Living an eco-friendly life as a dog parent doesn’t have to be hard. If you were already practicing a low-impact or zero-waste lifestyle prior to getting a pet, you can opt for eco-friendly ways to help minimise your furry friend’s environmental paw print.
From choosing doggy products with minimal impact on the environment or composting waste, to swapping out plastic for toys that are biodegradable, there are a huge range of lifestyle changes to adopt.
You just need to start by making one small change at a time— just like how you got started on your own journey towards sustainability. Even if you are new to this way of living, starting with your pet pal is a great way to be kinder to the earth.
Just by doing your research to become a more eco-friendly household, you’re already making positive changes to the world around you. With that said, let’s take a look at some of the best ways to start living an eco-friendly life with your cuddly companion.
5 Tips to Adopt an Eco-Friendly Life as a Dog Parent
Dogs’ needs are pretty simple. They really just need food and water, time to run around and play, medical care, and a loving owner with a great eye for collar styles. Besides these basic things, they don’t really need much else.
While you can buy them all the latest dog toys on the market or big brand doy outfits for every occasion, these are all excessive and heavily marketed as things your dog absolutely must have.
Those mass-production companies often put their staff in horrible working conditions, generate a lot of waste, and sell dog products that do harm to both the environment and the canine consumer. So take a look at these 5 suggestions below for ideas to adopt a more sustainable lifestyle.
- Make your own dog treats
Have you ever looked at the ingredient list at the back of a doggy treat bag in horror? If you have shaken your head more than once and put the products back on the shelves, you’re not alone. So many treats for dogs on the market are loaded with preservatives for easy transport and storage, as well as animal byproducts.
A way to get around this problem is to stop buying from certain brands and instead, make your own doggy treats. This way, you can see the exact ingredients that are going into your dog’s belly, offer your pet fresh food, and minimise the risk of toxins or chemicals entering your dog’s digestive system.
- Shop sustainable dog treat companies
If you don’t have much time to spend baking, or simply do not enjoy cooking, you can shop for natural dog treats that are made with 0% additives, fillers, or grains. For instance, WAG is a trusted company that makes some of the best dog treats in Australia.
Their single-ingredient treats and meats are sustainably sourced from local farmers and butchers, their packaging is all recyclable or biodegradable, and they contribute to initiatives like the REDcycle Program. Choosing brands for dogs like WAG who are transparent about their work and products is a surefire way to reduce your household’s environmental footprint, all while your pooch can enjoy the benefits of wholesome dog treats.
- Buy or repurpose eco-friendly dog toys
Plastic dog toys are a choking hazard for dogs, as well as contribute to landfill as they do not naturally biodegrade. Luckily, there are many other gentle, sustainable options available these days that are both kind to your dog and kind to your wallet. When you are next shopping for a dog toy, choose from brands that make non-toxic products using biodegradable or recyclable materials, such as hemp.
Some natural dog treats also make for great chewing toys that keep your pooch’s jaws chomping and their minds stimulated. Plus, some of them come with nutritional and dental benefits that your dog will take in while they are happily gnawing away. This also keeps their sharp teeth away from your shoes and furniture!
You can also make your own dog toys from safe items around your home (like a tennis ball) or repurpose old toys for your dog to play with in different ways. A great trick to keep toys feeling ‘new’ is to rotate them every few weeks and only put out a few at a time.
- Recycle your dog’s house or bed
If you have a dog bed frame or dog house made from wood, you can repurpose the material once your dog has outgrown it. Or if you are thinking of buying a new dog bed, you can easily make one out of some pallet wood that has been laying around the house. You can also shop for biodegradable dog houses or ones that are made using sustainable methods.
- Compost waste
Composting your dog’s poop is a great way to reduce their waste while offering nutrients for your garden. You just have to do it safely and correctly, as well as have the right space in your house to do so. If you would rather get rid of the poop entirely, make sure to swap out your standard plastic waste bags for biodegradable options.
Choosing Eco-Friendly Dog Products
There are so many products made for pets that contain hazardous materials that are dangerous for your dog and bad for the environment. By simply opting for ‘cleaner’ and ‘green’ dog products, you can successfully reduce your home’s waste and exposure to toxins, as well as care for your environment.
In summary, you can use compostable dog waste bags to take on walks, purchase dog care items like shampoo and wipes that can be recycled or biodegraded, make your own dog beds or treats, and choose from sustainable brands that are transparent about ingredients, labour, and materials. By making a few simple changes, you will be looking after the earth and environment in no time.