La sécurité avant tout : Ce qu'il faut savoir sur les lits surélevés pour chiens

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    Elevated dog beds provide many benefits for your pet but also come with some safety considerations. Being aware of potential hazards and taking preventative steps will help keep your dog secure.

    Follow this guide to elevated bed safety to protect your furry friend.

     

    The advantages of elevated beds

    When used properly, elevated beds offer many perks:

    • Pressure relief for joints
    • Promotes air circulation
    • Reduces exposure to allergens
    • Easier to clean and maintain
    • Provides a comfortable nesting spot

    However, improper use or poor quality can lead to avoidable risks. Putting safety first keeps all the benefits while minimizing any dangers.

     

    Potential fall and injury risks

    The main safety concerns center around elevated heights and improper use:

    Falling off

    Like any raised furniture, dogs can potentially slip, trip, or lose their balance and fall off an elevated bed, risking injuries from impact.

    Jumping on and off

    Dogs may try to jump on or off an elevated bed. This leaping on and off can lead to strains, sprains, and joint or muscle injuries over time.

    Structural collapse

    If the bed frame is not sturdy or quality construction, it risks buckling or collapsing under the weight of large dogs, leading to injuries.

    Chewing and splinters

    Dogs who chew may swallow splinters or puncture their mouths on degraded wood or fabrics.

    Being aware of these risks is the first step toward prevention.

     

    Tips to prevent falls and injuries

    Use these precautions to minimize any elevated bed risks:

    • Place bed against a wall to reduce access on one side
    • Add side padded rails to create a secure nesting space
    • Select a size that allows your dog to stretch out without excess room
    • Ensure the frame, legs and platform are sturdy and durable materials
    • Discourage jumping by using ramps or stairs for easy access
    • Provide sturdy steps or a small stool to help little dogs climb up
    • Curb chewing behavior and use of chew-proof materials
    • Always supervise your dog initially getting acquainted with their new bed

    With smart design choices and training, elevated beds can be used safely.

     

    Choosing appropriate frame materials

    The frame needs to be made of heavy-duty materials that won’t bend or collapse.

    Recommended sturdy frame materials

    • Powder-coated steel or wrought iron for strength
    • Oak, maple, ash or pine woods for density
    • Aluminum or zinc alloys that resist corrosion

    Avoid these weaker frame materials

    • Plastic frames that can crack or snap
    • Flimsy wood types like particle board or balsa wood
    • Steel without coatings prone to rusting
    • Compressed cardboard that sag and deteriorates

    Examine the bed’s weight capacity rating and verify it matches your dog’s adult weight. Go bigger to provide a margin of safety.

     

    Ensuring a solid platform base

    The platform also needs to provide flawless support without buckling or sagging in the middle from your dog’s weight.

    Recommended sturdy platform materials

    • 3⁄4 inch plywood or MDF composites
    • Metal mesh or welded wire fabrics
    • Reinforced aluminum sheeting
    • Durable canvas pulled tightly across a frame

    Avoid these weaker platform options

    • Thin wooden slats spaced too far apart
    • Flimsy plastic or nylon webbing
    • Particle board, cardboard, or foam
    • Poorly constructed frames unable to hold weight

    Test the platform yourself prior to your dog using it to confirm adequate strength and stability.

     

    Using ramps or stairs for safe access

    Ramps or stairs allow for safer access minimizing the risk of jumping on or off an elevated bed.

    Ramp tips

    • The optimal incline is 30 degrees or less
    • Traction strips prevent slipping
    • Side railings provide stability
    • Sturdy frame and firmly attached

    Stair tips

    • Lower rise and deeper run for easy climbing
    • Railings for safety and balance
    • Non-slip treads are essential
    • Durable and firmly affixed to bed

    Ramps and stairs should be introduced gradually with treats and praise to positively reinforce using them.

     

    Positioning the elevated bed properly

    Strategic placement in your home improves safety:

    • Push the bed into a corner to limit access to one side
    • Place against a wall to eliminate space to jump off on one side
    • Keep away from the edge of high surfaces like beds or balconies
    • Face the foot of the bed toward a wall to prevent jumping off
    • Surround yourself with other pet furniture to visually restrict the space
    • Keep in a low foot-traffic area to avoid accidental collisions

    Take measurements to find spacing that reduces risks and contains the bed.

     

    Adding protective barriers and railings

    Additional rails and fencing provide security.

    • Attach cushioned bumpers around the edges
    • Use foam swimming pool noodles cut to size
    • Install removable mesh side netting
    • Add removable PVC railings that slide into holders
    • Affix wooden corner posts with wood or metal guardrails
    • Place rolled-up towels along the sides as make-shift bumpers

    Padding reduces impact if accidental contact occurs. But make sure rails don’t create entrapment risks.

