How to Choose an Orthopedic Dog Bed

An orthopedic dog bed alleviates pressure on your dog's joints.
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For older dogs with arthritis or hip dysplasia, getting quality sleep may not come easy. Pressure on aching joints causes pain and makes it difficult for your pooch to get comfortable. Orthopedic dog beds offer support for your dog’s achy muscles and joints by assisting in weight distribution. When choosing the right orthopedic bed for your dog, there are a few things to consider.

Step 1

Measure your dog when he is lying down with his legs fully extended to the front and back. For small dogs, add an additional 5 inches. For larger dogs, add an additional 10 inches to this measurement. Look for a dog bed that is at least this size. This will ensure your dog has enough room to get comfortable and reap the full benefits of the bed. Place your dog on the scale to determine his weight. Choose a bed that supports this weight.

Step 2

Talk with your veterinarian about the different types of inner foam in orthopedic beds. Together, determine which one is best suited for your dog. Memory foam contours to your dog’s body and temperature. Orthopedic foam provides additional support. Egg-crate foam provides support while helping to keep your dog warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer.

Step 3

Look for a bed that includes a removable cover to make regular washing easier. If the bed you choose does not come with a removable cover, consider purchasing an additional cover.

Step 4

Choose a dog bed with a plastic or waterproof liner if it will be outdoors. If your dog spends regular time outside, consider purchasing a waterproof bed for outside and a regular bed for indoors.

Step 5

Determine, with the help of your veterinarian, if additional heat will reduce your dog’s pain and increase his comfort. If this is the case, choose an orthopedic dog bed that offers additional heat. Similar to a heating pad, these beds include extra warmth while most hide the cords for those dogs who like to chew.


  • If purchasing a bed for a puppy, consider the fact they are still growing. Purchase a bed that allows for growth.

  • Air-filled orthopedic dog beds offer a different option as well. These are lightweight and waterproof and work well for traveling.

Items You Will Need

  • Tape measure
  • Scale