Dog beds are getting more elaborate these days, and some people may regard this sort of trend as a mere indulgence of pet owners who are way too fond of their dogs. However, in one case, at least, there is a very good reason to buy a dog bed with special features. That’s when your dog is arthritic or is just getting older and could use some extra warmth where it sleeps. And one of the options you might consider is a memory foam dog bed.
Memory foam beds for humans have been around for quite a while now. They’re made of a special type of foam that molds itself to the person’s shape, giving each part of the body total support. Triggered by body heat, the tiny polyurethane cells that comprise the foam alter their shape to create this molding effect, but then return to their original shape once the person has gotten up and the cells cool down. This type of foam has already been used to help people with arthritis or with spine or hip injuries, and provides good support to anyone, even if they’re already in great physical shape.
Eventually, manufacturers of pet supplies realized that memory foam could provide exactly the same sort of benefits for dogs that had arthritis or other joint or muscle problems. The foam provides a cushion for them that helps to reduce whatever pressure they’re feeling in their joints. This in turn relieves both joint pain and the pain the dog feels in its’ muscles because of the strain. The hips and other joints are completely supported, which provides maximum comfort. And even if a dog is in perfectly good health, but is a working dog, it could have sore muscles by the end of the day, and really benefit from the comfort and support of this type of bed.
The support of a memory foam dog bed can also make a difference for larger dogs, which are very prone to hip dysplasia. This is a degenerative joint disease that is characterized by abnormal development of cells, and in the hips of large dogs it often means a hip joint that doesn’t quite fit properly, along with weak muscles around the rump and lameness as well. The memory foam doesn’t necessarily keep the dysplasia from happening, but it can help prevent the condition from being aggravated when the dog lies down. In other dog beds, which eventually flatten or whose stuffing bunches up inside, the dog often ends up effectively lying flat on the floor. A memory foam dog bed provides ongoing support, helping to keep the hip problems from getting worse.
Another helpful feature of memory foam is that it’s very breathable. What this means for the dog is that it retains heat in the winter, yet can be cooler than other beds in the summer. The extra warmth in winter is especially good for an arthritic dog, or others that would have problems with the cooler floor-level temperatures at night.
The only real drawback to getting one of these beds might be if you have a dog that’s prone to chewing on everything including the bedding. Since memory foam is a polyurethane material, it could be a bad idea for the dog to ingest it. On the other hand, you can get good covers to put over the top of the foam, and one of these might prevent too much chewing on the foam itself.
A memory foam dog bed is something to consider, especially if your dog is getting up in years. You might want to give it the extra support for its aging limbs and joints, not to mention a boost of warmth during cool nights. And this really isn’t being “overindulgent” toward a pet. Getting your dog this sort of bed may be a humane thing to do, and may contribute toward improving the dog’s health.