Do you have a senior pet? Does your dog suffer from hip dysplasia or other joint problems? These are some of the reasons you might want to consider getting your dog a raised bed. Many regular dog beds, even the really cushy-looking types, don’t protect your dog’s joints. His elbows, hips, and shoulders can suffer from the pressure of lying on a floor.

However, raised beds aren’t ideal for every dog or every owner. In this article, we’ll consider some of the pros and cons of a raised dog bed versus a regular flat bed.

Reasons to consider a raised bed

1.) A raised bed provides firm, even, orthopedic support across your pet’s entire body. This can alleviate pressure on his joints and help protect them for the years to come. You can even find raised dog beds that are comparable to human mattresses – complete with coil springs and pillow top mattresses! These may be a good choice for your giant breed pup since it will give him maximum orthopedic support from the start.

2.) If your senior dog has arthritis, it can be difficult for him to change positions from standing to sitting to lying down. A raised bed can make it easier for him to change positions since it basically gives him a head start. He simply doesn’t have as far to raise or lower his body when he’s getting up or lying down.

3.) Raised beds are cushiony because of tautness rather than stuffing. Many dogs just love to ‘unstuff’ their toys or beds. As messy as that can be, it can also pose serious health problems if they eat any of that stuffing. Gastrointestinal obstruction can be deadly without prompt treatment!

4.) The fabric is stretched tighter on raised beds which makes it harder for persistent chewers to get a grip. If you have a really determined chewer, you might want to invest in a raised bed like the Kuranda chew-proof dog bed.

Although pricey, it has an aluminum frame that completely encloses the fabric edges. There literally isn’t anywhere that your dog can sink a tooth in and start ripping! If you normally go through a few beds a year because of your dog’s chewing habit, the Kuranda may be worth the additional cost.

5.) An elevated bed lets hair and dried mud fall off the sides or through the mesh. This keeps the dog’s bed from sitting in a pool of hair so the bed itself stays cleaner. That might help keep your home smelling fresher, too! It can also reduce allergens in your home.

That’s especially helpful if your pooch is the one with the allergies. Even if you wash the dog bed cover frequently, it’s almost impossible to get allergens out of all that stuffing. A bed that’s easy to wipe down and doesn’t collect (and store) pollen, dust mites, and other allergens can help an allergic pet live a more comfortable and less itchy life.

6.) If you use a robot vacuum to keep your home tidy, a raised bed lets it get to all of those hair bunnies under the dog bed.

7.) It’s easier to move a raised bed than a solid fabric bed. If you have to move your dog’s bed to vacuum or when company is coming, you’ll appreciate the lighter weight! Some are even designed to be easily portable so your dog can take his favorite bed with him wherever he goes.

This can offer real comfort to a dog who is in an unfamiliar situation, whether he’s enjoying dog lodging or going on vacation with you. There’s nothing like a familiar bed in unfamiliar circumstances!

8.) A raised bed can keep your pet cooler in the summer. This is especially true if the floor beneath is a soft surface like carpet that traps heat. If you live in an especially hot climate, placing a raised bed over a naturally cool hard surface like tile or concrete can help keep your dog extra cool.

9.) Many raised beds can be hosed off when they get dirty. This makes them ideal for outdoor use.

10.) Does your dog have flea allergy dermatitis? A raised bed that sits at least 12″ above the ground can give your pet a refuge from those pesky fleas while he’s resting outdoors.

Just make sure that you also use an effective flea-preventative. The height of the bed won’t protect him if he’s lifting them onto the bed himself! Also, ensure that there’s no vegetation near enough to provide the little pests with a launch pad to your pet or his bed.

11.) You can keep your furniture free of dog hair and drool without the guilt if you provide your pet with his very own comfy dog ‘couch’.

Possible downsides of a raised dog bed

  • Unlike regular dog beds that are ready to use immediately, raised beds generally require at least some assembly. This assembly is easier if you have someone to help. The fabric is under quite a bit of tension and can be difficult to get in place by yourself. That also makes it more difficult to remove and replace the cover when needed.
  • Replacement covers aren’t available for all raised beds. This is an important concern if your dog likes to dig in his bed. If he digs a hole through the cover, you may end up replacing the entire bed!
  • Most raised beds aren’t available in as many styles, shapes, and color or fabric choices as regular dog beds. This means they may not look as stylish (or unobtrusive) as you’d like. There are more stylish raised bed options available but they also generally cost more. If you can’t find one for sale that you like, and you’re reasonably handy, you can try making your own custom elevated dog bed.
  • The tautness of the fabric on a raised bed provides the necessary support for even large dogs. Some dogs especially enjoy the springiness of that taut fabric. It lets them bounce on it like it’s a trampoline! This may or may not be a bad thing but it is something to consider.
  • A raised bed may not be the best choice for a blind or otherwise physically-impaired dog because of the risk of injury if he falls out of it. The same goes for those clumsy dogs who always seem to be looking for their next accident!
  • A raised bed isn’t appropriate for heavily pregnant or nursing mothers. A mother who’s about to give birth needs a comfortable bed where she and her pups will feel safe and secure. An elevated, exposed surface isn’t going to let her relax and get on with the important business of giving birth. Very young puppies will almost certainly manage to fall out of a raised bed once they start feeling their way around.

Still not sure?

If you’re wondering whether a raised bed is the right choice for your precious pet, contact us. We take your pet’s health and comfort very seriously. We’ll happily advise you on the best bed for your pet so that you can both enjoy many comfortable years together!