It’s no secret that the eco18 team are a group of dog lovers, but we also are big fans of minimizing our impact on the environment, and that means watching how we take care of our four legged friends. We’ve covered how to choose the best dog, but then what comes next? Dogs are a lot of work and responsibility, they eat a lot and need tons of love and attention. Due to the large amount of food that they eat, and the cost it takes to transport large bags of dog food cross-country, some environmentalists claim that owning a dog is worse for the environment than owning an SUV. Just like there are ways that we can be greener, we can adapt similar concepts to help reduce our dogs’ carbon paw prints. Here are a few tips to get you started, and remember, a little goes a long way:
- Buy all natural, locally produced dog food or make your own. Dog food available on the mass market is made with poor quality ingredients that aren’t good for pups, and they cost a lot of money to ship. Choosing to buy natural and organic food that doesn’t contain added hormones or chemicals is better for dogs and the environment. Natura Pet offers a selection of all natural pet food brands that your dogs will love. Another option is to cook your own dog food and work with your veterinarian to identify the best diet for your dog. There are a number of websites that offer simple recipes that pups will love and will better nurture them.
- Dispose of dog waste properly. Did you know that the 78 million dogs in the U.S. create an estimated 10 million tons of waste each year? This can have a major effect on the eco-system if not cleaned up. Now think of all the plastic bags used to pick up all that waste just sitting in the land fills. Be a good neighbor and pick up after your dog using a biodegradable bag. There are a variety of them, but our favorite is Earthrated Poop Bags, which are bio-degradable and compostable.
- Buy eco-friendly products for your dog. You buy eco-friendly products for yourself, you can do the same with your four-legged family member. There are so many pet products on the market that are eco-friendly including toys, collars, pet beds, and the list goes on. Look for products that are durable and will last longer, so you won’t have to replace them as often. We love the stylish and eco-friendly Bamboo Lounge Bed from P.L.A.Y. that is stuffed with PlanetFILL® filler made from certified-safe, 100 percent post-consumer recycled plastic bottles. Cycle Dog has these fantastic Trail Buddy Bowls that are made out of reclaimed bike tubes that are perfect for traveling. If you’re crafty, you can always create your own dog accessories using recycled materials you have lying around. If not, Etsy.com offers affordable handmade dog apparel and accessories.
- Use non-toxic tick and flea repellent. Many repellents contain toxic chemicals that could be poisonous to dogs and harmful to their owners. Your best option to protect pets from pesky fleas and ticks is to look for non-toxic and pesticide free repellants, try Product Logic Group’s BarkLogic Prevention and Protection line. Read labels carefully before applying any new repellants onto your dogs and if you don’t know what something is, consult with your veterinarian. Always follow directions carefully and monitor for any side effects. To avoid flea and ticks all together, brush your dog often and check for fleas and ticks regularly.
- Adopt a dog from a local shelter. Instead of going to a breeder, check out your local animal shelter first where there are plenty of dogs that need good homes. Websites like PetFinder.com are great resources to help connect you with local shelters to find your perfect pup. Once you do get a dog, make sure to spade or neuter them. More dogs running around means more food and toys to buy and more waste to clean up.