We all need to do our bit to help the environment — including your furry friends! Here, Scott Hawthorne from SkipsAndBins.com shares his tips for reducing your dog's carbon pawprint.
As we all continue to tackle climate change, you might be looking into the ways you can reduce your carbon footprint, but have you ever thought about the effect your dog is having on the environment? Although your furry friends are only small, their food, toys, and pet care products are all having an impact.
Here, we share some of the ways you can reduce your dog's carbon pawprint.
Choosing eco-conscious food
One of the easiest ways to reduce your dog's carbon footprint is by choosing food products with recyclable packaging. But the kind of food you buy for your pooch can also make a big difference.
To live a healthy lifestyle, your dog needs plenty of meat in their diet. And, just like the meat produced for human consumption, those in pet food can also have a big impact on the environment. That isn't to say you should be switching your furry friends onto a vegan diet, but it can be good to pay a little more attention to where your pet's food is coming from.
Your dog probably isn't too fussy about what kind of meat they eat, so try to buy foods with a lower carbon footprint, such as poultry and fish. These use up less land, supplies, and energy to raise compared to larger animals like beef.
Choosing a brand that supports sustainable farming methods can also help. Ethical Consumer has a handy guide to sustainable pet food brands that can help you find the right food for your pooch.
If possible, it can also be good to choose a pet food that is made locally, as it will have fewer miles to travel to reach your shop shelves. Some towns and cities also have zero waste pet food refill stations that allow you to fill your own containers with food, meaning you won't need to deal with any unnecessary packaging.
Buying eco-friendly toys
There's no doubt that your precious pooch loves to play, but their toys could be having a significant impact on the environment. Most of them will be made from plastics, rubber, or man-made fabrics and, once they're thrown away, they're either sent to landfill or burned, releasing harmful toxins into the air.
Instead of the usual plastic or rubber toys, why not consider eco-friendly versions instead? These are made from recycled materials (such as recycled plastics), or natural substances such as hemp, bamboo, or wool, which are biodegradable.
Again, choosing toys made locally over those made further afield can help to reduce your pet's carbon pawprint even further.
Switching to compostable waste bags
Choosing eco-friendly food and toys isn’t the only way you can reduce your dog's carbon footprint. It's important that you always pick up your pet's waste and dispose of it properly, but many waste bags available on the market are made from plastics that aren't biodegradable. And, when you think about how often you're clearing up after your pet on walks or in the garden, that's a huge amount of plastic being sent to our landfills!
Luckily, there is a very easy solution to this problem: composable waste bags. These are usually made from plant-based materials such as corn-starch, vegetable oils, or biodegradable plastics which naturally decompose in landfill.
Products have to pass the British Standards specifications for composability (BS EN 13432) before being allowed to call themselves compostable. So, if the packaging on your dog's waste bags says they're compostable, then you can be confident they are making a difference.
Choosing high-quality pet accessories
Every dog deserves a little treat now and then, but the more you buy for them, the bigger their carbon footprint becomes. To keep your environmental impact low, while still spoiling your pet, look for well-made products that have been designed to last. Even better if you can pick high-quality products that have also been made with recycled and eco-friendly materials.
Choosing metal or ceramic bowls instead of plastic can help reduce your dog's carbon footprint, as they're much more likely to last a long time. Pet beds and clothing made from recycled materials are also a good idea.
Going on local walks
Taking your furry friend on a walk is a great way to get some exercise and fresh air. However, rather than driving to beauty spot outside of town, why not take a walk around your local neighbourhood? Not only is this a good way to cut down on your consumption of fossil fuels, but it also gives you the perfect excuse for you and your pooch to explore your local area. You might even discover a new favourite route not far from your home!
Every small change we make can help in the battle against climate change. By making a few simple swaps for your usual pet products, you can help reduce your furry friends' carbon pawprint.