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We’re living in a more environmentally-conscious era than ever before, and with green ideas at the forefront of everyone’s mind, it’s no wonder that pet owners are also looking to see how they can become more eco-friendly, regarding themselves and their pet(s). With that in mind, we’ve teamed up with Beco Pets to share some simple steps to becoming a more eco-friendly dog owner.

Is it Environmentally Friendly to Have a Dog?

Strictly speaking, no.  This is mainly because you’ve got another mouth to feed, and food production  – particularly meat-based food production – is a highly energy-intensive process with a large carbon footprint. 

However, there are ways to be a greener dog owner, in the same way that you can be a greener motorist, homeowner or consumer. So whether you’re hoping to get a dog, or already have one, there are things you can do to improve your green credentials. Here’s how.

1) Buy Compostable/Biodegradable Poo Bags

Single-use plastics are putting a huge strain on the planet. From floating islands of plastic popping up in the world’s oceans which are having a deadly effect on wildlife, through to the mountains of plastic building up in landfill, , we all need to reduce the quantity of single-use plastics in our lives, wherever we can.

Single-use plastics are so damaging to the environment because they’re not degradable on a timescale that fits in with any natural processes. What this means is that whatever plastic we dump now is still going to be there in hundreds of years, thousands even. All the while, it’s damaging wildlife – both flora and fauna – and becoming an environmental nightmare.

Using compostable poop bags is one way in which you can help to reduce the harmful effect of plastic on the environment. What might sound like a relatively small change can have a big impact over time. For example, if you’re using poop bags twice daily, then that’s a lot of plastic you are saving over the course of 12 months, let’s say.

2) Take Your Dog on Local Walks (Rather Than Driving)

It’s important to ring the changes for your dog’s walks so that they don’t become bored and get lots of opportunities to discover new places and sniff out new smells. But if possible try to do this as much as possible without taking the car. The more we drive, the more CO2 emissions we produce, and this is the major cause of climate change.

3) Choosing Sustainably Made Dog Toys

One of the best things you can do to become a more eco-friendly dog owner is to only purchase sustainably made dog toys. Instead of purchasing a dog toy made from virgin (new) plastic, for instance, you might want to consider a toy made from wood or recycled rubber. These materials are friendlier on the planet, whilst still offering your canine companion all the fun of their plastic counterparts.

You could even come up with some homemade games and toys for your dog! Keeping them entertained needn’t cost lots of money, and a simple snuffle mat or treasure hunt can keep your dog entertained for hours on end. All you have to do for the treasure hunt is keep your dog separate from where you’re going to hide the treats (maybe you can do this whilst they’re still asleep, or whilst your partner takes them out for their walk) and then hide the treats wherever you fancy. How easy or hard you make this depends very much on what dog you’ve got! If you’ve got a brainy collie, then feel free to make the hunt a challenging one. If, on the other hand, your dog is a bit simpler, let’s say, then it’s probably worth keeping the treats relatively easy to find!

Final Thoughts…

Having a pet is always going to come with some environmental costs, but you can certainly do your part in minimizing these costs, wherever possible. From ditching single-use plastics through to recycling old household items into toys, regular small changes can tot up to make a big difference.

photo credit: https://unsplash.com/photos/VehdYPKnX8Y

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