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15 Ways To Go Green With Pets For Eco-Friendly And Sustainable Living As A Dog Owner

Did you know that our pets have an impact on the environment? While we, humans, have carbon footprints, our pets also have what's called a "carbon paw print." In fact, a dog's carbon paw print is two times that of a typical SUV, according to a 2009 study by New Zealand’s Victoria University of Wellington. So what can we do to reduce our pet's impact on the earth? Here are a 15 ways to go green with pets for eco-friendly and sustainable living as a dog owner: 

1. Recycle

Recycle empty dog food cans and any packaging from products you do buy. In addition, try to buy products made from recycled materials, such as toys.

Pro Tip: If you buy canned dog food, go for the biggest cans to save metal.

2. Use Green Products

Use eco-friendly alternatives to cleaning products and dog shampoos. This also reduces the risk of your dog ingesting toxic cleaner ingredients and chemicals in cleaners.

3. Go Biodegradable

Consider using biodegradable poop bags to pick up after your dog.

Pro Tip: You can reduce the number of plastic bags you use by scooping the yard with just two per week. One bag acts as a glove, while the other is the poop holder.

4. Reuse & Repurpose

Reuse and repurpose as many items as you can. Opt for cloth bags for the pet or grocery store, rags or old towels to clean up messes, reusable water bottles, and any plastic bags you already have for poop bags.

Pro Tip: If you do use plastic water bottles, make sure you recycle them.

    5. Donate

    Instead of throwing away old items, donate them. Many shelters are in need of gently-used household items, from towels and bedding to leashes and collars.

    6. Buy In Bulk

    Buying in bulk reducing the amount of packaging and the number of trips you make to the store. Not to mention it saves you money.

    7. Walk More

    Dogs love walks, so why not take advantage of that. Opt to walk with your dog, rather than taking a car ride, whenever you can.

    8. Air Dry

    When the weather is nice and temperatures are warm enough, you can save energy by letting your pet air dry after a bath.

    9. Groom Outside

    You can also brush your dog outside, when the weather is nice enough. You can leave their fur on the ground, as birds will use it to build nests and you won't waste any energy vacuuming or use plastic bags. 

    10. Spay And Neuter

    Neutering and spaying your dog will reduce the chance he or she contributes to dog overpopulation, which will reduce carbon paw prints in the long term (as well as canine suffering).

    11. Adopt

    One of the best ways to "recycle" is by adopting a dog from a shelter or rescue. Doing so provides a home to an animal already in need of one.

    12. Limit Pesticide Use

    Avoiding pesticides for your lawn and grass is not only safer for your dog, but also reduces the potential pesticide run-off into waterways.

    13. Compost

    Did you know that you can compost old dog food? Composting can drastically reduce your waste and simultaneously fertilize your garden.

    14. Buy A Digital ID Tag

    Every time you move, you usually need to get a new identification tag for your dog. But now you can get a digital tag, which is linked to an online profile where you can easily update contact information. This can reduce waste associated with continually throwing out old dog tags.

    15. Don't Overfeed

    Feeding your pup the proper amount of food reduces the impact that dog food production has on the environment. It also decreases the number of trips to the bathroom (and thus the use of plastic poop bags) your dog needs when he or she is overfed. Not to mention, it'll keep your dog at a healthy weight.
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