Do Those Anxiety Dog Beds Really Work?
by Lindsay Pevny | Jan 16, 2020
I was surprised to learn that dogs really like fuzzy surfaces. They’re covered in fur, so what difference does it make how soft their blanket is, or how plush their bed is?
But in my personal discovery, there’s nothing on earth as soothing as fur-on-fur contact.
When Matilda was spayed, I took her home from the vet wrapped in a scratchy old crochet blanket. It was just the first thing I grabbed from my room at the time.
Back at home, I held her on the couch while my whole family fussed over her. But she seemed unsettled.
On a whim, I tried wrapping her in a plush blanket. She burrowed in, gave the biggest sigh, and went right to sleep.
Why Do Dogs Love Fur-On-Fur Contact?
When I first heard about those “anxiety dog beds,” I thought they seemed kind of silly. What could be so special about a donut shaped bed covered in polyester fuzz?
But it makes sense.
Dogs start their life blind and deaf, guided by the scent of their mother’s milk and the feeling of their mother and their littermates, soft and snuggly all around them.
Maybe plush surfaces, especially a round, snuggly “anxiety bed,” reminds them of being in the litter as a tiny baby.
But could my theory be true?
Cow needed a new bed anyway, and lately, she had been crying in her crate in the middle of the night. She didn’t need food or water, she only settled down after I tucked her in again.
That’s why the bed seemed like a good idea. Maybe it would help make her feel tucked in even if her blankets came off.
She’s only had the bed for two weeks, but I’ve noticed that she goes missing from the couch more often. I find her all curled up, snug in her special bed.
I can tell that she adores it.
Who Should Get An Anxiety Bed For Their Dog?
This bed might remind your dog of a big stuffed toy, so it’s probably not appropriate for a puppy who’s still learning what to chew and what not to chew.
I also know that it’s probably going to be difficult to clean without matting up the plush fabric. I’m going to hand wash it cold and let it air dry, possibly outside.
So, if your dog has accidents in bed, it might not be a good choice for you.
But if your dog keeps hogging your soft blankets, if they get anxious at night or while you’re at work during the day, it can really help soothe her.
How To Use An Anxiety Bed For Best Results
I find that most dog beds sink too easily on the bottom.
That’s probably the case for this bed, it’s inexpensive and not made to provide support. Plus, Cow’s a tiny bit large for it. I may actually see if I can get an even larger one and let Matilda use the current one.
So, I actually put this bed on top of an older, flatter bed that provides support, but not as much comfort.
Then, when it’s time to tuck Cow in, I pile blankets and old towels on her. Sort of like those wildly popular weighted blankets, her bedding seems to provide a comforting pressure.
I do have a human weighted blanket, and I can attest to how comforting it is. It’s like a big hug, so I weight Cow down with a few blankets to help create that effect.
When Cow goes to her bed for a nap, she uses the plush “anxiety bed” and her pile of blankets and towels to create a cozy den.
Where To Get The Anxiety Dog Bed
However, I’m eyeing a larger bed like this one. While Cow seems to really like her bed, and she fits well if she’s curled up, a big bed might be fun to have in the living room for her naps, and Matilda will probably share it with her.
With Amazon Prime we got free shipping, and the bed showed up the next morning after I ordered it. It was great to have it ready so she could start feeling more comfy right away.