When I witnessed my COVID-19 dog (i.e. a goldendoodle puppy I irrationally bought during the pandemic) playing with another piece of trash on our walk, I finally stopped lying to myself. My dog was not going to make the eco-friendly decision of throwing away the garbage, but that didn’t mean I couldn’t make it for her.
This environmental decision is only one of many that comes with being a dog mom. As many animal lovers know, we want the best for our furry friends, but we also need to keep in mind what’s best for the Earth, too.
I spent an embarrassing amount of time researching ways to be eco-friendly while still giving my pup the best of the best, and I thought I’d share my findings with my fellow pet people:
- Scoop that poop
In case you didn’t know, all dogs poop … a lot. In case you didn’t know this either: dog owners don’t pick up their dog’s poop … a lot. When you leave your dog’s poop out and about, it doesn’t just decompose. It actually affects groundwater quality because of the harmful pathogens it contains. The best option is to use biodegradable poop bags. My favorite product to use is Wild One poop bags, which are made with a plant-based starch blend but are still very thick and leak proof.
- Bon a-pet-treat!
Just like human food, dog food contributes to significant amounts of carbon dioxide emissions every year because of the overused product in them: meat. Gregory Okin, who is part of UCLA’s Institute of the Environment and Sustainability, found that dogs and cats eat 25 percent of the meat-based caloric intake of a human American’s diet. That being said, buying meatless food can immensely help the environment. A product that is organic, meatless and grain-free (for those itchy pups out there) is Organix.
If you are like me and feel the need to give your dog a treat anytime they look at you, then homemade treats are a must. Homemade dog treats are simple and eco-friendly because you are reducing your use of plastic from packaging and know for certain the ingredients that go into them. My dog’s favorite homemade treat is a slice of roasted sweet potato that acts as a bone.
- Looking quite fetching
Every time my dog comes back in the door from her play time outside, she somehow needs yet another bath, and with bath time comes the use of shampoo. Shampoo goes down your drain, which means it’s being returned back to the earth. This is problematic because many dog shampoos have harmful formulation. For the amount of shampoo that my pup needs, I knew I needed to find a biodegradable formulation that was paraben-free and had organic ingredients. A great vegan-friendly and cruelty-free shampoo that I love is SuperflySoap.
More products to paw-nder
Above all, dogs love playtime, walks and naps, so why not make these experiences eco-friendly as well? Here are some products I’d recommend for keeping the most enjoyable moments in your furry friend’s life eco-friendly, too:
- Ruffwear: They have products anywhere from toys to leashes to dog beds that are sustainably sourced.
- Zogoflex: Their chew bone toy is made of 100 percent recyclable material and the fabric used on other products is sustainably sourced.
- Little Pine: All of their leashes are made of repurposed climbing rope from local mountaineering communities.
With the use of these products, you can help your pup reduce their carbon pawprint and live a paws-itively eco-friendly life.