Soft bedding will help keep your dog warm and encourage rest within the recovery room. Include items that smell familiar to your dog if possible, as this will help him or her to feel at home.
A cushioned pad to sleep on
Do provide a cushioned area large enough for your dog to lie on fully-stretched out. You could use your dog’s usual soft bed if space allows. However, some dog beds have a raised edge which is too high to step over during recovery. A bed shaped like a flat pad is generally better.
Crouch down and check for draughts at dog level. You may need to tuck folded blankets between the dog’s bed and the house wall to stop a draught.
If your dog has always rested on your bed or on the sofa
During recovery, dogs should not jump on and off the bed or sofa (do check with your vet as to what your own dog is allowed to do).
If your dog is used to sleeping on the sofa or bed then they may find it difficult to settle down on a standard dog bed. They’ll be expecting something really warm, soft and draught-free. Try offering a floor-level mattress or very wide soft floor-level dog bed for your dog to sleep on. Or try putting on old quilt on the floor, perhaps with a blanket or piece of Vetbed on top. You can then block draughts and make this resting place feel more cosy by tucking rolled or folded blankets between the floor bed and the wall.
Bedding for collapsed dogs
A few dogs are unable to stand up unaided. For example, this is the case for those worst-affected by severe trauma or unusually-severe spinal disease. These animals need a piece of extra-thick padding that is large enough to lie on fully stretched-out.
A large, flat foam dog pad can be used, or you may opt to order a flat block of high density foam from an online supplier. Alternatively, a folded quilt or several layers of blankets could be used as the basis of bedding for a collapsed dog while foam bedding is unavailable. On top of the padding, place a layer of vet bed or a towel for extra absorbency and softness. Have spares available in case of soiling. Disposable incontinence pads can be placed directly under the dog if required.
Above: The bed should provide enough space for the dog to lie stretched-out. Harry had been unable to stand unaided for months, and this foam bed had helped to keep him comfortable and prevent bed sores.
If your dog is unable to stand, then he or she will need to be positioned carefully for eating and drinking, and will also need to be turned at least every four hours to help prevent pressure sores. Rolled or folded towels are sometimes useful for propping a dog into a comfortable position, and cushions or gel pads occasionally prove useful as extra padding. The needs of each patient are different, so ask your dog’s vet or hospital discharge nurse for details on positioning, padding and turning.
For more information…
Try the following links for more advice on caring for your recovering dog: