How to Raise a Puppy Sustainably

by Lisa Guay
Woman holding a puppy

The day has finally arrived and you’re bringing home a puppy! When you add a new little furry friend to your home, you’re not just gaining a pet, but a family member. For the eco-conscious pet parent, it’s important to raise this newest addition in a manner that aligns with your values.

Here’s nine ways you can weave sustainability into the joyous yet challenging task of puppy raising.

1. Choose Eco-Friendly Supplies

Opt for pet supplies made from sustainable or recycled materials. Dog beds and toys crafted from repurposed textiles or natural, biodegradable materials minimize environmental impact. Look for leashes and collars made from hemp or bamboo, which are not only sustainable but also durable.

Woman holding a small white dog in a field of flowers.

2. Sustainable Feeding

Your puppy’s diet is a vital aspect of its growth and health. Consider organic dog food brands that use free-range, hormone-free meats, and non-GMO vegetables. Even better, look for brands with responsible packaging, like biodegradable bags or recyclable containers. For treats, try making them at home with fresh produce such as carrots or apples.

Small white dog looking up at you with food bowls in the background

3. Biodegradable Waste Bags

Plastic waste bags take centuries to decompose, posing a threat to wildlife and ecosystems. Swap them out for compostable waste bags when cleaning up after your puppy. These bags break down much faster and are becoming increasingly available at pet supply stores.

Person picking up dog waste in their backyard with a dog and kids on a swing set in the background

4. Spay/Neuter

Help curb the overpopulation of dogs by getting your puppy spayed or neutered. In addition to this being one of the most responsible decisions you can make, it also supports a sustainable model by reducing the potential for future stray animals that could have an adverse environmental effect.

Small black dog wearing a cone and looking at you in a living room

5. Non-Toxic Cleaning

Puppies are notorious for accidents. Use non-toxic cleaning agents to keep your space clean and safe for both your pet and the planet. DIY solutions with vinegar, baking soda, and lemon can be just as effective as commercial products.

Countertop with lemons and bottle of homemade cleaner

6. Natural Pet Care Products

From shampoos to flea repellents, the market is full of natural alternatives that are safer for your puppy and the environment. Products made from organic, chemical-free ingredients ensure that you’re not washing harmful substances down the drain.

Small chihuahua in a bath with shampoo on it's head

7. Training

Sustainable puppy raising also means investing time in training for good behavior and minimal waste. Encourage and reinforce positive actions with homemade treats, and consider using digital resources or e-books for training guidance over printed materials.

Woman outside with her beagle, working on training exercises in a rural field

8. Adoption First

When choosing your new companion, consider adopting from a shelter. You’ll give a home to a puppy in need and support a model of care that emphasizes rehoming and responsible pet ownership, rather than supporting overbreeding.

Small golden puppy laying on a blanket in a shelter

9. Conscious Vet Care

Seek out a veterinarian with similar sustainability values. Some vets implement practices such as digital records over paper ones, proper recycling of medical waste, and use of sustainable products within their clinic.

Veterinarian using a stethoscope to listen to the vitals for a German Shepherd

Incorporating these sustainable practices in your puppy care routine benefits the environment and instills deep values for the rest of your family. Remember, the goal is to minimize waste and the carbon ‘pawprint’ while maximizing the joy of raising a healthy, happy puppy.

With these tips in hand, you’re ready to raise your little pal in a way that you can feel good about – both for your puppy’s future and the future of our planet.

With these tips in hand, you can have peace of mind about how to raise a puppy sustainably.

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