Dogs are adorable little creatures that make our lives happier. But, how do those cute little creatures make our planet feel? Unfortunately, they aren’t quite the best thing that happened to Earth. But you can be an eco-friendly dog owner.
UCLA geography professor Gregory Okin says pets are responsible for 25 to 30% of the environmental impact of meat consumption in the U.S. Besides; he adds that they produce about 5.1 million tons of feces each year — the same amount as 90 million Americans.
As you can see, dogs have a huge environmental impact, so if you’re a responsible pet owner who lives a sustainable lifestyle, it’s time to also become an eco-friendly dog owner.
Be an eco-friendly dog owner: Don’t overcomplicate it
Dogs have simple necessities. They need water, food, medical care, a collar, playtime, and plenty of love. However, today’s pet industry imposed a widespread belief that your four-legged friend needs numerous other consumer things for a happy life, such as little decorative outfits, classy collars or fancy toys.
All those goods consume a considerable amount of chemicals, trees, and energy in their production which is a waste of resources for accessories that aren’t necessary for the wellbeing of your furry friend.
Another imperative that comes from the pet industry are delicacies for your canine companion. Most treats available in the market are loaded with preservatives and animal byproducts. Besides, the packaging waste contributes considerably to your dog’s environmental footprint.
Therefore, why regularly buy new goodies when you can make them in your kitchen? There are many recipes for homemade treats rich in nutrients and healthy ingredients that will most certainly make your little friend happy.
Adopt a dog
Nowadays, there are many homeless dogs in shelters across the U.S. As stated by the Humane Society, around 6 million to 8 million cats and dogs enter shelters each year, and about half are ultimately euthanized.
Hence, why purchase a new puppy from a breeder or a store when you can adopt one from the shelter? That way, you’ll save an animal and at the same time support the shelter.
Buy eco-friendly dog toys
Eco-friendly dog toys can help protect the environment and live a sustainable life with your pet. There is a wide range of playtime items created with organic or recycled materials.
Also, you can always make playthings by yourself or recycle some of your stuff like a new toy for your furry friend. For example, you can use that old ball from the attic.
Spay or neuter your dog
One of the most significant problems today is animal overpopulation. Many dogs are born every day, and unfortunately, some of them are abandoned or put in shelters, while others wander the streets. As a consequence, the surrounding ecosystem is severely disrupted.
The most efficient way to prevent this is to spay or neuter your dog. That way, the overpopulation is reduced, and the shelter’s resources are preserved. Besides, it brings many health benefits to your dog.
Be an eco-friendly dog owner: Compost waste
Dog waste composting is a great way to go green. However, it can be tricky to implement, especially if your living conditions don’t allow it.
But, if they do, then it would be good to start composting your pet’s waste in an earth-friendly way. That way, you’ll turn a hazardous pollutant into a fertile mulch.
On the other hand, you can always scoop your dog’s poop with a biodegradable pet waste bag instead.
Recycle a dog house
Another option: eco-friendly doghouses. Whether you’re planning to purchase a new home for your furry friend or build one by yourself, consider some green options.
When building a doghouse, you can use green construction materials that don’t cost a lot or recycle old wood. However, if this option doesn’t work for you, at least buy a doghouse made of biodegradable or recycled materials.
Buy green dog-care products
Using eco-friendly products to take care of your four-legged friend can be a small, but significant change that can have a positive impact on the environment. Therefore, make sure you read labels and purchase collars, bedding, and leashes made of natural materials or plastic which doesn’t contain BPA, phthalates, or vinyl.
Also, buy shampoos manufactured with natural components without toxic substances. Besides, consider some eco-friendly product to clean up after your pet.
Finally, the last step is to apply some of these pieces of advice. Depending on your living circumstances and the needs of your furry friend, choose the one that suits you best. Make a substantial environmental impact with your canine companion, but a green one.