I debated writing a post about healthy bedding for a while. Because I get it, you know? You clean up your dog’s food and water game, maybe you even clean up their toys (see ya cheap plastic!) and grooming products (so long fragrance!) And then you see THIS- healthy bedding.
ANOTHER THING TO WORRY ABOUT? Well, I’ve got news. There’s loads we can do to optimize our doggos’ health (as well as our own). But it’s important that we shift our mindset in order to do so. We’re always going to be learning and unlearning. So why not just embrace it? And listen, I get it. Unlearning is hard and vulnerable. We’re basically acknowledging that the institutions we’ve trusted and idolized (and made SUPER rich) for a century are not always functioning with our, or our pups, best interests at heart. And that can feel fucking scary.
BUT, the good news is that learning this kind of stuff can not only improve our family’s health, it can feel super empowering. And dare I say, life changing? So let’s start by being proud of ourselves for even having done the research to want to find out more. To be wholly transparent, when I realized bedding could be carcinogenic, I felt ashamed it wasn’t something I‘d known about and tried to prioritize sooner. I had no idea that a couch or a bed could “off gas”, I legitimately thought the article I was reading was satire, but alas, here we are, and we’re going to figure it out together.
So why is this such a big deal? Turns out, we, along with our dogs, are exposed to a host of chemicals from numerous off gassing products in our very own homes (paint, couches, mattresses, electronic devices etc). But our pets suffer the most as they’re the ones who spend the most time at home, curled up on those couches/cushions/mattresses/carpets that are leaching the airborne chemicals. How we got to a place where the RUG was what was killing us, I’ll never understand. But that’s neither here nor there.
The scoop is that most of these products are sprayed with flame retardants, waterproof and stain-resistant chemicals in addition to harsh dyes during manufacturing. In the interim, the chemicals break down and release, exposing you and your pupper to harsh man made chemicals, daily. I picture my couch farting every so often, anyone else? Anyway all jokes aside, it's been linked to a slew of serious illnesses from allergies and asthma to Parkinson’s and cancer, so it’s definitely something we want to try and minimize our dogs exposure to wherever we can.
Understandably, the non toxic beds are far more of an investment than a bed from Canadian Tire, so I will say this, if you cannot afford a non toxic bed for your dog or yourself, try exploring using organic cotton sheets or organic hemp/bamboo/cotton/wool blankets (etsy’s a great place to look!) to cover any surface that may be releasing chemicals.
If you’re able to start saving for a new bed, these three appear to be the best:
- Former Fibres- this company was born from a passion for animals and keeping them healthy. All beds are made with upcycled non off-gassing textiles and filled with all natural fibre harvested from the seedpod of the Kapok tree. All beds are handmade in Ontario and they plant a tree for each bed purchased (but act fast as the company is closing at the end of the month)!
- My Naturo Pet- made in the USA, stuffed with 100% organic wool (awesome for temperature regulation and joint support) and the casing is 100% organic cotton.
- Rawganique- pure 100% organic cotton bedding- both stuffing and casing. Chemical-free, dye-free and made in the USA (in a bunch of different great colour options!).
**there are other companies out there like Essentia and Avocado- although great companies with non- toxic beds, the actual types of material they use are just more complicated than things like kapok, wool and cotton. They're certified for using processes and materials that are in fact organic, it just always makes me wary when there's more steps in the making of a product.
However, they are also more long lasting as wool, kapok and cotton eventually ware away and don't provide the same type of support, so, it's truly a choose your own adventure situation.
We actually ended up getting Opie a bed from Essentia as the support for his joints was superior and I didn't want to have to source and restuff his bed every year.
Hope this was helpful. Stay healthy, stay hungry, stay curious my furiends.