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9 Ways to Be an Eco-Friendly Dog Owner

Eco Friendly Dog

People may be making an effort to make more environmentally-friendly choices these days, but are are pet owners doing the same when it comes to their dogs? Having a dog creates waste in little ways that pet owners may not even think about, from food bags to the toys they buy to the shampoo they use to wash their dogs. By taking note of the products and food that are bought for their dogs, pet owners can do their part in reducing their dog’s carbon paw print. Even better, there are many more options for eco-friendly dog products than ever before. Check out the list below for ways to turn your dog into a green dog.

Cleaning Up Outside

Dog waste can actually be an environmental pollutant.  Decaying pet waste consumes oxygen, which can damage fish and other aquatic wildlife. This is why it’s important to pick up both your yard and public space of your dog’s waste.

Regarding what to use to pick up after a dog, there are several choices connected to what kind of bag pet owners can use.  Choose a biodegradable bag that will break down much faster than a regular plastic bag. One recommended biodegradable bag is from Earth Rated. The company assures that their bags are Earth-friendly, even beyond their biodegradable bags. The rolls and cores of the bags are made of recyclable materials. The company also uses recycled, or excess production, materials.  For more information, visit Earth Rated’s Where to Buy page at the company’s website.

Cleaning Up Inside

With a dog, it’s inevitable that pet owners will have an accident inside.  There are new puppies, dogs get upset stomachs, or there are older dog with issues.  Pet owners should make sure to pick a cleaning product with enzymes to completely remove any urine or feces molecules, and to pick one with minimal ingredients.  Earth Rated and Nature’s Miracle have recommended options.

When it comes to cleaning up inside, consider using rags rather than paper towels.  Pet owners may be tempted to use paper towels, but using rags will significantly cut down on the amount of paper products you use.

Keeping Homes Odor-Free

Rather than covering up that dog smell with air fresheners or aerosols, consider making your own deodorizers, using essential oils that are safe for dogs.  By doing this, pet owners will protect the environment by keeping aerosol containers out of landfills, and protect their dog, too.

Make Your Own Dog Treats

By making their own dog treats, pet owners can control what dogs ingest.  That’s perfect if you have a sensitive pup. You’ll also cut down on the amount of waste from treats because you won’t be throwing away empty treat bags.  There are several books available that offer recommendations about homemade treats for dogs.

Buy In Bulk

If pet owners have small or medium-sized dogs and feed them kibble, they may be creating excess waste from their food bags.  Pet owners should consider buying a larger bag than they go through in a month, and store the rest in your fridge or freezer to cut down on the amount of packaging that is thrown away.

Support Eco-Friendly Companies

Many companies in the dog product world are becoming eco-friendly.  Here’s a quick list of a few of these companies:

  • West Paw Their durable Zogoflex dog toys are recyclable.  Once a dog is done with them, pet owners can send them back to West Paw and they’ll recycle them into making more Zogoflex toys. The company has its own manufacturing facility in Montana, and the firm uses recycled fill and fabric in their toys and beds.
  • Answers Pet Food With a commitment to sustainable practices, Answers Pet Food uses pasture-raised farming to make sure they’re reducing their carbon footprint.  Each of the farms they use are independently audited by the Global Animal Partnership to protect the Earth, both land and water, and animals.
  • The Honest Kitchen Honest Kitchen makes minimally- processed food so pets are getting the best nutrition.  The company is committed to reducing its carbon footprint in three ways: by using green ingredients, green production, and green packaging.  This means the company replaces conventional ingredients with organic alternatives when possible, and that they use only humanely-raised meat and fish.  They also manufacture 100 percent of their food in the United States, which reduces transportation and carbon emissions. Their resealable food pouches and bags are recyclable, and their boxes are 100 percent recyclable, biodegradable, and compostable after use.
  • Planet Dog This company has a variety of products, including toys, leashes and collars.  Sustainability is one of Planet Dog’s core values. The company is a founding member of the Pet Sustainability Coalition, which is dedicated to accelerating social and environmental sustainability.
  • Olive Olive is located in Seattle, and the company carries only environmentally-friendly products for dogs and cats.  Olive’s partners and vendors strive for planet stewardship and for zero waste.

Choose Dog Beds Wisely

More and more pet companies are using eco-friendly materials for dogs’ beds, so why not pick one that is better for the environment.   Check out this list of eco-friendly beds:

  • Big Shrimpy This company features beds for dogs of all sizes, covers and spare parts for their beds.  There are beds made from fleece scraps. Big Shrimpy beds are filled with recycled materials and are recyclable through their Full Circle program.
  • West Paw  Their beds are filled with Intelliloft, an eco-fiber made from recycled plastic bottles. To date, this has diverted an estimated 12.6 million plastic bottles from landfills.  Their beds are washable and handmade at their headquarters in Bozeman, Montana.
  • Harry Barker This company was founded by Ford model Carol Perkins in 1997.  The company uses Earth-friendly fabrics and azo-free dyes, eco-fleece, and green bed inserts made from 100 percent post-consumer plastic,

Consider the Ingredients to Wash Dog Beds

Let’s face it, dog beds are going to get dirty, and they need to be washed throughout a dog’s life. There are many detergents that are highly-perfumed, and they may irritate pets.  Pet owners should use environmentally-friendly detergent to keep dogs safe–and to protect the environment..

Eco-accessories for Dogs

Dogs’ wardrobes can also be eco-friendly.  Leashes, collars and sweaters can all be environmentally-friendly.  

  • Earthdog  Earthdog offers several designs and colors of leashes, collars and harnesses that are made from hemp.  Their dog gear is designed to be soft, washable, and dyed with non-toxic dyes.
  • Forever Mootsy  Forever Mootsy was founded in 2015 by Heidi Valdes and is based in Long Beach, California.  Her goal was to create dog leashes, collars and toys that were safe for the environment and for dogs. All of their products are eco-friendly and made from 100 percent cotton rope.
  • CycleDog Based in Portland, Oregon, CycleDog uses the millions of bike tubes thrown into landfills every years to make new leashes and collars. 

The decision to incorporate eco-friendly choices when it comes to caring for your pup is not a difficult one. For dog owners, it’s easier now more than ever to reduce the impact of dogs on the environment.   

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