Who would imagine there could be dangerous chemicals in dog products used by unsuspecting pets every day? Well, the truth might surprise you. Read on to learn more.

Your dog gnaws endlessly on his favorite toy, spends hours curled up in his doggie bed and eats from the same food bowl each day. You can’t help but wonder, are all of his pet products safe or could they contain toxic chemicals harmful to pups and people?

Keep Your Pet Safe

And that’s where EcoCenter.org comes in. Created by the Ecology Center, a nonprofit environmental organization, the site offers a database of over 15,000 test results on over 5,000 everyday consumer products. The database includes apparel and accessories, household products, children’s toys, and more – pet products too. The products have been tested independently for toxic chemicals such as lead, bromine, chlorine (PVC), cadmium, arsenic, and mercury, which are linked to health issues such as birth defects, impaired learning, and cancer.

Search the pet product database at HealthyStuff.org and you’ll find test results for 400 pet products, including beds, chew toys, stuffed toys, collars, leashes, and tennis balls. Search by brand, type of product, level of concern or chemical detected, and be informed to keep your pup (and family) safe and healthy.

Because there are no government standards for hazardous chemicals in pet products, high levels of toxic chemicals were found in a number of products. And while the presence of a chemical in a product does not necessarily mean there is exposure, it’s better to play it safe. Thankfully many popular products, for instance, those from Nylabone, Kong, Tuffy, Petmate and more, rated low on toxicity.  It goes to show that harmful chemicals can be avoided with careful choices.

Highlights from EcoCenter.org pet product testing include the following:

  • 45% of pet products tested had detectable levels of one or more hazardous chemical, including:
  • One-half (48%) of tennis balls tested had detectable levels of lead. Tennis balls intended for pets were much more likely to contain lead. Sports tennis balls contained no lead.
  • One-quarter of all pet products had detectable levels of lead.
  • 7% of all pet products have lead levels greater than 300 ppm — the current CPSC lead standard for lead in children’s products.
  • Nearly half of pet collars had detectable levels of lead; with 27% exceeding 300 ppm — the CPSC limit for lead in children’s products.

Keep your pup safe from harmful chemicals by using this free resource!  Learn about products you’ve purchased or research products before you shop.

The Scoop:

Visit EcoCenter.org to learn more and search their pet products database.

Thank you to mccun934 on flickr for the photo.

Originally published December 2010; reviewed and updated July 2016.