I hear the term therapeutic dog bed just about everyday. A lot of manufacturers and stores claim to have therapeutic dog beds, when in reality, their beds are really no different that the standard dog beds purchased very cheaply at your local big box store. Therefore, I wanted to clear this term up and define it a little more in depth.
A true therapeutic large breed dog bed will help soothe and reduce symptoms of canine ailments endemic to big dogs such as hip dysplasia, arthritis, and general joint pain among many other problems. The soothing and reduction of these symptoms is accomplished through better circulation, proper support and a more restful and deep sleep via the foam and construction of your dog bed.
Dog beds that crumple and cave in don’t allow for optimum circulation due to uneven support. This uneven support can cut off blood flow to certain areas of a dog’s body. The closest comparison would be recalling a time when your foot or hand “falls asleep”. If you suffer from arthritis or some other ailment or injury, simple medical science tells us that improper blood flow, especially to injured or diseased area of the body, only makes things worse and more painful. Good circulation and blood flow is key to good health, but also key to assisting the body in repairing injured or broken areas. As humans, we understand this and can make adjustments in our daily life to help avoid issues like uncomfortable seating or sleeping positions. Unfortunately, our dogs cannot do the same. They’ll lie on a hard floor or cheap bed because they don’t know any better and will continue to suffer through their ailments and pain because they have no other choice. This is why responsible dog owners owe it to their pets to provide them with a supportive and comfortable bed.
Proper support in a dog bed not only optimizes circulation, but it also cushions and takes stress off joints and hips. It’s the joints and hips that are most stressed in large breed dogs due to the weight they must carry each day. A true therapeutic dog bed will evenly support and cushion these problem areas of big dogs.
Large breed dogs sleep nearly 18 or more hours in a day and get less deep REM sleep that humans do. This is why a therapeutic bed is so important to these breeds. If your dog is not getting healthy, REM sleep, their bodies will tire quicker, and experience more stress throughout their usual day. Also, we know that sleep and rest is key to allowing our bodies to heal and this is no different in dogs. A good therapeutic bed will help your dog rest and sleep more soundly, which will help promote better longevity as well as joint, hip and overall health.
There are many different types of foam that offer therapeutic support, but the leading foam for years has been memory foam, also know as visco elastic foam or some variation of that foam. Keep in mind that memory foam dog beds need a support foam base to get the optimal benefits. Steer clear of any dog bed that advertises “100% memory foam”. Memory foam needs a solid base to achieve the support it was designed to offer.
We should give our four legged friends something to rest and sleep on that would also work for us. I’m sure anyone reading this can recall a time they slept on a couch or cheap mattress and how tired and sore they were the next day. Now, think how your dog must feel day in and day out if they’re sleep on the floor or a cheap dog bed all of the time. Rewarding your dog with a decent and supportive bed will greatly reduce their discomfort and help them live a more healthy and happier life.