The Truth About Dog Beds: What to Look for When Buying One

When it comes to buying a dog bed, many pet owners think that all of them are created equal. This could not be further from the truth! There are a few key factors you need to consider when purchasing a bed for your pooch. In this blog post, we will discuss what those factors are and help you choose the perfect bed for your furry friend.

"Many pet parents don't realize that their dog's bed has a tremendous impact on the quality of life for their pet thin flimsy beds and flat beds really can cause pressure points that hurt these tender joints, making it really hard to rest and even harder to sleep sound light. Big Barker beds are really specifically to designed to eliminate these pressure points and reduce pain even in animals without any previously diagnosed joint issues." -Dr. Marie Bucko.

Let's talk about a few things that you should consider when purchasing a dog bed in regards to why not all dog beds are equal.

Height of Your Dogs Bed

"You may ask yourself, does it matter if my dog's bed is one inch thick or seven inches thick? It does actually." -Dr. Marie Bucko

The height of your dog's bed matters because it can help reduce pain in their joints. If your dog's joints are touching the floor when they are their bed (sinking through the bed and onto the ground), this puts major strain on their joints which can lead to pain and other health issues later on down the road. A supportive bed will allow your furry friend to easily get in and out without putting any strain on their joints.

"You wanna find a bed that really supports your dog and their joints."

What does that look like?

"That looks like supporting your dogs as they sink in really wrapping their joints in this top layer of comfort foam, and then having a dog bed that has a core layer that really provides just a small amount of give, providing sustained comfort and preventing him or her from hitting the hard floor. These are actually key points that you can find in these big Barker beds."

A Bed That Lessens Arthritis Pain

"Arthritis and other joint conditions are among the most widely undiagnosed problems in large breed dogs. In fact, up to 80% of these dogs experience, joint pain or soreness as they age because these joint issues can come from a variety of genetic and or surgical implications."

Did you know that your dog bed can either help or not help your dog's arthritis? If your dog is already showing signs of arthritis, it is important to find a bed that will help lessen their pain and not make it worse.

Here are a few things to look for in an arthritis-friendly bed:

  • A bed that is firm enough to provide support but soft enough to be comfortable
  • A bed backed by science and studies that is proven to reduce stiffness and increase mobility
  • A bed that does not sink down, putting your dog's joints at risk for touching the hard ground or surfaces
  • A bed that does not sink inward, leaving your dog's joints at risk for being in unsteady positions

"Providing an orthopedic bed helps to provide comfort and support to your dog. Proper support and rest has really been shown to improve and restore mobility. In our older dogs, the big bark beds help provide that support needed to bring back some of the quality of life that's normally taken away through aging." -Dr. Marie Bucko

The Actual Size of Your Dog's Bed

Is your dog's bed big enough for your dog? Your dog should be able to fully stretch out in their bed without hanging off of the sides. If your dog is constantly hanging off of the sides of their bed, this can lead to them hanging their joints/neck or spine off the bed, leading to neck kinks or instability.

Another thing to consider is if you have more than one dog. If you have multiple dogs, it is important to get a bed that can accommodate all of them comfortably.

At any time, your dog should be able to fully stretch out, even if your dog likes to sometimes snuggle up in a cozy ball.

Is Your Dog's Bed 'Orthopedic'?

The word 'orthopedic' is not a regulated term, which means any dog bed company can use it at any time!

For this reason, pet parents must be vigilant to know whether their dog's bed is ACTUALLY orthopedic.

The word orthopedic means 'relating to or used in the treatment of disorders of the bones, muscles, or joints.'

When it comes to dog beds, an orthopedic bed is one that not only has been designed with your dog's joint health in mind, but has been scientifically proven to do so. This means the bed will provide support and cushioning to help reduce pain and improve mobility.

"You might be wondering what does orthopedic mean when it comes to a dog bed? Well, an orthopedic bed is really one that's specifically designed to support the joints and the hips and your dog's overall body. Ideally relieving skeletal symptoms. And these orthopedic beds really accomplish this for your pet by using a firmer sleep surface, avoiding any added pressure or unnecessary pressure buildup." -Dr. Marie Bucko

Is Your Dog's Bed Made With Polyfil?

Polyfil is a material that is commonly used in dog beds. It is made of tiny pieces of polyester fiber that have been joined together to form a single, continuous piece of fabric.

Polyfil is often used in dog beds because it is inexpensive and easy to find. However, there are some downsides to using Polyfil in dog beds.

"When looking for a bed for your dog, you wanna look for a bed that when your dog is laying on it, it's not touching the floor. Normal mass produced dog beds are typically made with a cheaper polyfill or memory foam, which immediately collapses under a large breed dog's body weight with no core support layer, your dog's joints really just press directly onto that hard floor, creating uncomfortable pressure points."

The Big Barker's proprietary blend of triple layer orthomedic foam really allows support for those dog joints as they sink in, and it wraps their joints in a top layer of comfort foam. The core layer really provides a small amount of gives sustaining this comfort and preventing him or her from hitting that hard floor."

A Bed That ACTUALLY Helps Your Dog

Do you notice any changes with your dog when they sleep on their bed? Are they quicker to rise in the morning? Do they have less stiffness? More zoomies?

Your dog's bed should be doing more than just taking up space in your home- it should be helping your dog!

"A lot of people don't realize that their dog's bed can actually help alleviate some of those symptoms [of arthritis]. It can help to improve mobility, and it can also help to improve quality of life." -Dr. Marie Bucko

"About a year ago, I noticed our dog Penelope at home having difficulty rising. After we evaluated her in our hospital, we diagnosed her with arthritis in her hips. I knew this was going to be a long journey where comfort was really going to be absolutely critical. As I began my research to find her a more comfortable bed at home, I came across some studies carried out by my colleagues over at the university of Pennsylvania. In fact, the University of Pennsylvania's Veterinary Hospital utilizes Big Barker beds to aid in their patient's recovery.

Be sure to read the study here:

So for several weeks, Penelope had access to her original bed and her new, Big Barker Orthopedic bed. And it was quite evident that she preferred the support and comfort of her new orthopedic bed. We now even added the back seat Barker for her car rides that she loves so much."

In Conclusion,

When it comes to finding the perfect dog bed, there are many factors you should take into consideration. The type of fabric, the fill, and the support are all important things to look for when choosing a bed for your furry friend. However, one of the most important things to consider is whether or not the bed will actually help your dog and increase their quality of life by helping to support their joints and limit joint disease.


As you can see, there's a lot to consider when it comes to orthopedic dog beds. But if you take the time to do your research, you'll be sure to find the perfect bed for your furry friend.


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