Our dogs improve our quality of life by being a constant source of happiness in the household and even our motivation to get outside for a walk. These little fluffs of joy offer us so many benefits because of their energetic attitude and unconditional love.
However, without proper care and attention, they can wreak havoc on the environment. Here are some helpful tips on how to go zero waste with your dog and reduce your impact on the planet.
What is Zero Waste?
Zero waste represents a goal to reduce our environmental impact on Earth as low as possible by producing no waste. Our waste output can be lowered by reducing, reusing, recycling, or taking appropriate action to prevent waste through design and engineering solutions.
Zero waste is a big challenge, and the first step to any challenge is understanding our current global situation in terms of our environment. Other waste management solutions include donating and using items to produce renewable energy.
Is It Possible to Have a Dog and Go Zero Waste?
The truth is you may not be able to go completely zero waste even without a furry friend. Even if everyone reuses and recycles everything, especially 100% of our plastic, the new items we produce may end up making their way to landfill anyway.
Even using glass jars for your dog’s shampoos and making your own food for them instead of buying, you will often end up with waste. Even if we try to be as eco-conscious as possible, some items will always end up in a landfill.
In reality, everyone, even your dog, contributes to the waste turmoil through our purchases and consumption. The products we buy for them may be made of the most organic and sustainable materials or ingredients, but the way they were manufactured and how they are delivered might be wasteful.
Still, we must recycle any plastic and other products we purchase for our furry friends’ consumption. The main answer to our waste problem is to consume less of these materials. Reducing, and not just recycling and reusing, is the best solution.
The Best Zero Waste Practices for You and Your Dog
Now that you know that our dogs create waste as we do, you can start reducing their paw print in a number of different ways. Here are some tips to help you go zero waste with your dog’s stuff.
1. Make Dog Food from Scratch
That little piece of meat, pasta, or rice left from last night’s leftovers might be just what your furry friend is craving for lunch! You can just add some veggies, meat, and broth for more flavor.
Instead of leaving your leftovers until they spoil and you have to throw them out, you can feed these yummy meals to your dogs. Just make sure that you know which human foods are good for them and what is not allowed.
Some dogs can also adapt to a more eco-friendly vegan diet, but make sure you’re still giving them enough of the nutrients that they need.
You can also do the same with treats! Bake some peanut butter biscuits for Fido or anything that appeals to their taste instead of buying ones that will come wrapped in packaging. Watch this video for a guide!
By doing this you are helping reduce waste from dog food cans and plastics. Boycotting these products also means going against some harmful means of mass production and delivery.
2. Buy Bulk Dog Food
If you can’t always make food for them then you could buy your dog food in bulk. Although bulk stores don’t automatically mean zero waste it is one way you can reduce waste with your dog instead of buying smaller packages every month, or worse, dog food in cans!
There is a variety of dog foods that come in bulk. Choose a dog food product that is not only eco-friendly but also high-quality that is suitable for their preferences.
Or find a store that allows you to take your own reusable container to buy your dog’s food.
3. Use Biodegradable Poop Bags
Your dog needs to take walks and exercise a bit, but that also means doing their business outdoors and you picking up the poop. Doggie poop bags come in handy during these situations, but they are usually made of plastic that then has to go into the trash.
Most “eco-friendly” dog poop bags are just normal plastic with heavy elements that break down the plastic bag into smaller pieces that seem almost invisible. Unfortunately, it’s hard to tell the difference between a fake biodegradable poop bag from a truly biodegradable one, but we trust Doggy Do Good’s unscented and vegetable-based biodegradable poop bags! They are thick, leak-proof, and also compostable!
4. Dispose of Dog Poop Without Bags
Alternatively, if you have an outdoor space, try composting your dog’s poop by using composting units that you can buy or DIY.
Remember that you should never mix pet waste with your food waste since the resulting fertilizer from pet waste cannot be used in or near food-bearing plants as well as water sources or where children play.
5. Use Tap Water
Tap water, depending on your municipality, usually has higher testing and standards than bottled water. Be sure to do some research to see whether the tap water in your area is safe or not for dogs.
You might find some contaminants that are not at ideal levels but because bottled water doesn’t even need to undergo this testing, you’re still most likely better off with the tap water.
This will save waste on all that plastic packaging that bottled water comes with.
6. Make Your Dog’s Toys
The market for dog toys is huge because these companies know how much we want to spoil and baby them. However, it’s time you stop buying cheap random toys and start making toys for your dog using things that you already have at home, like used clothes, old stress balls, and much more.
The truth is, dogs don’t care whether they play with branded toys or not. Consumerism is not even in their vocabulary! They’re already happy playing fetch even with just a stick they find lying on the ground.
But if you want, you can buy a few eco-friendly toys made from durable and sustainable materials that should last a lifetime despite the excessive chewing, washing, and throwing.
7. Buy Second Hand from Charity Shops
Another option you may want to consider is buying pre-loved toys and accessories for them. After all, that’s what charity shops are for. You have the double benefit of saving waste and giving to charity.
In turn, you can also donate some of your own stuff to them instead of putting these items into the garbage!
The Zero Waste Dog Life!
It’s almost impossible to go completely zero waste especially if you have a dog at home. But you can make an effort as an eco-conscious dog lover to reduce your waste consumption by following these easy tips.
Be mindful of the items you are buying for your dog and reduce, reuse, and recycle wherever you can to reduce your waste!