Dogs, like us, can sometimes get anxious for a whole variety of reasons.
Helping your best friend to overcome their anxiety can be a long, and sometimes complicated therapy.
It usually involves a trip to the vets to work out if there are any medical reasons why your dog has developed anxiety, and from there behaviour therapy and medication can be used alone, or in combination, to help your dog start to overcome their anxious feelings.
There are some steps you can take to help them, and these can include calming dog beds.
Read on below to find out more about them, how they work, and if they do work.
What Is A Calming Bed?
Calming dog beds have become more popular in the last few years as we become more aware of the needs of our companions.
A calming bed is one that makes your dog feel protected and secure when they are lying or sleeping in it.
These types of beds are typically very comfortable, and are made from a comfortable, fluffy material that your dog can burrow down into. The softness of these beds is also useful for dogs who may be suffering from joint pain, as the soft material helps alleviate any pressure on the joints which can make them feel anxious.
They usually have raised sides, so that your dog feels protected on all sides, and some even cover over the top as well, so your dog can really feel secure. Your dog can make this bed into their den, by snuggling down into it, and this can help them feel less anxious.
With these factors combined, calming beds really do work to help make your dog feel less stressed about life, however it is important to realise that a calming bed on it’s own won’t fix your dog’s anxiety.
Types Of Calming Dog Beds
There are many different types of dog beds avai;able, and it can take some trial and error before finding one that your dog really loves.
As we have mentioned above, there are the doughnut type beds, like the ones from BobbyBed.com, which have raised sides to allow your dog to burrow in and get as comfortable as possible.
Igloo or cave beds are another popular choice. These are similar to doughnut beds in that they are made of a very soft material allowing your dog to feel comforted and soothed, but these beds have an entrance at the front, and once inside, your dog is covered on all sides. These types of beds are particularly useful for very anxious dogs who need complete security from whatever is making them anxious.
Mattress type beds are not always the obvious choice for anxiety relieving beds, and they don’t have raised sides. However, these beds commonly come with a memory foam filling, often referred to as an orthopaedic bed. Some dogs, particular older dogs, suffer with arthritis and joint pain. This can be a reason for a dog to get anxious, so if they can lay comfortably on a bed that takes the pressure off of their painful joints, this can help them feel less stressed.
Some dogs become anxious when they can’t meet their ideal temperature, so a dog with little fur or fat covering may become anxious when they get too cold, on the other hand, larger, very fluffy dogs may become stressed when they feel too hot.
To help with this, there are self heating beds available, that have a material that heats up with pressure to help the colder dogs, and there are ones with cool mats in for the hotter dogs.
There are also beds available that are raised off the floow, which allows air to circulate underneath, keeping them cooler. These beds are also very comfortable for larger dogs who may feel more comfortable with pressure on their joints.
How Else Can You Help Calm Your Dog?
Some dogs like to have more of a den space to feel safe, and this can be achieved by crate training your dog.
Crate training should ideally be done as a puppy, but it is possible to crate train any age of dog. The crate should always be a safe place for your dog to go to, and never a place for punishment.
The perfect crate should be big enough for your dog to move around in, stand up and stretch without touching the sides. The crate can be covered at the top to make it feel even more secure.
The crate should contain a bed of some sort, and in the case of an anxious dog, a calming bed would be ideal.
Your dog’s bed should be somewhere quiet within the home, so that they can sleep without being constantly disturbed, which can make them feel stressed, and somewhere where the windows and curtains can be closed so it shuts out the outside world when necessary.
Do Calming Beds Work?
In the vast majority of dogs, yes they do. The right type of calming bed for your dog can really help them to start to relax.
However, providing your dog with a calming bed probably won’t cure their anxiety. The root cause of the anxiety needs to be established, and then worked on.
This could be behaviorally, such as other animals, or a certain noise, or it could be medical, like being in pain.
Behaviour therapy is often needed for all types of anxiety, and your behaviourist can work with you to help your dog cope with certain situations.
Anti-anxiety medication can be prescribed by your vet to help your dog cope with the thing that is causing the anxiety.
If it is pain that is causing the anxiety, your vet can work out what is causing that pain, and help you to resolve it, normally with some kind of analgesic medication.
Hopefully this article has aided you in finding some solutions to helping your dog to start leading a less anxiety filled life.