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The Dangers of Flame Retardant Chemicals to Your Dog


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With so many lives lost in unexpected fires over the years, something had to be done. One solution developed was flame retardant chemicals. They work by delaying the combustion of fire in certain products. But while they save lives from fires, these potent chemicals can be dangerous for dogs. Worryingly, dogs metabolize these chemicals at a much quicker rate than cats and humans! These chemicals are thought to cause cancer, reproductive problems, and a range of other issues. This article will help you understand the danger these chemicals pose to your dog, and will suggest measures you can take to minimize your dog’s exposure to them.


After numerous fires and related fatalities, the 1970s 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.

Health Risks

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 can the chemicals affect the reproductive capabilities of your dog, but they can also damage the endocrine system and increase the chances of cancer developing.

The worry is that because canines 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!

Steps You Can Take to Reduce Their Risk

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.

The Burning Conclusion

The last few decades have seen a surge in fire retardant chemicals being inserted into a wide range of household items, from furniture to electrical appliances. Dogs are particularly at risk as they metabolize the chemicals much quicker than other household pets and humans. These chemicals can cause cancer and a range of other serious health problems. Fortunately, there are a number of straightforward steps, such as those outlined above, you can take to reduce your dog’s exposure to these chemicals.

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