How Can I Be Eco Friendly With My Dog?
Owning a pet has a huge impact on the amount of waste each household produces. The PDSA’s Paw Report in 2020 estimated that in the UK there are 10.1 million pet dogs and 10.9 million pet cats in the UK.
So how can we change small things to reduce our pets carbon paw print and become more eco friendly?
Compostable Poop Bags
Cleaning up after your dog is important and we have all trodden in dog muck or walked past the bins overflowing with poop bags. Every responsible dog owner will use poo bags multiple times a day, with many of the bags still being used are plastic. These bags get sent to landfill and either never break down or take years to decompose.
So, finding an alternative to those plastic bags is a must, there are many ‘eco-friendly, biodegradable’ poo bags on the market.
Then there are compostable bags. These are by no means the best way to dispose of faeces, but they are better than plastic.
It is possible to compost dog waste at home but due to zoonotic disease risks from faeces it must be composted in a certain way and never be used on edible plants or vegetables. You can dispose of them in normal waste and they will eventually biodegrade back to their natural elements.
Have you seen our article on the top 5 compostable poop bags for 2021?
Carbon Pawprint friendly dog food
Finding the dog food with the lowest carbon footprint isn’t just about packaging. Annual greenhouse gas emissions on dog food production were said to be 106 million tonnes of carbon dioxide.
Meat such as beef and chicken release a high level of CO2 into the atmosphere which has a massive contribution to your dog’s carbon pawprint. Try switching to an insect protein based dog food such as Bug Bakes. Insect based dog food is said to use 2000x less water and 100x less emissions than normal meat based food, and its natural products are also really good for your dog!
Plastic free & natural dog treats
We love to give our dogs & cats treats. There are a few things to consider here to become more eco-friendly. Buy local, natural, organic, and packaging free where you can.
If you buy packaged treats, then think about their packaging. Many of our favourite treat brands come in pouches that cannot be recycled yet and that is a sad fact. Of course, our pets will enjoy these delicious treats but the aftereffects of that outer pouch that will just sit in landfill for years are something to ponder.
Look for packaging that is plastic free, packaging that is made from recycled materials or materials that can be easily recycled, enter our good friends’ paper & cardboard!
There are many companies working hard behind the scenes to reduce their plastic use and to create eco-friendly packaging materials and some options that are already out there.
Compostable packaging is also making its way into the pet food market, simply pop the outers in your compost heap and watch it break down into something lovely for your garden.
Now let us talk about toys, let’s face it we all love to buy toys for our dogs and cats (even if they don’t play with them…).
So, let’s make more eco-friendly and sustainable choices which will drastically reduce our pets carbon paw print. Be plastic free when you buy toys!
Yes, they are readily available and yes, they tend to be cheaper but once our pet becomes bored and new toys are given, where does the plastic go? You have guessed it; off they go to landfill.
When buying toys look for sustainable materials and long-lasting alternatives, think hemp, wool and wood from sustainable sources.
These toys when no longer in use will break down to their natural elements. Buy durable long-lasting toys, they may cost slightly more to begin with, but they are built to last. The longer they last the less frequently you must replace them, this significantly reduces your pet’s environmental impact.
Chemical free shampoo
Grooming is another area where we can become plastic free as pet owners. The traditional plastic bottle of shampoo can easily be replaced by eco friendly & plastic free shampoo bars.
According to Lush (our friendly vegan handmade cosmetics company) over the last five years shampoo bars have saved around 30 million plastic bottles from landfill, so the trend for humans using shampoo bars is very prominent.
So why not use them on our pets? They are easy to use, plastic free, made of natural ingredients and last an exceptionally long time!
So, what have we learnt?
Swapping to plastic free, eco friendly dog products does not have to be a chore. Changing a few products to eco friendly alternatives is easy and will significantly reduce our impact on the environment and make owning a pet more sustainable.