If your beautiful fur baby is getting up there in years and you haven’t switched out their bed since they were a puppy, it might be time. Senior dogs have different needs than young pups. So, we’ve put together this comprehensive guide to the best dog beds for older dogs.
We’re covering signals that your dog has hit their senior years. Plus, we’re answering some of the most common questions about top picks for beds for older dogs, including special considerations for large senior dogs.
1. Serta Cuddler – Best for Small to Medium-Sized Dogs
What We Like:
- Serta iComfort mattress with pressure-relieving orthopedic foam
- Surrounding bolsters for neck support
- One of the sturdiest cuddlers in the market
- Sizes: 22” x 28” * 34” x 24” * 39” x 27”
- Machine Washable: The cover is removable and machine washable
- Warranty: 14-day return policy and extended warranty of defects
- Shipping: Free shipping through Chewy and a limited number of retailers
Yes, the Serta sleeper lets sleeping dogs lie comfortably, too. With the Serta cuddler, your senior dog will get the best of both worlds. This bed features a supportive multi-layered mattress with pillowtop and sturdy surrounding bolsters that don’t sag or droop.
The removable covers come in a variety of colors. You can also purchase replacements out of necessity or to change up the look. Some Serta retailers feature custom prints like Buffalo check.
Bottom Line – The Serta cuddler is an excellent choice for medium-sized dogs. We wouldn’t recommend it for larger breeds like German Shepherds or Labrador Retrievers as the sizes are limited. After reviewing some customer comments, we noticed that bulldogs seem to be the ideal breed for this model. Bulldog parents give Serta two thumbs up!
2. Coolaroo Elevated Bed – Best for Incontinent Dogs
What We Like:
- Ideal bed for large dogs up to 150 lbs
- Easy to clean
- Sizes: 21.5” x 25” * 25.5” x 35” * 31.5” x 43.5” * 52” x 37”
- Machine Washable: No – vacuum or use a hose to clean when needed
- Warranty: One-year fabric warranty
- Shipping: Shipping calculated at checkout
The Coolaroo elevated dog bed provides 8” of elevation for senior dogs who have difficulty getting on and off the floor. It’s constructed with fade-resistant canvas stretched over a powder-coated steel frame, resembling a camp cot.
This option comes in Small to X-Large and addresses a few common issues with older dogs. The height is easier on the joints, especially for large senior dogs, and tiny holes in the fabric provide cooling properties. It’s flea, mite, and mold resistant, and if you have an incontinent pup, you can easily hose this bed off to keep it clean.
Bottom Line – Coolaroo is one of the most affordable dog beds for elderly dogs and is designated for inside or outside use. The cot is super lightweight, so it’s easy to take outside to hose it off, even daily, if needed.
3. K & H Self-Warming Elevated Dog Bed – Best for Medium to Large Breeds Who Run Cold
What We Like:
- 7” elevation
- Metalized plastic provides warmth without electricity
- Holds up to 150 lbs.
- Sizes: 32” x 25” * 42” x 30”
- Machine Washable: Fleece mat is machine washable
- Warranty: Not listed
- Shipping: Free shipping through Chewy
The K & H self-warming elevated dog bed takes the simple Coolaroo model to the next level with a removable fleece cover and a layer of metalized plastic. It’s the same type of material used in space blankets. So, your older dog will sleep warm without electricity.
Like the Coolaroo option, the base can be vacuumed and hosed off to keep clean. The fleece mat in the middle is machine washable.
Bottom Line – The self-warming elevated bed is ideal for older dogs with hip dysplasia, joint problems, or arthritis with its 7” supportive height. Plus, short-haired breeds or older dogs who start to run cold at night will appreciate the self-warming, fleece-covered mat.
4. FurHaven Goliath – Orthopedic Support for Jumbo Dogs
What We Like:
- Sized up to 5” long
- 7” high, supporting up to 300 lbs.
