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Healthy Dog Beds

Here at Tuffies we have just had a big Health and Safety audit today. Everything went swimmingly and it’s a nice feeling to be doing the right thing in terms of the health and the safety of our lovely group of dog bed making people. There were a couple of updates to be done, but we are considered a well run and a good company for our staff (and customers of course). We ask professionals regularly to come and help with various things. Of course we have the fire safety people, the drinking water testers, the PAT (Portable Appliance Testing) company, the manual handling instructors etc etc. We have a physiotherapist visiting every couple of years to make sure that everyone is comfortable and healthy in their work and work positions.

But at the end of the day, you can never quite know if you have overseen anything, so we asked a Health and Safety company to come in for a total audit of our premises where we make our fantastic dog beds. After hours of going through every paper document and corner of the place, we had a small list of things we should brush up on, but we are good.


Hazards in Dog Beds due to Error

Audits like the one today is all about seeking out and identifying hazards and we have just had a stark reminder about exactly that via an email from a customer. We had left a pin in one of the tunnel dog bed covers and not realised this during our otherwise strict quality controls at the point of packing. The customer, who described themselves as long standing and DELIGHTED customers, who are always 110% satisfied with our practical and luxurious  dog beds, were anxious about this find. Quite understandably.

We hand-made all our dog beds and pinning up before sewing is part of the manufacturing process. A human error caused a pin to be left in the cover. It is inexcusable and we are most embarrassed about this. Accidents happen and thankfully the customer’s dog did not come across the pin in any adverse way, so no injury happened.

Solution: Extra, extra caution and quality control at tuufies HQ.


The Hazards for Dogs that Chew their Beds

Being really in the mood for health and safety and all those healthy worries today, there is also the subject of harm that dogs inflict upon themselves. In connection with dog beds, it is when they chew and eat their beds. This is a very, very common problem indeed and it is one that vets see ALL the time. When dogs chew, rip and then swallow bits of dog beds, they can end up with a big problem. Some bits can go right through the dog and come out the other end with absolutely no harm. Oh yes, we have heard from many customers about finding pieces of dog beds along with socks and other delicious items stemming from the washing basket, in the poo. Some dogs just can’t resist eating all sorts of stuff and sometimes it does not go quite so well and nothing comes out the other end. The dog starts to look poorly, might lose his appetite, might have tarry poos or be straining along with other symptoms. We speak to customers, who say that they have tried everything, but the dog rips it all up and is currently sleeping on bare boards in the kennel or on the bare floor in the cage or the kitchen. Some dogs eat only their beds and can be left on nothing in the house, while others simply rip the sofa, the skirting boards and any pillows in sight. The TV remote control is a favourite.

Solution: The Really Tough Tuffie. This is the only guaranteed chew proof dog bed on the market, which is also warm and comfortable, The Really Tough Tuffie has solved the chewing hazard problem for thousands of dog owners. The construction is such that the dog is lying on a 10cm thick padding made from insulating hollow fibre covered with a pleasant, waterproof fabric. The trick is that the dog can not get hold of the fabric or the stuffing because it is sandwiched between two rounded plastic parts. The two parts can not be chewed because they are too large for the dog’s jaws to fit round, but they also function as a little draught excluder. If you have a dog that only attacks his bed and not the rest of the house, the Really Tough Tuffie is ideal as a dog bed in the house. If he is a house chewer, you would need a cage large enough to fit the slightly cumbersome bed in to, but it is the kindest solution for a dog that just can’t help nibbling and chewing.


The Healthiest dog beds

All this did make me think about the health and safety of our dog beds and about what the healthiest dog bed is. We look at many criteria when we design and produce our dog beds and focusing on HEALTH is a massive part of our considerations. Dogs can’t speak, so we have to guess and listen to what dog owners and vets are saying.


Keeping Dog Beds Dry

One of the biggest issues to make sure is right, is to avoid dampness in dog beds. If you have a dog bed that is not waterproof, you open yourself (and your dog) up to the hazards of a sneaking cold dampness, which is the quickest way to get a dog with an early onset of arthritis. If a dog spends a lot of time on a bed that absorbs moisture from his coat after a rainy walk AND absorbs the condensation that can occur from the space under the bed (if you have a cold floor) the bed will slowly become damp and wet inside. This makes it a less insulating bed and it will create an environment for your dog that is not ideal for the clinical onset of arthritis resulting in stiffness and sore joints. A dry, waterproof dog bed, either a nest dog bed or a waterproof mattress dog bed is essential if you have an active, outdoorsy dog that will sometimes be a little damp.


Keeping Dog Beds Free of Mould

The other very important health issue regarding dog beds is to keep all mould from them. This is another reason for using waterproof dog beds or Raised Dog Beds. With a waterproof cover you keep the inside of the bed as dry as possible and you can wash off any dirt on the outside if you have a lot of dampness in the room or kennel. With dog beds that tend to get dirty (especially if the dog has treats in his bed) and a high relative humidity in the room, mould will form. Make sure your dog is not spending all his sleeping hours in a mouldy place. Clean the dog bed and use anti fungal cleaning fluids if needed and make sure you air the beds. If you have covers on your Raised dog bed, wash them often enough to keep mould down.


Keeping Dog Beds Free of Flees and Bugs

It is something we don’t want to think about, but SOMETIMES we may have a dog with flees. Especially if dogs socialise a lot, there may be another dog where the infection can come from. If you run in to this problem, you really need to wash down your waterproof dog bed and wash all covers at more than 60 degrees. It is easy to do and the great thing is that with the waterproof cover you can be confident that there will be no eggs or larvae inside the bed hiding in the stuffing.

This is also fantastic for dogs with pollen or house-dust-mite allergies. If you use the Wipe Clean mattress dog beds or the Wipe Clean Nest Dog Beds, you can keep everything pollen and mite free. If necessary you may need to use these without the fleecy covers, but if you wash often and hot enough, you can still give your dog the benefit of that luxury.