Air mattresses in winter (avoid these, please)

Air mattress

Air mattresses are often used as a part of a dog’s exercise programme for core strengthening.  And I have found that some pet parents are buying them for their dogs as an outside resting place in all seasons.

Here’s the thing:  have you ever slept on an air mattress in winter?  (It’s winter here in NZ).  If you have, I hope you understand where I’m heading with this post…

Air mattresses in winter are COLD.  Downright COLD.  Most camping websites recommend that you cover your air mattress with a sleeping bag for winter camping and that’s because the air mattress is COLD, even if supportive.

The issue is that many dogs tend to fluff up their bedding.  Some dogs end up removing it all together.

So if you are using an air mattress for a dog in winter, even with a blanket, there are no guarantees that your dog has enough warmth during cold winter days.  If your dog is arthritic, or has hip dysplasia, partially torn cruciate ligament or other orthopedic conditions, then you are really setting them up to be cold and uncomfortable – undoing any other interventions that may be part of their wellness programme.

During my home consultations, we cover things like bedding and the importance of rest.  In many cases, I recommend allowing the dog to remain inside during the winter months.

If we like to be warm, why shouldn’t they?

Kathleen Crisley, Fear-Free certified professional and specialist in dog massage, rehabilitation and nutrition/food therapy, The Balanced Dog, Christchurch, New Zealand

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