- Bolster on one end for neck support
- Sizes: 48” x 30” * 52” x 36” * 60” x 48”
- Machine Washable: Yes – the cover is machine washable
- Warranty: 60-day worry-free warranty
- Shipping: Variable
The FurHaven Goliath is a giant orthopedic mattress with a bolster on one end, resembling a human bed with pillows. It’s only offered in sizes 2X to 4X, so smaller senior dogs will have plenty of room to roll around (and around and around!).
We recommend this particular bed for older dogs as a luxury option with its quilted faux fur and velvet cover. It accommodates giant breeds like Great Danes and English Mastiffs and has a 7” rise similar to the elevated cot-style models.
Bottom Line – FurHaven’s Goliath provides both height and support with an orthopedic mattress. It’s an incredibly comfortable and supportive bed, ideal for all older dogs except those with incontinence.
How do I know when my dog is considered a senior?
We’ve been discussing the best beds for older dogs and why they have special needs. But it’s easy to miss when your fur baby transitions into a new stage of life as you’re with them every day. Your veterinarian will keep you on track. But you can also combine a simple formula with signs that you’ve noticed.
Experts note the following averages for doggos to claim senior citizen benefits:
- Large dogs: 6-7 years
- Medium dogs: 8-9 years
- Smaller dogs: 10-11 years
While larger dogs tend to age faster than smaller breeds, that’s not a hard and fast rule. So, keep an eye on their appearance and behavior. Some signs include sleep or weight change, white hair on the muzzle, and hearing problems. You might also notice that their eyes become more opaque over time.
What makes a dog bed the best for older dogs?
Older dogs have different needs, similar or puppies. It’s not a one size fits all scenario. But the best beds for older dogs address needs like difficulty getting on and off the floor, running colder than usual, joint and neck discomfort, and incontinence.
Do you have a recommendation for elderly dogs with incontinence?
It’s challenging to keep up with an aging dog who has more than the occasional accident. And, if your fur baby is used to sleeping on a cushiony bed that’s not waterproof, you’ve got to make a change. We recommend a simple elevated cot-style bed. Coolaroo and Kuranda have top-notch selections, but many other brands offer similar models.
These types of pet beds are particularly beneficial to larger senior dogs with joint problems as they don’t have to go all the way down to the floor. And, they also clean up much easier than mattress-style dog beds. If you use a protective pad on the top, that should do the trick. But, hose off a cot-style bed, and it’s good as new.
Why do I have to buy a bed specifically for older dogs?
You don’t necessarily have to purchase a new bed for older dogs. It depends on your situation. A pooch who develops arthritis will benefit from orthopedic mattresses and bolsters. Others might find it painful to lay down and could use a sleeping area off the ground. When accidents happen more frequently, you might want to switch to a simple elevated cot-style bed that cleans easily.
Do beds for senior dogs cost more than others?
Buying the best beds for older dogs doesn’t have to cost more, as they aren’t labeled as such. You’re not shopping in a senior dog store. Instead, you’re just narrowing the field to find the features that are perfect for your aging pup’s needs, like orthopedic support.
Tips for Buying the Best Bed for Older Dogs
Put together a wish list – Before you hit the stores or your computer, figure out everything you need for your dog’s situation. You might need a combination of things like elevation and orthopedic support, or you’re looking for a self-warming model that’s also calming. With thousands of options in the wide, wonderful world of pet products, you’re sure to find everything on your wish list.
Consider clean-up – Buying a bed for a senior pup isn’t as straightforward as looking for a stylish one. Dogs change as they age, just like humans, and they’re not as neat and tidy. You might have more shedding to contend with or the occasional accident in the middle of the night.
Don’t feel budget-restricted – While some top-of-the-line pet bed options can run a few hundred or so, you don’t have to spend that much. Simple elevated-type options that are perfect for large senior dogs are some of the most affordable. And, you can also put together a winning combination that’ll save you some money. For example, use blankets instead of a self-warming bed or buy a waterproof protective cover for an inexpensive mattress-style option.
Height matters – You might not notice, but it can be painful for some aging pooches to get up and down from the floor. Keep that in mind when you’re on the hunt for the best bed for older dogs, as elevated models are great. But, you can find other models with a generous height. For example, FurHaven’s orthopedic-style pet beds feature mattresses up to 9” high.