As a society we need to adopt eco-friendly ways of living to avoid contributing to climate change, but for dog owners that can be difficult.
A vast selection of dog toys, beds, and treats contain plastic or are at least packaged in it, so being an eco-friendly dog owner may seem almost impossible.
However, there are some easy ways dog owners can reduce their household’s carbon footprint and plastic waste.
From making your own dog biscuits and treats at home to recycling any old dog toys or bedding, here are seven easy steps dog owners can follow to become more eco-friendly:
1. Buy treats from bulk bins where possible
Smaller pet shops will often have treats in bulk bins, meaning you can put them in paper bags or your own Tupperware container to take home.
This isn’t always an option, but it could be worth a search around your area, as buying in bulk is a good way to cut down on plastic packaging, and will support your local pet shop.
If you’re looking for a way to stay up to date with the latest breaking news from around Hertfordshire, the HertsLive newsletter is a good place to start.
The twice-daily update will deliver the top news and features straight to your inbox.
We choose the most important stories of the day to include in the newsletter, including crime, court news, long reads, traffic and travel, food and drink articles and more.
Signing up to the newsletter is simple. All you have to do is to click here and type in your email address.
It’s one of the many ways that you can read the news that matters to you from HertsLive.
2. Recycle your old things for the benefit of your dog
Old towels and T-shirts are often thrown away if they’re not in good enough shape to be donated to charity, but why not repurpose them for your pet?
Old towels are always useful for muddy paws, while T-shirts could provide a soft blanket for their bed, with the added bonus of your scent being a comfort.
And depending on how durable it is, an old sock can provide a brilliant toy for tug-of-war games.
If you feel your things are not right for your own pet, dog shelters will often take unwanted duvets to turn into dog mattresses, and will also take old towels if you have too many.
3. Recycle your dog’s old toys and bedding
Along the same lines, your dog’s old toys and bedding can be donated to local pet shelters, provided they’re in a good condition.
When our beloved pets pass away, you can often bring their toys and things to a pet shelter where they can be used again, rather than throwing them away.
Battersea Dogs & Cats Home is always on the lookout for durable toys, pet furniture, and leads that you no longer have a use for.
Join our brand new website TeamDogs now.
When you get there, make sharing a picture of your dog in our Top Dogs feed your very brilliant first job.
Maybe when you’ve done that, leave a recommendation to help fellow dog owners in the TeamDogs community.
4. Compostable poop bags
Biodegradable or compostable poop bags are often not too expensive, and nobody wants something that is used for five minutes to stick around for hundreds of years as plastic waste.
Check out Pets At Home for a reasonably-priced and reliable compostable poo bag brand, by clicking here.
5. Try making your own dog treats
As the ultimate eco-friendly hack, dog treats can be homemade with just a few ingredients. The treats won’t come packaged in any plastic, and could make for a fun activity with your children.
Battersea Dogs & Cats Home suggests treats that can be made from banana, oats, and sweet potato, all of which can be found at supermarkets with limited plastic packaging.
6. Go for local walks where possible
Where possible, try to make the most of your nearby green spaces and walk locally to reduce the amount of time spent in the car.
Taking local walks can be a great way to explore the areas around your home.
Have a read of our story below for some Hertfordshire dog walking routes that you’ll never get bored of.
7. Make toys last longer
When it comes to the slogan Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, the “reduce” section often gets overlooked. One way of significantly reducing waste could be to buy more durable toys.
While getting the latest gimmicky soft toy for your puppy is tempting, if you know they’re going to rip them to shreds within hours, the resulting waste can be expensive and bad for the environment.
Why not invest in hard plastic or wooden toys that you know will last a lot longer? Buying fewer toys for your dog is not only kind on the planet, but your wallet too.
If you have any other tips on how to become a more eco-friendly dog owner, share them in the comments below.