Do Large Breed Older Dogs Need Orthopedic Pet Beds?

We are a publicly-supported 501C3 nonprofit. Your purchase through links on our site supports our mission. Learn more.

Large breed dogs such as mastiff, great dane or other big dogs have special needs and health issues that other smaller breeds don’t have. As these dogs age, these health issues can become much worse. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, a large breed dog is considered a senior at age 5 or 6 years of age. 

Because these dogs carry massive amounts of weight, many of these dogs endure a lot of strain on their skeletal system, muscles, joints and ligaments – making them more prone to health issues in these areas. The keys to health and longevity of large breed dogs is proper nutrition, good quality dog food, low impact exercise to protect the joints, and good quality bedding that is large enough to accommodate their large frame. 

Your local veterinarian is your best source of information for caring for a large breed dog, especially an older dog, especially when it comes to their nutritional needs and exercise. Typically, most vets recommend low impact exercise for large breed dogs, like walking or swimming. Running tends to be harder on the joints and can wear down their joints faster, so minimizing running is typically recommended. 

Large breed dogs, especially older dogs, tend to sleep around 18 hours per day on average, meaning they are laying down most of the day. If your dog is not getting healthy REM sleep, his body will tire more quickly and he will experience more stress throughout the day. 

It is very important to find a dog bed that will provide proper support for hips, joints and bones to protect them from common illnesses like hip dysplasia, arthritis, and a host of other joint and skeletal issues. If your older large breed dog is slowing down, and resting more than usual, it may be time to consider a quality dog bed that provides the support they need. A good, quality dog bed will give your older dog more energy and better quality of life, especially if their quality of sleep is better. 

A therapeutic large breed dog bed will help soothe and reduce symptoms of canine ailments endemic to big dogs. A quality dog bed can reduce these symptoms through better circulation, proper support and a more restful and deep sleep. Dog beds that crumple and cave in don’t allow for optimum circulation due to uneven support. Uneven support can even cut off blood flow to certain areas of a dog’s body. 

Good circulation and blood flow is the key to good health, but also key to assisting the body in repairing injured or sore areas. A supportive and comfortable dog bed can alleviate the pain and symptoms of arthritis and other ailments. 

A good therapeutic bed will allow your dog to rest and sleep more soundly, which will help promote better longevity as well as joint, hip and overall health. 

A proper dog bed will not only optimize circulation, but it will also cushion and take stress off joints and hips. A true therapeutic dog bed will evenly support and cushion these problem areas of older big dogs. 

Memory foam is the leading foam for dog beds. It is also known as visco elastic foam or some variation of that foam. However, dog beds that are 100% memory foam are not ideal because they lack a supportive base to provide optimal benefits. When selecting a large breed dog bed, look for a dog bed that has memory foam but also a supportive foam base. 

Here are some other features to look for in an orthopedic dog bed.

  • CertiPUR-US Certified Foam
  • Foam is free of PBDEs, TDCPP or TCEP (“Tris”) flame retardants, mercury, lead, heavy metals, formaldehyde, phthalates, CFC’s.
  • Non-Hazardous Foam
  • Foam Designed For Large Breed Dog Beds
  • No-Flat Guarantee
  • Non-Toxic, Hypoallergenic Materials
  • Heavy Duty Zipper With Cover To Prevent Chewing

To learn more about orthopedic pet bedding, visit our listing on dog bedding brands. 

We do not endorse or promote any products or companies. You should always consult your vet to determine what is most appropriate for your senior pet.

About Us

The Elderly Pet Organization is a 501C3 non profit organization whose mission is to provide information and education about senior pets. Our goal is to end senior pet abandonment and premature euthanization, while increasing senior pet adoptions throughout the US. We accept donations of unwanted items, as well as cash donations to help us with our cause. Read more about us.

Featured Article

Pet Insurance Facts

Featured Sponsors

Popular Articles

Top Reasons to Adopt a Senior Pet


Why a Flat Plate is Better for Finicky Senior Pets


How a Pet Stroller May Help Your Senior Dog or Cat