You care about the planet so you recycle and try your best to minimize your carbon footprint. You care about your dog’s health, so you feed her natural or organic dog food. You make a special point of finding dog treats which are healthy and made from natural ingredients. Why would you let your dog sleep on a bed made with petrochemicals?
If you haven’t given it much thought before, here a few things to consider when looking for a safe and comfortable bed for your dog.
Organic fibers are important. You probably know humans who have sensitive skin, and have allergic reactions to synthetic dyes and chemicals in their clothes. You might even be one of those people yourself. Contact with the wrong fibers can give you a serious rash, or at least make your skin uncomfortably itchy. It is the same with your dog. Even if your dog is not particularly allergic, it is still healthier to let her sleep on a bed that is not full of toxins. So choose a bed with an organic cotton or hemp cover.
Many “green” dog bed fillings on the market today are made from post-consumer plastic fibers that come from recycled water bottles. These types of synthetic fibers are considered to be safe because the recycled plastic was originally used as food containers. There are mixed reviews, though, about the safety of any plastic material for long term use. There is growing evidence that plastic leaches into its surrounding environment. So beware that proof of the long term safety of all plastics is still up in the air, even if they are recycled.
Of course, filling is only an issue if your dog likes high-loft, pillow-like beds. If that is what your dog likes, and you don’t like the idea of her sleeping on recycled plastic, look for a bed stuffed with organic kapok. Kapok is a plant-based material, like cotton or hemp. It has been used for centuries to stuff furniture and pillows. So both you and your dog can rest easy that it is safe.
Some dogs prefer to sleep on a firmer surface, even the floor. If all your dog needs is a blanket to keep the chill off, you could choose organic cotton or hemp, which are also machine washable. If your dog requires firm stuffing, you can still use organic kapok, but make sure that it is densely packed to provide firmness that is comfortable for your dog.