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The Risk Of Polyurethane Foam Dog Beds
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Sleeping dog

Question – What is Polyurethane foam and why does it pose a risk to my dog’s health?

Polyurethane foam is cheap foam stuffed with highly toxic chemicals.  The toxins are extremely unsafe to our dogs and they cause many proven health risks.

History of Polyurethane foam

It was sadly created by the US under a contract by NASA Ames Research centre to improve aircraft seating, however, they missed one thing out the damaging effect to our dogs. The name they used was “slow spring back foam” Although we think the name better suited is “toxic bed bombs”

Then NASA released the memory foam to the public domain in early 1980. It was comfy and it was cheap to manufacture. So why not jump on the wagon and start selling products using Polyurethane foam? I guess you’d be stupid not too.

Well, …until you hear that it’s an extremely unsafe product, advised by several official experts the foam was not safe and several health risks came to light.

It’s a manmade fabric made up of chemicals of petroleum-by-products and is highly flammable. Therefore, it got the nickname of “solid gasoline” by the fire service. It’s extremely flammable, so much so that even more chemicals are then added after for a flame retardant. It needs Industrial toxic fire retardants adding.

PentaBDE is a common choice being so cheap and Toxicological Sciences have said that exposure to it can affect brain development. Another popular choice is the chemical called Diisocyanates a binding compound for a fire retardant which can cause respiratory and skin damage.

List of chemicals found in Polyurethane foam

  • Benzene
  • Chlorine
  • Formaldehyde
  • Toluene
  • Methylene Chlorine
  • PFOS (perfluorooctyl sulfonate
  • Solvents
  • VOCs
  • Flame Retardant
Toxic chemical sign

What are the symptoms of exposure to the chemicals?

  • Dermatitis
  • Skin irritation
  • Respiratory tract irritation
  • Sensitization
  • Cancer
  • Damage to the kidney, liver, nervous system

Why do they still make Polyurethane memory foam?

  • Because it’s cheap to manufacture

Just to give you an estimated price. Polyurethane memory foam 25cm by 25cm would be about £3.50 and for the same size but made chemically free made from Latex foam, the price would be around £25. It’s such a shame, but I guess you really do get what you pay for in this case.

  • Because it’s pretty comfortable. let’s be honest it’s comfy, it’s soft, but is it worth your dog’s life? Or the irritation it causes them?

The worse thing is that the average big brands online or high street shops, sell them. Mainly shipped over from China unregulated. Not naming brand names but these brands are supposed to have your dog’s best interest at heart.

Due to the time, it can’t always be proven of the risk, if your dog is exposed over a long time to these toxins. Most owners or vets would most likely put it down to old age, bad luck or just normal life. But do you really want to risk it? For the sake of money.  After all most dog owners have a bed for an average of 5 years.

Extremely flammable

Polyurethane memory foam is extremely flammable, so much so that more chemicals are added after the manufacturing for a flame retardant. Industrial toxic fire retardants are then added to the foam. PentaBDE is a common choice because it’s so cheap. Toxicological Sciences have said that exposure to it can affect brain development. Another common fire retardant is Diisocyanates, a binding compound that can cause respiratory problems and skin damage.

Did you know that the chemicals in your dog’s bed don’t even stay contained within the dog bed they pollute the air making your own home polluted? Those fumes become part of the air that the whole family breathe in. Is it enough to cause life threating illness? I very much do agree just because it may take several years, or it’s invisible. It’s just not fair that these company’s sell dog beds which are still an expense to you and sell them. I wonder how do they sleep at night?

How can I find non-toxic alternatives and where can I find them?

Ok, we agree there aren’t many non-toxic dog beds around, this was one of the reasons why we decided to start making them ourselves. At Pippys Furniture we design them, make them and deliver them. We complete the whole process from start to scratch without using a single life-threatening chemical in a homely environment.

What you can do

By reducing and ridden of any health risks that a bed can pose to your dog you can buy a latex dog bed covered in organic wool or cotton, and, if painted, it needs to have been painted with eco-friendly paint and covered in an organic flame retardant.

Top Tips and Advice

Dog beds sold online or in the shops, if they aren’t shouting it’s organic or eco-friendly or made of latex foam then take it it’s filled with chemicals.

Orthopaedic memory foam doesn’t mean better for your dog, it needs to state latex or natural Orthopaedic memory foam bed. You’re just swapping one chemical foam bed for another.

What’s bad is I bet you weren’t even aware of this until you stumbled upon this article. What is even worse, most of the public is unaware. Manufactures have been told these chemicals are unsafe, but they continue to use them, and we continue to buy them.

Cheap man-made chemicals filled dog beds are not in our dog’s best interest.

Materials that are non-toxic that is all we use, we WILL NOT use any others and certainly never use chemicals. Yes, they are costly but who cares we would rather deliver safe dog beds to you and sleep easy at night. We don’t have to worry that there are dogs sleeping on chemical filled toxic bombs from us.

Nontoxic Options

  • Latex
  • Organic Cotton or Wool
  • Orgainc Fire Retardent

What does Organic mean and Why is it safer?

Organic means no chemicals have been involved in the process of manufacturing.

What is latex?

Latex comes naturally from the rubber tree, its harvested through a procedure called vulcanization it’s not cruel and doesn’t hurt the tree in any way. It’s a long process so hence the price. The liquid harvested from the tree is then in theory dried/cooked which then it makes a foam. The foam is just as comfy as chemical filled foam so don’t worry your dog will be just as happy in a latex filled foam to the cheap foam.

Latex Rubber Trees
Latex Rubber Trees

List of chemicals found in latex

  • None

As you can see, we listed none, as there are no chemicals that can do any damage to your dog’s health found in latex. “Unless your dog is allergic to latex” however this is extremely rare.

Please do spread the word the more dog owners know the better.


Stop buying cheap toxic beds that aren’t safe for our dogs!

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