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How To Reduce Waste as a Pet Owner 

10 Sustainable Tips to Lower Your Pet’s Carbon Fottprint

10 Sustainable Tips to Lower Your Pet’s Carbon Pawprint

Many pet parents make every effort to reduce their carbon footprint. Still, only a few owners realize the massive effect their pets have on the environment. From plastic pet products and poop bags to shredded toys, pets have a considerable carbon pawprint. 

Thankfully, there are many ways you can reduce your pet’s waste. From scooping the poop and using compostable poo bags to choosing healthy pet food, here’s how to reduce waste as a pet owner.

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10 Ways To Reduce Waste for Pet Lovers 

There are many ways and eco-friendly dog products that can lower your pet’s waste and reduce its negative effect on the planet. Listed below are simple steps to reduce the carbon footprint of pets. 

1. Replace Plastic Poop Bags with Compostable Bags

Instead of using plastic bags to scoop your dog’s poop, use compostable bags. Compostable dog poop bags break down considerably faster than plastic poop bags.

Our Alpha Pets Compostable Dog Poop Bags are 100% biodegradable, compostable, and safe for the environment. These corn-based poop bags decompose in 3 to 12 months as opposed to 10 to 1,000 years it takes for a plastic poop bag to break down in a landfill.

One small change that will make a big difference!

2. Use Reusable Puppy Training Pads

Puppies are adorable, but they also produce a lot of waste. That’s why potty training a puppy is one of the first things new pet parents need to do.

Unfortunately, regular puppy training pads aren’t good for the environment. These pads usually have a plastic backing and are made from non-recycled, bleached materials that take years to break down in a landfill. 

RELATED POAST: 5 Eco-Friendly Alternatives to Disposable Puppy Pads

But when you don’t have access to a garden, it’s one of those products that you can’t stop using as a puppy parent. So here’s the solution:

Use Reusable Puppy Pee Pads instead which are an eco-friendly alternative to regular pee pads. These pads are washable and reusable and can save thousands of plastic pads from ending up in landfills. Not to mention, they save you money as you don’t have to buy pack after pack while housetraining your pup!

Switch to reusable puppy training pads and say goodbye to the messy puppy pad disposal way.

PRO TIP: Once your puppy is fully housetrained, you can wash these and use them as comfort mats in crates, furniture protectors, dog pet bedding or car mats in case your pup gets carsick. With unlimited uses, you get to reuse in creative ways and avoid unnecessary waste!

3. Switch to High-Quality Eco-Friendly Dog Products

Ditching the plastic and switching to eco-friendly pet products is a great way to lower your dog’s or cat’s carbon pawprint. Piles of pet products made from plastic end up in landfills each year. 

Cheap plastic pet products are made from non-renewable materials that can be toxic to you or your pets. Some inexpensive pet toys, dishes, beds, collars, or leashes can contain polyvinyl chloride, a chemical classified as a human carcinogen. 

Choose stainless steel bowls, when buying feeding dishes, as they last longer than plastic dishes. Look for eco-friendly dog toys, leashes, collars, and pet beds made from natural and sustainable materials. 

Instead of nylon and plastic, choose pet products made from hemp, organic cotton, and bamboo. Pet toys and products made from untreated wood and natural rubber are also sustainable, durable, and long-lasting. 

4. Buy Pet Food in Bulk

Pet food often comes in problematic packaging. Although much of dog and cat food packaging can be recycled, much more isn’t recyclable. Wet food cans and plastic kibble jugs can be recycled, but many of those giant dog food bags end up in landfills.

Buying pet food in bulk is a great way to reduce waste as a dog owner. The next time you go shopping for dog kibble in the local pet store, bring a container and buy food and treats in bulk. 

If the store doesn’t sell loose kibble and treats, buy the biggest package of food you can find to cut down on plastic waste. Another easy way to reduce your pet’s impact on the planet is to buy food from brands that use recyclable packaging. 

Brands like Purina and Hill’s Pet Nutrition are working to make a switch from plastic to reusable or recyclable packaging. 

There’s also TerraCycle, a recycling company that operates in 20 countries, and offers a free recycling program for pet food bags made from hard-to-recycle materials. When buying food for your pet, check if the company is a part of the TerraCycle recycling program. 

5. Don’t Feed Beef

Consider your pet’s diet if you’re looking for ways to reduce waste as a pet parent. Finding eco-friendly pet food options is challenging because most pet foods are animal-based and have a higher carbon footprint than plant-based foods. 

