Raise your hand if you would do anything for your fur babies (*raises hand enthusiastically*). If you’re buying them the best organic dog food, taking them for walks every day, and setting up vet appointments the minute they need them, then congratulations! You’re an amazing pet parent.
But have you thought about the quality and safety of what they’re sleeping on? Sure, you may have bought the comfiest, squishiest bed for your dog that you could find, but is that bed good for their health? Find out more about potentially harmful chemicals used to make dog beds and discover alternatives you and your pup will love.
Are Dog Beds Toxic?
Like any product you bring into your home, dog beds can be surprisingly laden with not-so-great chemicals. They can include:
- Triclosan, which is an anti-microbial chemical that’s in a wide array of consumer products like dish soap. Studies have found that it can disrupt hormone and thyroid function, even in animals.
- Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) can be found in the memory foam, flame retardants, glues, and solvents of a dog bed. These emitted gases can negatively impact indoor air quality, leading to these symptoms listed by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA): headaches, nausea, fatigue, and organ damage, things that can be experienced by you and your pet.
- Bromine, a flame retardant in furniture foam, is also the same stuff you’ll find in swimming pools. The Ecology Center, an organization that researches the safety of products, has reported finding bromine in dog beds. It can cause things like trouble breathing, headache, dizziness, skin irritation, nausea, and vomiting.
What Can Happen to a Dog Who Sleeps in a Toxic Bed?
There are a number of studies that show that these chemicals aren’t benign. For instance, as mentioned, animal studies have proven the negative effects of triclosan, including one 2018 study that confirmed a connection between the chemical and colonic inflammation. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), bromine can bring on coughing, breathing difficulties, and dizziness. And VOCs just aren’t good for anyone, whether you’re four-legged or not, something else that’s been affirmed by research.
Dogs that are older or have other health issues are at even greater risk of being negatively affected by the toxins in conventional dog beds. If you’ve noticed any of these symptoms in your favorite furry friend, it might be time to swap out their dog bed.
What to Look for in a Non-Toxic Dog Bed
If you’re concerned about your dog’s overall health, purchasing an organic, eco-friendly dog bed could be a good idea. When shopping for natural dog beds, look for some of the following materials:
- 100% natural virgin wool
- Organic cotton
- Non-dyed linen
- Buckwheat hulls
- Natural latex foam
You could also turn to The Ecology Center’s “Healthy Stuff Product Search.” Simply type in “dog bed,” and a list of non-toxic beds that have been researched by the center will appear.
This post may contain affiliate links, which means we may earn a small commission if you choose to make a purchase. We only make recommendations that are genuine and meet our ingredient/material safety standards.
Our List of the Best Non-Toxic, Green Dog Beds
For specific recommendations of organic dog beds, look no further than this handy list.
The cult-favorite organic mattress company carries an organic dog bed that comes with a snuggly pillow bolster. It’s 100% Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) certified, has an organic cotton cover, and contains natural, GOLS-certified latex paired with breathable coconut husk.
They also carry a dog bed frame that’s made with upcycled scraps (all FSC®-certified reclaimed wood and Douglas fir) from their Los Angeles wood shop. It’s finished with a non-toxic, zero-VOC stain and varnish.
With its cool patterning, this dog bed is sure to steal the show in any on-trend space. It also happens to be organic, crafted with recycled cotton, organic Sherpa, recycled polyethylene terephthalate (PET) fill, and chemical-free dyes.
Only Natural Pet is also a certified B Corporation and all of their products are carbon neutral.
The company’s Earth-Friendly Bolster Dog Bed features an environmentally friendly filling created with recycled plastic bottles, natural latex, and GOTS certified organic cotton. Plus, your pup will love resting his head on the comfy bolster.
Just note that products that use recycled plastic aren’t completely toxin-free, since the recycled portion can contain things like bisphenols (BPA). The good thing about this dog bed, however, it is OEKO-TEX® class 1-certified, which means that the end product has been tested for toxic substances. Plus, the recycled plastic portion is on the inside, so it’s not touching your dog’s skin.
Certified organic with natural memory foam and natural latex foam, it’s no wonder that this cozy dog bed comes from a company that produces the world’s only natural memory foam mattress. While memory foam is definitely something to be wary of due to the VOCs it usually contains, Essentia’s dog bed carries the GOTS and GOLS organic certifications, indicating its safety. Everything is handmade in Canada! It comes with a removable cover for easy cleaning too.
The Futon Shop’s “Natural Home” purveys customizable organic dog beds that come in several sizes and hues. You can even choose your preferred natural fillings for the bed, ranging from coconut and wool, latex and wool, organic cotton, to pure wool.
These dog beds are handcrafted in the USA and come with a removable waterproof cover.
This dog bed is sure to add some eye-catching texture to your home while providing a perfect spot for your furry friend to rest. Nestled in a natural jute basket, it features a cushion made of certified organic cotton. It’s also OEKO-TEX and Fair Trade certified.
OMI, another organic mattress brand, also manufactures organic dog beds that are made in the USA. Filled with shredded natural rubber and featuring a removable cover made of organic cotton canvas, it’s a durable bed that’s certainly stylish.
Offering sizes that go from extra-small to extra-large, this orthopedic dog bed from All Natural Dog showcases a cute print and is covered in 100% organic cotton. It’s filled with 100% natural latex, which is very supportive to puppers.
This beloved, sophisticated brand for dogs sells equally chic green dog beds in a variety of designs and sizes. This one displays a grain-sack look with its stripes in earth-friendly, hypo-allergenic dyes. The insert, sold separately, contains eco-fiberfill that comes from recycled post-consumer plastic bottles.
Rendered in natural materials like virgin wool and organic cotton, this dog bed is made in the USA. It’s a cinch to clean with its removable outer cover, offers orthopedic support, and controls temperature with its breathable materials.
If you’re looking for a green, non-toxic dog bed, there are plenty of great brands to choose from. Look for natural materials like organic cotton or wool, and third-party certifications like OEKO-TEX that verify the end-product is free from toxic chemicals.
About the Author
Shelby Deering is a lifestyle writer from Madison, Wisconsin. For the past 16 years, she has contributed to national print magazines and websites, including Naturally, Danny Seo, Healthline, Good Housekeeping, Parade, USA Today, and more. In her own life, she embraces non-toxic, cruelty-free beauty and cleaning products, and when she’s not researching a “clean” shampoo or lotion to add to her daily regimen, you’ll find her walking her corgi, Dolly, running local trails, or discovering treasures at nearby flea markets.