When it comes to sustainability, it’s important to reflect on every aspect of our life, to try and make small changes. When it comes to looking after our dogs, we can forget to apply sustainable methods, because it is not frequently talked about. Luckily, there are some steps that we can take to become more sustainable dog owners
If you have an interest in learning more about how to become a sustainable dog owner, then check out our great tips below.
How To Be a Sustainable Dog Owner
When thinking about sustainability, remember that you do not have to implement every step. In most cases, it is impossible to do every step, and that’s okay. Sustainability is all about doing what you can, to make a big difference in the world. So, even if you can only implement one, or two of the steps below, you will still be making a big difference.
1. Adopt, Don’t Shop
You are likely very familiar with the slogan “adopt, don’t shop.” It refers to the principle of adopting dogs in shelters, rather than buying a dog from breeders.
The reason for doing so, is that there are thousands of dogs in shelters, looking for their forever homes. Buying from breeders only contributes to a cycle of breeding dogs, often for monetary gain, when there are so many dogs out there looking for a family. The more dogs in shelters that are adopted, the more dogs that are in dangerous situations, can be rescued, and rehomed.
If you have your heart set on a particular breed, you can still choose to adopt a dog, of a particular breed. It just involves doing more research, and looking for that breed of dog in shelters. There are a huge variety of breeds in shelters, even breeds which are pedigrees. There are even rescue groups you can contact, for specific breeds, which may make the process of finding the right dog for you, easier.
2. Spray, or Neuter Your Dog
Spraying, and neutering your dog is an important part of being a sustainable dog owner. In basic terms, it is a surgical producer that will prevent your dog from either getting pregnancy, or causing pregnancies. With female dogs, it is called spraying, and with male dogs, it is called neutering. The more animals that are born, mean that fewer animals are able to get adopted. This means more animals in shelters get euthanized.
3. Donate Old Pet Supplies
If you have old dog supplies that you do no longer need, for example – maybe it no longer fits your dog, or your dog does not like it, donate the supplies to someone else. This could be a family member, a friend, or even someone in your neighborhood that has dogs. Always ask beforehand, though, as it might not be suitable for their dogs. You can also check with your local animal rescues, and see if the supplies will be useful for them.
4. Reuse Puppy Collars
If you plan on having a couple of dogs, then do not throw out items that you bought, when your dog was a puppy. This just generates more waste, and you will end up re-buying products you once owned. If you plan on having puppies in the future, keep all the relevant supplies (like puppy collars, and cages) to prevent any wastage.
You can always donate these supplies, but if you plan on having more dogs, or puppies in the future, it may be suitable to keep them. You can place them into a storage box to keep them safe and clean, which will also prevent any mess.
5. Check The Packaging On Food
Depending on your dog’s diet, it will have specific nutritional requirements, and as such, we will not advise any particular diets or products for you.
However, if you purchase any dog food that is in packaging, check that the packaging is suitable for recycling. There are a lot of companies that create recyclable packaging, but also many companies that do not. Do not compromise the health of your dog by any means, but when you can, be mindful of your purchases.
6. Try Making Your Own Dog Treats
One way to be sustainable is to create your own dog treats. While it is perfectly fine to get dog treats from the shop (check the packaging, when you can), making your own dog treats can be very rewarding. There are tons of recipes on the internet that range from really simple, to extremely indulgent, so you’ll truly have your pick of the litter. It can save money, and it’s a good way of reducing your plastic intake.
Before you make any dog treats, please ensure that the recipes are in fact fit for dog consumption.
7. Walk, instead of Driving
Depending on your area, it might be a good idea to go on walks that do not involve a car. Instead of using a car, you drive you to a new location, why not find great walks for you and your dog in your neighborhood? Or, reduce the number of drives that you go on?
This is not suitable for everyone, as many people may have to drive, in order to go on suitable walking trips. That is totally valid, and the health of your dog should always come first. However, utilizing your feet, rather than four wheels, is a great way to be sustainable.
8. Use Biodegradable Waste Bags
Your dog, like every other creature, needs to empty its bowels. It’s your job, as its owner, to ensure that it is cleaned up and disposed of properly.
It’s very common to use plastic bags in order to pick up your dog’s waste, but it’s very bad for the environment. Furthermore, it can take 10 to 100 years for a plastic bag to degrade. So, one way to solve this problem is to use biodegradable poo waste. They work just as well, and they are far more sustainable.
EarthHero sells a range of waste bags. They’re compostable and work just as well as plastic bags. EarthHero is a great online website that sells a wide variety of environmentally friendly products, including other great pet supplies, like bowls and collars.
If you’re trying to be more sustainable in your life, it is great to try and implement measures to be a more sustainable dog owner. You do not have to do everything on the list, sustainability is about doing what you can when you can.