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5 Tips To Be A More Eco-Friendly Dog Owner

How To Be An Eco-Friendly Dog Owner

We know that the prospect of a sustainable lifestyle, particularly when it comes to dog ownership, can be daunting and often people think that it involves a lot of time and effort. However, there are many small and simple changes that you can adopt that can have a huge impact on the environment. To try and make things a little easier for you, we've put together our top 5 tips to help you and your dog become more eco-friendly.

 1. Provide eco-friendly toys

Having a range of toys to play with is an exciting and enriching experience for your dog, however, a lot of dog toys are made from plastic and other unsustainable materials. Why not get creative and consider the alternatives.

The most sustainable option is always to use what you already have. One way of doing this is to re-purpose old household items as a toy for your dog. Old t-shirts or tea towels are great knotted up and used as tug toys. You can even incorporate treats to make it extra inviting! You can also fill old toilet roll tubes with treats and fold over the ends to provide your dog with a tasty puzzle!

As with any toy, supervision is key to ensure that your dog doesn't ingest anything they shouldn't. Once the toy is too damaged to play with it can be recycled appropriately. 

When you do want to purchase toys for your dog, always look for those that are made from sustainable or recycled materials. We offer a great range of dog toys made from materials such as hemp rope, jute and recycled plastic. 

Once your dog has grown out of their toys, always check if they can be recycled before throwing them in the bin, destined for landfill. If you have lightly used or like-new toys, contact your local animal shelters to see if they can be donated.

2. Make your own treats

There are plenty of recipes out there to inspire you to try making your own treats for your dog. This allows you to use natural ingredients that are much better for your dog than a lot of commercially available treats, and ensure that you avoid environmentally damaging ingredients such as palm oil. 

Another great thing about making homemade treats is that you can cut down on the unnecessary packaging and plastic that tends to come with them. Pop them in a resealable, reusable container to keep them fresh and reduce harm to the planet!

3. Switch to compostable poo bags

A lot of poo bags on the market advertise themselves as being eco-friendly because they are biodegradable. Whilst this is a much better choice than single use plastic poo bags, they aren't as good for the planet as you may be led to believe. 

Poo bags that are biodegradable can take hundreds of years to break down and, when they do, it's into microplastics (small pieces of plastic) which are harmful to organisms.  

Compostable bags on the other hand, decompose into non-toxic organic matter which can be broken down to form a nutrient rich soil or compost.

About 8 million tons of plastic are thrown into oceans each year. Of that, 236,000 tons are microplastics and this figure is set to increase by 10 times in the next two years. By 2050, there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish which is shocking!

By switching to compostable poo bags, you can be safe in the knowledge that your bags aren't ending up in the ocean or landfill sites where they will cause harm to the environment and wildlife. 

If you plan compost the poo bags at home, ensure that you don't use the compost to grow any fruit or vegetables. Alternatively, you can throw them into your outdoor bin for household waste, just don't put them inside a bin bag. We stock a range of compostable poo bags here

4. Use natural shampoos & conditioners

A lot of dog shampoos and conditioners on the market contain a lot of synthetic ingredients and chemicals, such as parabens, sulphates, phosphates and petrochemicals, that are not great for your dog or the planet.

Just like human skin and hair, natural products are much better for a dog's skin and coatNatural products produce a healthier, more hydrated skin and coat, whilst products containing chemicals can lead to dry, itchy skin and hair that lacks quality, moisture and shine.

Switching to natural and organic grooming products will not only be much better for your dog but it will also decrease your impact on the environment.

If you're looking for natural shampoos & conditioners, we stock a range which you can view here

5. Buy planet-friendly dog food

Let's face it - dogs consume a lot of meat. Meat is resource intensive to produce and countless studies have found that it is polluting and damaging to the environment.

Although there are great vegan and vegetarian options available when it comes to dog food, we appreciate not everyone will want to choose this for their dogs, so here are some tips if you are sticking to a meat based diet for your dog.

Beef and lamb are by far the most environmentally impactful meats to produce, so instead you could opt for chicken, turkey or rabbit. If you want to go with a fish based diet, make sure it is certified as sustainable. 

Another tip is to avoid human grade meat in dog food. Although it sounds like it would be good for your dog, it puts added pressure on our food production systems. Instead, look for dog food that is made from by-products of the meat industry, such as bone meal and organ meat, or with high plant based content.

We hope this article has given you some ideas on how to be more eco-friendly with your dog.

If you have any questions or feedback for us, we'd love to hear from you so please do drop up a message via our contact page.

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