may find it too hard.

What I Like…

  • 7-inch deep multi-layered foam
  • Protects your dog’s joints
  • Clinically proven to reduce pain
  • Improves quality of life in arthritic dogs
  • 10-year guarantee
  • Handmade in the US

What I Don’t Like…

  • The sofa edition is expensive
  • May not suit all dogs

Where Can I Buy a Big Barker?

You can buy the Big Barker orthopedic dog bed directly from the Big Barker website or on Amazon. Most orders via the website are shipped within one business day.

Big Barker Logo

Click HERE to buy on Big Barker

One thing to note is that the return policy only applies to orders placed directly with Big Barker, so if you buy from Amazon, your purchase is subject to the seller’s return policy.

Click HERE to check the latest price on Amazon

Big Barker Alternatives

Furhaven Lounger Bed

The Furhaven Lounger Bed (check price on Amazon) is marketed as an orthopedic bed, although you can’t compare its foam depth of 2.5 inches to Big Barker’s 7!

Even so, this bed gets many good reviews on Amazon. But don’t expect it to last anywhere near as long as the Big Barker. However, if you don’t want to spend much on a moderate dog bed, the Furhaven may be your next best choice, and you can upgrade to better-quality ones.

Petfusion Ultimate Dog Bed

I like the Petfusion Ultimate Dog Bed from Amazon because its foam depth is between the Big Barker and the Furhaven Lounger, coming in at 4 inches. Additionally, I like its modern bolster design, and this bed also uses certified foam, so there’s no need to worry about it being safe for your dog.

Its 3-year warranty is also decent for the price of this bed and is the closest I could find to Big Barker’s 10-year guarantee.

Honestly, though, I’d be tempted to save a little longer and go for the best for the difference you’ll pay for the Big Barker.

Let’s Wrap This Up!

To conclude my Big Barker dog bed review, I give the bed a big thumbs up, and Willow gives it a big paw up! In my home, it looks impressive, and my doggo adores it.

In my opinion, you cannot beat the bed’s thickness, comparison to a REAL human bed, and enticing 10-year guarantee. But the best thing is having peace of mind that your dog is comfortable, happy, and well-rested.

You can learn more about the Big Barker HERE.


  • 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!