Petcare might not be the first thing that comes to mind when considering your environmental impact, however it’s most definitely one to consider. Your pets, like you, have an environmental footprint caused by everything they do; from the places they go, to the items they use, the food they eat - and beyond!
As their owner, it’s your responsibility to make sure that you’re choosing environmentally-friendly options for your dog. And while of course it’s not possible for everyone to do everything sustainably, hopefully you can implement some of the following tips into your day-to-day lives!
Offset their emissions
Offsetting isn’t just for humans! Just like how we’re able to offset our daily emissions through carbon-offsetting companies, we can do the exact same thing for our pets! Companies like Ecologi make it super-duper easy to offset the emissions your dog causes simply from existing. You can add a pet (or several!) to your existing offsetting plan for as little as 50p a month! This teeny tiny amount will then go a long way to combat their daily emissions by funding tree planting programmes and other sustainability initiatives.
While picking up your dog’s poo is of course the golden rule, if we truly want to be environmentally responsible, we need to go one step further! Plastic-based poo bags take many years to decompose, and when they finally do, spread countless microplastics into the environment.
The answer? Eco-friendly poo bags! These are compostable, biodegradable and completely plant-based, meaning they’ll decompose as easily and sustainably as a twig! Plus, they release no nasty chemicals into the atmosphere. If you fancy going the extra step, consider investing in a cork-based dispenser too, which offers super easy doggy bag access made from sustainable materials.
Your dog’s mileage adds up, just like ours! To take a more environmentally-friendly approach, opt for walks in local beauty spots closer to home. Essentially, the less you need to drive for your dog’s walks, the better! And if you really fancy a change of scenery or to visit a particular location, opt for taking the bus (and watch your pooch revel in all the attention they receive along the way!).
Food for thought
If you’re looking to make a substantial change that’ll have a serious impact, look to revamp your dog’s diet. With 12 million pets in the UK, the biggest contributor to their carbon-pawprints is undeniably what we put into their bowls.
By ensuring that you don't overfeed your dog, and by choosing eco-friendly meal options, you can play your part in battling this statistic. To do so, look for tin packaging, locally made produce, and go out of your way to find sustainable brands.
We’d never tell you what to do when it comes to bringing a furry new friend home, and don’t believe in shaming anyone for the choices they make. Everyone has their reasons for choosing to adopt or shop, and that’s a-okay! That said, if you’re looking to bring home a new pooch and are open to considering all options, we’d strongly recommend choosing adoption.
2.7 million unwanted cats and dogs are euthanized every year due to overpopulation, and buying from breeders only increases this statistic. Plus, the greater the population = the greater the emissions. Be sure to also get your pets spayed to prevent this number from increasing even further!
Accessories don’t need to cost the Earth
Like with our own clothes, furniture and general possessions, the items we buy our dogs – from toys, to collars and everything in between – can and should be made eco-friendly. Take the extra time to seek out more sustainable alternatives, such as products made in the UK (for a lower carbon footprint), pre-loved items, and those made from long-lasting, plastic-free, sustainable materials like cork.
Unlike synthetic materials cork is biodegradable, and when sourced responsibly does not damage the tree it comes from. These cork collars are a great example of an everyday item for your dog that can be made eco-friendly (and will last much longer to boot!).
Making little changes to our dogs’ daily routines, and ensuring that we’re keeping sustainability in mind when it comes to their general needs, will have a fantastic impact on the planet. Shockingly, the average carbon footprint of a dog is twice that of a 4x4 car(!), so just think how much we can save by taking these small steps 😊.