How to Be an Eco-Friendly Dog Owner

By Stacey Skidmore, August 2021
eco-friendly dog owning tips

Did you know how we feed, wash, walk, and play with our pets can have damaging consequences on the planet?

Owning a dog comes with great responsibility, not just for looking after your furry friend day after day but also for ensuring their care doesn’t cause negative long-term environmental impacts. To help you become a more eco-conscious dog owner, follow these easy tips that can help to make a huge difference.

Use compostable poop bags

Thin and flimsy plastics can often not be recycled so try to avoid products such as plastic poop bags, which will more than likely end up in landfill sites, unable to break down.  Compostable alternatives are a brilliant option to help combat this plastic pollution.

When disposed of properly with enough light, oxygen, and moisture, compostable poop bags can break down within six months.

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Avoid toxic grooming products

When washing your dog, look to use organic and non-toxic grooming products, with ingredients such as shea butter, essential oils, and other natural ingredients. Try green grooming with baking soda.

Not only are many dog grooming products harsh on your pet’s skin, but their ingredients can also be harmful to our oceans and wildlife when washed down the drain.

Avoid products containing sodium lauryl sulphate (SLS) or synthetic fragrances, as these have been proven to negatively affect marine life by toxifying the water.

Walk your dog locally

Choose local walks over those that require engine-fuelled transport where you can. While it’s great to explore new places with your dog, driving in your car or catching the train or bus will add to the release of carbon emissions, detrimentally affecting the environment.

The above modes of transport, in addition to planes, is why transport is one of the top 5 biggest carbon polluters worldwide. Avoiding these where you can make a big difference to your personal carbon footprint and help reduce levels of carbon in the atmosphere, which directly contribute to global warming.

Choose alternative protein-based foods

Livestock farming, in particular rearing cows, is a huge contributor to greenhouse gases. Swapping beef-based food for other protein-based ingredients, such as chicken, turkey, and grains can help reduce this environmental impact. 

These alternatives, whilst better for the environment, are also much leaner, providing the right nutrients for your canine, meaning they will remain healthy whilst protecting the planet too.

Plastic-free toys

You can also reduce your dog’s environmental impact by swapping out plastic-based toys for those made from other materials.

Some options include toys made from natural materials or food. For example, sustainably sourced rope, jute, and hemp are brilliant as they are not only kind to the planet and biodegradable, but they’re also durable materials, saving you money in the long run too!

Making these sustainable swaps will ensure you are becoming an eco-conscious dog owner while keeping your furry friend happy and healthy at the same time.

Photo: iStock