Generating meat for pet food uses vast amounts of water, land, and resources. Cattle production is the most polluting and environmentally damaging of all meat productions. 

Instead of beef-based pet foods, choose a food made from an animal with a smaller carbon footprint. Chicken, turkey, sheep, or fish are suitable protein alternatives for food and treats. 

Making even the slightest environmentally conscious change in your pet’s diet will significantly reduce your pet’s impact on the planet. 

6. Compost the Dog Poo

Much of the dog waste pet owners scoop ends up in landfills. Unless you’re using certified compostable dog poop bags, the bag used will take years to decompose fully. 

Composting dog poop is one of the most eco-friendly ways to dispose of dog waste. There are several ways to compost dog poop safely, but you’ll need to use a separate compost bin.

>> Read our guide on 3 Ways To Dispose of Dog Waste

For an eco-friendly pet waste clean-up, invest in a high-quality pet waste composter or look up DIY dog poop composter projects you can finish over the weekend. When composting dog poop, ensure that the compost pile generates enough heat necessary to kill off any potential pathogens.

In case the composting system can’t generate adequate heat, opt to vermicompost your dog’s poop to produce a nutrient-rich and odor-free plant fertilizer.

7. Feed Natural Dog Treats

Many environmentally conscious pet parents feed their cats and dogs homemade diets. Making nutritionally balanced and healthy meals for cats and dogs takes a lot of research and knowledge about pet nutrition. 

In addition to feeding homemade meals, choosing natural dog treats and chows is a great way to reduce your pet’s impact on the planet. 

EcoKind Treats is a family-run company that produces all-natural dog treats and chews. Besides being good for your dog’s health, these treats are completely natural and made without artificial flavors, chemicals, or additives. 

Eco Kind 100% Natural Dog Treats & Chews

EcoKind makes all-natural dog treats and chews that contain no chemicals or preservatives, are easy to digest, and are safe for dogs of all breeds.


8. Switch to Eco-Friendly Cat Litter  

When it comes to eco-friendly waste disposal, cats are a bit more complicated than dogs. Although cats can be trained to use a toilet like a person, some cat feces contain Toxoplasma gondii. This parasite can enter the water supply and is toxic to humans and other animals.

Instead of standard clay litters, switch to compostable cat litters made of pine, wheat, recycled paper, or coconut. These eco-friendly litters are good for the planet and won’t cause health problems associated with inhaling clay-based cat litter. 

Cat Spot Eco Friendly Litter: All Natural, Organic, Biodegradable Coconut Litter

This zero chemicals cat litter is fully biodegradable - it can be beneficially recycled in yards, flower beds, or compost.


9. Go Green for Bathing and Grooming

Many dog shampoos, conditioners, and grooming products contain harsh chemicals, synthetic fragrances, colors, and suspected carcinogens. These substances can cause severe skin irritation, redness, itchiness, hot spots, and sores. The chemicals found in these products can also damage local waterways when flushed down the drain. 

To reduce your pet’s environmental impact, look for biodegradable pet grooming products free of synthetic fragrances and parabens. Always choose naturally scented products made from organic ingredients. Avoid using pet shampoos and conditioners containing artificial colors and fragrances, sodium laureth sulfate, diethanolamine, and butylated hydroxyanisole.

10. Spay or Neuter Your Pets

Spaying or neutering your pets is a great way to reduce the negative environmental impact caused by pet overpopulation. Besides being beneficial for the planet, spaying or neutering is also beneficial for your pet’s health. 

Altered cats and dogs are at a lower risk of developing breast tumors, prostate problems, and uterine infections. If your pet isn’t spayed or neutered yet and you have no plans to breed them, book an appointment with your vet to have your pet fixed. 

Wrapping Up 10 Easy Ways To Reduce Your Pet’s Impact On The Planet

From decreased blood pressure and cholesterol levels to reduced stress, there are many health benefits of owning a pet. But while owning a companion pet is good for you, it’s also bad for the environment. 

Like people, pets produce a lot of waste, creating a carbon print of their own. Considering the amount of poop and shredded toys they leave behind, it’s no surprise that pets are big polluters. Luckily, there are many easy steps to reduce waste as a pet parent and make your pet’s live eco-friendlier. 

So we hope this article shed a little light on small changes you can make that can have a big impact.

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