Being eco-friendly as a puppy parent is sometimes not very easy.
You want to be a responsible puppy parent, but not just responsible for your puppy, for the environment that you and your puppy are enjoying together every day. You see the waste and the toys that die just a little too easily and end up in the bin.
It can feel really difficult sometimes to keep that carbon footprint down. It’s something I like to try and do as a dog mum, because I love nature and it’s worth looking after for future generations.
So, here are 7 tips for you, your family and your pets to go that little bit more green… yay for being eco-friendly!
1 – Hang your Laundry Outside!
This one is one pet parents don’t do enough! Your dryer is one of the biggest energy saps in your household. They’re really not in the eco-friendly spectrum, huh? Then, to make it worse, it doesn’t get rid of all the pet hair and your laundry comes out … eh… So so.
But if you hang it outside? Sunlight not only kills dog odor – but the warmth and the breeze is free! Not to mention that hanging it in a breeze will slowly shake off any extra pet hair. And as if that weren’t enough, but it smells better too! (pro tip, shake it out before you come in if bugs scare you!)
I mean – what’s not great about that, save money, save the environment, gives you whiter, less fluffy sheets that smell wonderful.
2 – Recycle
We all know recycling is one of the best ways to be an eco-friendly person.
Creating your own dog toys and enrichment games is a wonderful way to make another use out of that old milk bottle, the jeans that don’t fit any longer, or the tube from your toilet roll. The more we use the items we have the less production needs to be made. Getting a little crafty or intelligent can help decrease the emissions from the pet industry.
This even goes for your food – any bones from meat? Recycle those into bone broth! Taking a lower waste approach to life is always going to help.
3 – Support Eco-friendly pet companies
Brands like Scruffy Little Terrier & Luxury Dog Hampers ensure that their packaging is sustainably sourced, and Scruffy little terrier even make sure that their T-shirts and apparel are as eco-friendly as possible. Supporting businesses like these will help you to keep your pet pride up as well as your sustainability!
4 – Ditch The Puppy Pads!
These are growing in popularity, but (to my knowledge) there are no green, sustainable or compostable solutions available, so they become a big contributor to the problem.
A better eco-friendly solution is to go back to old school newspaper, or train your puppy to go straight outside – or even consider a pet potty! Some fake grass suspended above an easy clean tray may be perfect.
If you’re looking for help with toilet training by the way, check out our do’s and don’ts!
5 – Go Natural
From your grooming supplies , to your treats, to your dogs every day food. The less processed options will naturally come with a smaller carbon footprint as there is less machinery involved in the finished product.
If you can source certain things straight from the farm? That’s a perfect idea. You’d be surprised what local homesteaders have that might help you decrease packaging and vehicle transportation, as well as supporting your local community! You can also get soap specially made for your dogs coat, which means they’re free of a lot of nasty chemicals too. A much better choice on so many levels!
So many small, but substantial eco-friendly wins.
6 – Choose Baggies That Are Compostable, And Actually Compost Them
There is a bit of a false economy with compostable or biodegradable bags because they don’t often actually end up with the ability to use those functions (like if they’re placed in a larger bin bag, and sent to landfill, they’ll actually just petrify within the bag regardless of the sort of bag), so actually composting it (which is fine for your flowers, just not for your fruit and veggies) will be your best solution.
7 – Adopt or Buy Responsibly Bred Pets, And Don’t Become The Problem
All of this is essentially saying, don’t abandon dogs or any pet, because pets are not disposable, they have a life and will need to be cared for.
Pets in shelters mean that that location has to care for them, creating a whole new industry that inevitably pet owners are responsible for in turn. If we keep pets in homes, keep them out of shelters by being responsible about our decisions and commitment to our pets (including the decision to spay or neuter at an appropriate age, or accepting the consequences of having an intact animal) we decrease the combined sustainability of pet ownership.
Eco-Friendly Solutions Work!
Truthfully eco-friendly solutions can be just as convenient, just as effective, and in some cases? They supercede the benefits of their alternatives. By doing this sort of thing? You’ll be helping the world – not just your pet!
So let’s stay great and look after our environment too. Little changes, right?
Author, Ali Smith
Ali Smith is the Positive Puppy Expert and is the founder of Rebarkable. She is passionate about helping puppy parents get things right, right from the start.
She has won two awards for her dog training and has been featured in a number of magazines, online news providers and podcasts!