On Sale But Is It Safe: Furhaven Ultra Plush Deluxe Orthopedic Pet Bed
Available as a weekly deal at Overstock.com is the Furhaven Ultra Plush Deluxe Orthopedic Pet Bed at up to 64% off regular list prices (large is $24.99, reduced from $45.00). This sounds like a bargain and a product with so many superlatives in the name must be good, right? As always, safety first so let's take a closer look!
This is an attractive looking bed and I am particularly fond of the chocolate version that is mocha on top and dark brown on the sides. The sides and bottom are water resistant, though it is unclear of what benefit that is unless the bed is used in a kitchen where spills might be a concern. The bottom is also non-skid, a nice feature to help keep the bed in one place. The outer cover is removable and it may be machine washed. The specifications also claim the foam interior may be washed, but as a general rule, memory foam products are not washed as they can disintegrate from moisture.
The product specifications claim that the bed "promotes better circulation and relieves joint pain" though it is not apparent what the basis is for those claims. In the very broad sense, sleeping on a padded surface is probably less prone than a hard floor to pinching off blood flow. I suspect the use of memory foam mattresses in medical environments, where the human patient is immobile and sores and gangrene are risks, is their justification.
Of course, softer will be perceived as more comfortable than hard by most humans and pets, though some dogs do seem to prefer a hard floor! However, virtually any bed or pillow would have the same attributes and only some joint pain might be alleviated.
Keeping in mind that almost all products stretch the truth a bit, what about safety? Well, that brings us back to the main substance of this bed - Sherpa Memory Foam. Rather than rehash ground previously covered, I'll just remind pet parents that foam beds should not be given to any dogs that are prone to chewing, ripping or anxiety attack type destruction.
There are other issues to be aware of when buying a memory foam product. Some pet parents may be concerned with gas/chemical emissions from polyurethane, including cancer type risks. I feel these concerns are largely overblown (unless you are working at the manufacturing plant) though it is true that some cheaply made products carry an unpleasant odor for quite a while.
If your pet is disabled or has a difficult time moving, memory foam may be an unsafe choice. Human parents are warned to be very cautious when using a memory foam mattress for infants as turning over can be difficult and they may suffocate.
Finally, another concern is that foams are an attractive breeding ground for dust mites. When people speak of dust allergies, it is almost often a case of a reaction to the feces of the common house mite. Your dog, too, can have allergic reactions and respiratory distress from exposure to this pest. IMPS strongly recommends frequently washing the cover of the bed and vacuuming the foam.
VERDICT: B+ when used under correct circumstances and maintained appropriately