     

    Monitoring your dog’s usage

    Proper supervision ensures safe integration:

    • Have your dog explore under your observation initially
    • Encourage them to lounge in bed and praise calm behavior
    • Discourage jumping by asking for a sit or down before joining the bed
    • Use treats to lure and reward walking up ramps or stairs instead of leaping
    • Provide step stool assistance until small dogs learn to climb up themselves
    • Stop any chewing or rough play on the elevated bed immediately

    With patience, you can train appropriate bed usage to avoid problems.


    Deter unsafe actions with protective measures

    Use protective adjustments if your dog tries to jump on/off their new bed.

    For excessive jumping:

    • Place cushions around the base to reduce impact upon landing
    • Install a removable lower barricade or fence to block access without stairs
    • Use leashes to restrict jumping until trained to use ramps and steps instead

    For chewing:

    • Spray sour anti-chew spray on vulnerable corners
    • Fit pieces of protective corner molding on wood legs and rails
    • Place bitter apple spray on fabrics to deter chewing
    • Remove bedding when unsupervised until the chewing habit resolves

    Targeted protection custom-fitted to your dog’s unwanted behavior can curb risks.

     

    When to wait on an elevated bed

    Some situations warrant delaying the use of an elevated bed:

    • The puppy is too small to safely access the bed without the risk of falling
    • The dog has unresolved jumping-on furniture issues that could transfer to bed
    • The dog tends to sneak or steal objects like shoes that could be safety risks if brought onto the raised bed
    • The dog has medical conditions like arthritis, vision issues, and seizure disorders that increase fall risks

    Assess your pet’s unique personality and needs to determine appropriate timing.

     

    Signs your dog may not take well to an elevated bed

    Look for these hints of discomfort that signal a raised bed may not suit your dog:

    • Avoiding or refusing to use the new elevated bed
    • Anxious pacing or jumping off bed repeatedly
    • Appearing nervous or distressed when on an elevated surface
    • Shaking, heavy panting, or hiding when in bed
    • Loss of previous housetraining when on an elevated surface

    When a dog won’t voluntarily use their new bed, it likely doesn’t meet their needs or comfort level.

     

    Training tips for safe elevated bed use

    Use positive reinforcement to teach your dog how to use their new elevated bed properly:

    • Reward with treats for calm behavior on the bed like lying down
    • Practice basic cues like sitting, down, and staying on the bed during training sessions
    • Verbally praise and pet your dog for remaining on the bed when instructed
    • Discourage jumping on/off by asking for a seat first before allowing access
    • Tire your dog out with exercise beforehand, so they are less energetic during initial training
    • Be patient – it may take many repetitions for behaviors to become habits
    • Keep training sessions brief at first to avoid frustration
    • Expand duration of time spent on bed and independence as skills strengthen

    With dedication and persistence, you can instill good elevated bed manners.

     

    Managing jumping risks

    If your dog insists on jumping on and off their new bed, manage it carefully:

    • Evaluate the height to determine if any breed risk factors like long backs or short legs
    • Monitor to ensure your dog clears the jump fully without clipping the edge
    • Consider a smaller size bed closer to the ground to minimize fall heights
    • Place a soft cushion or pad at the base for safe landing
    • Practice training daily to redirect to the use of stairs or ramps instead
    • Don’t encourage or reward jumping behavior
    • Use baby gates or ex pens when unsupervised to restrict access if needed
    • Avoid punitive techniques like physical corrections or punishment

    While not ideal, low-impact jumping can be tolerated in healthy adult dogs without vulnerable conformations. But training them to use ramps or steps is the safest long-term resolution.

     

    When to remove an elevated bed

    There are certain situations and times when removing access to an elevated bed is prudent:

    • If an injury, surgery, or mobility issues arise, that increase fall risk
    • When rambunctious guests or children visit, that may startle your dog
    • If introductions with new pets disrupt normal habits
    • During thunderstorms, fireworks or other frightening noises that could cause panic
    • Household renovations or moving furniture that cramp space
    • Destructive behaviors like chewing, digging or scratching arise
    • An impulse control accident occurs indicating your dog can’t self-limit their actions

    Eliminating environmental risks during transitional periods helps keep your dog secure.

     

    Conclusion

    Elevated dog beds offer wonderful benefits but also require extra safety awareness. Select an appropriately supportive size bed for your dog from quality durable materials. Use ramps and stairs to minimize fall risks.

    Add padded rails for security. Position the bed thoughtfully. With sensible precautions and training, an elevated bed can provide a comfortable, healthy place for your dog to happily lounge and play.

    But stay vigilant and remove access if any concerning behavior or health changes appear that could jeopardize your dog’s safety and security.

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