Should You Use An Elevated Dog Bed? Veterinary Insight

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Elevated dog beds are becoming increasingly popular amongst dog owners for their orthopedic and temperature-regulating benefits.

Unlike traditional dog beds, an elevated dog bed raises your dog off the ground by a few inches and usually has a sturdier sleeping surface. Their advantages are appealing, especially to owners of elderly dogs, but should you use an elevated dog bed?

We’ve got everything you need to know, along with our recommendations.

Why Do Dogs Like Elevated Beds?

There are many reasons why dogs like elevated beds – mainly because they provide lots of orthopedic support and help them regulate their temperature.

Larger dog breeds, or dog breeds with long fur, tend to like elevated dog beds for these reasons

To understand why some dogs prefer elevated dog beds, it’s crucial to know the benefits that they provide.

What Are The Benefits Of Using An Elevated Dog Bed?

Elevated dog beds, sometimes called raised dog beds, offer many benefits that can improve your dog’s sleep quality and health.

We’ve included our top 5 benefits that have made buying an elevated dog bed worth the investment.

1. Elevated Dog Beds Provide Firm Support

The main reason you should consider switching to an elevated dog bed is the orthopedic support it provides to your dog. The tightly stretched mesh provides even support over your dog’s body and joints, preventing them from feeling stiff after a long sleep.

Dog beds that are super cushioned can swallow your dog up. While this might seem more comfortable, this lack of support can lead to pain and is especially problematic for dog breeds prone to joint problems such as arthritis and hip dysplasia.

An elevated dog bed is comparable to a mattress we would sleep on. Pressure is relieved on joints that would be sore if your dog was left to sleep on the floor, but support is provided to the rest of the body to keep them in a relaxed position.

2. Elevated Dog Beds Are More Difficult To Chew

One of the most common reasons we hear from owners who have changed to an elevated dog bed is that it can’t be chewed up.

It’s not uncommon for dogs to love chewing furniture, but it can be very frustrating if you’re spending a lot of money on a new bed for them, only to find it devoid of any stuffing the following day.

A chihuahua on an elevated dog bed wearing a red tie

One of the best features of an elevated dog bed is that they have no stuffing and instead provide support through a tightly stretched mesh. Most manufacturers use an extra durable mesh to deter particularly persistent chewers, meaning their bed will last significantly longer than a standard fabric bed.

3. Elevated Dog Beds Are Easier To Clean

What really sets an elevated dog bed apart from standard fabric beds is how easy they are to clean. The fabric has a habit of clinging to everything, from dog hair and dirt to pollen and grass.

Once a traditional dog bed gets covered in something, it will take a full machine wash to get it off again, and even then, the stuffing can still hold on to small particles and hairs.

This is especially troublesome for owners of dogs who suffer from allergies or dogs who seem to get themselves dirty without even trying.

Investing in an elevated dog bed can be a massive timesaver as the mesh and metal support can be wiped down with a damp cloth.

If it gets filthy, blast it with the hose and let it dry outside. The bed will be as good as new again without the effort of having to take it apart to wash its components separately thoroughly.

4. Elevated Dog Beds Keep Your Dog Cooler In Hot Weather

Do you have an extra fluffy dog that struggles in the heat? Or do you live in a climate that’s prone to hot weather?

We all know that high temperatures can make sleeping uncomfortable, and it’s no different for your dog, especially for breeds like Huskies or Malamutes that can suffer in high temperatures.

An elevated dog bed provides better air circulation around your dog as air can flow underneath them, which is usually restricted in a regular bed.

The bed is made from a breathable mesh, making it easier for your dog to lose excess heat and prevent stuffy odors from developing.

Elevated beds also insulate against the cold, especially if your dog normally sleeps on colder surfaces such as concrete or tile flooring. Keeping your dog raised off the group means they will be surrounded by room-temperature air, which will help them feel comfortable while they sleep.

5. Elevated Dog Beds Are Portable

If you love to travel with your pup and are looking for a dog bed that can be taken with you, an elevated dog bed could be your best option.

These beds can usually be disassembled easily into separate supports and foldable mesh that take up little room and are very lightweight.

This is especially handy for those of you with extra large breeds, such as the Alaskan Malamute or Great Dane, as traditional beds that are big enough for them are usually very heavy and understandably have to be very large.

An elevated dog bed’s waterproof components make it suitable for outdoor use and perfect for taking on camping trips. Its lighter weight also makes it easy to move outside for the day during nice weather if your dog likes to sleep in the sun.

Are There Any Downsides To Using An Elevated Dog Bed?

