How to have a Zero Waste Dog
Updated: Mar 4
I have discussed have a cat sustainable before but having a dog could also mean adding more waste to your current sustainable lifestyle. There are things a dog needs to have it live comfortably in your house with you which could lead to lots for additional trash. With these tips, you can keep man's best friend rather sustainably.
Buy in bulk
Lots of stores specialized in pet food are offering food (and treats) for animals in bulk nowadays. Just make sure to take your bags/containers with you to the store. If your local pet store does not offer this, wholesale pet stores in your area might be an option. Make sure to check if the nutritional value is up to your standards before purchasing. Some of the brands you know might not be available at the wholesaler.
Make your own
Buying raw ingredients at the butcher (using your containers of course) is not for everyone. But it is a great substitute for canned dog food. You can find multiple recipes online but keep in mind that, for your dog to remain optimal health, certain minerals and vitamins need to be supplemented.
If the previous options are not for you then avoiding plastic packaging for your puppy's dinner is something to consider. Companies become more aware of how important it is to avoid plastic in their products and are offering their customers sustainable alternatives.
Vegan dog food
Vegan dog food is available nowadays. We all know meat is not very environmentally friendly produced so, vegan dog food is more sustainable but whether or not it is something to consider for your dog is up to you.
When you have a pet, they eat and they will poo. There is no avoiding it.
The simplest and cheapest method is to use old newspapers to pick up after your dog. Ask parents for their old newspaper if you don’t read physical newspapers like me.
A compostable doggy bag is a great alternative if you don’t want to risk your hands touching the poo. Only use compostable bags if you indeed want to compost the waste. If you just throw them in the trash they end up in a landfill like their plastic counterparts making them not better for the environment.
Do not put dog waste in the regular compost bin. Yes, animal droppings are used as compost often but only from animals that are on a strictly plant-based diet. As dogs eat meat, their poo can contain bacteria that can be harmful to your composting worms. Also, when you use this compost in your veggie garden, you can consume these bacteria and possibly make you sick.
If you want to compost their droppings you need a separate composting bin. Check this video for more information.
Toys and accessories
Use what you have. Dogs don’t need fancy toys to play with. A ball of often all they need.
A dog does not need to be washed weekly so consider doing it less. This not only saves you water, but it also improves your dogs' skin as every time you wash your dog, you remove all the natural oil produced by the skin. These oils benefit your dog's hair growth and improve their skin condition.
To avoid plastic you can use a shampoo bar that is gentle for your dogs' skin.
A secondhand store is a great place to find preloved toys, beds, kennels, bowls, brushes, and collars for your dog. You save products from landfills and you save money. A win, win!
I hope you find this information useful so you can make the life of your beloved puppy more sustainable.