Spending money on your dog is easy, at least it is for me, I can't leave the pet store without a special treat, or new toy for our dog. The part that isn't as easy is finding things that your dog will play with for a long time, or a bed that he or she will actually use regularly. The last bed I bought her was cute, but she didn't seem to like it much and never really used it at all, preferring the floor to the bed. That was a while ago, and luckily, the bed was cheap.
Since then I've found out a lot more about how to buy the more expensive doggy items for her, such as beds and higher end toys. Now that I'm not fresh out of college like I was when I got her and have more money to spend, I want to treat her the best that I can, I just want to still be smart about it while I do.
That brings me to what I've learned about orthopedic dog beds and how most people shop for them, which is not to be confused with what should be done to get the right one for your dog.
Most people get some sort of measurement from the length of their dog, then go out and buy a bed for a dog of that size. In many cases, this actually works out fine, the dog will sleep on the bed as long as it's there, but what they don't realize is that if the bed is the wrong size, it can help lead to medical problems down the road, or the dog just won't use it and it becomes a waste of money.
Orthopedic dog beds have been proven to help slow the build up of arthritis in older dogs and there are even claims that they can help reverse the effects of it. They also provide a comfortable platform for your dog to lay on, akin to a memory foam mattress for people, which can help aid dogs with hip dysplasia and other joint problems to sleep better.
When you go out to purchase a dog bed, no matter if it's orthopedic, or not, you need to not only know the size of your dog, but how they sleep. If your dog sleeps stretched out as far as he or she can reach, then a bolster style dog bed, which is made for dogs that sleep curled up, is the exact wrong choice, and won't get used often. If you pick the right style to go along with the right size, your dog will use their new bed early and often and see any benefits that the bed offers.
With the price of a good dog bed these days you're going to want to make sure that whichever one you buy gets used. Don't be discouraged however if your dog doesn't sleep on it every time they nap, I think for that to happen, you would need to have some sort of magical dog bed. If you take the advice of this column however you shouldn't need to turn to the dark arts to get your dog onto their new bed.
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