It’s a sad fact of life, but almost every dog gets old sooner or later, and with old age often comes arthritis. It’s certainly not fun to watch your best friend struggle to get up or go down stairs, and it can be heartbreaking when they reach a point that they can no longer jump up on your bed.
That doesn’t mean you can’t keep them comfortable, though. By buying a special bed that offers plenty of cushion and support, you can help your dog stay spry and energetic well into their golden years.
You just have to find the right one, and these reviews will help you do just that.
A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites
|Best Overall||BarksBar Snuggly Sleeper Orthopedic Bolster Dog Bed||
|Best Value||Best Friends by Sheri Calming Donut Cuddler Dog Bed||
|Premium Choice||Big Barker Pillow Top Orthopedic Dog Bed||
|Barkbox Memory Foam Dog Bed||
|Frisco Orthopedic Pillow Dog Bed||
The 10 Best Dog Bed for Dogs With Arthritis — Reviews 2022
1. BarksBar Snuggly Sleeper Orthopedic Bolster Dog Bed — Best OverallBarksBar Snuggly Sleeper
The bed has high sides, ensuring that your pooch won’t roll off at an inopportune moment, potentially causing more damage to their body. The rim is padded with cotton, so if your dog rests their head on it, they’ll get plenty of cushy support.
The bottom has a rubber backing that keeps it in place on hardwood floors or tile, so it won’t slide when your dog steps in it.
The cover is machine washable as well, reducing the amount of dog hair that you’ll see piled up on it. However, putting the cover back on over the foam is a huge hassle, so you may not be inclined to wash it too often.
Any dog that is starting to get creaky in their old age will be lucky to have the BarksBar Snuggly Sleeper. It’s not perfect, but it’s about as close as a dog bed is likely to come.
2. Best Friends by Sheri Calming Donut Cuddler Dog Bed — Best Value
Nothing is more helpful for rejuvenating aching joints than a good night’s sleep, and the Best Friends by Sheri Calming Donut Cuddler will help your dog get plenty of z’s.
The cushion allows your dog to sink deeply into comfort, but it’s not all give — there’s a firm edge that bolsters their head and neck, keeping them steady. The fur cover also helps keep them warm, and heat is good for joint pain.
If your dog is having trouble with incontinence related to their joint pain, the water-resistant bottom will make it easy to clean up any accidents.
Best of all, though, this is a budget-friendly bed. As best we can tell, it’s the best dog bed for dogs with arthritis for the money.
That’s not to say that it’s without its flaws, though. It’s not the most durable option, so if your dog is a heavy chewer, they might make short work of it. It’s also prone to sliding on tile or wood floors.
If you want to give your pup plenty of comfort without spending plenty of money to do it, the Best Friends by Sheri Calming Donut Cuddler is the way to go.
3. Big Barker Pillow Top Orthopedic Dog Bed — Premium Choice
If your dog’s comfort is the most important thing to you — and you’re willing to put your money where their arthritic joints are — then the Big Barker should be your first choice.
This is a pricey option, there’s no way around it. You get plenty of bed for your buck, though, as it’s designed for large breeds. Smaller dogs will enjoy having plenty of room to stretch out too.
The microsuede cover is both comfy and classy, so you won’t have to worry about putting this away when company comes over. It comes with a 10-year warranty, along with guarantees that it won’t flatten over time.
The cover isn’t impervious to rips and tears, though, so if your dog’s a digger, you might want to find another option or put a different cover over the microsuede.
There are three layers of foam — not counting the contoured foam on the pillow — each of which is designed to take weight off your dog’s painful back and hips.
It’s certainly not cheap but the Big Barker is worth every penny.
4. Barkbox Memory Foam Dog Bed
The Barkbox Memory Foam doesn’t look like much, as it’s just a flat slab without any sides or contours whatsoever. However, it’s much more comfortable than it looks, as it’s made with therapeutic memory gel.
It comes in a wide variety of sizes, so regardless of whether you have a Chihuahua or a Great Dane, you can find one that suits them.
It’s water-resistant in case of accidents, but it can be machine-washed if needed. The zipper isn’t that high-quality, though, so you may have issues putting the cover back on.
The bed is 3” tall, which gets your dog well off the floor without making it difficult for them to climb on. It’s only available in gray, but that helps it blend in with most décor while also hiding hair well.
The Barkbox Memory Foam is a no-frills option, to be sure, but that doesn’t mean that it’s not great for your pup. The company also has a subscription service.
5. Frisco Orthopedic Pillow Dog Bed
Like the Barkbox Memory Foam, the Frisco Orthopedic is a large slab, although it has a comfy sherpa fleece topper that makes it attractive to pups.
Available in two neutral colors, its rectangular design makes it easy to fit just about anywhere in your home. It also works well in crates.
