Sweet Dreams Are Made of This: Anti-Anxiety Dog Beds

Sweet Dreams Are Made of This: Anti-Anxiety Dog Beds

Key Points

  • Dogs need their own beds to feel safe and comfortable at home.

  • Anxiety dog beds are designed to calm dogs.

  • Due to their popularity and availability in the marketplace, there are plenty of options for anxiety dog beds.

Many dog owners have an anxious dog -- or know someone who does. Anxiety dog beds, also called calming dog beds, have those anxious pups in mind.

Do anxiety dog beds actually benefit your frenzied furry friend? Yes, they do, but they may need some help from other anti-anxiety options to overcome your dog's issues.

Does My Dog Even Need a Bed?

Approximately 56 percent of people share their bedroom with their dogs. You may ask if dogs even need a bed to call their own.

Dog professionals and many dog lovers say the answer is "Yes."

Dogs sleep between 12 and 18 hours a day. Good dog beds support dogs' bodies while they sleep and provide a comfortable space to relax.

Dog in dog bed

Letting your dog sleep in bed with you can cause problems down the road. Dogs take up space in the bed and often don't consider your space needs. They get up, move around, and change positions throughout the night. This means that you end up getting less sleep.

Even if cuddling your dog has great health benefits, it's best to give them their own sleeping space -- for their sake and yours.

The floor isn't a good option. Sleeping on a hard floor is uncomfortable. It often causes a dog hip or joint pain, especially in larger or older animals. Your dog needs a bed that supports their body while they sleep.

Why Do They Do That?

Have you ever wondered why your dog hides under the bed during thunderstorms? Dogs instinctively seek out small and cozy places for comfort. This "denning" instinct is part of their DNA, dating back to their wild ancestors.

Giving your dog their own bed helps establish a spot -- or den -- for your dog to feel safe.

What Makes a Dog Bed an Anxiety Dog Bed?

Anxiety dog beds are extra cozy and provide relief from symptoms of anxiety. There are a few features that make these beds uniquely suited to address anxiety symptoms.


Donuts aren't just delicious, they're also great for your dog! Okay, maybe not as food.

Most commercially available anxiety dog beds are donut-shaped: round with a soft center and raised edges. This shape feels like a hug in all directions for your dog, with the edges gently compressing your dog while they're curled up in the middle. The raised edges on the bed also encourage the natural denning instincts. The small, cozy space provides comfort and warmth.

The raised edges are especially beneficial for brachycephalic ("short-faced") breeds such as French bulldogs, pugs, and Boston terriers. The edges act as a headrest to allow these dogs to stretch out their necks and breathe more easily.

The donut shape works best for small- to medium-sized dogs that love to curl up at night.

Have a big dog, or one that loves to stretch out while they snooze? That's not a problem at all. Anxiety dog beds come in a variety of sizes across brands. For large dogs, try a calming bed with bolstered edges or an orthopedic mat.


Who doesn't love cuddling up with something soft? Your dog certainly does!

Dog sleeping in anti-anxiety dog bed

Dogs naturally gravitate towards soft, warm sleeping spaces. Anxiety dog beds feature soft, furry fabrics like faux fur or Sherpa. This imitates the feeling of cuddling with another dog and offers your dog extra comfort.

Blankets pair great with an anxiety bed, offering an extra layer of warmth and soft textures. The Calming Cuddle Blanket Plus+ comes in several colors and sizes to complement any bed. It features a little pocket for calming inserts. Weighted blankets also make for a cozy snooze.


Anxiety dog beds are extra thick to give your dog's body plenty of support while they sleep. These dog beds are still soft and squishy enough, so your pups don't feel like they're sleeping on a rock.

Several beds include special types of padding to keep your dog extra supported and comfortable.

Orthopedic Foam

Orthopedic foam doesn't refer to a specific foam. It is a type of foam that offers spine and joint pain relief. This foam is much firmer than other types. It supports your dog's body weight and encourages their spine to stay properly aligned during sleep.

Beds with orthopedic foam are great for older dogs, thin dogs who don't have a lot of natural "cushioning," and any dog needing a little extra support. Because it is so firm, most dog beds aren't made solely from orthopedic foam. The beds layer this material with other filling types to provide a balance between support and comfort.

Memory Foam

Ever since the commercial release of the Tempur-Pedic Swedish Mattress in 1991, memory foam has come to dominate popular bedding styles for people and pets alike. Initially developed for NASA, scientists designed the special polyurethane foam to be dense, moldable, and durable.

Memory foam forms to the shape of your dog's body, alleviating pressure on their joints and creating customized support for their body. When your dog stands up, the foam returns to its original shape. How cool is that?

The benefits are most obvious for older dogs and those suffering from arthritis, hip dysplasia (loose hip joints causing rapid and unnecessary wear), muscle problems, or other bone and joint pain.

Sleeping in a dog bed


Some, but not all, anxiety beds warm themselves, almost as if by magic. How does that work?

Self-warming beds are not the same as heated beds. There are no cords or plugs involved in a self-warming bed. These beds have layers of thermally insulating materials that reflect the dog's body heat back to them. The materials used vary by bed manufacturer but all serve the same purpose.

