Joints are a serious issue for big dogs, young and old.

“Most people think their dog is just slowing down as they age, but in most cases, the dog is only slowing down because movement causes pain or discomfort.”

Dr. Kim Bowers
All Pets Veterinary Hospital

“Arthritis and other joint conditions are among the most widely undiagnosed problems in big dogs. Up to 80% of large dogs experience joint pain or soreness as they age.”

Dr. Matt Brunke
Veterinary Surgical Centers Rehabilitation

“The worst thing is, it’s often hard to know if your dog is in pain. The signs can be difficult to spot, and some dogs try to hide any signs of weakness, which makes it difficult for the owner to even know their dog needs veterinary help.”

Dr. David Dycus
Veterinary Orthopedic Sports Medicine Group

“Living with a joint condition can be excruciatingly painful for a big dog. Things they used to enjoy, like going for walks or greeting you at the door, can turn into agony.”

Dr. Robin Downing
Downing Center for Animal Pain Management

“In the worst cases, joint conditions like arthritis or hip dysplasia can rob a dog of all their mobility - to the point where euthanasia has to enter the discussion.”

Dr. Sarah Wooten
Sheep Draw Veterinary Hospital

Big Barker Responds to the Joint Care Crisis

l got my own wake up call to this crisis back in 2005 when my dog Hank was diagnosed with hip dysplasia as a puppy.

Our vet stressed the importance of getting him a “good bed” because I needed to cushion his joints. I never would have guessed my vet would be “prescribing” a dog bed, but I started to see how it could make a really big difference, providing a critical buffer between a dog’s joints and the hard floor below. Especially when you consider dogs often sleep for up to 18 hours a day!

After spending a fortune on beds that buckled and flattened like pancakes under his 92 lb weight, I got extremely ticked off that these “beds” weren’t helping him at all. Not one bit!

It became clear that a normal dog bed wasn’t really a bed at all. At least not in the way you and I imagine a bed to be. These dog “beds” out there were made from cheap foam or flimsy stuffing. I realized a normal dog bed wasn’t much better than sleeping on a bad pull-out couch or a paper thin sleeping bag on a hardwood floor. (Ouch!) Dog beds just weren’t being held to the same exacting comfort standards as human mattresses!

I decided to fix the problem and set out to engineer a bed that would be as comfortable as an expensive human mattress - able to actively cushion and protect a big dog’s joints and prevent unnecessary discomfort and suffering. My vision was a first-of-its-kind theraputic mattress that really could keep dogs youthful for longer and bring older dogs back to their best.

After years of testing (with some failure along the way), we successfully engineered the first Big Barker in 2012. We hoped it would help a lot of dogs. Little did we know just how many tens of thousands of lives our therapeutic mattress would impact for the better.


Eric Shannon

Founder | Big Barker Dog Beds

Eric & Hank, back in 2011. Shortly before work began on creating the Big Barker.

The Big Barker “Magic Formula." Perfected in 2012, has served tens of thousands of dogs since.

Hank resting on the fruits of his labor - the very first Big Barker ever shipped from the California workshop!


Your Dog Loves it, or You Don't Pay!