I'm not sure if this is the correct place to post this or if I should be posting at Crafts or Engineering, but since my primary concern is about the safety of its use for my dogs I will post here.

I have been investigating getting a "lickimat" for our dogs, and because it's something they're going to be constantly licking I wanted to make sure what it was made of was completely safe.

I did some research into all the different types of plastics and found out that plastics:

  • #2 - High-density polyethylene (HDPE)
  • #4 - Low-density polyethylene (LDPE)
  • #5 - Polypropylene (PP)

...appear to be the safest ones.

However, I then stumbled into a product made of "Thermoplastic Rubber (TPR)", so I started researching that.

I found out there is a very similar product in the same family called "TPE", and the problem with this is it seems some companies use the terms interchangeably.

Such as:


The SCOUT and FROST bottles use a TPR spout that is kid-safe and eco-friendly. TPR stands for for Thermoplastic Rubber (also known as Thermoplastic Elastomer, or TPE). It is a mix of rubber and plastic polymers that is highly resistant to biting, chewing, heat, and bending. Like silicone and stainless steel, TPR is recyclable and does not contain leaching chemicals that would contaminate your water. We chose it as the spout for our Kids’ Straw Bottles for its properties of safety and durability.

Now, whilst TPR is also from the Thermoplastic Elastomers family, the two products differ slightly and are used for different things.

This page explains the differences in them.

Namely, you will see TPE is used for food and medical uses, whilst TPR is primarily used for industrial purposes.

If you check the below table it makes no mention of TPR being used for food or medical devices, whilst for TPE it does:

enter image description here

Then for good measure we get this Amazon answer about TPR's safety with children stating that:

TPR is PVC- and BPA-free, so is very safe for children. For instance, it's widely used for catheters where nylon block copolymers offer a range of softness ideal for patients. Also used in medical devices and toys so is very safe for kids.

So I am a little confused about the whole thing on if TPR is food and pet safe.

  • $\begingroup$ PVC stands for polyvinyl-chloride and isn't really safe, Especially if it catches fire. I worked in the plastic injection industry for 12 years. $\endgroup$
    – steve
    Commented Mar 2 at 16:35

1 Answer 1


Material food contact safety rating is not a simple topic. Depending on how a product is made, it may be approved or not. BPA and other plasticizers are only one component.

See the particular manufacturer's NSF, FDA or USDA rating. Can they substantiate the claims for thermoplastic elastomer (TPE) or thermoplastic rubber (TPR) with accreditation? Note that NSF is more globally accepted, while FDA and USDA are used in the United State of America.


Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.