The average adult dog spends a large percentage of his day sleeping. As your dog becomes a senior, he'll sleep even longer and more deeply. Considering how much time your dog spends napping, it's important that his sleeping conditions are always comfortable, warm and cozy.
If you haven't done so already, it might be a good time to re-evaluate your dog's bed and sleeping area to make sure they are as comfortable as they can be.
Here are a few tips to help you get started:
- Keep your dog's bed away from drafts. Cold drafts or damp air can aggravate arthritis or painful joints. What's more, an older dog's coat tends to get thinner with age, and slower circulation can make him feel the cold more. Make sure that your dog's sleeping area is located in a warm part of your home. To make your dog's bed extra warm and cozy, add a fleecy blanket. The bed should also have raised edging—if he is able to navigate this—to protect him from drafts and chills.
- Make sure your dog's bed is easy to access. Keep your dog's bed in a room that he can get to easily, without having to climb stairs. If your dog enjoys curling up at the foot of your bed, make it easier for him to get there by setting up a small ramp or steps at the side of the bed.
- Provide lots of padding. Ensuring that your dog's bed has plenty of soft padding will provide much-needed support for his bones and joints. If your dog is arthritic or has special needs, an orthopedic bed reduces the pressure on your dog's joints and provides added comfort and warmth. Making your dog's bed more comfortable will go a long way in helping to prevent and manage arthritis pain.
Keep your dog's bed in the same spot. Your older dog doesn't like to have his routine disrupted. Not only that, but his vision isn't as sharp as it used to be, so he depends on things being in the same place to get around. If you move his bed (or other furniture for that matter) around too often, it can leave him feeling disoriented and anxious. If your dog spends a lot of time in more than one room, consider having a couple of beds or even just a pile of soft blankets so your dog can rest comfortably no matter where he is.