As more families embrace the joy of canine companionship, it's important to contemplate the environmental paw print of our furry friends. Embracing sustainability is not just a statement, it's a lifestyle, one that can be pursued without compromising the happiness of your dog. Here's a guide on how to shape an eco-friendly, sustainable life with your dog.
7 Sustainable Living Ideas for Your Family and Pets
- Sustainable Feeding Habits: Dog nutrition is a critical starting point. Consider brands that prioritize sustainable sourcing and packaging, and opt for organic dog food, which is free of synthetic additives and GMOs. Minimize waste by measuring portions accurately to prevent overfeeding. Not only will this reduce waste, but it will also keep your dog at a healthy weight. You can also get fresh healthy dog food delivered to your door from companies like Spot & Tango.
- Eco-Friendly Dog Toys and Accessories: Consider eco-friendly toys made from natural materials like hemp or cotton. Likewise, choose accessories such as leashes and collars made from recycled or sustainably sourced materials free of BPA, phthalates, vinyl, and toxic plastics. Throwing these in the landfill is also toxic to the environment. Many companies now provide durable, eco-conscious products that benefit not only your dog but also the planet.
- Sustainable Dog Beds: Your dog spends 80% of its time in a day lying down, either sleeping or just resting. In fact, the adult dog sleeps between 12 and 14 hours per day. You'll want to look for sustainable materials that provides comfort to your dog, is non-allergenic, and is easy to clean. Here's a list of 9 eco-friendly dog beds. When your dog gets older, you could consider an orthopedic bed for maximum support and comfort for your pup.
- Green Grooming: Consider grooming products that are made with natural, biodegradable ingredients. Not only are these less harmful to your pet, but they're also safer for the environment. Soaps and shampoos for humans are not designed for your pets because they have high-acidic contents that are harmful to the skin of your dog. Their fragrance is also generally too strong for their sensitive nose. Non-toxic shampoo, on the other hand, means the product is free of parabens, toxins, and dyes.
Conscious Waste Management: Even dog waste can be handled more sustainably. Home Compostable Dog Waste Bags made from plant materials are an excellent alternative to polyethylene plastic bags. For those with backyards, consider a dog waste composting system, which turns waste into a useful soil supplement while reducing landfill contributions.
There are numerous DIY videos online that will teach you how to build your own compost.
- Dog Walks: When running your daily errands, consider leaving the car in the garage and walk instead - but don’t forget to take your dog with you! Not only is this good exercise for your pets, but you also reduce your carbon emissions, as well. Of course, just like humans, dogs need daily exercise for their mental and physical health.
- Adopt, Don't Shop: Promoting sustainability also extends to how you choose your pet. Adoption from animal shelters not only gives a home to a deserving dog but also reduces demand for puppy mills, which often operate under poor environmental and welfare standards.
A sustainable lifestyle is more than an aspiration; it is a path that involves practical changes and conscious decisions. Incorporating sustainable practices into our daily routines, like those with our dogs, can seem daunting initially but often leads to healthier and more fulfilling experiences.
Each step, from the food we provide, the toys we choose, how we manage waste, our grooming habits, to the type of shelter we provide our dogs, all contribute to a larger eco-conscious picture. By adopting rather than shopping, we not only give a deserving life to our loyal companion, but we also resist environmentally detrimental practices.
Adapting to a sustainable lifestyle doesn't mean compromising the comfort or happiness of our beloved pets. Instead, it encourages a harmonious coexistence with nature, fostering an environment that future generations, and their furry friends, can enjoy. This transformation takes time and commitment, but the reward is a cleaner, healthier world that every dog and dog-lover can appreciate. Today, we can start making a difference—one paw at a time.
About the Author:
Elise Morgan is a contributing author to The Dog Blog by Doggy Do Good. You can follow Elise on Twitter - @elisemthewriter