After numerous fires and related fatalities, the 1970’s saw regulations introduced, whereby furniture had to be injected with flame retardant chemicals. While this has been successful in reducing fire fatalities to a greater extent, it has meant your dog is constantly coming into contact with these potentially harmful chemicals.
These chemicals can be found in carpet padding, mattresses, upholstered furniture, vehicle seat covers, kitchen appliances, and a range of other common household items. Now factor in that Indiana University scientists in 2011 found the levels of these chemicals in dogs is 5 to 10 times higher than in humans, and you can begin to understand the danger they pose.
The flame retardant chemicals used in household goods are harsh, potent substances that can have a serious impact on your dog’s health. Not only could it affect the reproductive capabilities of your dog, it could damage the endocrine system and increase the chances of cancer developing.
The worry is that because dogs metabolize the chemicals quicker, the concentration of them in their bodies is much greater, which could massively increase their chances of problems developing in comparison to other household pets and humans. So these dangers are real and particularly threatening to your dog!
Thankfully, the Environmental Working Group highlighted a number of straightforward steps you can take as a dog owner to reduce the threat of fire retardant chemicals. If you are removing carpets, you could be releasing these chemicals, so keep your dog away from the area until it is clean and finished. If any items like pillows and sofas have rips, exposing foam, replace them or ensure they are properly sealed.
When buying new furniture for your house, check the label first. Try to avoid products containing brominated fire retardants, as these are particularly harmful. Instead chose less flammable materials such as wool or cotton.