Posted 6 months ago ago
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It's no secret that as a society we need to adopt eco-friendly ways of living to avoid contributing to devastating climate change, and after seeing one too many David Attenborough documentaries you may be trying to cut down on the amount of plastic your family uses or how much red meat you consume.
However, with a dog things are not so simple.
With vegetarian meals for your pet out of the question for many breeds, and a vast selection of dog toys, beds, and treats containing plastic or packaged in it, it may seem as if being eco-friendly as a pup owner is difficult to the point of being impossible.
There are some easy steps that dog owners can take to be more earth conscious.
Here are seven suggestions that can help to reduce your household's carbon footprint and plastic waste.
Buy treats from bulk bins where possible
Smaller pet shops will often have treats in bulk bins, meaning you can put them in paper bags or your own Tupperware container to take home. This isn't always an option, but it could be worth a search around your area, as buying in bulk is a good way to cut down on plastic packaging, and will support your local pet shop.
Recycle your old things for the benefit of your dog
Old towels and T-shirts are often thrown away if they're not in good enough shape to be donated to charity, but why not repurpose them for your pet? Old towels are always useful for muddy paws, while T-shirts could provide a soft blanket for their bed, with the added bonus of your scent being a comfort.
And depending on how durable it is, an old sock can provide a brilliant toy for tug-of-war games.
If you feel your things are not right for your own pet, dog shelters will often take unwanted duvets to turn into dog mattresses, and will also take old towels if you have too many.
Recycle your dog's old toys and bedding
Along the same lines, your dog's old toys and bedding can be donated to local pet shelters, provided they're in a good condition.
When our beloved pets pass away, you can often bring their toys and things to a pet shelter where they can be used again, rather than throwing them away.
Battersea Dogs & Cats Home is always on the lookout for durable toys, pet furniture, and leads that you no longer have a use for: https://www.battersea.org.uk/support-us/other-ways-give/make-or-donate-goods
Use compostable poop bags
Biodegradable or compostable poop bags are often not too expensive, and nobody wants something that is used for five minutes to stick around for hundreds of years as plastic waste.
Check out Pets At Home for a reasonably-priced and reliable compostable poop bag brand: https://www.petsathome.com/shop/en/pets/beco-bags-compostable-poop-bags-60-pack
Try making your own dog treats
As the ultimate eco-friendly hack, dog treats can be homemade with just a few ingredients. The treats won't come packaged in any plastic, and could make for a fun activity with your children.
Battersea Dogs & Cats Home suggests treats that can be made from banana, oats, and sweet potato, all of which can be found at supermarkets with limited plastic packaging.
Make toys last longer
When it comes to the slogan Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, the “reduce” section often gets overlooked. One way of significantly reducing waste could be to buy more durable toys. While getting the latest gimmicky soft toy for your puppy is tempting, if you know they're going to rip them to shreds within hours, the resulting waste can be expensive and bad for the environment.
Why not invest in hard plastic or wooden toys that you know will last a lot longer? Buying fewer toys for your dog is not only kind on the planet, but your wallet too.
Go for local walks where possible
Where possible, try to make the most of your nearby green spaces and walk locally to reduce the amount of time spent in the car. Even urban cities like London can have great walking spots, and taking local walks can be a great way to explore the areas around your home.