I’d imagine that looking after the environment is pretty far down on your dog’s to-do list - it certainly falls behind activities such as running around outside, barking at postmen and chewing your favourite shoes to pieces. Consequently, it’s down to you to be green on their behalf!
Here are 8 ways to help ensure that your dog lives an eco-friendly lifestyle:
1. Dog Food
Unfortunately, many pet food companies care more about making a profit than they do about the genuine wellbeing of our pets. As a result, dog foods are often made up of low-quality wastes from meats and a number of other fillers that we humans wouldn’t dream of eating in a million years! Buying organic pet food can be quite expensive though, so consider preparing your own. Raw food diets can actually be healthier for your dog, but it’s worth having a chat with your vet first to make sure your dog will be receiving the sufficient nutrients.
2. Food Bowl
Okay, so you’ve started to make your own dog food, but you can become even greener by simply changing their food bowl. Not only do most bowls provide ideal breeding grounds for bacteria, but they are also made up of harmful chemicals such as BPA and lead – so make sure you buy a ‘BPA Free’ food bowl for your dog.
3. Dog Toys
Dogs aren’t very fussy when it comes to toys. They may have their favourite toy, but they will happily chew on and play with almost everything and anything! Look for toys made of recycled materials, reuse any appropriate unexploited items around your home or even make your own dog toys out of green materials! Your environmentally friendly DIY skills needn’t stop at toys either; why not make your own dog bed using sustainable materials such as bamboo and organic wool.
4. Dog Collars
Dog collars and leads are often made from materials that have a detrimental impact on our environment during the manufacturing process, such as nylon. However, they can also be found made from far more natural materials – for example: organic hemp or canvas. Opt for these options and help your dog show off his eco-friendly collar to all of his pals.
Frequent grooming is fundamental to your dog’s health, however many pet owners fail to realise just how many toxic chemicals are used in soaps and shampoos for your pet. Fortunately, there are a number of alternative products that use exclusively natural ingredients. You can even make your own shampoo – there are various tutorials to follow on the internet – and reuse old plastic bottles to decant your new dog grooming concoction!
6. Doggie Bags
Plastic doggie bags are often thrown into landfill sites and do nothing but damage our environment. Start using biodegradable doggie bags to clean up their mess, as they are made from corn and are completely compostable.
7. Beat Fleas the Green Way
Fleas have to live near your dog before they have any chance of clinging onto them, so try to keep your home a flea-free zone. There are many steps you can take – for instance: Use organic shampoo specifically designed to deter fleas to wash your bedding. You can also naturally make your dog’s skin unattractive to fleas by adding garlic to your dog’s diet – fleas hate the taste (and it’s fantastic for a dog’s blood)! Using these eco-friendly products and hopefully preventing fleas in the first place, will avoid having to use toxic products if your dog does get fleas.
8. Green Cleaning Your Home
Most pet owners like to think of their dogs as one of the family. Just as we would care for our children, it’s important to keep our dogs away from any hazardous cleaning products. Dogs like to lie around on the floor, and the odd scent of a recently cleaned surface could lead to them having a curious lick. The most environmentally friendly and safest way to avoid this is to start using green cleaning products to clean your home. You can even make these products yourself, so it helps to save money as well as our planet!
This article was written by animal lover Amanda Stockhill of Ecocleen – a green cleaning company. Visit them online at: http://eslsolutions.co.uk/