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Sustainable and Eco-friendly Dog Beds

The most sustainable dog beds are probably shredded newspaper, straw or wood shavings!! If you are prepared to have all that spread round your house or flying round the garden or in the back of the car, go for it.

Dog bed in the back of a car, straw style!

Dog bed in the back of a car, straw style!

The LEAST eco-friendly dog beds would be the ones that look nice and soft and cute, but don’t last more than a few month before they are thrown away because they are either flat, worn out or smelly and can’t be washed.

The SOLUTION has to be long lasting, waterproof dog beds that are easy to wash and keep clean and free of smells. Dog beds that literally last years and years have to be the best way of reducing the carbon footprint of owning a dog.

Tuffies bed made bespoke for the back of the car.

Tuffies bed made bespoke for the back of the car.

The ULTIMATE in reducing your carbon foot print is not to own a dog at all, but that would hugely decrease your quality of life, don’t you agree?

We do not want a life without dogs!!!

Can you buy Sustainable Dog Beds in Pet Shops?

The most common dog beds that dog owners still buy here in the UK are the cheap ones from pet shops and online pet shops. Stack them high and sell them cheap… They are almost all made abroad, often in the far east. They usually look pretty; they are too thin and they have all manners of edging and decorations on them. From experience, these dog beds last only a short time and they are often simply impossible to wash, especially if you have a large dog that needs a large dog bed. If you can’t keep them clean, you are finally forced to throw them out and get new ones as the smell overpowers the house. Because these dog beds are so cheap, we have become accustomed to just buy and throw away and buy again.

But we have all started to look with more scrutiny at what we are doing and how we use resources. To throw away a dog bed twice a year is madness. So what do you do if you want to give your dog a bed and can’t imagine using straw or wood shavings in the house?

 

The Most Sustainable Dog Beds would be the Durable, Waterproof ones.

Here at Tuffies we supply ONLY durable dog beds that will last you years and years. We speak to our customers all the time and we keep hearing variations of the following message: “We used to buy dog beds in pet shops and they never lasted more than a few months. Either they would go flat and uncomfortable for our dog or they would develop holes just from the dog’s digging and normal use. Since we have had Tuffies Dog Beds, we have not needed to buy another dog bed since”.

This is a very common message over and over again. And why? Because we make every effort to produce the perfect, long lasting and easily cleaned dog bed. We pay attention to every detail of our dog beds, not just the style, which is of course important, but to our fabrics, the waterproof coating  and the way we stuff the mattresses for our Tuffies Dog Beds. The waterproof coating is particularly important as we have the fabric coated especially for us with an extra thick polyurethane coating that will remain waterproof under pressure and remain soft and comfortable. All our waterproof dog beds can be washed with hot, soapy water and rinsed down for perfect hygiene. Most of our beds also come with an option of soft, fleecy covers that can be removed for easy and light washing. This means that you are not trying to burden your system by trying to wash kilos and kilos of stuffing because the inside of the dog beds never get wet or smelly. You only use water and soap for the outside surface and for the small covers that are easy to wash and to dry on the clothes line.

When dogs chew, they go through even more dog beds and the chewed remains of these end up in landfill. We at Tuffies, however, have a forever lasting dog bed for chewing dogs. Yes, it is PLASTIC, which is now almost a swearword in our society, but the thing is, it will outlast your chewing dog. You will never need to buy another dog bed and the cleaning is also extremely eco friendly because you only have to give it a surface clean using very little water and soap. The small, inner piece of fabric can be renewed, but this is one sheet of fabric less than 1 meter square.

 

“But These are all Man-made Fibres” we hear you say.

Yes, we take the view, that if we supply dog beds that will last for many years, made from synthetic fibres and waterproof coatings, the saving to the environment is better than if you insist on using cotton or low quality “recycled” fibres. Long lasting will always be better than short lived land-filling products, no matter (almost) what they are made from as long as the difference in durability is as large as it is with Tuffies.

Much is being revealed about how much water and pollution it takes to produce cotton products. We do supply a couple of cotton products, but we do not claim these are more sustainable than manmade fibre products. When all is taken in to account.

We have of course considered wool. As we are only 30 miles from Johnston of Elgin, the famous woollen mill, we have been working with them to find out if we can use their wool for our dog beds. They even had the trimmings from the edges of the looms, which would be ideal for us to use, but we found that this product did not make a comfortable dog bed as it quickly turned hard. The wool filling quickly clumped up and ended up in one end of the cover. Utterly hopeless to our disappointment.

We offer wool covers for our waterproof dog beds, but the truth is actually that they don’t last quite as long as our polyester covers (especially if the dogs are digging) and the wool covers can only be washed at 30 degrees, which is often not enough for smelly dog beds.

 

Could we do Better?

We are not convinced that it is possible to make a totally sustainable dog bed in the purest sense of the word, but we are on constant outlook for opportunities in that field. Now that the developed world, in particular, has woken up to the fact that we must be more careful with our consumption, carbon foot prints, air miles, pollution and landfill, there are industries springing up everywhere that offer base products that are kinder to the environment. We will be out there looking for that and as soon as there is a realistic chance of using these products, we will be making dog beds out of them.

 

You Could Make your own Eco-Friendly Dog Bed.

If you want to use your unwanted clothes or old duvets in a recycled/reused way, you could purchase one of our dog bed covers and simply fill it with the clothes you would otherwise have taken to the textile recycling bank. The downside has to be that it is going to create quite a lumpy and sometimes hard bed if you put your old jeans in there, but at least it is recycled.