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Jun 27, 2023

10 Anti

You don't want your four-legged friend to feel anxious—but you can't always be

You don't want your four-legged friend to feel anxious—but you can't always be there to comfort them. These pet beds will help them feel safe when they need it most.

Lindsay is a freelance writer for MarthaStewart.com.

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Like humans, animals can experience symptoms of anxiety brought on by life experiences or trauma, loud noises, or sudden changes. Pets, and particularly dogs, are creatures of habit and thrive with a routine, so if something—or someone—disrupts the status quo, it can be jarring. (Thunderstorms or fireworks, the arrival of a newborn baby, or the return to office after years of at-home work are all examples of this.) Whatever the source of your beloved pet's stress, you need a way to help them. Enter the anti-anxiety pet bed.

Generally used for dogs—but also a potential resource for cats—these beds provide extra security and comfort for your beloved pup. "Because dogs are den animals, calming or anti-anxiety beds are great to have. They help your dog feel safe and sound [without] a pill or a paste," explains Jennifer Lopez, DVM, a veterinarian at URvet Care. "It's almost like a security blanket—like your kid's binky or your favorite t-shirt that helps you through the thunderstorm or firework noise."

The anti-anxiety pet bed should be reserved solely for your little buddy—no toddlers, kids, or other animals in the home should have access to it—and they should be able to find it easily when they need reassurance or relief. As for what anti-anxiety pet beds look like? There are a few different types, but generally, they involve a soft, emotionally-calming design. Common features that might appeal to many dogs include raised sides—which feel like a protective barrier and make the bed more den-like—and overall comfort, says Gabrielle Fadl, DVM, the director of primary care at Bond Vet.

"Some dogs might like a completely enclosed bed, whereas others just like the sides to be high enough to cuddle up against or rest their chin on," she says. "Some dogs prefer certain textures—and fur-like texture is becoming popular, with the thought that a dog might feel like they are cuddling up with a buddy."

In addition to knowing your pup or cat is happy, everyone in your house might sleep better on July Fourth or New Year's Eve (or on those hot, stormy days of summer) if you invest in an anti-anxiety pet bed. And remember: You can bring this essential with you when you travel, so your pet will always know where they belong, even in an unfamiliar place.

Here, the best, top-rated anti-anxiety pet beds for your furry four-legged friend.

After a long day of one Zoom call after another, you shut down your laptop—and let the hot water run. While your cat or dog might not enjoy bubble baths like you do, you can still turn their anti-anxiety pet bed into a spa experience with this pick. The plush bed has open sides, and when they snuggle up or stretch out, a lavender scent is released. This will create an even more soothing experience for your frightened pup.

This anti-anxiety pet bed is one of the best options for families seeking to comfort their animals, says Jennifer Bruns, DVM, MPVM, a veterinarian at PetSmart Veterinary Services. The design supports joints and offers a calming, self-warming effect. "It's perfect for dogs who love to curl up, and the raised rim creates a sense of security and provides head and neck support," she says.

After you receive a massage, the therapist often wraps you up in the blanket, tucks you in, and encourages you to lay and soak up the experience. Your pet will feel the same way when you buy them this anti-anxiety bed. According to Dr. Bruns, this bed provides your dog with its own place to retreat, rest, and relax. "It features a hideaway pocket, so your dog can burrow into snuggly solitude if they so desire," she says.

As your beloved companion completes more laps around the sun, their body begins to age. They may feel more aches and pains in their joints and bones and struggle to get up and down from your bed at night. To help them avoid discomfort, try this anti-anxiety pet bed for senior pets, advises Dr. Bruns. "This bed provides optimal comfort, with the orthopedic foam supporting your dog's bones and joints. It's soft and plush for true relaxation, and the removable pillow provides options for additional comfort," she says.

Dr. Lopez says Barbox's memory foam donut cuddler is the best choice for an anti-anxiety dog bed. And for a good reason: It's made with memory foam for added cushion and support, and the cover is machine washable. The faux fur feels soothing to your nervous four-legged friend, and the design helps with animal pain management, including hip dysplasia, arthritis, and other conditions. You can choose from several sizes to fit your pet's breed, too.

If you have a dog who is seemingly anxious about everything—from loud noises to guests entering the home—you may want to invest in a design-forward anti-anxiety pet bed that you can leave out in the open. Dr. Fadl recommends this splurge-worthy crate and bed set. Not only will it fit in with the rest of your décor, but it was designed to mimic a natural den and reduce anxiety, she explains.

This option might look like a cute flower, but the bolster bed offers comfort and support to your fretting pet, whatever sleeping position they prefer. It's made with a super-soft sherpa fabric that will keep your pet safe and warm—while also being machine washable, so you can manage hair and dander. Choose from pink, green, gray, or camel to match your style.

Some pups sleep with their belly displayed, ready and available for rubs and scratches. Other pups want to burrow into couch pillows or snuggle up underneath a blanket. This Friends Forever bed is ideal if your dog falls in the latter group. They can easily bury themselves into it—and find instant warmth and comfort from the faux-fur fabric. You can wash this piece in the washing machine and dry it, too. Choose from various colors to match your home's color scheme, and let your anxious buddy settle in nicely.

You have a top-rated mattress, so why shouldn't your dog? This memory-foam dog bed from Casper provides anxiety relief and support for your pet's aging bones. This anti-anxiety bed is best suited for animals who like to scratch and dig, since the microfiber blend makes it nearly indestructible. You can also remove the outside liner and toss it into the wash—but you might not need to do so often, since reviewers say it's resistant to drool and fur and stays cleaner for longer.

When you were a kid, building forts out of pillows and blankets was a fun way to spend an afternoon. Your dog can find the same comfort in this tented, covered anti-anxiety bed. It's ideal for smaller dogs who want to burrow, so keep that in mind as you shop. Machine washable, yet soft and cozy, the bed provides extra zen—and plenty of shade from the sun shining through your windows. It also offers privacy if your pup is feeling extra nervous.