We live in an age where almost everyone is aware of the importance of protecting our environment. Many of us already take steps to reduce our own carbon footprint, but how many of us think about the carbon footprint of our dogs?
Whether it’s plastic poo bags, meat based dog food, or travelling in your car to take your furry friend for a walk, there are lots of little changes you can make that will make a big difference to the environment over the course of your dog’s life.
Bio-Degradable Poo Bags
If you are using regular plastic bags to dispose of your dog’s waste, this is the single biggest thing you can change. It may not seem like a big deal, but if your dog does his business 3 times per day, that’s over 1000 plastic bags per year or 10,000 – 15,000 over the lifespan of your pet. These single-use plastic bags take hundreds of years to decompose, clogging up landfills and polluting the oceans.
Bio-Degradable bags are made from 100% natural materials, and they fully decompose in 3 to 6 months, which is much better for the environment. If there is one thing you can do today to help your dog become more eco-friendly, this is it. If you are worried about the cost, you needn’t be; you can buy 360 bio-degradable bags for less than 15 Dollars.
Natural, Non-Plastic Toys
The pet-toy market has exploded in recent years, and dog owners are keen for their dogs to have the latest gadgets. Unfortunately, most dog toys are made from plastic that can’t be broken down and usually ends up in a landfill.
There are a number of eco-friendly brands that are popping up, making dog toys from natural materials. These rope toys from the Natural Pet Company are made from 100% natural materials and contain no chemicals or plastics, while these fetch balls are made from durable, natural rubber or choose to make your own dog products.
Eco-Friendly Dog Shampoo
A lot of dog shampoos on the market contain chemicals that are not only harmful to your dog, but also to the environment. Traditional dog shampoos are loaded with chemicals and these can upset the natural balance of your dog’s skin, leaving it itchy and flaky.
These chemicals do not degrade either, meaning they are washed into the water systems and pollute the water cycle. The manufacturing process of these chemicals creates a lot of by-products, which are harmful to the environment.
Thankfully, there are more and more eco-friendly dog cleaning products being made. These contain natural ingredients that are bio-degradable and cause no harm to the environment. They are also safer for your dog, and they will work with his natural oils to create a healthy, shiny coat.
Earth-Friendly Grooming Wipes
In recent times, it’s become clear that single-use wet wipes are terrible for the environment, clogging up sewers and contaminating water supplies. There are now, however, eco-friendly wipes that are not harmful to the planet. These Earth-friendly grooming wipes are made from bamboo fibres, and they are great for giving your dog a quick wipe in-between baths.
These wipes are 100% sustainable, they break down quickly, and by reducing the number of baths that your dog needs they will also cut down on your water usage.
Bagless Eco-Friendly Vacuum Cleaner
If you have carpets in your home, chances are you have to vacuum multiple times per day. Dog owners have to deal with an increased amount of hair on the carpets, and then there is also the dog smell. Traditional vacuum cleaners have bags that need to be changed, but if you are vacuuming frequently then the bags can fill up fast. This leads to more landfill waste, and also increases your carbon footprint as the bags need to be produced in factories.
A bagless vacuum cleaner is an ideal solution. The hair and dirt that is sucked up gets stored in a canister, and when it is full you simply empty it into the trash. Vacuum cleaner brands are also working on making their machines more eco-friendly and efficient, while still having enough suction power to lift dog hair from your floors.
Shark is well-known for producing some of the best vacuums for pet hair, and they have a wide range of models to suit all budgets. This Shark Rotator is one of the most popular on Amazon, and is specifically designed for pet hair.
Another important consideration is the filters. Because dogs can leave carpets smelling a little stinky, your vacuum cleaner filter will absorb more odors. If you have a vacuum cleaner where the filters can’t be washed, you will quickly go through a lot of filters, which is not good for the environment. Look for a model that has washable filters as these are usually designed to last the lifetime of the vacuum.
Multi-use peepads or Newspaper for an Eco-pee area
Everyone is using peepads these days, it’s just so convenient. There are now washable peepads which will help with your dog’s carbon foot print. Also, some pets have learned to tinkle in the bathtub, as have kitty cats with the toilet and/or tub. Many owners are trending towards using newspaper and plastic potty trays in lieu of pee pads.
Bully Sticks and Other Chews from the Farmer’s Market
Many farmer’s markets have a stand where a vendor is selling bones for dogs. Not only are these bones not wrapped in plastic but they are normally locally sources and also healthier for the pet since the animal was on a healthier diet (grass fed etc) if a cow. Fortunately, most dog stores are not wrapping bully sticks, so go ahead and shout out the vendor and share this post with those to share the eco-dog friendly love!