While most of us are aware of the importance of recycling regarding climate change and how to participate in recycling products we use daily, another area where we can make contributions to sustainable living is through developing awareness of the types of products we buy and how they are made, thus supporting companies that protect our environment. Every type of purchase makes a difference, including the products we buy to care for our pets. Here are a few pet items to consider in terms of their environmental impact: grooming products, beds, toys, treats/food, poop bags, collars and leashes, and pet cleaning products.
What To Think About When Picking Products?
- Grooming Products – When purchasing dog brushes some things to think about are whether you can recycle the brush itself, and if the item was made with materials you would want to expose your dog to. An example of a plastic brush alternative is a bamboo brush and bristles that can be put in compost at the end of its life span. Additionally, you may want to take into consideration the manufacturing process and ingredients (and or chemicals) going into your pet’s shampoo or soap. Here is more information on some of the different kinds of sustainably made grooming products made today.
- Dog Beds – Wonderfully, there are also many companies today making high-quality dog beds made from recycled materials or with organic fibers such as hemp, bamboo, flax, and wool. Here you can find examples of seven different types of sustainable and eco-friendly dog beds some of which are even hypoallergenic for dogs with skin sensitivities.
- Dog Toys – You may be surprised to learn that many dog toys out there are made from plastic products with BPAs, an industrial chemical that can negatively impact a dog’s endocrine system or sometimes even contain lead which can be toxic. BPAs are also considered harmful to humans based on research conducted on their use in products such as plastic bottles and food storage containers. This ingredient is especially common in chew toys. Some non-toxic chew toy options are items made from 100% pure rubber, hemp, or bamboo. Look here to check out sustainable toy options for your dog or cat.
- Food and Treats – Just as it is very important to be aware of what kinds of food ingredients we put in our own bodies, it is equally vital to examine the ingredients in what we feed our pets. What many people don’t know is that treats or edible chewing items such as rawhide can be packed full of chemicals. Therefore, it is important to prioritize using treats and foods which have natural ingredients vs filled with artificial flavors, chemicals, dyes, or preservatives. A few companies that make natural products are Annabelle’s Cookies, Pet Honesty and Biome. You can also use wild-sourced antlers. For more options, the dog-focused company Rover has an extensive article focusing on healthy organic dog treats here.
- Poop Bags – One of the more obvious products to think about, but easily one of the most important is whether your dog poo bags are compostable or biodegradable. The excessive use of regular plastic bags in waste management today is a huge environmental issue in itself as explained in more detail here. This is one of the simplest and affordable adjustments a pet owner can make. One alternative example for your more traditional repurposed plastic grocery bag is this product the Bio bag. For more information check out this article on Compostable and Biodegradable Trash Bags: Should You Use Them?
- Collars and Leashes - Two items that are easy to swap out for something more sustainable in material and disposability are dog collars and leashes. This is especially true if your pup likes to chew and is a staple that you know will need replacing sooner rather than later. You may even find that the sustainable option is ultimately more durable. Ecofriendly leashes and collars have gotten easier to find in the last few years as manufacturers start to see the benefits and recognize the growing demand for sustainable materials from customers. You can readily find collars, harnesses, and leashes made from organic cotton braids, hemp webbing, and bamboo. There are even leashes today made from upcycled items like old climbing ropes as demonstrated by organizations like Ropes for Rescue.
We hope this gives you ideas and products that you can implement for a more sustainable life for you and your dog!
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- The Good Trade. (2020, July 30). 11 natural pet shampoo brands for dogs and cats. The Good Trade. Retrieved November 2, 2021, from https://www.thegoodtrade.com/features/natural-dog-shampoo.
- Logue, H. (2021, June 7). 15 organic dog treats we love for healthier snacking. The Dog People by Rover.com. Retrieved November 2, 2021, from https://www.rover.com/blog/reviews/organic-dog-treats/.
- New, M. (2019, July 2). Why are plastic bags so bad for the environment? Sciencing. Retrieved November 3, 2021, from https://sciencing.com/why-are-plastic-bags-so-bad-for-the-environment-5005999.html.
- 9 Eco Friendly Pet Products: One sustainable paw at a time. Sustainable Jungle. (2021, April 25). Retrieved October 30, 2021, from https://www.sustainablejungle.com/sustainable-living/eco-friendly-pet-products/.