To meet the challenges of climate change, its important we shift to more sustainable practices in every aspect of our lives, including pet ownership. Here are four simple tips for making sure that our love for animals and need for their companionship doesn’t have a negative impact on the planet.
Adopt & Spay/Neuter!
According to Achieving Sustainability, it costs American taxpayers approximately $2 billion yearly to round up, shelter and euthanize homeless animals. If this problem was solved, this large sum of money could be put towards other important initiatives.
By adopting and spaying or neutering your pet, you can help reduce the amount of stray animals and lessen the burden on shelters that are often over capacity and understaffed.
If you adopt from a local shelter, you’re removing the pressure on breeders to meet consumer demands and you’re stating your disproval for breeder-based system, which results in abusive and unethical puppy farms.
DogsTrust Worldwide is an international dog rescue service who have managed to neuter 88,000 dogs and aim to put an end to the exploitation of dogs through population control, rehoming, and anti-rabies programs.
Sustainable dog food
A good diet for dogs is one that consists of balance. A high meat diet will lack fiber and cause your furry friend to become constipated, so it’s important to look for dog food that incorporates plant-based ingredients, or alternate between meat, vegetarian, and vegan dog food options every once in a while.
It is best to invest in dog food that contains a mix of fiber and meat, not just for your animal’s health, but for their carbon paw print. We will show you how.
When purchasing dog food, try to choose meat such as chicken and rabbit, as they cause much less environmental damage than beef. Also, consider choosing dog food that contains high plant-based/vegetable content and by-products of the meat industry. Leaf Score has a selection of sustainable and healthy dog food brands that you can look at.
You can also try your hand at making your own homemade dog food, which will help to reduce plastic packaging and waste. Damn Delicious has a great recipe for this, containing spinach, peas, carrots, zucchini, brown rice and ground chicken. Your pups are guaranteed to love it!
If you don’t feel like cooking dog food at home, purchase your dog food in bulk to help reduce your plastic consumption.
Pet bed alternatives
Pet beds often contain toxic and non-renewable materials, according to Hixx. One material is Polyurethane Foam, which is petroleum with extra chemicals. It is made from a non-renewable resource – oil – and often ends up in landfills. It also gives off a neurotoxin called Toulene, that can cause numerous health issues for your dog.
Memory foam is another concerning material used in dog beds. Memory foam is a petrochemical derived bi-product, linked to a wide variety of illnesses in dogs. Berkeley Dog Beds website states that some are: headaches, often severe allergies, nausea, skin complaints, lethargy, joint pain, and infertility, birth defects and cancer.
To avoid these unethical and unsustainable beds for your dog, you can try to make your own! AnimalWised has made a great tutorial to make your own eco-friendly dog bed with an old sweater.
If you’re looking to purchase sustainable dog beds, Treehugger has an exhaustive list of different brands to invest in. Project Blu is another great place to find eco-friendly beds, selling pet beds made out of recycled plastic. Plus, they use a circular business model to reduce poverty whilst helping the environment!
When it comes to dog treats, palm oil is a common ingredient. This is problematic, as palm oil bergs, congealed lumps of palm oil that wash in from the sea, have been found litter beaches – the result of ship owners discharging vegetable oils into the sea.
In addition, orangutans are being harmed by the palm oil industry. According to Orangutan Trekking Tours over 50,000 orangutans from Borneo and Sumatra have died of palm oil deforestation.
To avoid these harmful environmental impacts, we have found a few easy and sustainable dog treat recipes that are palm oil free!
- Chicken and Wild Rice Dog Biscuits by Carrie’s Experimental Kitchen
- Spinach, Carrot and Zucchini Dog Treats by Damn Delicious
- Watermelon Pupsicles by grrfeisty
- 4 Ingredient Homemade Zero Waste Dog Treats by Trash is for Tossers
- Easy Two-Ingredient Homemade Dog Treats by Design-Milk
Now that you have read all this helpful information, we suggest visiting the AmericanListed website, specially if you are ready to be a dog owner.
Editor’s Note: The opinions expressed here by Impakter.com columnists are their own, not those of Impakter.com. — Featured Photo: Golden retriever hugged by his owner. Photo Credit: Eric Ward