How To Go Sustainable With Your Dog
How To Go Sustainable With Your Dog
Have you ever seen dogs with shopping carts perusing through the pet aisle trying to find eco-friendly toys and organic, non-GMO puppy chow? Probably not. Unfortunately, they don’t get much of say in how much environmental “pawprint” they want to leave on the earth.
Wait, are you saying that my dog contributes to the waste and pollution problem our planet faces?
Indeed, we are.
You might be surprised to learn that worldwide, dogs help to contribute almost half a billion pounds of waste every single day. To keep our planet healthy and safe, we can make eco-friendly pet consumer choices and create sustainable habits around caring for our dogs. This will help contribute to the reduction in waste and pollution dog ownership can produce.
To help you along in your green pet journey, we’ve gathered the best tips for how to go sustainable with your dog that you can start implementing today!
Choose Quality Pet Supplies
Make sure you are choosing pet supplies & supporting pet companies that put your dog’s health first! You don’t want your pup breathing in harmful fumes from flame retardant dog beds, chewing on toxic plastic toys, or eating from chemically-lined food containers.
You can start by reading labels on toys, dog beds, crates, grooming products, and foods or researching pet companies that are transparent about their supply chain and materials used.
Choosing more sustainable materials - when available - can help reduce harmful effects on your dog and your home. Sustainable materials like bamboo, hemp, and organic cotton are more eco-friendly to both the planet and your precious pup.
Also, always look for biodegradable products when you buy waste bags, shampoos, conditioners, and pet cleaning products. This helps keep our waterways from contamination of toxic and harmful ingredients so often found in these products.
Here at Pure Earth Pets, we work specifically with companies that keep you, your pet, and the environment in mind! We thoroughly vet our retailers to make sure they put the earth and your pup first.
Choose Quality Dog Food
On average, a dog consumes almost 360 pounds of meat every year. When you consider that the US alone has over 70 million household dogs - that’s a lot of meat consumption!
There are a couple of different things to look at when it comes to dog food and how we can combat its impact on the environment.
Like human food products - oil, energy, and water are used in high quantities in the packaging, processing, and transportation of pet food. Choosing the more sustainable option of buying in bulk whenever possible can help alleviate this issue.
When buying food, always choose organic, sustainably-raised, or grass-fed animal meat, non-GMO grains, and BPA free canned food for your dog’s diet. This helps reduce and eliminate any added hormones, preservatives, antibiotics, chemicals, pesticides, and any artificial ingredients they consume.
If you avoid using plastic for yourself, you should avoid using plastic for your dog. Those same toxins and chemicals that are harmful to us are harmful to our furry friends, too. Here are a few ways you can avoid using plastics in the caring of your dog.
Try to buy products that use minimal plastic packaging or are packaged using environmentally friendly materials. You can also opt for non-plastic toys or pet supplies. This includes choosing stainless steel or ceramic food and water bowls, buying toys that are made from recycled or renewable materials, or bamboo brushes instead of plastic.
Avoiding plastic means avoiding plastic waste bags and single-use plastic bags at your local pet store, too! Get into the habit of bringing reusable bags to the store and consider using Houndscoop Plant-Based Waste Bags, which are 100% compostable and made from renewable resources such as corn, vegetable, and plant starches.
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
If you want to scale back on wastage, consider keeping it simple for your dog. Do they really need ten sweaters for the winter season? Or a different colored collar for each month? This type of consumerism - while unselfishly directed toward your furever friend - is a significant contributor to your pet’s environmental footprint.
Like most of us, dogs don’t need a lot to be healthy and happy. Just water, food, lots of love, and, of course, extra belly rubs.
Don’t be timid in buying secondhand supplies for your dog. Your dog won’t care if a toy is new or used. Most are in like-new condition anyways and you are paying a fraction of the price. Old socks or balls that are lying around the house might be great toys for your pup. Don’t be afraid to use them!
Like any packaging, most dog supplies come in recyclable materials like food cans, paper food bags, plastic containers, or cardboard packaging. Double-check the recycling code on the package, but most of these should be easily recycled by your local recycling program. Just don’t let these materials end up in landfills!
Here at Pure Earth Pets, we use boxes that are fully biodegradable and printed with soy ink to reduce waste that is usually associated with subscription boxes.
Don’t Toss, Donate!
If your dog has outgrown beds, collars, leashes, clothing, toys, or bowls - don’t toss them away. You can give them a second life by donating them! Not to mention, this will help keep your dog’s stuff out of landfills. Some great places to donate supplies include your local animal shelter or rescue organization. Some local donation centers also take dog supplies.
Take Care of Waste
Always, always scoop your poop!
Pets account for up to 274 pounds of poop waste a year. That waste either ends up in the landfill where it sits in its plastic pouch forever or (when not scooped) gets washed into sewage systems and ultimately ends up in rivers or on beaches.
Dog poop is a huge source of bacteria pollution in our watersheds. It is actually considered a very harmful pollutant alongside oil, herbicides, insecticides, and other deadly contaminants by the Environmental Protection Agency.
Never leave your dog’s poop no matter where you are and always opt for a biodegradable plastic waste bag or consider composting your dog’s poop!
Are you ready to start your sustainable pet journey? Check out our subscription boxes here, or you can browse through our sustainably-minded retailers right here.
Have questions? Let’s hear them.