The following post was generously written by our friend Sasha, who lives in Tel Aviv Israel with her tripawd gal Lalla.
There’s something to be said about dogs when they sleep: they stretch out, growl, yelp, drool, produce various aromatic emissions and even sleepwalk And there is, of course, the oft-repeated “rabbit chase” which some dog experts claim is actually a re-enactment of pushing mamma dog’s mammalian protuberances to the max for the liquid known as milk. I for one, am going to stick to the “rabbit chase” theory and fact is, Tripawd humans are the real dog experts.
There’s no animal on this planet (apart from myself on a Saturday morning) who loves sleeping in as much as a dog. Although most of them think otherwise, most dogs do not need a human bed; they need a firm, comfortable no-frills / no-bling pad, which to our benefit should be easy to keep clean, i.e.: can be thrown into the washing machine after being used as a specialized dining room.
But when you live with a Tripawd, you do have to make special orthopedic considerations, but those don’t have to break your bank account.
Lalla (the Tripawd whose house I live in) and I have a real track record with beds since her amputation procedure eighteen months ago. To that decisive point in our lives, Lalla slept in a huge (she’s 22″ at the shoulder with a mile high ego) plastic bassinet which was lined with 4 human size pillows. It became obvious after her surgery that I had to find a substitute as her shoulder was straining against the bassinet and besides, it was tensing from “compensation” – when the 3 spared limbs take on the impact pressure normally reserved for four.
We went through a milieu of pad beds which I bought from our very resourceful pet shop, but even the pet shop owner and I agreed that they were either too lumpy and all were too big for the washing machine. I then remembered that a friend of mine who was head of a K9 search and rescue unit recommended using a baby cot foam mattress, which could be covered with stretch flannel sheets. Boy are those things expensive – anything between $80-$150; if you can afford it or have one stored in the attic, they are a great idea if your Tripawd can fit comfortably onto a 2-3 ft. long bed, but remember that Tripawds sleep full out and then some.
So after searching hi and low, it was Lalla who found a perfect solution after one of her million balls rolled under my bed. I won’t bother to describe the size of the dust balls found in those dark regions (“oh, that isn’t a tennis ball“), but I did find a folding guest bed bought a few years back in IKEA with – you got it – a perfect foam mattress, 1.5″ thick, 6.5′ long and with a removable swanky black and white striped cover. Out came the scissors and Lalla got an instant bed.
Lalla really loves her new bed, and we’ve already washed the cover a few times. It’s firm, flat and has plenty of extra stretch space – ideal for a Tripawd. I bet most of you have one of those folding beds stored somewhere: all it takes is a pair of scissors to make a comfortable and “rabbit chase dreams” bed for your own Tripawd.
Oh yeah – the hidden human benefit is: no more drunk guests sleeping over after dinner.
– Written by Sasha Cooklin, Tel Aviv, Israel
10 thoughts on “The Perfect Bed for Your Tripawd Dog”
Hi, I had a conversation with both of you a few weeks in the Farm Store in Eureka, (where you were looking for bones) mentioning that I have a tripawd. You gave me your business card, and now that I have internet, here I am! Your website is awesome and it looks like you’ve done a huge amount of work on it. I already am going to start making my own yogurt (Dr. Budwid Diet), and will be obtaining a “mattress” bed since Carly is sleeping on a large dog pillow, which does lump up.
Again, you two (or I should say, three) are a true inspiration. I have a friend who just last night brought a tripawd back from the Dominican Republic and I will be forwarding this website to her.
Thanks again for all your work and dedication!
Thanks for checking in Susan. It was great meeting you!
Is it true that a memory foam bed is the best for my 3 legged dog? We have many beds but I was hoping to get her the best and don’t know what that is. Thanks for any advice you have.
Any low firm bed that won’t lump up and provides plenty of space without moving around should be comfortable. Thanks for commenting, but you would get much more feedback if you asked this question in the discussion forums.
Growing tired of buying expensive pet store beds that were hard to keep clean for my 95# Lab, so I bought a baby crib mattress for $50 bucks as Target. That’s been over 5 years ago and I love it. It’s covered in vinyl and easy to clean. Its supportive and I cover it with a baby sheet and my pups blanket on top. I feel this will still work well for her after her amputation in a couple of days.
I have a three legged Australian Shepherd named Joey and wonder if it is bad for him to be jumping up onto and off of my queen size bed? He doesn’t seem to be bothered by it. He sleeps up on it every night. I’m just starting to worry and wonder if that is good for his other legs?? Hope you have some insight on this. Thanks!
Joey’s not about to let you know anything’s bothering him, until it’s too late. We recommend firm beds on the ground, or cot like beds they can step up onto, or steps at the foot of your bed. With a missing front leg, there is a major chance of injury to the remaining front leg when jumping down off of anything. With a missing rear leg, he risks straining the remaining back leg when jumping up. But we’re not vets and can only speak of our experiences with Jerry. You will find much more advice tips and support from many others who understand in the tripawd discussion forums. Thanks for asking, and best wishes to you and Joey!
Being a visual dawg, I’d just like to clarify that you remove the mattress from the frame shown in that bed picture, fold it, and cover it. Jumping up and down off that would be a bummer!
But it looks like Sasha made a great idea work, and I bet you could find that mattress at a thrift store. Lalla looks totally comfy. I sure hope she’s dreaming of me.