How To Get Your Dog To Use Its Orthopedic Dog Bed
Before we get into the details of how to get your dog to use its own bed, you might find this information about orthopedic dog beds useful if you have not purchased one for your dog yet. You will see that there are different types of bed and they all provide different benefits.
If you already have a bed for your dog then you need to ask yourself whether your dog gets a good sleep on this bed. If when getting up from the bed your dog slowly rises and appears to be sore and stiff then you need to upgrade their bed. If your dog sleeps on the floor then a luxury dog bed is also a good idea.
Why An Orthopedic Dog Bed?
So what is an orthopedic dog bed? Well it is a well made bed that will support the weight of your dog. If your current dog bed, or one that you are thinking of buying, flattens to the floor when you push it then this is not providing orthopedic support for your dog.
If you have an older dog that is suffering from arthritis or hip dysplasia then a good quality orthopedic bed will help them to sleep better. Without this, the joint pains can really stop them from getting a good sleep.
But orthopedic beds are not just for older dogs. You should treat your dog, whatever age, to a good night’s rest with a bed that fully supports them. This applies to puppies and dogs of all ages. Go here for a review of the best dog orthopedic beds.
Orthopedic beds have different kinds of inner foam in them and if you don’t know which one to go for then you can ask your vet for advice. There are even heated orthopedic dog beds available which can be considered truly luxury dog beds.
The types of foam you are likely to encounter are “memory foam” which actually contours to your dog’s body shape and it can also respond when the temperature changes due to the insulating material that is used.
Then there is “egg crate foam”, so called because it has a textured surface and looks like an egg crate. This is designed to keep your dog warmer in winter and cooler in summer but it is thinner than memory foam.
You can also purchase an air filled orthopedic bed and this is both lightweight and waterproof. If you travel a lot with your dog it can be a good choice. There are special orthopedic dog beds for puppies too.
You need to take into consideration the size of your dog when buying a bed. It is a good idea to measure your dog with their 4 legs extended. With a smaller dog add on another 5 inches to be sure and for a larger dog an extra 10 inches. You want your bed to be comfortable for your dog if they are fully stretched out.
A bed with removable covers that are washable is also a good idea.
Dog Bed Training Tips
The first thing to realize is that your dog is not going to instantly jump into their new bed and go to sleep the day that you bring the bed home. If you have a puppy (or are going to get one) then you need to read this.
If your dog has been used to sleeping on your bed then you will find that they will be pretty reluctant to give this up. This has become a very pleasant habit for them and if they have been sleeping on your bed for a long time it will be quite a challenge to wean them off of this.
Dogs Like Familiar Surroundings
You need to be strong here. Most dogs like to sleep in familiar surroundings and be close to their owners. They also like to be surrounded by familiar smells, so if it suits you then it is a good idea to locate your new dog bed in your bedroom. If you want them to sleep in another room there are some tips for this below.
Use Familiar Smells To Your Advantage
You are probably aware that dogs have a very good sense of smell and they will often use their noses instead of their eyes. They like to smell familiar things when they sleep and if they have been sleeping with you then put one of your shirts or socks into their new bed so that they will be able to smell you.
It is also recommend that you place some of your dog’s own things in the new bed as well. If they have a number of toys then choose the ones that they like playing with the most. They are likely to start playing with the toys in their new bed and when they are tired they will naturally fall asleep there.
If you want to locate your new dog bed in another room that your dog is not use to sleeping in, place some of your items of clothing either in the bed or close to it so that they feel comfortable. Be prepared to wait a while for your dog to be accustomed to this new sleeping location.
Play Before Bed Time
If your dog has so much energy that they never seem to tire then read this on how to calm a high energy dog. Once your dog starts to use their new bed more and more they will cover it in their own smell which is good as this will make them more likely to come back to the bed.
Get in the habit of playing with your dog and encouraging them to play with their toys in their new bed prior to bed time. Don’t go crazy here as you will over excite them and then they will not want to sleep at all!
Use Positive Reinforcement
Most dogs respond to positive reinforcement so you can use different methods such as giving them treats when they lay on their bed or patting them lovingly. You can also use the mirror method and other forms of positive reinforcement.
By associating positive things with lying on their bed you will find that your dog takes to their new bed a lot quicker. You can put treats on their bed to encourage them too. If they revert to sleeping on your bed then be stern with them and take them to their new bed.