Want your pets to sleep longer and better? Here's some things to check for and tips and tricks to help your dog or cat get a more restful and better night's sleep. See also the 5+ Best Orthopedic Pet Beds we have personally reviewed and recommend that we think can make a huge difference in the quality of your pets sleep.
Tips To Get Your Dog Or Cat To Sleep Better
If your pet is not sleeping well, there are quite a few reasons why they may be sleeping poorly. You will have to figure out what is causing the problems through a process of elimination. It may may take some trial and error to improve your pet's sleep. Here's what you should look for and try:
Tip 1. Make Sure Your Place Is Set Up For Sleeping
If your pet acts like they are hearing something or reacting to something you can't hear, it is possibly the case that your house may be infested with something you can't see or hear but your pet can. If your dog or cat seems to be trying to get at something, consider calling in professional pest control service to check your house for possible rodents, bugs or other infestations that your pet may be reacting to.
If you have a senior dog with diminished vision, or a nervous dog that prefers sleeping with the lights on, try giving them a dim night light close to the dog's bed (but not in their eyes) to make them less anxious.
If your dog regularly has trouble sleeping, one thing to seriously consider if you are not already doing so is try having your dog sleep in a dog crate. They are the modern day equivalent of a wolf's dens in the wild and it seems to do a terrific job of calming many anxious dogs that have difficulty sleeping. (Here's some tips on Crate Training Your Dog.) We like the Midwest Folding Dog Crates for most dogs.
Tip 2. Get Your Pet Tired And Ready To Sleep
Tip 3. Reduces Your Pet's Level Of Stress
Tip 4: Make Your Pet Physically Comfortable
5. Get Your Dog or Cat An Orthopedic Bed
To help your pets sleep better, you may want to try an orthopedic pet bed. Unlike regular pet beds, an orthopedic dog bed or orthopedic cat bed is especially made to provide support and cushioning for your pet's head, neck, spine, hips, and legs. This will be much more comfortable for all pets.
Orthopedic beds can be especially useful for older cats and dogs as well as and larger dogs ( or injured pets) who really need the extra support and cushioning. Premium orthopedic beds also have some great additional features like washable water and odor repellent covers that most cheaply made pet beds don't provide.
An orthopedic bed can be useful for pets at any age. But you should start seeking an orthopedic bed for small and medium size dogs when they are between 5 and 10 years old, depending on their weight (the heavier the dog, the more likely he will need a more supportive bed) and physical disabilities. Most large to extra large dogs should sleep on orthopedic beds all their lives.
Here are 5 of the best orthopedic dog beds on the market, all reviewed by us (as well as the top rated orthopedic beds as evaluated by dogs themselves and their owners), and even one very special supportive cat bed.
Best Orthopedic Beds For Dogs
Made in the U.S., the Big Barker Orthopedic Bed is a strong and supportive bed. It has "7 inches of superior quality American-Made foam - a 2" layer of H10 Comfort Foam, a 3" middle layer of H45 Support Foam & another 2" layer of H10 Comfort Foam - the same foam used in expensive furniture." Big Barker even claims its bed is just too strong for dogs that are not BIG!
Big Barker comes in three sizes: large, extra large, and giant! It is not cheap in any size, but the beds are guaranteed for 10 years to keep 90 percent of the bed's firmness, and pet parents say the price is well worth it. In fact, I've never seen such supportive reviews of a product on Amazon.
The thick foam on the Big Barker is covered in a soft, stylish, removable, and washable fitted microfiber case, and is available in burgundy, chocolate, and khaki, stylish with your decor. This model of the Big Barker comes with a head rest, which I recommend for special support of the head and neck.
Dog parents report on their dogs' love of the Big Barker beds, and claim the bed has helped dogs suffering from hip dysplasia and arthritis.
Now, the Big Barker does have a smaller size called the Big Barker Mini for dogs between 20 and 50 pounds, which is 4" high and made of the same materials. The Mini is also rated very highly for comfort, but some with medium-size dogs think the bed is too small, so check out the measurements of the small and medium before you order. When your medium-size dog is stretched out, he might prefer a larger bed.
Another terrific bed, especially to support large breed and older dogs, the Pet Fusion Pet Bed & Lounge is a rectangular bed that comes with 3-sided polyfil bolsters and a four-inch memory foam mattress. The machine washable cover is water resistant and tear resistant and made of polyester, cotton, and twill and it comes in brown and slate grey. The bed has received almost unanimous adoration from pet parents on Amazon, which means their pets - small/medium, large, and extra large - are getting the support and comfort their bodies need. I've never seen so many dog photos included in customer reviews of a product. So if you want to see sleeping dogs lie.... check out this bed.