These beds are awesome at keeping small dogs, thin dogs, and dogs with short coats nice and toasty.

Finding the Best Bed for Your Dog

Anxiety dog beds are rising in popularity. While Amazon doesn't have a separate category for anxiety or calming beds, a top bestseller in Dog Beds & Furniture is the calming bed. Here are some of the most popular calming dog beds and accessories.

The highly-regarded Best Friends by Sheri Original Calming Donut Dog Bed comes in 15 different colors and two different fur types (shag and lux). It is available in five different sizes ranging from 23" to 54" -- one of the largest available on the market. These beds feature water- and dirt-resistant bottoms and removable, washable covers. The smallest size bed is fully washable.

The Best Friends bed boasts over 50,000 five-star reviews and an overall rating of 4.6/5. This one is a crowd favorite.

For extra calming power, check out Calming Dog's Calming Cuddle Bed. This bed comes in nine different colors and ranges in size from 16" to 48". While on the smaller side, these beds are still able to accommodate a wide range of medium and large dogs. Calming Dog beds come with machine-washable covers and non-slip bottoms.

The Calming Cuddle Bed also features a pocket along the inner rim of the raised edge. Why does a dog bed need a pocket? To hold their scent-based Calming Inserts, silly! These inserts are specially made for dogs. They use the power of essential oils to help calm your dog even more.

Looking for even more cushioning? Try out the Calming Cuddle Bed Plus+. Coming in five colors and sizes 16" to 40", this bed takes comfort up another notch with its extra cushy memory foam interior. With eco-friendly materials and a luxurious design, this bed is sure to knock it out of the park with any dog.

Looking for the perfect dog bed is like trying to find the perfect mattress. It may take a few tries to find a bed your dog absolutely loves.

When Is It Right To Use an Anxiety Dog Bed?

All the time!

Calm puppy sleeping

Even dogs that aren't anxious still enjoy the comfort of a calming bed. The fact that so many people have bought anxiety beds for their dogs is a good indicator of high quality -- not to mention happy pups.

Knowing if your dog is anxious requires knowing what anxiety looks like and what causes it.

Anxiety in Dogs

Anxiety is an intense, excessive feeling of worry or fear that interferes with daily activities. Dogs display this with behavioral changes and their overall demeanor.

Causes of Anxiety

Three main factors cause anxiety in dogs: fear, separation, and age.

Does your dog hide or cower when they hear loud or sudden noises? Do they tuck their tail or start panting hard when they get in the car? Fear drives anxiety in dogs. Triggers include loud noises, strange objects or people, new environments, or even unusual surfaces.

The fear can be temporary or longer-lasting.

"Velcro dog" is a term describing a dog that won't leave someone's side. What happens when you have to leave?

Dogs are social animals and often don't like to be alone. According to the American Kennel Club (AKC), 14 percent of dogs suffer from separation anxiety, meaning they are unable to find comfort when left alone.

"Like humans, many dogs will experience anxiety at some point throughout their lives," the AKC explains. "Although not all dogs will have anxiety that leads to a diagnosable anxiety disorder, it's important to know the causes, symptoms, and treatment options involved with dog anxiety. Understanding these important facets can help you, as an owner, know the best ways to help your dog in anxiety-inducing situations."

Getting older happens to everyone, including your dog. Declining physical and neurological health can be the cause of anxiety in your senior canine.

Common Anxious Behaviors

Every dog reacts to stressors differently. What's scary to one dog may not even merit a cocked head from another. The size of the reaction also varies between individuals.

Pup sleeping in bed

Veterinary experts list these general signs that your dog may be scared, stressed, or anxious:

  • Excessive barking, whining, or whimpering

  • Pacing

  • Tail tucking

  • Excessive licking

  • Urinating or defecating in the house

  • Destructive behaviors (i.e., chewing)

  • Trembling

  • Avoiding eye contact

  • Loss of appetite

  • Hiding or attempting to escape

  • Aggression

  • Other repetitive or compulsive behaviors

Short-term anxious behaviors are normal responses to stressful or frightening events. Life is sometimes scary. Long-term excessive repetition of those behaviors is detrimental to your pup's well-being.

Does My Dog Have Anxiety?

Even if your dog has symptoms of anxiety, only a veterinarian can make that diagnosis. Talk to your vet about your concerns, especially if your dog has sudden changes in their behavior.

What if It Doesn't Work?

Anxiety dog beds aren't a cure-all for anxious behavior in dogs. They are most effective when used with training, medication, or other anxiety treatments.

There's no way to know what does or doesn't work for your dog until you try something. If one thing doesn't work, ask your veterinarian for other options.

Calm pup relaxing in dog bed

Give Them a Rest (They Deserve It)

It's time to address the million-dollar question: "Is an anxiety dog bed worth it?"

Anxious reactions to frightening situations are common. An anxiety dog bed offers a sense of comfort and relief when those happen. These beds also provide great support for your dog as they age, making a quality bed worth the investment down the road.

Even if your dog isn't generally anxious, there's nothing quite like lying down in a soft, comfortable bed to sleep -- especially a bed that caters to your natural instincts.

The question isn't whether the bed is worth it, but if your dog is.

Get an anxiety dog bed and give your dog the good night's rest they deserve.

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