By: Sondra Wolfer
If you’re wondering whether your dog needs a bed, ponder this: the average dog stands up on his feet for only five hours per day. If you’re a dog parent, you know what they’re doing the rest of the time—it’s enough to make sleep-deprived humans envious. Dogs spend between 12 and 14 hours per every 24 hours sleeping. Tag on another five to seven hours lying around awake but resting and the answer to “Are dog beds necessary?” comes clear. Yes, your dog needs a soft, supportive place to lay down. Here are the primary ways dog beds benefit your best friend:
A Dog Bed of One’s Own
Dogs are denning creatures who instinctively seek out warm, safe, soft spots to call their own. In the wild, dogs would never sleep on the cold, hard ground if they could help it. Instead, they would gather leaves for insulation from the chill, or find a soft section of grass to tamp down. If your dog doesn’t have a dog bed at home, he’ll collect throw blankets or laundry to create a cozy spot. Or he’ll stake his claim to a snug corner of the couch or your bed. If you have a “no dogs on the furniture” rule in your home, a dog bed is going to give your dog the comfy nest he needs and curb his temptation to rebel. He should have a cozy spot in his usual hangouts, so make sure to have a dog bed you can relocate with ease throughout the day, or have more than one bed.
Older Dogs Need Extra Joint Support
The American Academy of Veterinary Medicine says orthopedic dog beds are beneficial for older dogs. That’s because no amount of blanket piling is going to provide the joint support these dogs need. Also, climbing on and off couches, chairs, and beds can be hazardous for dogs with mobility issues unless you provide dog stairs. Many senior dogs suffer from joint pain and arthritis. The best beds for dogs with arthritis and joint problems are orthopedic. These dog beds gently support your dog’s joints and pressure points, which can help ease his transition from lying down to standing, and help manage symptoms of arthritis in older dogs. Most orthopedic beds are made with a specialty foam that gives just enough, conforms to your dog’s shape, and rebounds after each use.
Dog Beds Improve Dog Health
Dogs of any age with joint problems, hip dysplasia, and who are recovering from surgery or broken bones will benefit from the extra support offered by orthopedic dog beds. And any dog bed style will help prevent the sores and chafing that can occur when dogs spend hours on a hard surface. Finally, dog beds provide a sense of security that is good for all dogs, but especially for dogs with anxiety. The dog bed is a little piece of home you can take with you to minimize anxiety when you travel or move, and that can be your dog’s special spot when he’s left alone.
Dog Beds Improve Human Sleep
A recent sleep study by the Mayo Clinic found that people who slept with a dog in their bed had a worse night’s rest than people who didn’t have a dog in bed with them. But people who slept with a dog in their bedroom, but not in their bed, had an improved night’s sleep. The presence of the dog in the room seemed to offer people a sense of security, but when the dog shared a bed their movements interrupted sleep. Multiple dogs in the bedroom in or out of their owner’s bed can worsen sleep, according to the study.
Dog Beds Contain Fur
Dog beds help minimize fur and dander in other locations around the house. Of course, wherever your dog roams, he’ll leave some hair and dander in his wake. But when he has a dog bed, the bulk of it collects in one place and cleanup is straightforward. Additionally, your dog’s bed comes with a cover you can easily remove and wash when it requires a deeper cleaning. Many pet parents opt for backup dog bed covers so they can rotate when one is in the wash.
Sure, sometimes you lie down on your living room rug to watch some TV or to play and snuggle with your best friend. It’s okay for short spells, but you’d be uncomfortable, cranky, and sore if that was your only option for sleeping and resting. Giving your dog a bed of his own ensures the four-legged member of your family enjoys the safety, comfort, and warmth of home, too.