The Ultimate Guide to Eco-Friendly Dog Ownership

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08 July 2021
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There’s nothing better than having your furry companion by your side, however, many of the products we use to take care of our four-legged friends could actually be causing harm to the environment.

Here’s some easy-to-follow tips on how to reduce environmental impact, whilst still being a responsible dog owner.

 

How do dog products affect the environment?

 

How we feed, groom, and even clean up after our dogs can have a sizable impact on the environment. In fact, dog food is one of the biggest contributors to environmental harm due to the land, water and energy needed to produce it. So much so that it’s estimated that owning a medium sized dog creates the same amount of carbon as an SUV car!

By following these steps and trying out alternative eco-friendly dog products, you’ll be helping to reduce their carbon pawprint.

 

Use compostable poop bags

Plastic pollution is a real problem, as it’s estimated that half of the 300 million tonnes of plastic we throw away each year is single use. This plastic then seeps into natural habitats, fills up landfills, and even floats in our oceans.

Disposable poop bags are a huge contributor to this therefore a great alternative is to swap to compostable and biodegradable bags as they break down over time and reduce the amount of waste.

Make sure to dispose of these bags at home in a compost bin as they won’t break down in landfill as light, oxygen, and moisture are needed to start the composting process. Also remember not to use this compost to grow anything edible!

Non-plastic dog toys

Another way to reduce your dog’s environmental impact is swapping out plastic-based toys for non-plastic alternatives.

Not all plastic dog toys can be recycled due to their flimsy nature once torn apart, and as many dog toys experiences wear and tear, they tend to get minimal use overall. Investing in a plastic-free, yet durable toy will reduce your dog’s overall plastic waste.

Great alternatives include toys made from natural materials, such as sustainable jute, a natural plant fibre, or natural hemp. Both of these materials are not only durable, meaning they are more economical, but they’re non-toxic and biodegradable.

Non-toxic dog grooming products

Many dog grooming products, such as shampoo, contain chemicals which can be toxic to marine life. When they are consequently flushed down our drains they inevitably enter water systems and increase aquatic pollution. 

Avoid products containing sodium lauryl sulphate (SLS) or synthetic fragrances, as these have been proven to negatively affect marine life, not to mention they can be harsh on your dog’s skin.

Instead, try out organic shampoo and conditioners for you dog, which contain natural nourishing ingredients, such as essential oils or shea butter.

 

Stay local for dog walks

Whilst venturing out for a new walking route is great once in a while, driving to get to your chosen walking spot can seriously impact the environment.

Carbon emissions from cars, contribute to global warming and climate change, which impacts our sea levels and weather systems, leading to widespread destruction of essential ecosystems and natural habitats. 

As cars account for approximately 18% of all carbon emissions in the UK, limiting car usage by choosing a local walk will not only help to lower overall emissions but will also lower both yours and your dog’s carbon footprint.

 

Buy in bulk

The simplest way to reduce your dogs’ impact on the environment is to buy products, such as their food, poop bags, or grooming products, in larger quantities.

This helps to reduce the amount of plastic packaging you consume. It’s been reported by Fair Planet that food packaging is the second worst polluter, so where you can limit this quantity, the less waste will end up in landfill sites or worse, our oceans.

 

Being more eco-friendly doesn’t mean you have to undergo drastic changes. By following these simple tips, you can become a smarter and more conscious dog owner, helping to keep the planet happy by minimise your pups’ overall carbon pawprint.