Sustainable Furniture for Your Four-Pawed Friend
If you’ve just adopted a dog from A Home 4 Spot, you are probably excited about providing everything it needs for a comfy life, including clothing for the winter time, grooming products and treatments, and of course, furniture! Dogs need a comfy bed on which to rest after an energetic day out and in a large house, a dog will often have more than one ‘resting spot’. There are a plethora of commercial dog beds available and while many are beautifully designed, if sustainability is a core value on your life, why not pick beds that have a lower carbon footprint?
Pet Furniture Design with a Conscience
Renowned pet furniture designers use materials like renewable bamboo or acacia hardwood, which are beautiful and sturdy but also ethically sourced. Acacia is considered to be an extremely sustainable wood because trees have such a fast growth rate. Another plus of this wood is the fact that it comes in a plethora of shades. Therefore, whether your home has a light Scandinavian-style look or darker Balinese-style furnishings, you will find a color of acacia that blends in perfectly. Rainforest Relief notes that choosing sustainable wood is crucial for all furniture; currently, only 20% of the Earth’s original forests are in areas substantial enough to sustain full biological and habitat diversity. It is important to avoid woods from endangered forests, including cedar, ebony, and mahogany.
Making Do with What You Have
If you are a creative type who enjoys DIY projects as a hobby, you can simply upcycle materials you may have at home. Wood pallet DIY beds, tables, and other furniture are all the rage, and pallets can provide the basis for furniture for your dog, as well. For a large dog, a couple of wood pallets can be joined together and topped with a comfy dog mattress. Smaller dogs will require just one pallet but you may need a second one to pull apart for use as side boards for the bed, so that your dog doesn’t fall out while snoozing. Pre-owned furniture (such as a child’s bed) may also provide the materials you need for your DIY project; remember that old furniture tends to emit less compounds that can harm your health.
Upcycling Materials for Your Dog Furniture
If you are making a bed, instead of buying a mattress, do you have comfortable memory foam pillows that you simply don’t use and are thinking of throwing away? Another idea is to sew a couple of pillows together and make a sew a simple pillow-style cover, thus providing a super ergonomic bed. Memory foam is an ideal bedding material for senior pets, who may have joint issues like arthritis, and who therefore need a bit of extra support.
Using Low-VOC Paints and Stains
Many commercial furniture items are made with volatile organic compounds (chemicals used to treat wood, leather, pressed wood, etc). These compounds can pollute the air and cause health conditions for you and your pet – including eye irritation, respiratory problems, skin conditions, and, in some cases, cancer. As mentioned above, old furniture tends to emit less VOCs, so use them when you can to build a storage module or bed for your dog. To lower VOC levels in your home, ask the experts at your local paint show for low-VOC paints and stains. Better yet, try to avoid painting and staining wood, sticking to the original color of the material.
We have mentioned just a few ways in which to lower your carbon footprint when selecting a bed or auxiliary furniture for your dog. DIY projects, second-hand furniture, and the use of recyclable/sustainable wood can help you feel like you are doing something good for the environment and your dog. Natural materials are stain-free wood will also lower VOC levels in your home, which is good news for your entire family.
Article by: Jane Anderson, a freelance writer, editor and dog owner.