No one argues the prevalence of arthritis in dogs, especially as they get older. Everyone learns the signs and searches for ways to alleviate discomfort. The American College of Veterinary Surgeons, for example, suggests controlling your dog’s weight, physical rehabilitation, supplements, medications, and sometimes surgery.
Perhaps the most startling realization is that your dog’s bed may be invaluable in delaying symptoms related to arthritis and dysplasia. Choosing from among the best orthopedic dog beds may be as beneficial to preventing chronic joint pain as a glucosamine and chondroitin regimen.
Quick Picks: The 6 Top-Rated Orthopedic Dog Beds
Last update on 2021-01-27 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
In a hurry? Check our best pick above, or keep reading for product reviews and buying guide!
The Best Orthopedic Dog Beds – 6 Reviews
Best Headrest Design
Laifug is one of the few dog beds on the market that uses human-grade memory foam designed specifically for orthopedic use. The bed itself is crafted of two layers, the memory foam, and a soft but supportive base.
High-density memory foam of premium materials ensures the bed maintains its shape for three years or more.
The Laifug dog bed is also innovative in its headrests, featuring one at both ends. One headrest is four inches and the other two and a half inches thick.
Our Rating: 5 Stars
- Two different-sized bolsters to provide semi-custom head support
- Pockets are sewn over the zippers to hide them and prevent clanging on the floor
- Nylon cover is particularly resistant to tearing
- Can support dogs up to 200 pounds
- Extremely durable
- Can be too firm for some dogs
- Extra Large (Jumbo) – 50”L x 36”w x 10”h: This bed is specifically for large dogs.
Most Comfortable Dog Bed
Friends Forever makes a luxurious dog bed that features a memory foam mattress and a removable suede cover that has a water-resistant liner. The poly-fill bolster provides security on all sides of the bed as well as head support.
High-quality materials, down to the seams and ZKK zippers, ensure your dog’s bed will be durable. Additionally, the cover is fur-resistant, and the bed has a non-skid bottom to help prevent excessive sliding around as your dog jumps on and off.
The memory foam mattress is human-grade and keeps shape over many uses. It also provides substantial support, great for dogs with hip problems or discomfort in their other joints.
Our Rating: 4.8 Stars
- Roomy bed
- Easy to get on and off
- Deep and comfortable but supportive
- Bolsters provide additional resting area and support
- Easy to vacuum
- Easy to put together
- The gap between the pillars of the front bolster allows some dogs to slide off the bed during sleep
- Water-resistance of the liner may not last
- Small – 20″ x 25″ with 5″ bolsters and 2.5″ thick mattress
- Large – 36″ x 28″ x 9″ with a 4″ thick mattress
- Extra Large – 44″ x 34″ x 10″ with 4″ thick mattress
- XX Large – 40″ x 50″ x 13″ with a 5″ thick mattress
Best Body Support Bed
The high-grade bed by Kopeks comes with a thick mattress of premium memory foam on a par with the material found in sleep specialty stores. A three-inch headrest adds to the comfort and support of the bed.
This bed comes with an exterior and interior cover, both with zippers for ease and convenience. The interior liner is waterproof and the outer cover is soft velvety suede with an anti-skid bottom.
Our Rating: 4.75 Stars
- Uses very thick hypo-allergenic memory foam
- Dogs can stretch out on it as there are no barriers
- Owners report their dogs to experience decreased soreness and stiffness after sleeping on the bed
- Grippers on the bottom stabilize the bed on carpeting as well as tile and linoleum
- The liner is waterproof rather than water-resistant
- No surrounding bolsters, only the headrest
- Headrest does not expand properly on some beds
- Inner liner is not resistant to urine
- Jumbo – 50”L x 34”W with a 7″ thick mattress and a 4″ headrest
Most Versatile Dog Bed
This bed features as one of its main benefits two outer covers. One is made of very durable material, premium denim, and the other out of MricroSuede. The navy blue Denim cover zips closed, and you can remove it for machine washing.
Unique among dog beds, the Dogbed4less is made of conforming gel foam, which focusses on alignment support and minimizing pressure points. Similar to human high-grade beds, the mattress isolates movement.