While elevated dog beds have many benefits that can improve your dog’s sleep and make your life easier as an owner, there are still some potential negatives to consider before buying.

1. Dogs With Joint Problems May Struggle To Get On

It should be clear by the name, but elevated dog beds are raised off the ground. These beds are available at various heights, each claiming to have different benefits that aid in joint support, amongst other things.

Ironically, the added height can be a problem for dogs with joint issues, as lifting themselves onto the bed can be difficult.

This is usually the case for smaller dogs who normally have to jump a little to get on, or for dogs struggling with joint problems due to obesity.

We have seen some people who have made a staircase or ramp for their dog to reach the bed easier, but in these situations, we recommend looking at dog beds made with orthopedic foam instead.

These beds provide similar support but are closer to the ground, making them more accessible.

2. Some Assembly Is Required

In most cases, some assembly is required when purchasing an elevated dog bed. The legs and support usually come separate to the mesh requiring you to screw the frame together and thread the mesh through it.

This is a lot easier than it sounds, and we mentioned it as a positive previously, as the ability to disassemble it makes the bed very good to travel with.

We do recognize, however, that not everybody will be physically capable of assembling the bed, so if you’re looking for something ready to go as soon as you buy it, then an elevated dog bed may not be for you.

You can check out some of our recommendations for alternatives to an elevated dog bed.

What Are The Best Elevated Dog Beds?

Hopefully, by now, you know whether an elevated dog bed is the right choice for your dog.

To save you from searching for one that ticks all the boxes, we’ve compiled a list of our favorites to keep your dog comfy and cool without costing a bomb.

1. The Original Elevated Pet Bed By Coolaroo

Coolaroo - The Original Cooling Elevated Dog Bed
  • Highly durable with steel frame and HDPE cover
  • Very affordable, even for largest size
  • Quick assembly
  • Replacement covers available
  • Extra-large dog breeds not covered in their recommend weight guides
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If you’re looking for durability, the Original Elevated Pet Bed by Coolaroo is one of the best.

Available in three different sizes, the bed is suitable for dogs that weigh up to 100 lbs and comes in a wide range of colors. Replacement covers are available to buy separately if necessary.

2. Cooling Elevated Pet Bed By AmazonBasics

Amazon Basics Cooling Elevated Dog Bed with Metal Frame Amazon Basics Cooling Elevated Dog Bed with Metal Frame
  • Largest size is suitable for dogs over 110lbs
  • Has a 1-year limited warranty
  • Extra breathable mesh
  • Limited color options
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It doesn’t get simpler than the Cooling Elevated Pet Bed by AmazonBasics.

The bed raises your dog by a comfortable 7 inches and has a breathable mesh bound to keep your dog cool during hot weather.

The bed is available in five sizes ranging from extra-small to extra-large, and supports dogs up to and over 110 lbs.

3. Elevated Folding Pet Bed By YEP HHO

YEP HHO Large Elevated Folding Travel Pet Bed YEP HHO Large Elevated Folding Travel Pet Bed
  • Folds up without being disassembled
  • Large size holds dogs up to and over 100lbs
  • Available in several colors
  • Very easy to clean
  • Not available in smaller sizes
  • Not as appealing to keep inside the home
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Those of you who regularly go camping with your dog should consider buying the Elevated Folding Pet Bed by YEP HHO.

This bed can be folded up in seconds and comes with a handy travel bag that makes storing it a breeze. The bed is only available in a large size but is still suitable for smaller dogs, especially if they love to sprawl out.

4. Original Bolster Elevated Pet Cot By K&H

K&H Pet Products Original Bolster Elevated Dog Bed with Removable Bolsters
  • Added bolster for neck support
  • Material is waterproof
  • Anti-skid feed on the supports
  • Largest size supports dogs to 200lbs
  • More expensive than others
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Adding a padded bolster around most of the perimeter, the Original Bolster Elevated Pet Cot provides a little extra for your dog compared to other raised dog beds.

This gives your pup somewhere to rest their head, reducing strain on their neck. The base is still made with a breathable mesh to keep them cool, and the whole bed is waterproof.

The bed is available in three sizes, with the largest supporting dogs up to 200 lbs.

In Summary

An elevated dog bed is a great idea to keep your dog cool and support their joints.

Elevated dog beds are also much more durable than your standard dog bed and are easier to keep clean, so if you have been considering buying one, you should go ahead and get one.

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About The Author

Caitlin is the owner and lead writer for The Malamute Mom. She has over 10 years of experience with Alaskan Malamutes and Huskies. She is currently working on getting her PhD in materials science but continues to write for The Malamute Mom in her spare time.

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