From skipping the straw, to using less energy at home, or buying secondhand, many of us have already been taking steps to better care for our planet; but owning a dog brings on its own sustainability challenges.
Here are some easy steps to help minimize your pup’s ecological footprint:
🧸 Upcycle Dog Toys
- Rip apart that old t-shirt or towel, and braid or knot it up… et voilá! A tug toy! We love a good DIY.
- And while we personally also love a good thrift find for ourselves, buying used toys is not always a safe option for your pup. Look for new toys made from recycled materials, or that are biodegradable/recyclable at the end of their lifetime.
🦴 Buy Environmentally Friendly Food + Treats
- How are human + non-human animals treated in the production of this food? Is animal testing involved? What’s the brand’s carbon footprint? These are a few questions to ask yourself before choosing a new food. At the end of the day, you’re looking for total transparency!
- A note on meat: we know our pups thrive on meat-based diets, but consider skipping the lamb + beef. These two proteins have a much higher carbon footprint than some others. Tuna, salmon, chicken, turkey or even pork each have about ½ to ⅓ of the CO2e emissions of lamb + beef!
- Another alternative we’ve been loving lately - crickets! Before you cringe, hear us out: they are by far the most sustainable protein on the market at the moment, and our pups love their buggy-based treats and food.
💩 Choose the ~Least Sh*tty~ Options for Poop
- If you have a dog, poop is a big part of your life. Let’s say you pick up after fido 2-4 times a day… that’s 730 to 1460 plastic doggy bags you’ll go through in one year. Yikes.
- There are a lot of options for poop bags on the market: compostable, recycled, etc., but it turns out that some of those options are just as bad for the planet as regular plastic bags.
- The bad news: biodegradable + compostable bags do not actually decompose completely in a landfill. They break down into little tiny microplastics & actually produce a ton of methane.
- Our recommendation? Use recycled plastic doggy bags - it’s a much better option than creating more demand for newly manufactured plastics!
- Even better - If you have a yard at home, consider getting a poop scooper to take waste directly to the trash & skip the plastic baggies altogether!
- And lastly, a word of caution about composting - don’t use animal waste compost on anything you intend to eat! It’s possible to compost your dog’s poop for other purposes (like landscaping or for decorative plants), but make sure to be safe & do your research!