It’s a big responsibility to take care of a dog. It’s an even bigger one to take care of both your dog and the planet at large. Yet in these environmentally-aware times, more and more pet owners try to shop smart for your dog by buying products that are good not only for their four-legged friends but that also help make the world a better place to live.
Of course, a philanthropic spirit also needs to focus on the pet as well as the planet — so it’s nice if a company is devoting millions to, say, cancer research in canines. But the battle isn’t won if the products you buy are inferior.
So shop smart for your dog whether you are buying toys, food, clothing or other items.
Here are 10 socially-responsible brands that are committed to protecting the earth and serving its animal inhabitants.
Shop smart for your dog: Toys
Planet Dog. Since 1997, Planet Dog has been producing socially responsible toys that have earned raves from dogs and humans alike. Whole Dog Journal tested durable dog balls for a feature last year and gave its highest four-star rating to only two balls, both from Planet Dog: the Orbee-Tuff Squeak Ball and the Orbee-Tuff Recycle Ball (the latter made from pieces left over from other Orbee-Tuff toys). Additionally, Planet Dog began the Planet Dog Foundation in 2006, thus far raising over $1.6 million toward the training and placement of dogs that assist people in need.
WO. WO stands for widows and orphans, and that’s exactly who benefits from the products sold by this company. Profits from two of the most popular dog toys, known simply as The Bone and The Disc, have provided over 16,000 meals for widows and orphans in Ethiopia, and as the company manufactures more products (including a chewable octopus and a chewable elephant), it seeks to expand its charity to global levels.
West Paw. West Paw was founded in the 1990s to create safe, high-quality dog and cat toys. Local talent was used to create designs instead of outsourcing, and now the company has a state-of-the-art, eco-friendly manufacturing facility in Bozeman, Montana. The company incorporates sustainable practices in their products and uses re-usable banana boxes for storage and packaging. Toys can be recycled through their Join the Loop program.
Shop smart for your dog: Food
The Honest Kitchen. The Honest Kitchen keeps it local. The brand is focused on providing human-grade dog food for their customers, offering only safe, healthy, high-quality pup foods. To do this means that they know exactly where their food comes from. Around 67% of their ingredients come from North America, supporting suppliers who must follow sustainability and fair-trade practices to work with the company. In addition, the eco-friendly company requires verification that all ingredients are free of chemicals, helping both the environment and your pup’s diet.
Shop smart for your dog: Socially-responsible companies
Better World Shopper. Better World Shopper offers a comprehensive database of more 2,000 companies that are committed to making the world a better place – and some who aren’t. Better World Shopper grades on human rights, the environment, animal protection, community involvement, and social justice. Pet owners can peruse the brands that offer animal habitat preservation and humane treatment, as well as those who oppose animal testing, offer vegan-friendly and animal-free alternatives, and contribute to animal shelters in their respective communities.
House Method. For furry friends who love a good snuggle, opt for a blanket that can comfort you both. House Method notes two high-quality brands that serve both people, pets, and the community. Sackcloth & Ashes offers blankets made with recycled fabrics, ethically responsible mulesing-free wool and eco-dyes. Each blanket purchased for you and your pup provides one blanket to your local homeless shelter. Parachute is a socially responsible brand that donates malaria prevention bed netting to the United Nations with each purchase of a bedding. Since most pups sleep with their people, you and your buddy can rest easy knowing your sheets have provided someone else a good night’s sleep.
Alqo Wasi. “Alqo Wasi” means “Dog Home” in Quechua, the language of the Incas spoken in the Peruvian Andes. The Alqo Wasi brand works with women from the regions of Puno and Lima to create hand-woven designs that are made into sustainable dog clothes and accessories. This provides the women an opportunity to develop and use their traditional skills while earning. The dog designs keep pups warm, and the sustainable, eco-friendly resources from the Andean regions of Peru help local communities.
FEED. Admittedly, this one is more for you than Fido. But you have to wear something when walking the dog, so why not get dressed in something that contributes to feeding the homeless? FEED provides food to families in need, with a mission to end world hunger. The bags, shirts, and accessories are stamped with a number that shows how many meals will be given to families in need with your purchase. The products are also environmentally friendly, and the company helps provide meals in the countries where the materials are sourced
PupJoy. If humans can enjoy subscriptions to magazines or wines, then why shouldn’t dogs also have a taste of home-delivery heaven? Enter PupJoy, which offers customized boxes of top-quality items for canine companions. Fill out the online questionnaire so that the box of treats and toys can be targeted to your (and your dog’s) preferences. There are several subscription options, so packages can be delivered monthly or at longer intervals. PupJoy’s Helping Paws program donates money to the BISSELL Pet Foundation, which helps animal shelters and rescue groups.
Socially-responsible corporations. We all lead busy lives, and a quick run to the grocery store is often a daily errand. Choosing a store that is socially responsible is a small step to sustainability. The Harris Poll Reputation Quotient recently released the top corporate socially responsible companies of 2017, giving smart shoppers a look at the best corporate companies to frequent. The poll asked more than 23,000 consumers to rate the 100 most visible companies in the U.S. on social responsibility attributes such as supports good causes, environmental responsibility, and community responsibility. Shoppers chose Wegmans, Publix Super Markets, and Amazon.com as some of the top companies for corporate social responsibility efforts.
– By Lauren S. Hailey