The materials aren’t waterproof, unfortunately, but the cover can be removed and machine-washed if needed. The egg carton foam offers plenty of support, but it can also create an uneven surface that may be difficult for some dogs to navigate.
The cover is fairly thin, so if your dog likes to dig in their bed before laying down, don’t expect this to last long.
The Frisco Orthopedic may be a good-but-not-great option, but it’s certainly better than curling up on the cold, hard floor.
6. PetFusion Ultimate Orthopedic Dog BedPetFusion Ultimate
The base is filled with a slab of 4” memory foam, so your dog has plenty of room to sink before they hit the ground. It also has a plush railing around the sides and back to prevent your pooch from rolling off mid-snooze.
The foam is truly top-notch, as it’s dense but forgiving, offering your dog both padding and support.
Dogs with skin allergies should appreciate it as well, as you won’t find any unsavory ingredients like formaldehyde, lead, or even phthalates in its construction. It’s unlikely to cause skin irritation.
The bed isn’t without its shortcomings, though. It’s extremely noisy when the dog shifts around, making it a poor fit for your bedroom. The zippers aren’t great either, and it’s not waterproof in the least.
All in all, the PetFusion Ultimate has serious selling points, but its flaws require serious consideration too.
7. Friends Forever Orthopedic Dog Bed
Available in four different colors, the Friends Forever Orthopedic is stuffed with poly-fill, which should give your dog plenty of cushion to relax on.
The thick bolster helps keep your dog supported, but it takes up a huge amount of real estate as well, which could cause some dogs to feel cramped.
The cover has a non-skid bottom and is fur-resistant, so it should stay in place without being coated in hair.
It has a noxious odor out of the box, though, and it will take some time for it to clear. The foam also loses its supportiveness over time, and while it claims to be machine-washable, don’t be surprised if it falls apart after a trip through the spin cycle.
The Friends Forever Orthopedic is a supportive option — for a while, at least. If you want something more durable, though, you might want to go with a different model.
8. Dogbed4less Memory Foam Dog Bed
The Dogbed4Less Memory Foam is great for dogs that tend to get overheated, as the gel-infused foam does a fantastic job of regulating temperature.
This makes it an excellent choice for outdoor use, especially in hotter climates.
The faux microsuede cover is supposed to be waterproof, and it is —until you wash it. Then it becomes permeable, allowing all sorts of liquid through. Putting it back on after you take it off is a chore as well.
The bed tends to trap odors, which is a problem when it can’t be washed. The foam is also extremely soft, which causes some dogs to sink so far into it that they may not be able to get up easily.
The Dogbed4less Memory Foam is a good bed, but it might be better suited for dogs that haven’t become arthritic yet.
9. The Dog’s Balls Bed Orthopedic Dog Bed
The Dog’s Balls Bed is an inexpensive option that may be able to help your dog feel a bit better. There are 12 different color combinations to choose from, each of which is both attractive and machine-washable.
It tends to be cramped, though, so your dog will need to fold themselves up to fit on it. It’s not waterproof at all, and the material is both stiff and noisy.
The biggest issue, though, is the fact that the foam is thin. It’s little better than sleeping on a blanket, so your dog won’t get much support from it. Also, you have to let it expand after taking it out of the package, and it often expands unevenly.
That said, this may be all your dog needs if their arthritis isn’t that advanced. For dogs with more advanced issues, however, The Dog’s Balls Bed may not be enough to assuage their pain.
10. Happy Hounds Oscar Orthopedic Dog BedHappy Hounds Oscar
Once both sides have become dirty, cleaning it is an absolute pain. It’s machine-washable, but you might need to wash it several times to make a difference. Also, putting the cover back on can be a hassle.
The foam isn’t that supportive, and larger dogs will sink all the way to the floor. The seams also aren’t the most durable, so if your dog likes to reposition themselves often, they’ll give way sooner or later. It loses its thickness over time, so it will pancake after a few months.
The Happy Hounds Oscar isn’t the best bed that we’ve found for arthritic dogs, but it’s better than most regular beds for keeping your dog pain-free.
When it comes to buying a bed for your painfully arthritic dog, you want to get things right the first time. For one thing, you don’t want your best friend to have to suffer any more than is absolutely necessary, and for another, these things can be expensive.
With that in mind, we put together a brief guide to help you figure out which option will be best for your particular pooch.
How Can a Good Bed Help My Dog’s Arthritis?
The basic idea is that the foam or other bedding material offers gentle support to your dog’s weight, putting less stress on their aching joints. This is especially beneficial to larger dogs (which are more likely to suffer from arthritis or hip dysplasia, anyway), but it can be useful for dogs of all sizes.
The beds are also much more forgiving than the ground, so your pup is less likely to have aches and pains when they wake up from a long nap.
It’s important to understand, though, that a dog bed — even a really good dog bed — can only do so much. Don’t expect miracles, as the bed won’t “cure” any of your dog’s conditions.
