What is a Heated Pet Bed?

Tricia Christensen
Tricia Christensen
Tricia Christensen
Tricia Christensen
The bed's temperature should not be much more than your pet's body temperature.
The bed's temperature should not be much more than your pet's body temperature.

Dogs and cats, very much like people, can suffer from stiff or arthritic joints when they get older. This may be particularly noticed when a pet wakes up from a nap. They may require a few moments to stretch out and to shake off aches and pains. Animals that sleep in colder environments, such as uninsulated garages, can have more trouble with this, even if they’re fairly young. A solution to the issue is to buy a heated pet bed.

A dog might enjoy a heated bed inside or out.
A dog might enjoy a heated bed inside or out.

There are heated pet bed types for dogs and cats, and people should ask their veterinarian what level of heat is appropriate. Usually temperatures on these beds do not exceed 102 degrees F (38.89 degrees C), slightly warmer than a dog or cat’s average body temperature. Shapes and materials of these beds vary.

Some make use of the new and comfortable memory foam, and are straight beds that can be used in dog or cat crates for crate sleepers. Others have the comfortable rounded shape that some cats and dogs enjoy when they’re sleeping. There are also heated pet bed types made to be safely used indoors or out.

Heated pet beds may provide more comfort to pets who have to stay outdoors.
Heated pet beds may provide more comfort to pets who have to stay outdoors.

Price and design on a heated pet bed will vary. A few things pet owners may want to look for include features like washable covers, which can help maintain the life of the bed longer, as the covers can be cleaned as necessary. Heated beds, except for the outdoor type are probably not best used with animals suffering from incontinence. Since they do often plug in to provide the heat source, getting moisture on this plug wouldn’t be considered safe. However some covers that come with a heated pet bed are waterproof, and will keep any cat or dog urine well away from electrical apparatus that helps heat the bed.

Pet cats and dogs need comfy places to sleep.
Pet cats and dogs need comfy places to sleep.

These beds aren’t just good ideas for animals suffering from rheumatic conditions or arthritis. Animals that sleep in colder environments may be made more comfortable if they have a heated bed. There are some special cautions that do apply to a heated pet bed of any type.

Pet owners should regularly check to make certain that all parts of the bed are in good repair. Many of these beds have automatic shut offs when they reach a certain temperature. The shut off should to be evaluated every week to two weeks to make sure it works. If it fails, these beds can get too warm for dogs or cats and risk their health.

Memory foam beds can be used in dog crates for crate sleepers.
Memory foam beds can be used in dog crates for crate sleepers.

Another bed that owners may find interesting is the cooling pet bed. While warmth may help loosen stiff or arthritic joints, cooling can help reduce inflammation. Some cooling beds are available and may be comfortable used in alternation with a heated pet bed. They may also make the ideal bed during the dog days of summer when cats and dogs look for a place to sleep and stay comfortable.

Tricia Christensen
Tricia Christensen

Tricia has a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and has been a frequent wiseGEEK contributor for many years. She is especially passionate about reading and writing, although her other interests include medicine, art, film, history, politics, ethics, and religion. Tricia lives in Northern California and is currently working on her first novel.

Tricia Christensen
Tricia Christensen

Tricia has a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and has been a frequent wiseGEEK contributor for many years. She is especially passionate about reading and writing, although her other interests include medicine, art, film, history, politics, ethics, and religion. Tricia lives in Northern California and is currently working on her first novel.

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Discussion Comments

Reminiscence

Once my cat starts showing signs of advanced age, I will definitely be getting him a heated pet bed. I've seen them at other pet owners' houses and their pets love sleeping in them all day. I know cats are especially vulnerable to arthritis in their hips, so it's the least I can do to make him comfortable.

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    • The bed's temperature should not be much more than your pet's body temperature.
      The bed's temperature should not be much more than your pet's body temperature.
    • A dog might enjoy a heated bed inside or out.
      A dog might enjoy a heated bed inside or out.
    • Heated pet beds may provide more comfort to pets who have to stay outdoors.
      Heated pet beds may provide more comfort to pets who have to stay outdoors.
    • Pet cats and dogs need comfy places to sleep.
      Pet cats and dogs need comfy places to sleep.
    • Memory foam beds can be used in dog crates for crate sleepers.
      Memory foam beds can be used in dog crates for crate sleepers.