5 Eco-Friendly Tips for Pup Parents from Dog Poop to Toys
Are you a proud pup parent who cares about the environment? If you’re looking for more ways to amp up your positive impact as a pup parent or if you’re going zero-waste, you’ve come to the right place.
It doesn’t take much and it makes a major difference to reduce your pup’s carbon paw-print and get closer to a zero-waste life. To help you get started and to inspire some new green techniques, here are our 5 favorite eco-friendly tips for dog parents.
1. Pick Up After Your Dog in an Eco-Friendly Way
Our dogs poop--a lot. American dogs produce over 21 billion pounds of waste every year. And all this poop has a huge impact. From streams to neighborhoods, scientists find the bacteria and viruses in dog poop can travel miles. When bacteria and viruses like giardia and salmonella enter the ecosystem, they can get other animals sick and can even be fatal.
And the nitrogen and phosphorus found in pup poop can create unnatural algae blooms, starving fish of oxygen and choking off waterways.
So, bag it, right? Right. But plastic poop bags create a world of other issues. When dog poop is tied in plastic--it winds up in landfills and elsewhere. These plastic bags contribute to the greater problem of pollution and environmental degradation.
So, what can you do? Using biodegradable dog poop bags helps make the most of your dog’s poop. The high levels of nitrogen and phosphorus in dog poop can actually help make excellent compost. And compost makes the world greener by providing plants what they need to filter carbon dioxide from the air and provide food for us and other creatures.
2. Get Creative and Reduce Dog Toy Waste
Some dogs are shredders. Others snuggle their favorite toys for years. So, how can you help reduce your impact when it comes to your pup’s toys?
- Donate toys your pup ignores: If your dog chooses favorites and ignores her other toys you can donate them to a local shelter.
- Reuse, Repair, and Repurpose: If your dog pulls the stuffing out of toys or enjoys tearing off legs, use a needle and thread to reattach missing limbs and refill the stuffing. You can even have some fun and make Franken-toys while you’re at it.
- Choose Materials Thoughtfully: If your dog is the toy-terminator, aim for toys that have a smaller impact on the environment or recycle objects from around the house to make eco-friendly toys. Braid an old t-shirt or towel into a tug rope or fill a shipping bag or box with a few treats and shredded paper from the office.
3. Analyze Your Dog’s Dinner
Did you know that meat consumption by dogs and cats creates 64 million tons of carbon dioxide every year? In fact, pets account for 25% of the meat intake in the U.S. And if you’re thinking “our dogs are carnivores--it’s natural,” we understand. But you can still keep your dog healthy and satisfied by changing some aspects of his dinner:
Choose dog food brands that strive for environmentally friendly and sustainable practices. Companies that source their ingredients in the U.S. and Canada and are USDA certified organic keep pesticides out of the soil and reduce global shipping and pollution problems abroad.
Feed your dog a healthy portion. More than half of American dogs are overweight. This isn’t just bad for their health, it leads to excess food consumption.
4. Rescue, Adopt, and Volunteer
Adorable, lovable, adoptable dogs file into shelters across the country each day. When you choose to adopt or support local shelters through volunteering and donations, you avert the demand for puppies which reduces the overall impact dogs have on the Earth.
Adopting also reduces the number of dogs that get euthanized while supporting an organization that spays and neuters pets and strays. Shelters also take dogs off the streets which reduces their impact on native wildlife.
Already have a dog or two? Volunteering or fostering helps keep dogs in better shape, makes them more adoptable, and frees up space in the shelter.
5. Use Green Eco-Friendly Dog Products
From bamboo brush handles to hemp dog beds, going green is more than just what goes in (and comes out) of your pup. By choosing natural, sustainable shampoos, bug repellants, and other products, you can make a world of difference for our planet’s future.
Aim for durable products that won’t need to be replaced quickly and materials that are plastic-free and sustainable.
Thanks for Going Green with Your Eco-Dog & These Tips
Let’s work with our dogs to help save the Earth one poop, walk, or product at a time. We hope these tips will get you one step closer to zero-waste with your best friend.
By choosing education and spreading awareness, you can help inform others and provide a better future for our environment. Share this article to help spread some simple ways to encourage others to embrace eco-friendly dog ownership.