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Is your tennis ball safe? HealthyStuff.org tests over 400 pet products for toxic chemicals.

Posted Oct 02 2009 10:02pm
We're always concerned about the health and safety of the products that us dogs come in contact with - our toys, our collars, our beds and everything we enjoy wearing, playing with, putting in our mouth, chewing up and more!

But are our pup products safe?

Currently, there are no government standards for testing or determining if there are hazardous chemicals in pet products, so we unfortunately have had to rely on product manufacturers claims, recalls and other information from independent resources.

Over the years, we've learned a lot about what companies provide safer and healthier products for us dogs, and we share the information and products we find from those companies on RaiseAGreenDog.com. And, we find information through a variety of independent organizations that have the same concerns about the safety of our dog's 'stuff' as we do, which we've shared throughout the years, to help all of us become more educated about the product choices we make for our dogs.

Thankfully there is another independent resource now helping us know more about 'the good' and 'the bad' about pet products on the market. Recently, HealthyStuff.org released their test results of over 400 pet products, including beds, chew toys, stuffed toys, collars, leashes, tennis balls and more. It's a not to be missed report that showcases their testing. Not surprising there were some alarming levels of toxic chemicals found in some of the most popular dog toys on the market.

HealthyStuff.org is a project of the Ecology Center, a nonprofit environmental research organization. The Ecology Center (EC) is a membership-based, nonprofit environmental organization based in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Founded by community activists after the country's first Earth Day in 1970, the Ecology Center is now a regional leader that works for a safe and healthy environment where people live, work, and play. The Ecology Center works at the local, state, and national levels for clean production, healthy communities, environmental justice, and a sustainable future.

Be sure and check out these links to information contained in their report and their test findings:

> Tennis Balls

> Chew and Tug Toys

> Pet Beds

> Get a list of Pet Products By Level of Concern

And here's what else you can do to help your pup be safer, and encourage healthier products for your dog!

Even though the tags on your pup's toy says to throw it away once it becomes torn, most of us let our pets destroy their toys until they’re unrecognizable or obviously hazardous. Sometimes the innards of toys hold the worst chemicals, like flame retardants in stuffing or lead in the parts that reinforce tougher toys. Pay extra attention to what your critters are putting in their mouths and get rid of toys that have seen better days.

Don't see your toy listed or tested by HealthStuff.org? Nominate a product of your concern.

Contact the manufacturers of your favorite products and let them know you want safe products for your furry friend (and let the ones with healthy products know you appreciate them!). The pet industry is huge – it’s our dollars that have gotten it there and it’s our dollars that can impact where it goes next.

Go to the Take Action section of HealthyStuff.org to find out how to contact your elected representatives. You can’t tell just by looking at stuff whether it’s healthy, and Made in the USA isn’t a guarantee either. It’s impossible to test everything on the market and, ultimately, we need stronger laws to get safe products on the shelves for our pets.

As pet owners, we’re used to speaking for those who can’t speak for themselves. Now they need us again, so spread the word and stay informed!

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