We all demand significant quantities of the earth's resources in order to sustain our modern-day lifestyles, and that demand extends to our dogs too. They also have a carbon footprint or 'pawprint' on this earth, and as their guardians and carers I believe it is our responsibility to become more aware of how their lifestyle impacts the planet, and what we can do to reduce the burden.
Here are my top tips for eco-savvy dog guardianship: 1. Do We Really Need All This Stuff? Avoid over-buying products for your dog. Do they really need another bed, another harness, another coat, another toy, etc? If it’s essential to their health and wellbeing, okay. If not – do you think it really matters to your dog if they get another pretty collar? 2. Support Local & Sustainable Buy from local companies who care about where they source their products and raw materials. This helps to support your local economy as well as avoiding the shipping & transport, which has a huge impact worldwide on carbon emissions and use of fossil fuels. 3. What’s It Made Of? What materials are the toys, equipment and supplies made from? Stay clear of cheap plastic toys which are often treated with toxic chemicals. Choose natural, recyclable or biodegradable materials where possible, which are safer for your dog, and better for the environment. 4. What About Packaging? Recycle the packaging or use it for toys for your dogs (no plastic!). What packaging does your dog food come in? Support companies that have ‘sustainability policies’ and make an effort to reduce their packaging materials or use biodegradable materials. 5. Swap, Don’t Shop If you have a puppy who is going to grow out of their harness, collar, coat, etc., find a ‘swap it’ group in your community instead of buying new equipment. You could also donate your puppy equipment to a local shelter or rescue organisation.
6. Bin The Poop! Your dog’s poop may be ‘all natural’, but sometimes they are taking medications or have received chemical preparations which will be eliminated in their urine and poop. These chemicals and drugs will therefore eventually land in the soil and ground water. So, pick it up using a biodegradable poop bag, and dispose of it in responsible way. You can even make your own ‘compost’ from your dog’s poop using a ‘Bokashi’ system. 7. What Do You Feed Your Dog? Dogs are carnivores and need meat. A vegan diet for dogs is simply not the answer. However, we can be more mindful about how that meat is sourced and farmed. Source from local farmers who practice responsible and humane farming methods. Don’t over-feed your dog. Make your own home-made dog food and treats instead of commercial products. If this is not an option for you, then choose carefully: is it locally sourced and produced? Does it come in recyclable packaging? Don’t waste - use your veggie off-cuts (no onions), and some marrow bones, to make a healthy and tasty broth for your dogs. 8. Chemicals & Toxins
Grooming and chemical parasite treatments contribute massively to your dog’s carbon pawprint. Don’t over-bath your dog using shampoos filled with additives and chemicals. Wipe your dog with a damp cloth if necessary and brush them regularly. Use natural, chemical-free tick/flea/parasite preparations and avoid the toxic load which is heavy on your dog’s organs and also land up in the water and soil contributing to the planet’s toxic overload.
Let's walk gently on the earth together.
If you would like more info and recipes for home-made treats, and all-natural tick & flea preparations, please message me, or book a FREE 30 minute Support Call.