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by April Sanders
Pamper your older dog with his own dog bed. Pet beds provide your pets with a safe, comfortable place to sleep and rest, which is especially important for older pets. Most dogs love to curl up on a soft bed -- especially if that bed happens to be yours. Climbing in and out of your high bed, however, can cause your old buddy great pain. Coax him off your bed and reward him for his years of loyalty by choosing a high-quality pet bed that will soothe his tired bones during his golden years.
Memory foam: A soft memory foam pet bed will support the skeletal system of an older dog and also minimize the development of elbow or hock calluses, a common problem in older dogs. Memory foam also holds heat, making memory foam dog beds ideal for older dogs with arthritis. When he sleeps in a memory foam pet bed, your dog will be comfortable, warm, and supported.
Thick foam: The thicker the foam, the more support your dog will get from his bed, which will reduce joint pain. As your dog ages, a foam dog bed with a thick foam base will help ease aches and pains. Large-breed dogs need a foam dog bed that is at least 7 inches thick to support them.
Heated: Heated pet beds are a fantastic choice for older pets. A heated bed will help relieve the aches and pains associated with arthritis and other problems in older dogs. Older dogs also need to be kept warm because, as dogs grow older, they become less and less active. A heated dog bed will help keep your pet warm and comfortable.
Waterproof: Many dog beds come with a waterproof liner. You can also choose a pet bed in a simple oval or rectangle shape that generic waterproof liners will fit. Older dogs can have bladder accidents, which can seep into the foam if they are not protected.
Sturdy cover: Thin dog bed covers will tear easily, especially if your dog's claws are rather sharp. Older dogs tend to struggle a bit to get moving, which means they will probably claw at the material as they are getting up from the bed. Choose a dog bed with a thick, tightly woven cover that you can remove for washing.
Accessibility: Make sure the dog bed is accessible to your pet. An aging dog with mobility problems needs to be able to get in and out of the bed easily. Some beds are created with low sides that allow dogs to enter without difficulty. Look for these types of pet beds for your four-legged friend.
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