In a rush and just want my two recommendations? I think the Big Barker 7″ Pillow Top Orthopedic Dog Bed is a great choice if you have a large dog, or even two smaller dogs who like to cuddle up together.
My recommendation for a lower-cost, slightly smaller, but still good sized bed is the Dazy Dog Orthopedic Memory Foam Dog Bed.
Hip dysplasia is the most common orthopedic condition in medium and large breed dogs. It leads to debilitating hip osteoarthritis, lameness and pain. There are a number of ways to help your dog, if they suffer from this condition. Veterinarians agree, that one of the most important things is to make sure they have a comfortable, supportive bed to sleep in.
In this article, I’m reviewing the following dog beds for hip dysplasia.
- Dazy Dog Orthopedic Memory Foam Dog Bed
- The Dog’s Bed Orthopedic Dog Bed
- Furhaven Dog Bed
- Big Barker 7″ Pillow Top Orthopedic Dog Bed
- Laifug Orthopedic Memory Foam Dog Bed
What Is Hip Dysplasia?
This refers to lack of proper development in one, or both hip joints. Dysplasia is a genetic condition which can be affected by diet, exercise and the dog’s environment. It can also be an inherited condition, so will be present at birth. In a major study which was carried out to investigate Canine Hip Dysplasia in the United States and Canada, researchers accessed nearly a million veterinary records. They found that almost 16% of dogs suffer from hip dysplasia. In almost 70% of these dogs, both hips are affected.
The hip joint of the dog is almost identical to our own hip joint. The femur is the upper leg bone. At the top of the femur, there is a large, ball-shaped, bony lump. This fits into the cup-shaped socket of the pelvis bone. The ball of the femur glides around inside the socket when your dog walks or runs. Lots of muscles and ligaments help to keep the hip joint stable. It should be a good, snug fit, while still allowing the full range of movement.
Hip dysplasia is when the socket is too shallow, so the ball of the femur is loose. When your dog moves their leg, it puts a lot of stress and friction on the cartilage, which is the lining inside the joint. It also causes damage to the bony rim of the socket, and the edges of the ball. This leads to pain and inflammation.
What Happens If Hip Dysplasia in Dogs is Not Treated?
Over time, hip dysplasia leads to osteoarthritis because the cartilage and bone is damaged and inflamed. This doesn’t usually happen until your dog is older, and after a long history of constant damage to the joint. The word, osteoarthritis can be broken down into three parts:
- osteo refers to bone
- arthr(o) refers to a joint
- itis refers to inflammation
This condition can be extremely painful, especially if your dog is walking, running, climbing steps or jumping up into a car.
How Do I Know If My Dog Has Hip Dysplasia?
The first signs of hip dysplasia in dogs are:
- Less willingness to walk or run.
- Dog may be wobbly and not want to get up.
- Stiffness in the joint.
- Lameness in one, or both back legs.
- Grating in the joint during movement.
- Wasting or thinning of thigh muscles.
How Is Hip Dysplasia In Dogs Diagnosed?
A hip x-ray is the best method for diagnosing hip dysplasia. Your vet will also check for clinical signs such as joint laxity, pain and joint grating when put through a range of motion exercises.
Can Hip Dysplasia Be Treated?
The most appropriate treatment depends on the severity of the disease and the symptoms your hound is experiencing. There are several non-surgical options which can be successful.
Keeping your hound’s weight down is thought to be the most important, conservative therapy. An overweight dog puts a lot more mechanical stress on joints, resulting in more damage, in a shorter period of time. If your hound needs to lose a pound (or two) there are some great weight control foods available for them to try.
Dogs with arthritis benefit from as much exercise as they can do, without causing pain, stiffness and worsening joint function. Sitting around doing nothing is not a good thing for any dog. Exercise within your hound’s limits helps to keep them heart-healthy, and maintains muscle tone and joint flexibility.
Try doing two, twenty-minute walks a day, and let your dog go as fast or as slow as they want. If they tolerate that, increase it a little so they keep fit. Always let them set the pace. Off-leash is ideal, but don’t make them run, climb or jump a lot.
Typically, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) are prescribed. They help your dog with the pain, and help keep them active for longer. Most dogs will be on these drugs for the remainder of their lives.
Massage may be helpful for reducing pain, but keep an eye on your dog to make sure the rubbing is not causing them discomfort. I’ve often gently massaged my dog’s spine, from the top of their neck, right down to the base of their tail. They seem to love it and I think it’s very comforting for them. Go softly, and be led by your dog.
Specific Dog Beds
Having a supportive, comfortable bed for a dog with hip dysplasia, or arthritis, is of paramount importance. The more compression and stress there is on a diseased joint, the worse it will become, and more quickly. On top of that, your dog will be suffering. You may find that they have increasing trouble getting up from an inadequate bed.
Your vet may suggest this, if they think your dog will benefit. The type of surgery will depend on the age of your hound, the severity and type of arthritis, and the clinical examination.
In a younger dog with hip dysplasia, and no arthritis, a triple pelvic osteotomy (TPO) can be performed. This involved rotating the hip socket, so the ball fits in better.
A total hip replacement (THR) can be performed to remove the arthritic hip joint, and implant an artificial joint.
If neither of these is appropriate for your dog, a femoral head ostectomy (FHO) can be performed to remove the ball and reduce the arthritic pain.
