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Choosing the best bed for dogs with hip dysplasia

by Amber LaRock January 18, 2021 4 min read

Dog tightly asleep in bed

If you have a dog with hip dysplasia, you are likely looking for the best ways to bring them comfort. We know that an uncomfortable bed can make our days challenging, and this stands true for our furry friends as well. Choosing the right bed for your dog’s hip dysplasia is a critical part of their longevity in this condition.

So how do you choose the best bed for your dog? In this article we’ll give you all our favorite tips on choosing the right bed for your beloved companion.

What is Hip Dysplasia?

Hip dysplasia in dogs is a joint condition that is classified by the irregular formation of the hip joint in dogs. A canine without the condition, their hip consists of ball and socket joints that glide easily with each step. When a dog has hip dysplasia, the ball and socket joint does not glide freely as it should.

The irregular formation of the joint causes the hip to rub and grind, leading to joint deterioration over time. The grinding of the joint is not only extremely uncomfortable for our furry friends, but can cause severe joint damage over time. When a dog’s hip dysplasia is not addressed, they may begin to show signs of chronic pain.

Causes Of Hip Dysplasia In Dogs

There are a few possible factors when it comes to the development of hip dysplasia in our canine friends. Though there are a few possible links, it’s most commonly understood to be a hereditary condition that is exacerbated by other causes. The most common causes of hip dysplasia in dogs include:

  • Passed down from dog to dog. This is why it is so important to choose a breeder that screens their breeding adults for signs of this condition.
  • Fast growth periods, especially in large breed dogs
  • Improper nutrition that impedes a dog’s normal growth
  • Not offering appropriate nutrition for a dog’s age range
  • Canine obesity
  • Excessive exercise, especially when a dog is growing

Signs That Your Dog Is In Pain

Our dogs cannot tell us that they are in pain, making it so important to understand the many signs of discomfort in our beloved companions. To help you better understand your pup, let’s list some of the signs that your dog is struggling in their hip dysplasia or joint pain.

Slow To Rise In the Morning

A dog that is experiencing joint and hip pain may have a hard time getting up in the morning. This may be due to the extra effort it takes to get up and down, or the pain of getting moving after a long resting period. If your pup is slower to rise in the morning, they may be experiencing chronic pain.

They Are Stiffer Than Usual

A once limber dog that is experiencing joint stiffness may be struggling with pain due to hip dysplasia. This may be present in their every moment, or just in the moments right after they wake up. No matter what, stiffness in your pup can point to a sign of chronic pain from hip dysplasia or joint discomfort.

Difficulty Getting Up & Down

Standing up from a sitting or lying position can be extremely challenging for a dog with hip dysplasia. This can be due to the discomfort they experience when shifting positions, as well as the muscle loss they can experience with hip dysplasia. If your pup has a hard time standing up after resting, they may be experiencing chronic pain.

Disinterest In Things They Once Enjoyed

Some pet owners notice their dog’s pain when they are no longer interested in things they once enjoyed. This could mean they refuse to jump onto furniture, are less excited for their walks, or even shying away from playing catch in the backyard. If your dog is hesitant to participate in activities they once loved, they may be struggling with hip or joint pain.

Choosing The Best Dog Bed For Hip Dysplasia

When choosing the best dog bed for your dog with hip dysplasia, there are a few things to consider. While the support of the dog bed is extremely important, there are other components to be aware of when finding the perfect bed for them.

Hot Or Cold Climate

It’s important to offer your dog a bed that best suits their living environment. The most suitable bed is one that will call your pup to it for optimal comfort, making it important to cater to the weather at that time. For example, if you live in an area that is extremely warm during summer time, you will want to invest in a dog bed that has cooling technology. If you live in an environment that has a frigid winter, you will want to find a bed that promotes warmth. While this may involve having two different beds for each time of the year, this will help your pup significantly in finding comfort.

Do They Curl Up Or Sprawl Out

Your dog’s favorite sleeping position should come to mind when finding the best dog bed for their hip dysplasia. There are dog beds created for pups of all kinds, and they try to cater to the two common sleeping positions as well. For example, if your dog likes to sprawl out and lay flat when they sleep, you may want to lean toward a flat dog bed without any cushioned edges. However, if your dog likes to curl up when they sleep, they may prefer a dog bed with raised edges.

Orthopedic Support

One of the most important things to look for in a dog bed is orthopedic support. Orthopedic dog beds offer extra support for our furry friends, especially the hips in dogs with hip dysplasia. When choosing the best bed for your dog, you should look for a bed that does not allow your dog to sink to the floor, has thick and durable padding, does not contain material that will wear down over time, and allows them to easily get out of the bed when needed. Orthopedic beds can contain memory foam, multiple layers of padding, be raised from the ground, or any other support that can benefit a dog with chronic pain.

Final Thoughts

A quality dog bed is extremely important when catering to a dog with hip dysplasia. Be sure to review the information that we discussed above, and you can better help your furry friend going forward!


The article is written by Amber LaRock, RVT on January 18, 2021.
Amber LaRock
Amber LaRock

Amber LaRock is a Licensed Vet Tech that took her career online to spread knowledge on animal health and welfare. She graduated from the Cedar Valley Veterinary Technology Program in 2015 with an A.A.S in Veterinary Technology, and became a Licensed Veterinary Technician in Texas in 2016. Amber began her career in emergency medicine and critical care, and has now been working at an emergency animal hospital for 6 years. With the experience she gained from her time working in emergency medicine, Amber has been able to spread accurate information online in all realms of pet health. If she is not at her laptop, or back home visiting family, you can find her somewhere in the world, cuddling every furry friend that she can find!



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