Our Rating: 4.7 Star
- Comes in six sizes
- Has three covers, one of which is waterproof
- Extra stitching on the outer covers
- Gel memory foam
- The sleeping surface is cooler than other materials
- Chewers can easily rib denim
- Small – 35″ x 20″ x 4″
- Medium Large – 37″ x 27″ x 4″
- Large – 41″ x 27″ x 4″
- X Large – 40″ x 35″ x 4″
- XX Large – 55″ x 37″ x 4″
- Jumbo – 55″ x 47″ x 4″
Best Snuggle Dog Bed
Made specifically for older dogs with arthritis or other joint problems, the Barksbar orthopedic bed is comfortable and long-lasting. The surrounding rim cushion is built to contour to your dog’s sleeping form and supports the head and neck especially well.
The bed’s cover, made of quilted Polyester, is not only extremely soft for comfort but also machine washable. On the bottom is a rubber backing to prevent the bed from sliding on smooth surfaces. To complete your dog’s comfort and support is a solid orthopedic foam mattress four inches thick.
Related: Best Washable Dog Beds
Our Rating: 4.6 Stars
- Attractive quilted cover
- Rim cushions provide additional support and security
- Hair and fur is easy to remove
- Dogs love it – find great comfort
- No inner liner
- Medium – 32” x 22” x 10″
- Large – 40” x 30” x 10″
Best Portable Dog Bed
The Bark Box is an orthopedic sofa that has a machine-washable cover and a removable mattress to make it more portable. This is a great bed if you need to crate your dog so he can travel from place to place. Gray is the standard color, but you can also select from espresso, red check dark green, blue, and sand.
Related: Best Travel Dog Beds
Therapeutic gel foam offers an alternative to other orthopedic beds in that it may provide more effective relief of aching joints and discomfort from hip dysplasia.
Our Rating: 4.5 Stars
- Bonus toy
- Gel foam – temperature regulating, does not get too hot
- Waterproof mattress pad
- Thin but supportive without collapsing
- May not fit the biggest dog breeds
- No bolsters
- Small – 16″ x 24″ x 3″
- Medium – 29″ x 18″ x 3″
- Large – 22″ x 35” x 3”
- X Large – 41″ x 29″ x4”
Why an Orthopedic Dog Bed Over a Reguar Bed?
Orthopedic beds have specific features that benefit the bones, joints, and muscles, especially as your dog ages.
Memory Foam Benefits
Memory foam, as its name indicates, conforms to your dog’s shape as he lies on it. When he leaves the bed, the material will gradually return to its original shape. The density of memory foam lets you provide more support with a thinner mattress.
Memory foam’s unique character benefit dogs by eliminating pressure points. If you pictured a dog curled up on his side or sprawled on his belly, you would notice the areas of greatest pressure are the elbows, knees, hocks, and hips. By distributing body weight evenly, memory foam eliminates these points of impact.
In contrast to pressure points, the head, neck, and spine are parts of the body that often receive too little support from a bed. Memory foam gives support and cushioning at the same time it yields to your dog’s weight.
Types of Memory Foam
Memory foam for dog beds comes in three main forms. Manufacturers use the term of measurement, lb/Ft3 (Pound per cubic foot), to designate density, which is how you properly compare different types of memory foam.
Shredded memory foam – provides a cheap alternative, especially if you own a large dog. However, chipping the foam leaves it susceptible to shifting around and clumping, defeating the entire purpose of an orthopedic bed. Companies may blend the chips with materials to prevent this shifting, but your dog still will not get the balanced weight distribution he would with a solid mattress.
Low-density memory foam – is less expensive than premium-quality mattresses, but is the trade-off too great? Classified as any memory foam less than 3lbs/FT3, low density bounces back to its original shape quickly, therefore allowing dogs to get out of bed easily. However, the low-density foam does not provide effective support because it compromises weight distribution.
High-density memory foam – is what you want for a beneficial orthopedic bed for a senior or arthritic dog. Low-density foam beds can exacerbate your dog’s joint and spine problems through insufficient support.
One of the most common substitutes for high-quality memory foam in dog beds is egg-crate foam. While economical, egg-crate beds do not retain shape like memory foam and are not nearly as durable. Moreover, larger dogs may not experience nearly the weight distribution and support that memory foam offers, sinking too far towards the floor.
