Whether it's on the couch, floor, grass, your bed, or their own bed, pets sure know how to enjoy a nice long snooze.
They spend majority of their lives sleeping and if you're lucky enough to have both a cat and a dog then they're going to spend quite a while commandeering the best place to sleep.
What most pet owners don't know or don't realize is the dangerous chemicals our pets are inhaling while they sleep.
Flame retardants are compounds added to manufactured materials, such as plastics and textiles, and surface finishes and coatings that inhibit, suppress, or delay the production of flames to prevent the spread of fire. They can leak from these products into the dust and the environment. In worst case scenarios, flame retardants have even been found in dog and cat food.
In a study conducted by researchers at the Department of Veterinary Bio-sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Illinois, found that flame retardants are linked to the growing problem of thyroid disease in house cats.
Flame retardants are known to be neurotoxic chemicals, they're also carcinogenic and can affect the thyroid and liver of any animal.
In another study conducted at Indiana University, researchers found a high concentration of flame retardants in the blood of dogs. Flame retardants levels were found to be 5 to 10 times higher in dogs than those found in humans and in a previous study, 20 to 100 times higher in cats.
What can pet owners do to protect their loving companions?
- Replace old beds with newer flame retardant free beds. There is no way you can tell if a bed has been treated with flame retardants by just looking at it, but as the consumer you have a right to know what exactly is in the product you wish to purchase so don't be afraid and ask the manufacturers directly.
- Avoid foam or polyester pet bed fillers. In general most foam products have been treated with flame retardants and are unsafe for your pets. Fortunately there are alternatives on the market - one of our favorites is IntelliLoft. It's a safe, clean bed filler that's made from recycled plastic bottles. Good for both your pet & the environment.
- Confirm that all fabrics prior to fabrication have never been treated with flame retardants. The manufacturer may not have added it to the finished bed but the fabric they have purchased prior may have already been treated. When it comes to the health of your pet you can never be too careful.
- Look for natural fabrics like cotton, wool or hemp. Organic cotton is a better choice, you'll avoid any pesticide or chemical used to grow the cotton. Always double check to ensure it's flame retardant free.
Different types of pet beds on the market
- Nest beds: If your pet prefers to snuggle up on your couch cushions then they might be nesters. They feel safe curling up nose-to-tail in den like beds with walls around them.
- Cushioned styled beds: Depending on the size of your pet, these pillow-like beds are ideal for pets who like to sprawl out and sleep on their backs. The bed should be big enough for your pet to stretch out completely without hanging off on the edge.
- Mats: Are similar to the cushioned styled beds but with less stuffing. They are closer to the ground and contain no support for your pet.
As a consumer we have a right to know what we're exposing ourselves, our family and our pets to. These harsh chemicals might be hard to get rid of, a few have found their way into products we consume, but we can start diminishing our exposure to them and find alternative options, which are now increasing thanks to the awareness and the growing demand from consumers.
Dolphin Blue only carries pet products that are 100% flame retardant free, BPA free, chemical free and are made right here in the USA.