However, giving your dog a high-quality bed is definitely preferable to forcing them to sleep in uncomfortable conditions, so you’ll likely feel that a good dog bed is worth every penny that you paid for it.
What Is the Best Material for a Dog Bed for Arthritic Pups?
We recommend one with a foam pad; memory foam is popular, but it’s not the only worthwhile choice. Any sort of foam will do, as long as it’s both cushy and supportive.
The idea is to have enough foam to provide plenty of cushion when your dog lays down, as you don’t want them resting their aching joints on your cold, hard floor. However, too much cushion — or cushioning that’s so soft, your dog sinks deeply into it — can be bad too because it can make it difficult for your pup to get back up once they’ve laid down.
The thickness is important as well. Some beds are so thin that regardless of how well the foam performs, your dog won’t get the support that they need. On the other hand, some foam slabs are so thick that it can be difficult for your dog to climb onto them, especially if they’re a smaller breed.
Another option that’s worth considering is a gel pad. These can keep your dog cool in the summer and warm in the winter, which could help their pain levels if they get more arthritic in certain climates.
What About the Cover?
You’ll find all sorts of material types used to cover dog beds. The type of material isn’t necessarily all that important, so long as it fulfills a few important duties.
The most important thing is that the fabric is durable, especially if your dog is rough on their bedding. Now, no material will stand up to a power chewer that’s been given the opportunity to really go to town on their bed, but you don’t want a material so thin that the slightest misstep can send a claw through it.
Not only does strong material extend the life of the bed, but it also prevents your dog from getting to the actual bedding underneath. Virtually every type of bedding material can be dangerous for dogs if they ingest it, as it can cause a life-threatening blockage inside their digestive tract.
You may have to take the bed away from your dog if they continue to gnaw on it, or you may just need to replace the cover if you notice it becoming worn.
Beyond that, ease of cleaning is an important factor to think about. Most covers are machine-washable, but some can be a gigantic pain to put back on the bed (think about putting a queen-sized fitted sheet on a king-sized bed). You may want to choose one that hides hair well, so you don’t have to clean it as often.
Of course, loose fur isn’t the only mess that you need to worry about. A waterproof cover is also important, especially if your dog is suffering from incontinence. You don’t want their pee soaking into the bedding materials, so look for an outer material that repels liquids.
What Other Features Should I Think About?
Dog beds have a surprising number of bells and whistles, and some are definitely worth considering.
Certain beds have a heating feature, which an older dog with joint pain might appreciate. The warmth can help reduce pain, but you’ll have to be extra careful not to let your dog chew up a heated bed, as that could end with them getting electrocuted.
On the other hand, elevated beds can help keep your dog cool by allowing air to circulate underneath them. These can also be helpful for keeping your dog warm in the winter months if they’re kept outside, as it puts space between them and the cold ground. Just be aware that an elevated bed might be harder for your dog to get in and out of.
Many beds have a thick border, or bolster, that runs around their edges, like the back of a couch. This isn’t just for decoration, as the bolster can keep them from accidentally rolling out of bed and injuring themselves. The bolster will usually cut down on the amount of available space that they have to stretch out, though.
You should also check the bottom of the bed to see if it has any anti-skid materials on it, especially if the bed will be kept on a surface like tile or hardwood. You don’t want the bed to slip out from underneath your dog when they step on it, as that could cause a serious injury.
What Else Can I Do to Help My Dog’s Arthritis?
This is more of a question for your vet, and you should definitely ask them, as they’ll have more insight into your dog’s specific issues. They may also be able to prescribe painkillers or anti-inflammatories that could help.
They may recommend certain forms of physical therapy, such as laser treatments or having your dog walk on a water treadmill. These can help build up the musculature and improve flexibility in the joints. A massage might also be recommended.
Most of the time, losing weight can help, as that reduces the overall load that the joints are expected to carry. Ideally, your dog should be lean and trim well before the arthritis sets in; if they are, the arthritis might not show up at all. Certain supplements, such as glucosamine or omega fatty acids, might also help.
Unfortunately, though, in most cases, arthritis isn’t a problem that you can solve. All you can do is try to keep your dog comfortable and do what you can to see that the issue doesn’t get any worse.
If you want a bed that will keep your dog as comfy as possible, you can’t go wrong with the BarksBar Snuggly Sleeper. Made with human-grade orthopedic foam, it will be just as cushy and supportive as your bed — maybe even more so.
On the other hand, if you’re looking for a quality option that won’t break the bank, consider the Best Friends by Sheri Calming Donut Cuddler. It’s wonderfully soft with just the right amount of firmness, and it will even help keep your dog warm.
Watching your dog start to get old and creaky isn’t fun, but fortunately, you can make them as comfortable as possible with a good dog bed. The options in these reviews are all great for helping senior dogs stay mobile and active, ensuring that you get as many good years with your pup as you can.
Featured Image Credit: Happy Hounds, Amazon