How To Help Your Dog With Hip Dysplasia
Always talk to your vet if you think your dog has joint pain, or appears to be struggling with movement. Successful treatment can only occur if a correct diagnosis is first made. There are lots of things you can do to help your dog. The main thing is to keep their weight down, and help them to maintain mobility with appropriate exercise. Your vet can advise you on the best amount of exercise for your dog.
The best thing you can do is to buy a good bed for your dog with hip dysplasia or arthritis. Make sure your dog’s body will be supported, but comfortable. Measure your dog to make sure they can stretch out on the bed. Dogs in pain don’t like to be short of room.
I’m having an in-depth look at five beds which are specifically for dogs with hip dysplasia, or arthritis, to help you make an informed decision before you purchase one.
The Dazy comes in medium and large sizes, the large version being 45 x 35 x 7.5 inches. This smart looking bed has two layers of memory foam, plus a softer top layer for comfort.
Featuring a waterproof liner and a removable, washable outer cover, it’s pretty easy to keep this bed fresh and clean. There’s also a 12 month warranty, and the manufacturer guarantees the foam will never flatten. The base is non-slip, and I really like the foam all-round bolster for your hound’s head rest.
- Removable and washable outer cover
- Waterproof liner on internal memory foam components
- Heavy duty premium zipper
- Memory chin rest on all sides of the bed
- Multiple memory foam layers with a comfort cushion top layer on the main mattress
- Never Flat Memory Foam
- Replacement covers available
- Very comfortable
- Slightly small sizing, measure your dog accurately before buying
There are plenty of color and trim choices with these great orthopedic beds. Eight sizes in all, some come with headrests, some not. These beds are constructed from solid 2” high density, orthopedic memory foam over a solid 4” base of high stability premium support foam. That’s more than enough reinforcement for your hound.
The top layers on all these beds are a softer, plush material for comfort. The cover is removable and washable, and there’s a waterproof mattress lining. As with any bed, measure your dog and make sure they can stretch out on the bed.
- Very comfortable
- Durable foam layer
- Waterproof liner
- Headrest option
- Plenty of sizes and color options
- Waterproof liner can leak
- Some customers find cover too thin
The Furhaven is an affordable bed, which has four choices of foam quality. I’m only interested in the full-support, orthopedic option, which is a 5” thick, medical grade foam.
What is the difference between memory foam and medical grade foam?
Memory foam is a comfortable material that uses body heat to soften the surface area. Medical Grade Foam doesn’t require body heat to soften the surface, so that means comfort and relief are almost instantaneous.
This bed has a soft, faux fur cover for comfort, and I like the L-shaped bolster. It comes in four colors and five sizes, so plenty of options for your hound. Like all the other beds in my review, the cover is removable, and washable.
For a little security for you, this product comes with a 90-day limited coverage against material defects.
- L-shaped bolster
- Plenty of sizes and colors
- Foam manufactured in USA
- There are major quality issues with some beds
- Small sizing
- Foam compresses on some
If you’ve got a bigger dog, or two smaller hounds, the Big Barker may be the bed for you. The USA manufacturer uses just four materials to make the Big Barker beds.
USA foam, which has a 10 year “Can’t flatten, Won’t flatten” warranty. The foam is especially constructed to support your dog’s body, but also to be comfortable. The bed is designed to perfectly distribute and support your dog’s weight. It is used by vets to rehabilitate dogs with joint and muscle problems.
Fabric. The strong microfiber fabric is easy to clean, and looks very stylish.
Zipper. 150 inches of USA made zipper, which surrounds the bed, making it easy to take apart and clean.
Glue, which is an American made water-based latex glue, 100% safe to humans and dogs.
The bed has been clinically tested, and University of Pennsylvania study data showed less pain and more mobility after using a Big Barker for just 28 days.
It comes with a machine washable, micro-suede cover, a head-rest and plenty of room to stretch out. Recommended by vets, this orthopedic bed is comfortable and durable. If you have a labrador or bigger dog, this bed would be appropriate. Check out the bigger sizes, too.
- Easy to clean
- Water resistant
- Specialized construction for dogs with dysplasia and arthritis
- Good customer service
- Excellent quality materials
- Veterinary recommended
- Durable bed
- 10-year warranty on foam
- Higher price point
The Laifug bed is made from orthopedic memory foam, which is purported to retain at least 90% of its shape & support for the next 3 years. The foam all-round bolster provides good head and neck support.
Standard features include waterproof liner and removable, washable, soft faux suede cover. Durable and comfortable, this bed is an affordable option which is roomy for stretching out.
Good customer service is available if there are any issues.
- All-round bolster
- Easy to clean
- Good customer care
- Most dogs love the bed
- Generous size
- Some customers find the foam a little firm
- Waterproof liner a little noisy
All these beds have some great features. I think manufacturers are starting to really take notice of what dog owners expect and demand for their hounds. As far as buying the best dog bed for hip dysplasia, I have to recommend two products for you this time.
The first, and supreme winner for me is the Big Barker 7″ Pillow Top Orthopedic Dog Bed. If you have the budget for this, it’s worth every penny. The company knows their dog beds, and veterinarians recommend the Big Barker, for dogs with joint and muscle problems. The reason that there are no small sized Big Barker beds is because hip dysplasia is generally a big dog health problem.
My second, and more economical recommendation is the Dazy Dog Orthopedic Memory Foam Dog Bed. This is a really good bed for those hounds who don’t require such a big sized bed. The Dazy Dog is a more affordable option. You are still going to get a supportive and comfortable bed, with a 1-year guarantee on the foam quality. It’s well constructed, roomy, and has the all-round bolster that dogs love.