How To Be An Eco-Friendly Dog Owner

How To Be An Eco-Friendly Dog Owner

Caring for dogs can be beneficial, providing companionship, endless entertainment, and an adorable furry addition to the family. As dog owners, however, it's essential to be responsible, considering the environmental impact our dogs can have.

According to a study on the environmental impact of diets for dogs and cats, pet food production is responsible for 26% of total anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions. In Japan, the ecological pawprint of a dog can be similar to that of one Japanese citizen. Meanwhile, a recent study from the US observed that pet food could be responsible for up to 2.9% of CO2 equivalent emissions and up to 1.2% of agricultural land use.

Of course, being a more eco-friendly dog owner should go beyond replacing your dog's diet — by feeding them homecooked food, for example — but extend to other pet practices as well. In this post, we'll explore how you can care for your dog in more eco-friendly ways.

Did you know that at Give a Sh!t we donate 10% of our profits to the Soi Dog Foundation? 

1. Use Eco-Friendly Grooming Products 🧼

Grooming and bathing your dog are essential to prevent flea and tick infestations and other hygiene concerns that cause serious health conditions. However, there is such a thing as over-grooming, which can harm the environment due to the chemicals in certain dog shampoos.

Some popular dog breeds in tropical or warm weather countries are hypoallergenic and may need more grooming and bathing than others.

In this case, opt for organic dog shampoo bars and cleaning products to reduce the environmental effect while still keeping your furry pal clean.

When looking at grooming products, check the label for ingredients such as toxic chemicals and dyes, synthetic fragrances, and preservatives.

Eco-friendly dog shampoos usually have base ingredients such as coconut oil, jojoba oil, olive oil, aloe vera, and many more.

Check out: Homemade Dog Shampoo: The Best 4 Recipes!

2. Reduce Plastic Use When Possible 🛍️

Many of the things dog owners buy for their pets can harm the environment. From food packaging to plastic toys, it's crucial that we make a conscious effort not to contribute to daily plastic use and subsequent waste.

Instead of plastic food bowls, dog owners should check out ceramic food bowls that are more sustainable and may even look better design-wise. 

Dog poop bags also significantly contribute to plastic weight, with annual consumption and disposal at more than 415 billion. Although plastic waste produced by poop bags only accounts for 0.6% of total plastic waste generation, the short life cycle of poop bags has made them a harmful source of plastic pollution in the environment.

Instead, opt for eco-friendly recyclable options such as 100% compostable poop bags. Ours are 100% plastic-free, with no petrol, so they're perfectly safe for you, your dog, and the environment.

Show your love for the environment and your pup by using our 100% Home Compostable Dog Poop Bags.

3. Clean Your Backyard Regularly 💩

If your house has a backyard for your dog to play around, make sure to make the time for regular cleaning. Our previous post on dog waste highlights the importance of cleaning your yard of dog feces, as it reduces unpleasant odors and the risk of disease-carrying pests.

While cleaning your dog waste from the yard, remember not to flush it down toilets, as you can risk contaminating water sources. As mentioned above, it would be better to dispose of them using compostable poop bags — just ensure that you handle these properly through local or community pet waste management projects.

Aside from waste disposal, it would be best to be mindful as a dog owner of using eco-friendly fertilizers or pest repellents and avoid choosing toxic chemicals that are to the environment and your dog.

Discover: How To Get Rid Of Dog Poop Smell In Yard

4. Walk Or Commute With Your Pet 🐶

Finally, one of the joys of having dogs is getting to walk them! Walking your dog is not only an environmentally friendly way of getting around — compared to driving them around in cars — it will also provide you and your dog with some exercise and socialization options.

Some countries have crucial pet manners and etiquette for when you are out with your dog, so the rules may vary depending on where you live. What's important is that you clean up after your dog in case they make a mess outdoors.

If you must travel far, try checking if your local transport system is okay with having your dog ride with you — like Japanese trains or taxis allowing pets in cages. Taking public transportation is a great way to reduce your carbon footprint, and having your dog with you shouldn't stop you.


How Do Dogs Impact The Environment?

How Do Dogs Impact The Environment?

Dog waste, food production, and toys and equipment can significantly affect the environment, contributing to more plastic waste and greenhouse gas emissions.

Moreover, the production of dog food also requires huge areas of land to make way for agricultural fields, leading to widespread habitat loss.

Dog feces also have harmful contents, like a high amount of methane, which is a greenhouse gas that is 30 times more powerful than carbon dioxide.

What Are Some Eco-Friendly Dog Products?

It would be best if you always opted for eco-friendly, biodegradable, or compostable products for your dog.

These include compostable poop bags, organic dog shampoo, and non-plastic toys and food bowls. While some of these products may cost more than conventional products, they are much less harmful to the environment and, like ceramic food bowls, for example, maybe more beneficial for your dog.

What Happens If I Don't Clean My Backyard?

Aside from the environmental effects of possible dog waste in your backyard, maintaining a clean backyard can also be essential in keeping your dog safe. Our furry pals can be too curious or playful at times and may be exposed to toxic materials in your backyard. Cleaning and maintaining your space once in a while just may save you a costly trip to the vet.

Written by Aliana Kate Colson
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