Things to Look for in a Calming Dog Bed
We’ll go over some of the most important features to keep in mind when looking for a calming dog bed:
Correct Size for Your Dog
Getting a bed that is the right size for your pup ensures they’re able to stretch out fully and feel comfortable. However, for an anxious dog it’s crucial the bed isn’t too big. It should be just the right size so they can snuggle up and have that calming feeling of being slightly enclosed.
A bed made from high-quality materials is likely to be more durable, to last longer, and ensure your dog gets the best quality overall.
The shape of the bed will affect how calming it is. Flat, open-sided beds don’t give much of a sense of protection. Beds that are great for calming will have raised sides with a lower middle to help your dog feel enclosed, such as bolster beds and donut beds.
Some calming beds will have a cave or den-like shape so that your pup has their own little enclosed, safe space.
Material Type and Texture
Materials that are soft and fluffy tend to be most effective for calming, as they help your dog to feel comfortable and relaxed. You should also look for supportive, comfortable bases. Some beds will come with fluffy cushioning for your pup to sink into, while others will feature orthopedic mattresses.
Orthopedic mattresses provide extra support for your dog’s joints, which is great for older dogs or those with joint issues. They shape around your dog’s body to help them feel more secure, often aiding in relaxation. Some beds will have an insulating layer which makes the bed self-warming: this feature can really aid with calming.
Ease of Cleaning
Dogs are prone to making messes and of course, most dogs shed leaving their hair all over their bed. Anxious dogs can be more likely to have accidents. Therefore, choosing a bed that is easy to clean makes your life easier and keeps things more hygienic.
Common Signs Of Anxiety in a Dog
Just like anxiety in humans, there are a wide range of causes and types of anxiety for dogs. This means that the symptoms will differ depending on the dog’s individual circumstances. However, there are some common symptoms an anxious dog might display which are included below:
- Panting excessively
- Pacing around or appearing restless
- Vocalizing: barking, howling, and whining
- Shaking or trembling
- Having their ears back and their tail tucked in
- Destructive behavior: chewing, digging, and destroying items in the home
- Going to the toilet in the home
- Trying to hide under things or sitting/lying curled up in a corner
- Lack of appetite
- Trying to escape their environment
- Excessively licking themselves, their owners, or items in the environment
It’s important to note that these can be symptoms of other health or behavioral issues. If you are unsure or your dog is suddenly displaying a number of these behaviors, it’s always best to get them checked by a vet.
How a Calming Dog Bed Can Help With Your Dog’s Anxiety
Calming beds can help your dog to feel safer and more relaxed. Your dog’s ancestors would naturally seek out a den to rest in, so beds that create an enclosed den-like or nest-like feeling can be very settling for a dog. Soft materials can also help them to feel more comfortable and soothe their anxiety.
Self-warming beds can help to calm your dog’s nervous system and make them feel at ease. Orthopedic mattresses shape around your dog to relieve joint pressure, as well as making them feel more secure, so they’re likely to have a more restful sleep.
Essentially, a calming dog bed creates a space in the home that your dog feels is safe and comforting. They can retreat to this safe space when they feel anxious, allowing them to self-soothe. As an added bonus, when your dog is sleeping more restfully their brain and body have time to rest from their anxiety, so they’ll wake up feeling refreshed and less stressed!
Other Ways to Calm An Anxious Dog
While a calming bed can be a fantastic way to help your dog feel more at ease, it isn’t a magic solution to your dog’s anxiety. Fundamentally, you need to get to the root of the problem to figure out what’s causing your dog’s anxiety and work on training to overcome the issue. If you are unsure how to do this, contacting a vet, a professional dog behaviorist or a dog trainer will be best.
Aside from calming beds, there are lots of other ways you can help your dog to deal with their anxiety:
Exercise: Exercise helps to release your dog’s excess energy in a healthy way, making them feel more settled and helping them to sleep better. Like humans, when a dog exercises, ‘feel-good’ hormones are released which makes them feel calmer and happier.
Creating a safe space: A calming bed is a big part of creating a safe space. Some dogs also benefit from crate-training or having a pen, so that they have an area of the home that is theirs. They can retreat to this safe space when they need some quiet time.
Calming music: Some dogs benefit from calming music, particularly when their owners aren’t home.
Mental stimulation and distraction: Providing your dog with long-lasting treats, chews, toys, and puzzle games helps to keep their mind engaged in a healthy way. This can distract them from their anxiety and focus their attention on something more positive.
Physical contact: Most dogs love cuddling with their owners, but did you know the physical contact is also really calming for them? Some dogs even benefit from a doggy massage to promote relaxation.
Calming supplements: Some owners find all-natural, calming supplements are beneficial for their dogs.
Calming blankets: Calming blankets tend to be slightly weighted to provide pressure, making your dog feel like they’re getting a cuddle and helping them to feel calmer. Some blankets may be heated to promote that sense of calm.
Calming jacket: Calming jackets are fitted tightly to your dog’s body and work in a similar way to swaddling a baby. The gentle pressure calms their nervous system and often helps dogs to feel more at ease.
Calming Dog Bed FAQ
Do calming dog beds really work?
Yes, the right bed can really help to soothe your anxious dog and improve their sleep quality.
Anxiety in dogs is common but the right training paired with a snuggly, calming bed can help your precious pup to feel more at ease again. Before you know it, they’ll be fast asleep and dreaming of chasing squirrels!