Special Needs Beds – Orthopedic and Hypoallergenic

Orthopedic beds and hypoallergenic beds are two types of special needs faced by many dog owners.

Orthopedic Beds
Simply defined, an orthopedic bed is one that provides firm, even, all over support. This means that the only true orthopedic beds will be made from high quality memory foam.Memory Foam Dog Bed Material

Memory foam is really the only type of material that will retain it’s shape, provides the extra support needed, and is resistant to flattening out over time. It reacts to you dog’s body weight and temperature so that it conforms perfectly to your dog’s unique curves and angles. Studies have shown that your dog makes 30% more body contact with memory foam than with other types of bedding materials.

The best orthopedic dog beds will be made of layers of medical grade memory foam, with the firmer foam (5 lb weight, the heaviest foam available) in the middle for support and the softer foam (3 or 4 lb) on top for comfort.

Orthopedic beds are the right choice for:

  • Large dogs that can flatten out normal beds
  • Dogs recovering from sickness and thus must stay in bed a lot
  • Older dogs that suffer from arthritis and other joint problems
  • Dogs that are very active
  • Dogs that are very thin

In fact, many veterinarians recommend getting orthopedic dog beds for younger pets, as getting firm and proper support can help prevent joint problems later in life.

Hypoallergenic Beds
If your dog suffers from allergies, then you’ll want a bed made from hypoallergenic materials.

The most common type of allergy is called ‘atopy’. Atopy is what’s called an environmental allergy, which means the things causing the allergic reaction – called allergens – are within the environment, specifically things such as mold, mildew, mites or pollen. Hypoallergenic materials reduce the build-up of allergens and thus reduce your dog’s allergic reactions.Hypoallergenic dog bed material

There are many different types of true hypoallergenic materials, such as:

  • 100% cotton
  • Organic buckwheat hulls
  • Recycled plastics (such as polyfill)
  • Hemp
  • Wool Fleece

However, if you have a large dog the problem with all of these materials is that they won’t provide the firm support needed by a heavier weight dog.

Consequently, if you have a larger dog with allergy symptoms, what you’re going to want is a memory foam bed that has also been treated to be hypoallergenic. Not all memory foam beds are hypoallergenic, so be sure to read the description carefully before purchasing one and ask questions if you aren’t sure.

True hypoallergenic memory foam will tend to be more expensive, but if your large dog suffers from any sort of allergies, this will be money well spent.