Without fanfare or marketing, the bedding industry has been raising the altitude of its products, satisfying customer preferences for ever-thicker mattresses. Yet that preference is creating a hazard for a tall bed's shortest occupant: the dog.
Anecdotally, veterinarians across the country report among house dogs a rise in such disorders as elbow and shoulder arthritis, hip dysplasia and degenerative disk disease. As the lifespan of pets rises thanks to better food and medicine, the old dog that once leapt with abandon now hesitates on the edge of bed -- or jumps and hurts itself.
Little dogs like the Pekingese are soaring off of high beds without fear. "For a little dog to take a flying leap off a bed that's five to six times higher than he stands is an act of courage, and a recipe for injury," says Stephen Crane, an academic animal doctor and diplomat of the American College of Veterinary Surgeons.
The peril is too new to have generated peer-reviewed veterinary research. But the problem is evident in the white-hot popularity of a relatively new product: pet stairs, specifically designed to lead Fido from bed to floor by land rather than air.
Source: The Wall Street Journal (click for full article)