University of Pennsylvania’s Ryan Veterinary Hospital Now Using Big Barker Beds!


The University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine (Penn Vet) is one of the world’s premier veterinary education, research, and clinical care facilities. And since Big Barker designs and manufactures the world’s premier dog bed, we thought it might be a good idea to help their patients recover and rest on the most supportive and comfortable surface possible. Sounds logical, right?

dsc_6338bThis little cutie definitely approves!

Penn Vet’s Emergency Service had already been testing out our beds for a few weeks and were happy with the results—apparently so were their patients’ families, who were pleasantly surprised that their dogs were getting an even better bed in the hospital than they do at home! Last month we donated more than twenty more beds to the Neurology, Surgical Oncology, and Medical Oncology services as well as the ICU.

Giving comfort to ailing dogs is why we do what we do, so nothing makes us happier than to see the patients at Ryan Hospital benefitting from resting on a Big Barker.

After Fox 29 interviewed Eric and the vets enjoyed some delicious pizza with fruit tarts and peanut butter pie for dessert, we started distributing beds from an enormous pile at the front of the conference room.

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Big Barkers all around!

Eric loves nothing more than to help dogs in need, and he was especially pleased that the patients at Ryan Hospital were going to be using our beds.

“We’re just really happy that the beds are going to be used here in Ryan Hospital. We have customers with healthy dogs but also dogs with very serious joint conditions like arthritis and hip dysplasia, and also dogs recovering from surgery. What the beds are designed to do is to take all of a dog’s weight and eliminate all the pressure points between the dog and the floor below. So we thought there was no better place to put them to use than here at Penn Vet.”

The vets seemed excited as well to have their patients try out their new Big Barkers. Jonathan Wood, staff veterinarian in Neurology at Ryan Hospital, expressed the need for a multi-purpose resting surface for patients who are suffering from neurological issues.

“Dogs who suffer from diseases such as myasthenia gravis are sometimes down for days or weeks at a time. If they’re not laying on something that is pliable and yet firm enough to keep them up and off the ground, then we transition from just trying to treat the disease to finding things like bedsores, muscle contractions, and tons of other secondary problems.”

The Neurology service received some of our waterproof Cordura covers, which Dr. Wood appreciated. “The bed’s surface needs to be totally washable because, again, these dogs can’t get up and do all of the things that dogs want to do; they can’t get up and go to the bathroom. This will be the first time that we have something that looks great, feels fantastic, and on top of that is really functional. That’s kind of the gap that there is in the market. In animal medicine, it’s got to be functional. I’m excited to try them with my patients.”

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Big Barker’s resident vet, Dr. Sarah Wooten, recently had a chance to speak with Dr. Kimberly Agnello, Penn Vet’s Assistant Professor of Small Animal Surgery, about her experience using Big Barker beds at the hospital. She said,

“We have been using these beds in our orthopedic wards, neurological service wards, and in the oncology service. Older dogs often not only have cancer, but they are also suffering from arthritis. The biggest benefit I have seen is that these beds help these patients be comfortable while they are in the hospital by protecting their joints. Also, Big Barker beds are easy to clean, which is important because so many different dogs sit on them.”

Ryan Hospital’s patients are definitely some of the most deserving of a comfortable night’s rest, and we are proud to be able to help provide that for them.

Melissa is the Managing Editor at Big Barker. She is best friend to Phoebe (pictured) and Finian, both rescued Chihuahua mixes.