Help your Dog Go Green with these Simple, Practical Tips

It’s easy to think about “going green” in human terms. When it comes to helping take care of the earth and preserving it for future generations, you can probably list a dozen ways to make a difference right off the top of your head.   Things like setting a recycling bin next to your trash can, using Energy Star appliances, and avoiding buying single-use plastic containers or bags are all ways that we can do our part. 

But . . . what about your dog

Yep, just like you have an ecological footprint that determines your personal effect on the environment, your pup has . . . well, an ecological pawprint. Like every other living creature on Earth, he puts demands on global natural resources. The goal for everyone, canine or human, is to live in a sustainable loop where any resources taken are returned in equal measure.

Not sure how to help your dog attain such a lofty goal?  Well, we have some great doggie “get-green” tips for you!

1. Use all-natural pup products

Look for flea and tick repellents, shampoos, and cleaning products that have natural ingredients considered safe for pets and the environment.  There are a number of organic, natural products available. Brands like Pet Pleasant, Buddy’s Best, Oliver’s Choice, and Earth Bath make natural shampoos and conditioners that help control itch, odors, hot spots, and other issues. Only Natural Pet makes garlic and brewer’s yeast tablets that help control fleas, and Wondercide has a line of flea and tick products that can be used on pets, in homes, and on lawns, without all of those harmful chemicals.

2. Know the basics on earth-friendly poop practices

Some people believe that leaving your dog’s poop where it lands is the most environmentally-friendly thing to do.  And it makes sense–after all, they’re animals, and it’s natural for animals to poop outdoors, right? Actually, because dogs usually do their business in close proximity to humans, and because their waste takes a long time to decompose, their poop can become a real problem. Dog waste may contain harmful organisms which can possibly make other animals or children sick, and even leech into waterways. 

But what about all of those plastic waste bags?  Fortunately, there are earth-friendly ways to pick up after your beloved pooch:

Compostable dog poop bags

You can find eco-friendly pet poop bags online, as well as at brick-and-mortar pet stores.  The EPA does require that “compostable” plastic be broken down by composting treatments found at commercial or industrial composting facilities. Look for bags that meet the “ASTM D6400” standard. Companies like Earth Rated, Zoorenity, and AlphaPet make certified compostable bags that are vegetable-based, BPI-approved and meet the ASTM D6400 guidelines.

Compost poop for garden

Have a garden? Consider using your pet’s poop for compost. Composting involves mixing grass clippings, table scraps (other than meat and dairy!) newspaper, and/or other organic waste with dog poop. It may be a little distasteful, but it provides great gardening results. Note that using animal waste as vegetable garden compost requires specific steps to ensure proper sanitation. Look online for resources and products that will help you compost safely and successfully.

Non-composted dog waste can be used as fertilizer for non-food cultivars, and any fruit-bearing cultivars whose edible parts are not in direct contact with the soil. It’s important to never use animal waste fertilizer in areas where children might play, as it does have the capacity to spread disease.

3. Invest in quality pet products

One way to keep pet stuff from piling up in landfills is smart purchasing.  Look for items that are built to last, as opposed to disposable items, or cheap or flimsy items, that require frequent purchase.  Carefully review products before buying to ensure quality craftsmanship, durability, and longevity.  Also, consider your pet’s temperament when deciding what items to buy. Some dogs can love on one plush squeaky toy for a year, while others will tear them up on the first day.  Likewise, some will be fine with a standard collar while others will need something considerably more sturdy. Don’t be afraid to pay a bit more for well-made items; products that last will save you money–and headaches–in the long run.

4. Reuse, recycle, help rehabilitate!

Animal shelters and rescues are commonly in great need of donations. While donating your old pet toys, collars, leashes and clothing is wonderful, shelters and rescues are also in need of items like old towels, blankets, and sheets to keep pets clean and comfortable. So, instead of tossing these items in the trash, consider giving them to your local pet charity.  

Adopting these simple tips as part of your regular pet parent routine can help create a greener, healthier, safer place for future humans and future furry creatures alike.

About TripsWithPets

TripsWithPets has been helping pet parents find pet friendly accommodations since 2003. TripsWithPets provides online reservations at over 30,000 pet friendly hotels & accommodations across the U.S. and Canada. You’ll find thousands of pet-friendly destinations like Tucson, AZ, Omaha, NE, and Virginia Beach, VA. When planning a trip, pet parents go to TripsWithPets.com for all they need to book the perfect hotel for their pet — including detailed, up-to-date information on hotel pet policies and pet amenities.