More and more people are becoming aware of the environmental damage that humans inflict upon the earth, which is why there are now so many initiatives and lifestyles that focus on giving back to the earth and reducing the effect we have on the environment. This is usually called eco-friendly living or green living, and it’s a lifestyle choice that many have converted to over the past couple of years.
As a pet owner, you have many ways to be more environmentally friendly. By using sustainable products, avoiding the use of non-biodegradable materials and also becoming more aware of where your dog came from, you can develop better habits to suit your eco-friendly lifestyle. To help you out, here are a couple of considerations to keep in mind next time you go shopping or interact with your canine friend.
Cleaning Up After Your Dog
Every owner has to clean up after their dog, but the materials you use are going to have a huge impact on how environmentally-friendly you are. You can actually purchase biodegradable dog poop bags from specialized pet stores. These will break up much faster than regular plastic bags and you can buy them in bulk for fairly low prices. They’re made with natural and renewable resources as well, so it’s a sustainable purchase that you can trust in. it helps to reduce pollution in the environment, it promotes sustainable manufacturing methods and minimizes the damage done to the environment. When using biodegradable bags, it’s possible to flush the bags with the poop down your toilet instead of tossing it into a bin. However, it’s a good idea to check with your local water treatment facility first to see if they allow the flushing of biodegradable bags or not. In most city locations it’s fine, but if you live in the countryside and use a septic tank, then it’s not recommended. If you have a garden or a compost bin, then you can also use the dog poop to fertilize your garden. As long as you’re not using it to fertilise edible things such as fruits and vegetables then it’s absolutely fine to place into your compost bin.
In addition, consider using towels to clean up your dog’s mess or to dry them off as opposed to using paper towels. This is a fairly common tip that can apply to any pet or even humans, but it’s surprisingly overlooked due to the convenience of paper towels. There are some dog care products that are also sustainable as opposed to mass-produced cheap varieties. There are natural shampoos and other cleaning soaps, and you can even get a dog bowl made from sustainable materials instead of plastic. If you’re DIY-savvy or want to make a simple shampoo for your dog, then you can use household ingredients such as water, baking soda, cornstarch and essential oil. Most of these also come in eco-friendly packaging that can be recycled, a nice bonus for anyone who is conscious about the environment.
Adopt a Dog
There’s a significant pet overpopulation problem in many parts of the world and it’s becoming such a serious case that some pet owners are actively boycotting puppy farms. The result is more and more homeless pets on the streets that come from terrible owners that neglect their canine companions. In addition, puppy mills are usually in high demand due to the special breeds they work with. These dogs are often kept in poor conditions and bred purely for profit, so they aren’t brought up in suitable conditions and are treated like fodder. By adopting dogs instead of purchasing from an inhumane breeder, you reduce the demand for these puppy mills. With enough effort from pet owners around the world, these puppy mills will be shut down due to the lowered demand and the space can then be used to create shelters that house the ever-growing population of homeless pets.
There are already millions of homeless pets out on the streets and we can only do so much as humans to give them a home and a roof over their head. Adopting an animal not only reduces the demand for puppy mills, but it also saves the life of a neglected animal that was probably treated poorly throughout its life. If you’d like to contribute to lowering the overpopulation of pets, then consider spaying or neutering your dog. While it seems completely unrelated to being eco-friendly, it does help to improve the planet’s ecosystem because there’s less chance of feral animals disrupting the environment.
Make Your Own Doggy Supplies
Making your own treats, foods and dog care products can help keep your dog healthy because you’ll know exactly what goes into or onto their bodies. Homemade treats can be made with everyday ingredients, and you can even turn your leftovers or home-cooked meals into treats if your dog enjoys it. To go the extra mile, consider reusing any containers you use to store food for your dog instead of using disposable containers. It will help reduce packaging waste and it lowers your ecological footprint. Making your own treats can also reduce the risk of canine obesity. Larger dogs that are overweight have more medical and health issues, and this can turn into regular car trips to the veterinarian or increased use of non-biodegradable packaging and waste. Although unavoidable, it’s important to keep this impact in mind. In short, the healthier your pet is the lower your footprint.
Some Final Words
There are plenty of things you can do to become an environmentally-friendly pet owner. These tips are just the start, but the main things to focus on are reducing the amount of packaging waste you accumulate and also promoting the use of products that don’t disrupt the environment. In addition, adopting a dog can also promote a better environment because you’ll be boycotting puppy mills and their inhumane practices that are ultimately no good for the environment.
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