With the amount of Americans owning a dog or cat it’s no real surprise that over a billion dollars is usually spent every year on pet supplies and care. Pet beds in particular are big business. The large pet chain stores are continuously in the price war with one another to provide bed frames to the customer for the lowest price. The result, they buy from manufacturers in China, Japan, Indonesia and Taiwan to name several. And that is where the trouble starts.
International factories are under no actual obligation to use quality materials, procedures, or safe chemicals in their produce of pet beds sold in america. Although the chain stores do not set out to purchase a poorly made or dangerous bed, they are not always in a position to keep track of everything the supplier does. Poor foam, fabric and stitching make foreign made pet beds a negative investment. Overseas manufacturers can use poor “pours” of foam and cheap fabric seconds. Additionally , they use injectables to make their beds seem dense. These fillers frequently contain toxic substances, not to mention the fact that the polyurethane foam breaks down and flattens. We have all already been there, you buy a new bed for the pet and in a couple of months it flattens out and looks terrible, or worse, it makes your pet sick.
Formaldehyde, Phthalates, PVC and BPA or among the list of toxic substances used in the particular manufacture of foreign pet bedrooms. To make matters worse, many abroad factories use very toxic chemical substances to make their beds flame retardant. Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDE’s) are usually added to the foam and material to help the beds withstand high temperature ranges. Once the foam starts to break down your dog will begin ingesting the toxins slowly and gradually.
Recently an environmental work team took blood and urine samples from 20 dogs and 37 cats. The dog group tested beneficial for 19 toxic chemicals and the cat group all tested good for PBDE’s. And what if you have an animal with allergies? If your dog or cat is suffering from allergies you should absolutely keep them away from foreign-made beds. Toxic substances within the foam or fabric can make their particular allergies much worse. Respiratory problems along with skin irritation can cost you a visit to the vet.
If you have a dog that suffers from a hip or combined condition you will need an orthopedic mattress. Orthopedic beds are designed to provide support and ease pressure on a dog’s joints. A bed with badly made memory foam will flatten away making the condition worse.
So what to do? If you follow a few simple shopping rules you are less likely to be tied to a poorly made pet mattress. Consider the following:
Avoid a mattress made overseas.
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Look for a bed which is at least partially hand stitched.
Will be the bed non-allergenic?
Has the bed already been tested by a third party laboratory and certified to be free of toxic elements?
Do you need an orthopedic bed and does the bed state that it offers that advantage?