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How to be an Environmentally Responsible Dog Owner

Dog-2228595_1920Guest Post by Angie Hill

Are you looking for environmentally friendly ideas that you can use as a pet-loving dog owner? Whether you realize it or not, the choices you make as a dog owner have the potential to impact our environment. Dogs are still animals by nature and this means striking the right balance between being eco-friendly and serving the best interests of your four-legged friend. This post will help you learn how you can do your own good work for the environment while also giving your dog a happy, healthy life.

Walk More

Taking your dog for walks is a sure-fire way to keep him or her happy, healthy and content.

You can also use walking with your dog as a great excuse to skip driving to a store or to a friend’s house. Fewer carbon emissions mean you are doing something good for the environment, your own health and your dog’s too, so reach for the leash and take more walks!

Switch to Sustainable Pet Food

According to the American Pet Products Association, $30.32 billion was spent on pet food in 2018 in the U.S. The food you feed your dog should be balanced but protein-heavy. Regular dog food you buy will contain 20-40% protein. A lot of this protein comes from animal sources and just like humans who live on a meat-based diet, there’s a big ecological footprint left as a result.

You don’t have to turn your dog vegan, but if you want to be eco-friendlier you have two other options:

  •     Buy sustainable pet food
  •     Make your own

If you want to make your own food at home, here are some simple recipes to use: https://themotherhuddle.com/making-your-own-dog-food/

Two valuable dog food tips that can help to reduce your environmental impact are:

Less Processed: Typically, if food has gone through more processing, it has taken more energy to produce. Therefore, try to feed dogs food that is less processed.

Dry & Wet Food: It might not even have crossed your mind, but wet food is heavier due to having more water content - this means that there are higher emissions when wet food is transported, so dry food is better for the environment in this instance.

Your pet’s health comes first and you should consider this before you switch their diets. When deciding on what food to buy, consult your veterinarian before making a big change in your pet’s diet.

Choose Toys Wisely

A large number of toys on the market are made from plastic, and it can be hard to move away from them when you’re on the hunt for a new one for your dog. If you have a pet that is full of life and gets through toys, you will end up tossing them away all the time. Try to choose toys made from recyclable materials or natural fibers as this will have a positive effect, environmentally. You could also try one of these homemade brain games .

Buy Non-Toxic Shampoo

If your dog runs a mile at the mere mention of a bath you aren’t alone! But baths are a necessity, so when it comes to bath time, switch to using a natural, organic dog shampoo. Ensure it is non-toxic and is free from parabens and dyes, too, as this is better for the environment (no excess chemicals end up going down the drain and into the environment) and your dog’s coat and skin.

Your vet will be able to help you make the right choice of shampoo; many companies advertise their products as “all-natural” but they aren’t!

Use Biodegradable Waste Bags

Those little poop bags that often get used to pick up and dispose of a dog’s waste are part of the global plastic epidemic.  They require hundreds of years for them to biodegrade. Avoid this issue by opting to use only compostable bags which take three to six months to fully decompose.

Angie Hill Angie is a dog-loving, outdoor enthusiast who writes for WoofDog.org, a site that offers dog-centered health, food and behavior advice.

Image: Pixabay.com

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