There are a number of things we can do to help reduce our fur friends' environmental pawprint and be a more responsible pet parent. We've got some tips and great eco-friendly brands to help you out.
Plastic toys, plastic poop bags, canned meat and seafood, plastic-packed snacks, shampoos loaded with chemicals and irritants.
While we want to spoil our pooches, and make sure that they’re healthy and happy, in the process of doing so we consume a lot of resources in an unsustainable manner. And it's not great for your fur friend either.
But, there are a number of things you can do to help reduce your environmental footprint and be a more responsible paw-parent:
First off, adopt, don’t shop. Millions of dogs and cats are abandoned or dumped at shelters every year. According to the ASPCA in the US alone, 1.5 million shelter animals are euthanised each year. Look to your local shelter and foster or adopt a fur friend instead of buying from a pet store, or online seller where you may likely be getting a dog from a puppy mill. Puppy mills are factory-style breeding facilities that put profit above the welfare of dogs. Animals from puppy mills are housed in shockingly poor conditions with improper medical care, and are often very sick and behaviourally troubled as a result. Don't support these cruel practices. In Hong Kong check out the Hong Kong Dog Rescue, the SPCA and LAP. What can be better than giving a dog a second chance a life, and getting a best friend as a result?
Spay or neuter your pets so that we don’t end up with more unwanted animals in shelters, or abandoned on the streets. If you rescue a dog he/she will already likely be spayed/neutered.
Try making your own nutritious homecooked plant-based pet food or treats, or invest in sustainable foods. Animal agriculture is one of the biggest culprits for greenhouse gases, responsible for 14.5% of global greenhouse gas emissions. And pet food is estimated to be responsible for a quarter of the environmental impacts of meat production in terms of the use of land, water, fossil fuels, phosphates and pesticides. You can introduce more veggies into your doggo’s diet, or even try going vegan. It takes a bit more work to ensure your doggo is getting a nutritionally complete and balanced diet, but some dogs, particularly those with allergies or sensitivities (like our rescue husky) thrive on a pant based diet (don’t let the haters fool you). Just remember to consult your vet for guidance before making any changes to your fur friend’s diet.
Cats are obligate carnivores and less adaptable to a plant based diet, so make sure you look for sustainable food brands. And look for recyclable packaging.
Limit the number of plastic toys for your pet. There are great non-plastic alternatives that are handmade, made from recyclable and natural material, non-toxic, and naturally dyed, so they are better for your animal and the planet.
Use animal-friendly shampoo. Like you, your fur friend can suffer from sensitivities to irritants like sodium laurel sulphates, dyes and parabens. Opt for a natural shampoo that is non-toxic and organic. It’s better for your pet and there will be less chemicals going down the drain and into our environment.
Clean up waste responsibility: choose doggy waste bags that are compostable and fully biodegradable, so that when you throw it in the bin there will be less plastic waste ending up in landfill. If you have cats, look for litter that is eco-friendly.
Here are some wonderful earth-friendly brands that can help reduce your pooch’s environmental pawprint, from vegan dog treats and food, natural grooming products to eco-friendly accessories. Your best friend can be pampered and green at the same time. Happy doggo, happy planet!
Rascals is an Aussie brand that makes handmade vegan dog treats. They're made with all-natural ingredients, free from artificial colours, preservatives and flavourings, and common allergens like nuts, grains and oils. They use 100% plastic free packaging and come in compostable pouches certified home compostable to strict Australian standards (ABA). The raw materials are derived from non-GMO and non fossil-fuel sources, and use FSC certified paper.
Benevo, V-Dog and Wild Earth
Benevo, V-Dog and Wild Earth are just three vegan dog food brands making nutritious, sustainable and cruelty-free plant-based food for your best friend. From kibble, complete food, treats and supplements aiding digestion, skin and immunity, these brands are protein and superfoods packed, and tasty.
These dog beds are made to last a lifetime. Our hyperactive husky has done her best scratching at her bed with those ice-grippy claws, and it’s still good as new 4 years later. A small miracle. But as well as being comfy for your doggo, these beds also look stylish in your home and they're eco-friendly. Cloud 7 use Okotex and GOTS certified materials, and each mattress cover is made of organic cotton, and filled with recycled polyester spun into Eco Down. The cover of the Dog Bed Dream— awarded the German Brand Award for sustainability in 2020— is made of a natural hemp-cotton mix. The brand is also committed to fair wage and practices across its supply chain. Choose from a range of beds styles and sizes. They also make cute carriers, blankets, doggo jackets and collars.
Please note: some styles have a leather tag on them.
Aussie made Essential Dog's grooming products are vegan and cruelty-free, formulated with natural and organic ingredients. There are no nasty ingredients like parabens, synthetic fragrances and sulphates, so they’re also suitable for sensitive dogs. Products are packaged in 100% recyclable PET plastic bottles.
Leads and Collars
Family owned Australian company Animals in Charge make eco-friendly, vegan, and cruelty-free dog collars and leads. Their beautiful pet collars are handmade in limited runs from recycled, salvaged, and natural materials and made in Australia. Their packaging is also made from recycled card. Plus, for every sale they donate AUD$1 to animal rescue and rehabilitation.
Jax & Bones’ Good Karma rope toys are hand-tied and dyed using non-toxic vegetable dyes. They also double as a doggie dental floss— as your dog chews, the rope toys fray and acts like a floss, helping keep those canines clean. 10% of the proceeds from these toys to rescue and animal welfare groups. The Woolie plush squeaky toys are also non-toxic and cruelty free, made from man-made wool.
Spunky Pup's eco-friendly dog toys from their Clean Earth range are made from 100% recycled plastic water bottles— this includes the fabric, stuffing, binding and thread. Each plush toy uses the equivalent of 6 plastic water bottles. Not only are Clean Earth toys eco-friendly, but they also feature an in-built squeaker and durable construction to entertain your pup. These toys can also be recycled after use.
Dog Waste Bags
BioBag use renewable, biodegradable, and compostable raw materials to create their range of waste bags. These black doggy waste bags are certified compostable in the US and Europe, and are made from a resin (Mater-Bi®) derived from plants, vegetable oils and compostable polymers.