As responsible dog owners, and as people inhabiting this fine planet, it’s in our best interest to be more eco-friendly. Living more sustainably, and creating a smaller footprint, is something we must do not only for ourselves, but for the pets whose lives depend on us, too.
Climate change and sustainability efforts aren’t exactly the lightest of topics, but we’re here to provide a few simple ideas that can help reduce the human-made impact on our ecosystem.
Quick Tips for Being an Eco-Friendly Dog Parent
First think about your overall footprint.
You likely know that plastic bags take thousands of years to decompose and are a leading cause of contamination in our oceans. Now think of how many little plastic dog poop bags you might use a day and extrapolate what that could mean in a year, just for you alone! If you’re like us, you’ve already switched to a compostable bag. Be careful, though, because some bags are marketed as biodegradable, but still won’t actually break down. We also recently discovered that even compostable bags don’t break down in many landfills because they don’t have access to the oxygen necessary for the process (the landfills are often sealed with a tarp). Ay carumba.
Then make some simple, yet actionable, changes.
So you may not have solved the poop problem completely yet (flushing the poop down the toilet might be the best option, but is it the most realistic?), but you can make some small steps towards being a more sustainably-focused dog parent.
- Spay or neuter your dog. The first one is pretty simple, but it can make a big impact. The ASPCA estimates that 3.3 million dogs enter animal shelters (and nearly 700,000 shelter dogs are euthanized) each year. Spaying and neutering helps curb this overpopulation problem.
- Recycle your stuff into dog toys. Does your dog love that satisfying crunch of a water bottle as much as mine? We don’t condone single-use plastic water bottle usage, but if you have one, throw it in an old tube sock and you just saved yourself $15 on a new tug-of-war toy.
- When you’re done with the toys, freecycle them. If you’re looking to offload some of your dog’s toys, if they’re not all-the-way dead yet, call the local animal shelter or vet and see if they’ll take them off your hands. That way you’re extending their mileage and helping some local animals out.
- Make your own dog treats. Check out this recipe and bake your dog some delicious treats right at home. It’s cheaper, cuts down on packaging waste, and doesn’t use unsustainable products like palm oil.
We all start somewhere.
There are so many ways we can collectively decrease our impact on the planet. We’d love to hear your ideas!