Calming dog beds are an absolute must for any dogs dealing with anxiety issues.
But don't be too confused by the term "calming dog bed" as these beds are perfect for all dogs who'd enjoy a comfy and secure bed.
And all of us know that our Shiba Inus love them some comfort!
What Exactly IS a Calming Dog Bed?
A calming dog bed is meant to calm down anxious dogs by making them feel secure and protected.
Calming beds are designed to be extra comfy and offer lots of cushioning. This allows your dog to really "hunker down" in the bed.
The softness is great for dogs who suffer from joint pain, since the cushioning alleviates pressure.
Calming beds are available in a wide range of styles, colors, shapes, and materials. Some have raised edges.
Common features include self-heating, bolstered sides, orthopedic mattress, and a place for burrowing. With all these things combined, your dog may feel more at ease than when out in the open.
How Do Calming Beds Work?
You may be disappointed to learn that there's no special "magic" in the way calming beds work.
No special aromatherapy.
No fancy gadgets
It's simply about design. (And sometimes, additional heat for cold climates)
However, you'd be surprised at how little design details can go a long way in offering that "extra" comfort that'll help your dog feel and sleep better.
A bed for relieving anxiety will simulate a burrow in which dogs can hide away from whatever is frightening them.
Furthermore, the addition of an orthopedic bed will help them settle down when they are achy or cold.
The bolstered edges around the bed also help to relieve pain, since your dog can rest their head against them.
This promotes better spine and neck alignment, reducing joint and muscle aches.
Understandably, it's important to choose the right sized calming bed for your dog.
Types of Calming Dog Beds
- Self-warming dog bed: Some dogs suffer from weather induced anxiety. If you have a heat-loving dog, consider getting them a calming bed with self-warming properties. They will be curled up and dreaming in no time. There is also the opposite of a self-warming bed available—ones that are raised above the ground. Raised beds let air circulate underneath, keep dogs that tend to get overheated much cooler.
- Cave-style dog beds: We have all had those moments where mummifying yourself in a blanket is the most comforting thing ever. Well, it can be the same for dogs. Cave-style beds are the answer to the blanket fort. Designed as pop-up tent or a sleeping bag, cave-style beds allow small and medium breed dogs to wiggle into a safe little hollow. Many are made with warming Sherpa, too.
- Bolster dog beds: A bed with three raised sides lets a dog lean against the bolster and rest their necks and heads. Bolstered begs are great for larger breeds or for those who love curling up against something while they sleep. While a bolstered bed may not be a substitute for your lap, it can help with anxiety for when you're not present.
- Donut dog beds: Small dogs and cats—and also Shiba inu—seem to find donut-style beds to be calming. These kinds of beds are also good for multiple dogs, such as a mom and her pups, to curl up in. Donut-style beds also have a bolstered edge circumference.
Features of Calming Dog Beds
- Waterproofing: If you are purchasing a calming bed for an aging dog, make sure that the bedding also comes with a waterproof lining. Accidents do happen as dogs get older. Waterproofing will keep the bedding dry, so your pup always has a warm, cozy, and dry place to rest.
- Machine Washable - A soft, cuddly bed is going to be so much better when you can just toss it into the washing machine after your furry friend drools or makes a mess. It’s convenient and practical.
- Odor Resistant - Another feature to keep an eye out for is anti-bacterial and anti-odor properties. Some beds will have fur linings that repel dog stink. Faux fur, for instance, will not only repel odor but will remind dogs of their mother, thereby offering a more natural and soothing experience.
- Sizing - Most beds are sized according to breed (small, medium, and large). However, a calming bed should be a size that lets your dog walk around the outside of it but maintains the cocooning effect of the bed. If you get a flatter, orthopedic calming dog bed, it should be long enough for your dog to stretch out completely but not go over the edge.
- Non-Slip Backing - You know that feeling of a rug sliding out from underneath you? Yeah, that can be startling and stressful. Don’t make your dog experience the same as they climb into bed. Any bed you purchase should have a skid-proof bottom that keeps it securely in place.
- Comfort Level - Dogs sleep almost as much as cats do—about 18 hours a day. Smaller breeds will spend about 12 hours napping. So, you want to make sure your dog is nice and comfy while counting sheep. Consider the breed, fur type, size, and any allergies or sensitivities your dog may have then choose the best calming dog bed from there.
Additional Tips To Help Calm Anxiety in Dogs
Some anxious dogs may prefer "den-like" sleeping quarters so you may want to look into indoor dog houses or crates.
The ideal crate will be large enough for your dog to stand comfortably, stretch, and lay down without touching the edges. You should also cover the top of the crate with a crate cover to give your dog additional sense of security and privacy.
Be sure to locate the "den" in area of the house where you dog feels most comfortable. Usually this is a quiet area of the house not too far from human family members.
Aromatherapy may help to calm your dog's nerves as well. Plus, it'll make the area smell great as well. Two scents in particular seem to work well at calming - chamomile and lavender.
Studies looked into those two scents and found that dogs barked less and exhibited more relaxed behaviors.
Aside from purchasing a calming dog bed and other accessories, it's best to try to get to the root of your dog's anxiety as soon as possible.
Visit your veterinarian and / or a dog behavioral specialist to help you devise a plan of action to help ease your dog's anxiety.
For more active breeds, it is also advised that you give them plenty of exercise. Even your lazy shibe needs a daily walk, otherwise they may end up feeling bored or frustrated.
That will lead to destructive behaviors, anxiety, and even depression.
Is A Calming Dog Bed Right For Your Dog?
It's highly likely that any dog would appreciate a calming bed if they are prone to separation anxiety or other nervous behaviors.
One thing pet owners should acknowledge is that a calming bed is not a cure-all.
Yes, they are meant to reduce anxiety, just like a weighted dog vest, but they are not going to treat the cause of the anxiety.
If your pet is suffering from anxiety, make sure to make a visit to your vet for proper advice and treatment options.
Often times, medications and / or behavioral modification and training is needed.
With that said, a calming bed is an excellent way to ensure that your dog is feels safe and secure during sleep.
And because sleep is just as important to dogs as it is to us humans - investing in the right type of bed is always a good idea
In short, a calming dog bed is a great addition and can be a part of your toolset in helping your anxious pup. Remember though, calming beds are not just for anxious dogs - there's no reason that all dogs won't enjoy the comfort and security of a high quality calming bed.
Two of Our Favorite Calming Bed Options
Frisco Velvet Round Bolster Dog w/Removable Cover
The Frisco Velvet Cuddler is an ultra comfy bolster bed featuring 360 degrees of secure support and soft velvety material.
It's perfect for dogs that like to curl and snuggle up in their doggy beds.
The best part is it's easy to clean with machine washable covers.
Best Friends by Sheri The Original Calming Shag Fur Donut Cuddler Cat & Dog Bed
The Original Calming Shag Fur Donut bed is a luxurious self-heat-radiating orthopedic bed is perfect for colder climates or dog's who suffer from temperature related anxiety issues.
The soft faux-shag material feels exceptionally comfortable as well as durable. This bed is also machine washable as well as dryer safe.
Extra filling gives this bed orthopedic qualities that are great for dog's joints - especially older / athletic dogs.
This Original Calming dog bed is priced a bit higher than other offerings, but the quality and features easily make up for the additional splurge.
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