During the past year, my husband and I have been fostering Pugs for Curly Tail Pug Rescue. CTPR takes dogs from surrendering owners, puppy mills or shelters and gives them to foster families until the dog is ready to be placed in a forever home. We are now on our fourth Pug, and this has been a gratifying experience.
Anyway, the latest Pug--Penelope--came with a large plastic bed and one of those blankets you find in cheap hotels--some synthetic velour-like material. The blanket stunk to high heaven...not because it was dirty, but because it had been washed in some highly scented detergent.
So I washed it. And washed again with hot water and vinegar. I washed it 4 times and it still reeked of the detergent. The problem—other than that the smell was disgusting—is that the odor from these detergents is composed of petroleum-based chemicals. Lots of chemicals…most of which are never tested for safety when mixed together. Petroleum based chemicals are non-sustainable, pollute and are unsafe when inhaled or absorbed into the body.
Most dogs spend hours in their bed. Whatever they sleep on they breathe and absorb into their bodies. Aside from how unpleasant the smell of those strong detergents must be to them, who knows what the chemicals are doing to their health?
I gave up on getting the smell out of that blanket, threw it out and replaced it with some towels and a flannel blanket.
I buy either unscented detergent or detergent scented with natural essential oil like lavender. Nowadays, even the typical grocery store carries detergent without chemicals. I generally buy mine at Trader Joes; it has a nice, light addition of lavender oil.
As soon as I changed the bedding, my two Pugs would get into the bed! (All three of them prefer the boys’ beds, however—made of natural shredded rubber and covered with wool…more on that on another post.)
So please…do your pets—and yourself—a favor and wash their bedding in petro-free detergent!