Being an animal lover doesn’t end in taking care of your dog and providing their everyday needs. Part of your environmental responsibility includes being concerned about other animals and the environment they live in.
While it is us and our consumerism that affects climate change the most, our pets have impacts of their own that can damage the lives of other animals. Thankfully, there are a lot of ways to go green with your dog.
Here are 9 ways to go eco-friendly with your dog to help them reduce their ecological “pawprint”!
1. Choose Dog Food with a Small “Pawprint”
As well as caring about the environmental impact of our foods, we should do the same with what we’re feeding our furry fellows.
Since most dog foods are made from scraps of waste from farm animals, that automatically means reducing waste! However, low-quality dog foods can be unhealthy and contaminated with Salmonella and E. Coli.
The best way to ensure their health while also being sustainable is to purchase dog food that come from organic and natural farms. Doing so will also help keep pesticides out of the soil and waterways
It is also suggested that you buy dog food in bulk qualities as much as possible to reduce packaging waste. Organix Organic Dry Dog Food comes in an 18-pound pack that will last longer. It is also created without synthetic pesticides or fertilizers, GMOs, antibiotics, or artificial preservatives.
Avoid canned dog foods because they are usually laden with toxins that harm the environment and even your dog. They have a BPA-based coating that is known to migrate into food. These chemicals have been linked to serious health problems.
Lastly, if you have more meat and veggies, turn this excess food into some pet chow instead of buying dog food. Learn some tips here.
2. Use Safe Products
Consider the health of our planet and also your pet’s when purchasing their toys, bedding, and grooming products. Try using hemp collars and leashes which are made from natural materials without phthalates or BDA.
Buy one of these hemp dog collars and automatically donate another one for shelter dogs. This product is 100% good for mother earth and is hypoallergenic. The soft inner lining is made from organic cotton.
As for flea and tick collars, some of them leave harmful residue on our dogs’ fur and in our homes. These chemicals can damage the brain and nervous system and can result in cancer.
Studies show that high levels of pesticide residue can remain on dog fur for several weeks after a flea collar is put on. Some ingredients to avoid when buying a flea collar are tetrachlorvinphos, permethrin, amitraz, and propoxur.
Finally, don’t assume that something described as “green” or “natural” is necessarily safer and more effective. Be sure to check what something is made of yourself rather than rely on catchwords and marketing.
3. Pick Up Your Dog’s Poop
Your fur baby poops approximately 274 times a year, so imagine the impact it can cause when you don’t pick up their business all the time.
We all know that not picking up your dog’s poop will annoy the neighborhood, but there’s a deeper issue than that. Rain can carry pathogens in dog waste into streams where people swim, making them prone to sickness.
Your dogs’ dump contains nitrogen and phosphorus, both of which contribute to slimy and hazardous algae outbreaks. However, the solution doesn’t end in picking up their “log cabins” because we know they’ll end up in landfills embalmed in plastic bags that take hundreds of years to decompose, contaminating our ponds and lakes.
Use recyclable and biodegradable plastic bags when picking up their poop. And remember that it is unsafe to compost pet feces at home.
4. Adopt from a Shelter
If you didn’t know yet, about 50% of animals in the US end up being euthanized due to lack of space and adopters. That’s approximately 8000 animals being killed every day.
Adopting from a shelter instead of buying from a breeder will not only help you get a playmate for your dog, but you’ll also be able to save a life. Adopting from a shelter also leaves more space for other dogs in need.
Additionally, there will be a decrease in the usage of resources in the shelters, as well as the need to buy stuff for your new pet since you already have some of the tools you bought for your first dog.
Watch this video and be enlightened about the reality that shelter animals experience.
5. Choose Eco-Friendly Companies
From toys to dog food, grooming products to treats, it’s necessary to support companies that are one with your cause. Remember that corporations are the ones most responsible for damage to our environment and are therefore capable of creating the most change. So it is up to us to support those that are doing good.
Here are some dog companies that promise sustainable practices in their production.
6. Drive Less and Walk More.
Instead of driving your dog to the park, exercise with them by just walking your way to the location. If it’s too far, why not play around the neighborhood instead?
Not only will you be able to save gas, money, and even burn your calories, but you will also help save the earth from the carbon dioxide that your vehicle emits.
Exercising your dog not only has physiological benefits but it also helps with mental stimulation, helping them stay in a good mood and lessen destructive behavior.
7. Reduce Plastic Products and Packaging
Did you know that almost 40 million tons of plastic waste is generated in the USA each year, while only 4.4% of that is being recycled? It is imperative that we reduce our consumption of plastic as well as recycle where we can.
Most of our dogs’ shampoos, foods, and even toys are have plastic packaging and it’s time we stop purchasing these kinds of products.
Look for products with recycled plastic or paper packaging and not just ones with organic and sustainable ingredients. For example, these poop bags are not only biodegradable and compostable, but they are also produced in an eco-friendly way and come in recycled packaging!
8. Shop Eco-Friendly
What’s the use of buying eco-friendly products for tour pooch when you’ll ask your cashier to pack them in a plastic bag? Don’t forget to bring your own bag when shopping!
You can also look for the nearest organic and eco-friendly dog supply stores in your area to maximize your contribution to mother Earth!
9. Donate or Volunteer!
Your local animal shelter or charity will appreciate old towels, pillows, and toys that your dog has tired of! They also accept food and water dishes, leashes and collars, brushes and grooming tools, as well as beds.
Wouldn’t it be fulfilling to put old things to good use instead of just throwing them away and compounding the waste problem?
Go Eco-Friendly with Your Dog Now!
Yes! Going green with your pooch is possible! In fact, it’s not as tough as many people think. These seven simple ways let you and your fur baby help lessen the effects of climate change in our consumer-driven culture.
The destruction that the Earth is experiencing is truly alarming, and it can affect not only our health but also our pets’. But with these sustainable practices, we can surely support a healthier pet and planet!