World Environment Day takes place in June and making your contribution as an environmentally friendly dog owner is more important than ever. It is the flagship day for promoting worldwide awareness and action for the environment. Over the years, it has grown to be celebrated my millions of people in well over 100 countries. It is a day for everyone to do something positive for the environment, to change a habit and to ask questions. With this collective power we can have a lasting and positive impact on the planet, our home.
Every year 8 million tonnes of plastic enter our oceans, destroying marine and human life and destroying the ecosystem. To beat plastic pollution we need to step up, work together and rethink, reuse, recycle. We can do this on an individual level. But we also need to tackle the behaviour of the governments, industries and businesses to start clearing up the mess we made. So here are our finds on how to be an environmentally friendly dog owner.
What can we do as dog owners?
There are an estimated 32 million pet dogs on the planet and this number is increasing as Millennials opt for pets over parenthood. Owning a dog involves a lot of stuff and awful lot of that stuff is made out of plastic! So first off we need to think and rethink what is really needed for the daily life with our pooch. And in order to be an environmentally friendly dog owner, first off we need to be very selective.
Feeding and food packaging
And here I don’t only mean accessories in the traditional sense. Swapping plastic food an water bowls to ceramic ones can be a great option here, you can also look into bamboo or plant based options. You surely throw away a lot of food packaging each week, as most dog food come in a plastic sack. Rethink and try switching for ones that have paper packaging. Shop at stores that allow you to buy bulk and not ready packed dog food. Or the best alternative is to reduce the amount of processed food and have some homemade noms. I’m sure you always have some scraps of meat, vegetables or grains around the pantry that can be a great addition to your dog’s diet. For an easy, homemade recipe see our previous post!
Now this is a tricky one as according to studies most of the biodegradable bags we use won’t actually decompose. So we have to be extra careful and research what brands we buy. Another alternative is to use paper bags (I know, can be quite gross) or reuse some of the plastic bags you have around the house. Compostable poop bags are a little more expensive, but worth it, if you’re environmentally conscious. A great idea is to build a compostable dog loo in your garden and add a bio-activator capsule each week. That’s actually what I do and having three dogs it’s a hell of a lot easier than picking up after each of them.
Toys and accessories
If you’re anything like me then you love spoiling your dog. But if you think about the 32 million pet dogs, and calculate with only 3 toys being destroyed and replaced a year. That is 96 million toys a year and with the average lifespan of a dog it amounts to 1,152,000,000 toys. I wish I could tell you how many swimming pool or football field worth of plastic waste that is, but I have no data on that. But we can all agree it is tricky to replace our plastic toys that our pooches are fond of. So why don’t you look into brands that use recycled fabric, hemp toys or non-toxic natural rubber?! Some companies actually stuff their toys with filling made out of recycled plastic bottles. Also if your dog is a power chewer then you could opt for bully sticks or natural bone chews.
Dog beds, clothing and accessories
It is probably the easiest form of being an environmentally friendly dog owner the as most dogs won’t go through tons of clothing and beds in their life. However, it is also very important to find the best ones. For clothing I would recommend to find ones that are made out of natural fibers or recycled materials and are great quality. Sturdy pieces that won’t be ripped apart during one walk in the woods.
As for dog beds there are a lot of ways you can make your own, lovely pallet or wooden furniture. I love to opt for wooden pieces as my dogs love to chew and the beds usually look awful my girls are happy. For bedding again choose great materials, natural fibers and don’t throw them away but repair them when torn. It is probably the easiest thing to DIY one. Any old jumper or piece of cloth will do stuffed with fillings from an old pillow.
Now the accessories are easy if you like to use leather. There are definitely advantages to it, being sturdy and easy to clean. If you’d rather opt for vegan alternatives then buy good quality stuff that will last. Biothane collars and leashes are a great a great option and they come in a variety of lovely colors.
And finally here are a few great eco friendly brands
I hope you enjoyed this read on how to be an environmentally friendly dog owner and don’t forget to leave your comments and questions below!