One issue with dog beds is that eventually their covers need to go. If the Pet Fusion cover should become unsightly, you can order it independent of the bed.
Go Pet Club puts together a nice pet bed with a good 4-inch memory foam support and a couple of neat extras. The main cover is washable non-skid suede and there is a waterproof cover, which can stand-alone or or be placed inside the suede cover for dogs with bladder control difficulties. The 4-inch memory foam mattress is pretty standard fare for larger dogs with orthopedic needs, but the Go Pet Club bed comes in four sizes, so even heavier-set smaller dogs, like the Bulldog or Staffordshire Bull Terrier, can get support from this bed. The largest size is smaller than the giant Barker Bed size, so if you have a giant dog, better get the Barker Bed.
If there is any criticism of the bed, customers say they would like it to be thicker. Some report that the bed is not as high as advertised, but others have observed that the foam expands after a few days to the bed's full 4-inch height. Want thicker than that? Get the Barker Bed.
Another plus of the Pet Go Club Orthopedic Pet Bed is the rubber anti-skid feature on the bottoms of both the inside cover and the suede cover. I like the anti-skid feature as I have wood and tile floors.
The Go Pet does not come with bolsters, so if your dog enjoys a head rest you should look into one of the other thick memory foam beds listed above.
There's something to be said about a pet bed that's made by a manufacturer of human beds. You figure they have really explored all options, particularly when it comes to what makes a therapeutic bed. Like beds 1, 2, and 3 above, Pet Support Systems chooses memory foam, but it employs two inches of high-density base foam beneath its top 2-inch layer of memory foam. (The company states that 2 inches of each type of foam - high density supportive foam plus memory foam - is better for your pet than 4 inches of only memory foam, because the high-density base foam provides underlying support for the memory foam.)
The memory foam used in the Pet Support Systems is 4-pound foam, made in the U.S., just like the foam it uses for its human beds. It is non-allergenic and - an important point - doesn't have an odor, as some foreign-sourced memory foam may have. The water-proof cover lining keeps the foam safe from drools, drips, and accidents, and it is machine washable. (I like the 3-year warranty!)
The beds come in charcoal, tan, brown, and blue and are available in small to XX large sizes. (See selection here.)
Better World takes a different approach to packing memory foam in its supportive dog bed: it shreds the foam prior to stuffing it into its beds because, the company claims, solid memory foam is too firm for dogs. This may be true for the small to medium dog, which Better World caters to with two sizes of mattresses, the largest being only 36 inches wide. These beds are too small for large dogs or medium size dogs who like to stretch out.
But the Better World Bed is nice and thick, 5 to 6 inches high, for a good cushioned surface, and dogs and their owners seem to like it a lot as it's rated very highly. The Better World is outfitted with a soft cover with a non-skid lower surface and a waterproof lining. Of course, it's machine washable!
A small therapeutic dog bed would be fine for an older cat who needs orthopedic support, but cats don't particularly take to them. They prefer soft cushioning to memory foam and they love heat. So, you could try a small size of any of the beds listed above for your cat; just don't be insulted if she doesn't sleep there.
My bet is on the K&H Thermo-Kitty Heated Cat Bed, because it does offer some of the best support available in a cat bed and it can be heated. The walls of the bed are foam, but the 'mattress' is dense poly-fil which is responsive to your cat's weight. The heating element, a 4 watt plug-in, warms the bed to 10 to 15 degrees above the ambient temperature, but when your cat gets into the bed, the temperature adjusts to match your cat's own body temperature, so Puss-Puss doesn't get too warm. Yes, this bed is also so, so cozy for a little dog who shivers a lot!
The bed comes in two solid colors and three print colors, and in 16" and 20" diameter sizes. All covers zip on and off and are machine washable.
My cat owns the stunning leopard print deluxe version of this bed that has a hood. (below).
Cats love this bed, report their people. Some have complained that the heater doesn't produce enough heat, but most say the heating element works just fine. My cat doesn't complain one bit, but he does sleep a lot.
Orthopedic can be pricier than the basic pet beds, but they usually last a lot longer. For the combination of quality, durability, useful features and comfort they can provide your pet, these pet beds are better overall values than the basic pet bed and definitely worth paying a little more.
So there you have it: Lady Bee's top 5+ orthopedic pet beds....
BED CLEANING TIP:
If you are cleaning your pet bed, I strongly recommend trying Rocco & Roxie Odor & Stain Remover. It's an excellent overall cleaning product and I usually spray the bed cover and let it soak in a little before throwing it in the washing machine to give my laundry detergent an extra boost.
Have you tried any of these tips? Have you tried an orthopedic bed for your dog or cat? Do you find them helpful for your dogs or cats?
Originally published March 2016 and updated October 2016.