Sunday, May 1, 2011
How to Make a Therapeutic Foam Dog Bed: Help Dogs with Hip Dysplasia and Arthritis Stay Comfortable
Dogs, especially large dogs, often begin to show signs of pain when aging. Hip dysplasia and arthritis are two common indicators of dog health that result from the aging process. Nothing can stop the aging process, but making a therapeutic foam dog bed is one way to help dogs remain as healthy and as comfortable as they possible. A basic foam dog bed will keep the dog elevated - away from chilly floors and drafts. A dog sleeping on a foam mattress will be warmer and less achy than a dog sleeping on a floor.
What Supplies are Needed for Sewing a Foam Dog Bed?
The basic supplies needed to make a foam dog bed are thick foam, water resistant fabric, thread, scissors, a yardstick, and a sewing machine. There are a lot of types of foam available, and almost any kind will work. If, however, the dog has advanced arthritis or hip pain, a memory foam dog bed would offer the most comfort. Contacting an upholstery shop to get memory foam might be necessary if the local fabric shop does not have it. The best fabric will be one that is treated for stain and water resistance. Vinyl upholstery fabric is good if the dog bed will need to be wiped clean very often.
Steps to Take Before Sewing Dog Bed
Measure the dog’s height and also measure from the tip of its nose to the end of its tail. Add a minimum of four inches to get the ideal dimensions for the foam mattress. If the foam does not come in a wide enough piece, cut an extra section and glue the pieces together. Cut the waterproof fabric so it is one inch larger on each side than the foam dimensions. Cut the band that goes around the edge of the foam so it is two inches wider than the foam thickness. If the foam is four inches thick, for example, cut the strip six inches wide and long enough to go all the way around the foam mattress.
Sewing the Dog Bed Cover
Place the band against one of the large fabric pieces with right sides together. Measure three inches up the seam line – start sewing at that spot and go almost all of the way around the edges. Stop six inches from the starting point. This reduces the need to guess if the band will fit because it leaves room to work when closing the band - without leaving a big gap.
Keep the band ends right side together and sew the band closed before finishing the main seam. If turned right side out it should look something like a sofa cushion – but do not leave it turned. Position the other large piece of waterproof fabric right side down against the raw edge of the band. Sew three sides of the cushion closed. Turn the cover right side out. Insert the foam. The cover should be loose because the closing seam will be top stitched. Fold the edges under 1/2inch and hold the foam down so it will fit under the sewing machine presser foot. Finally, close the seam.
A foam dog bed creates a comfortable sleeping surface that helps older arthritic dogs with pain reduction. Less pain means a more mobility and better quality of life for the dog.
Copyright Laure Justice. Contact the author to obtain permission for republication.Originally published on Suite101.com.
Old Dog Poster courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.
Posted by L.L. at 6:59 PM