Care for Your Dog & Our Planet with these 3 Initiatives
Are you concerned about the environmental impact of your pooch? Check out these three innovative ways to care for the planet while caring for your pet.
Use biodegradable poop bags
We all know the importance of picking up after our dogs for the sake of protecting humans and livestock from coming into contact with potentially dangerous dog poop. Humans can contract toxocariasis, a potentially life-threatening condition, from handling animal faeces that is infected with roundworm. Parasites in dog poo can also lead to death in sheep and abortion in cattle when ingested by the livestock. It’s vital that you clear up after your dog on every walk, but the environmental impact of typical dog poop bags is catastrophic.
Most dog poop bags are made from unsustainable and non-biodegradable plastics. They take decades to break down in landfills and can harm the ecosystem by releasing toxic chemicals into the ground and water sources. Biodegradable poop bags are an eco-friendly alternative, and they’re a really simple and affordable way to reduce your dog’s environmental impact.
Choose dog toys made from natural materials
Toys are vital for keeping a pooch entertained, but many of them are not the most eco-friendly of products. Often they’re made from materials that are unsustainable and non-biodegradable. Many dog toys end up in landfills when they’re chewed down far enough to not be useful or safe anymore, so it’s a problem when they don’t biodegrade. Furthermore, the toxic chemicals often contained in dog toys can leach into water sources and have a detrimental impact on the ecosystem.
To better protect the planet, look for eco dog toys made from natural, sustainable and biodegradable materials. You can find balls, toys and treat dispensers made from natural food-grade rubber, rope toys made from natural jute fibres, and chews made from sustainably sourced wood which is perfectly safe for your dog to consume. As well as protecting the environment, the added benefit of such natural eco dog toys is that they don’t contain any chemicals that could be harmful to your pet’s health.
Choose vegetarian or vegan dog food
Many of us are waking up to the massive environmental impact of meat consumption and choosing vegetarianism, veganism, or simply a reduction in the amount of animal products we consume. We can do the same with our dogs. Dogs are omnivores, which means that in theory they can happily eat a plant-based diet and remain perfectly healthy.
However, you need to do plenty of research and seek professional advice to get it right. Consult your vet and make sure your dog gets plenty of protein and all the other nutrition they need.
If fully vegetarian or vegan doesn’t feel like the right option for your dog, try switching just their treats or a portion of their daily food intake to plant-based products. Alternatively, look out for dog food and treats that are made with insect protein rather than animal protein. Crickets, for example, contain all 10 amino acids that are essential to dogs and they’re made up of 65% protein, which makes them incredibly healthy food for dogs. They’re significantly more sustainable to produce than cattle, do not emit methane, and produce far less polluting agricultural runoff, all of which makes them healthy for the environment too.