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    How to Live a Sustainable Lifestyle with Your Dog

    • 5 min read

    Nowadays, it can be a real challenge to find quality products for your dog that are sustainable. In a vast sea of unsustainable dog products, finding ways to live more eco-friendly is more important than ever.

    Here at Chopper & Otis, we love our dogs and our planet, which is why we are dedicated to creating a healthier lifestyle for our furry friends by providing them with environmentally-friendly dog toys. 

    How Dog Products Affect the Environment

    The dog industry is a booming one, full of unsustainable business practices, cheaply made products, and questionable ingredients. Unfortunately, unhealthy dog products can have costly effects on your dog and the environment.

    Many of these companies make little or no effort to offset carbon emissions. They use imported plastics that contain various toxins, and they fill dog foods and treats with unhealthy filler ingredients. We believe that our dogs deserve better.

    In fact, sustainable dog companies are rapidly emerging and are just waiting to be discovered! It’s easier than ever to start living an eco-friendly lifestyle for your dog that leaves your furry friend healthy and happy and our planet a little cleaner.

    Making Your Dog’s Life Greener

    Choosing to live sustainably ultimately protects your dog from a number of toxins while also protecting the planet. Let’s look at some of the areas in which you can actively promote a healthier lifestyle for your dog.

    Food

    When it comes to what you feed your pup, not all dog food brands are created equal. In fact, a surprisingly large number of dog food companies put unhealthy ingredients in their products.

    Meat “meal” is a common number one ingredient used for the bulk of pet foods. This meal contains byproducts such as beaks, feet, and other nutritionally insufficient parts of the animals used for the bulk of the meat. Your dog is more likely to eat an excessive amount of an unsustainable food in attempt to get more nutrients out of out a meal full of fillers, which increases his chances of weight gain.

    Likewise, the second ingredient frequently used is either corn or wheat, which also lacks nutritional value and is used as a filler to give the food its crunch. It’s especially unhealthy for dogs that are gluten-free, and long-term use can even lead to gluten and corn allergies, as well as other health problems.

    To top it off, dog foods containing high amounts of fillers and byproducts might also contain icky preservatives to keep from spoiling on the shelves. Preservatives like BHT and BHA, which are considered possible carcinogens, are just a few of the many harmful toxins that may be in your dog’s food.

    By choosing organic, sustainably-made foods or getting creative in the kitchen and making DIY dog food at home from scratch, you can ensure that your dog is getting all of the important nutrients without any harmful additives.

    Remember to always consult your vet first before switching dog food.

    Bathing

    Your dog’s food isn’t the only dog product that can contain harmful contaminants. The products you use to clean your pup can have harsh ingredients that irritate his skin and cause allergies. Not only that, but unsustainable bath products like shampoos and conditioners go right down the drain, where they impact our water systems and wildlife.

    Opting for eco-friendly dog shampoos and conditioners means that your dog is receiving the best care for his coat. Green bath products for dogs keep your dog’s fur clean with all-natural ingredients that won’t harm the environment. It’s a win-win.

    Healthy Plants

    Another opportunity to live more sustainably with your dog is by choosing the right houseplants and garden products to enhance your pup’s life. Plants offer a pleasant atmosphere that uplifts both you and your dog’s moods, and they help clean the air.

    It is important to be aware of what kinds of plants you plan on putting inside and outside of your homes, as well as the plants in nearby neighbors’ lawns, as there are many plants that are toxic to dogs. Plants like the Sago Palm, Boston Ivy, Chrysanthemums, and Azalea, to name a few, are shockingly common in gardens and households but are harmful if your pup eats them.

    Meanwhile, plants such as African Violets, bamboo, sunflowers, and fuchsia are among a few of the dog-friendly plants you can have around the house.

    Pet Waste Disposer

    It’s not a surprise that dogs can leave a bit of a mess when out for a walk. Plastic waste bags are a common go-to for responsible pet owners who just want to clean up after their dogs, but these baggies are often difficult to recycle and easily end up in our oceans. Instead of using plastic that takes decades or even centuries to break down, switching to a plant-based, biodegradable waste bag for dogs is a great sustainable replacement.

    Sustainable Dog Toys

    Your dog’s toys are an important part of his life. Interactive dog toys are engaging and promote healthy play and exercise, but many toys produced today contain cheap plastics, synthetic fabric, and rubber that is not 100% natural. These toys break down easily and pose choking risks as well as long-term side effects such as broken teeth and upset tummies.

    Investing in environmentally-friendly dog toys protects your dog’s oral health and stomach and promotes the use of recycled and sustainable materials in the dog toy industry. Green dog toys are also more durable because they are made with pure ingredients meant to last.

    Here are the most popular types of eco-friendly dog toys that are both healthy and fun for your pup:


    Biodegradable Dog Toys

    Many plastic dog toys are not recycled and end up in landfills that are already full of other waste products. An easy way to lower the amount of unnecessary waste is by using biodegradable dog toys. These dog toys are safer for the environment because they take much less time to decompose compared to plastic.

    Biodegradable toys can be made from a number of all-natural materials:

    • Rubber
    • Hemp
    • Rice Husks
    • Cotton

    Sodapup company makes a variety of natural rubber dog toys that are biodegradable, so you can enjoy playing with your pup knowing that his toys are safe for the environment.


    Recyclable Dog Toys

    Investing in 100% recyclable dog toys ensures that no parts of your dog’s favorite interactive toys are going into landfills. Rubber toys are especially sustainable because they can easily be recycled and reused to create new products.

    Another sustainable dog company, called Westpaw, decided to get innovative and created recyclable interactive dog toys from advanced plastic material called Zogoflex, which can be recycled indefinitely. Westpaw even has a sustainable program where you can simply return the product when it’s too worn to be played with, and they’ll reuse the material.

    Check out their Qwizl Treat Dispenser Toy if you want a safe alternative to traditional plastic dog toys.


    Recycled Dog Toys

    Recycled dog toys are often made from recycled materials such as plastic bottles and rubber, making them an easy option for those looking to transition to a greener lifestyle. We support a fair number of green dog companies that use recycled materials to make eco-friendly dog toys:

    Cycle Dog is a leading sustainable dog company that uses recycled rubber from high-quality bike tires to make a number of their eco-friendly pet products.

    Beco Pets is another example of a company that goes above and beyond to provide dog families with sustainable and safe dog toys. This company avidly participates in the reduction of plastic waste by using recycled plastic bottles in many of their products.

    Switching to a Green Lifestyle

    Going green with your dog is a journey that begins with small, sustainable choices. Supporting sustainable businesses that care just as much about the environment as you do ensures that your furry friend receives the best of the best without harming the planet.

    If you need help finding the best sustainable dog toys for your dog, don’t hesitate to reach out to us so that we can support your eco-friendly journey.

     

    Until next time--