Related: Best Large Dog Beds
Why Bolster Dog Beds?
Bolsters are ledges or pillow-like areas of the bed, similar to armrests on sofas or chairs. Some dog beds have a surround system while others just feature a raised area at the end such as the Kopeks or the dynamic Laifug.
Bolsters give dog beds a few advantages.
Limb hangers – Bolsters discourage dogs from hanging their legs off the end of the bed. While this careless abandonment looks comfortable, the draped limb has no support and side sleepers, in particular, place undue stress on the involved joints, like the metatarsus(joint just above the foot)and hocks.
Curling up – For dogs who sleep curled in a ball, bolsters that surround the bed can provide additional support along the curvature of the spine.
Built-in pillows – Many dogs have grown accustomed to using a headrest when they sleep, as humans, and a bolster can serve their needs. If your dog likes a pillow, either a surrounding rim or a bolster at one end works well.
Security – Many dogs feel additional security when enclosed in a den- or nest-like area. Canines like to feel extra security when they sleep, and a rim of bolsters can give them comfort. Some dogs are content just to snuggle against a firm structure, and in these cases, an end rest would probably be fine.
How Can Memory Foam Orthopedic Dog Bed Help?
Extra Joint Support for Large Breed Puppies
Orthopedic beds can delay the onset of arthritis symptoms by providing restful sleep and joint support at an early age. Many large breeds require strenuous exercise to maintain mental balance or are working dogs. Memory foam can soothe muscle soreness and delay joint wear and tear.
Relieves stress and pressure points over the hips and elbows, providing greater comfort for dogs with these problem areas.
By relieving pressure points, a bed allows more efficient blood flow to the respective areas. Increased circulation, in turn, improves the speed and efficiency of joint and muscle healing and recovery.
How to Find the Correct Size Dog Bed?
It is difficult to measure your dog in a prone position because as soon as you touch him with measuring tape he will probably try to engage with you. However, you should be able to make a good estimation.
Error on the large side for your dog’s bed. Also account for whether your dog sleeps sprawled on his side or curled into a tight ball. Bolsters are great for the latter. Speaking of bolsters, you must also take into consideration they will occupy some of the bed’s sleeping space. Dog bed descriptions usually outline bolster thickness and total bed dimensions.
One last tidbit to take away is that orthopedic beds may not give enough under a small dog’s weight if the surface area is too large. If you have a toy Poodle or Papillon with joint issues, you do not want him to drown in an oversized bed.
Related: Best Dog Beds for Small Dogs
Accessories of Dog Beds
While you may trying to cut costs, as quality orthopedic dog beds can be quite expensive, you should make sure to include a few basic amenities with your dog’s new bed.
Do not skimp on the cover – Memory foam, as expensive as it is, is rather fragile. Your dog can tear it when he nests. And almost all dogs nest, where they scratch and turn to make their beds before laying down. If you like a dog bed but it comes with a flimsy dog cover, invest in a better casing.
You need a liner – Even a well-trained dog may have an occasional accident on his bed. Moreover, older dogs have a greater chance of developing urinary incontinence. Urine is just one of many soils that can happen on a bed. You may also need to deal with vomiting or drooling. Use a waterproof liner or pad to protect the memory foam mattress. A liner that fully encases the mattress may work in cases of copious amounts of liquid spills.
Consider an additional cover – Unless you pick a bed with air pockets or a gel-foam mattress, like the Dogbed4less or Bark Box, high-quality foam can trap a lot of heat because of its density. You can counter this with covers that remove your dog’s body from direct contact with the heat. You may also find cooling blankets to be helpful.
The winner of the roundup of the best orthopedic dog beds was the Laifug memory foam orthopedic pillow. Made of premium materials, it scores highest in customer satisfaction, has the greatest durability, and appeals to most dogs who need joint and back support. It is resistant to dogs ripping it to shreds and is reasonably easy to keep clean.
Friends Forever, with bolstered rims, was a close second. It is very comfortable and a favorite with dog owners. Third, was the Kopek with its extremely thick mattress and high level of orthopedic support.