More and more of us are doing everything that we can to reduce our impact on the environment: recycling, buying hybrid cars, even going vegan (pass the tofu twizzlers). But our four-pawed pals also have a part to play in securing the future for our planet.
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One recent study estimated that – whilst adorable – a medium-sized dog can generate as much CO2 as an SUV! But you don’t have to turf out your mini-gas guzzler who’s snoring and chasing cats in their sleep – there are lots you can do to be an eco-responsible puppy parent. Some simple DOs and DON’Ts:
Don’t – Dump Your Dog Poo In A Plastic Bag
It’s not every day that a poem about dog poo gets read out in Parliament – but Anne Main MP did just that in a House of Commons debate in 2017: “If your dog should do a plop, take a while and make a stop, just find a stick and flick it wide into the undergrowth at the side.” Wise words! If you know that it’ll be a while until you’re likely to see a dog bin, then flick your pup’s doings into the undergrowth. It’s biodegradable (unlike black plastic) and stops the Christmas-Tree-like build-up of hedgerows filled with little shiny black baubles we know and hate. Also, as we know, waste from animals is a great fertilizer for plants & trees, so not only are we removing waste plastic, we are also encouraging more greenery in our favorite walking spots!
Do – Keep Your Dog On A Lead Around Livestock
It may seem simple, but there’s a reason you see those signs up in rural fields. Sheep worrying can be expensive for farmers, leading to ewes miscarrying or even fatal stress for the sheep themselves. The Dogs (Protection of Livestock) Act 1953 lays down fines of up to £1,000 – so keep Fido on a lead around livestock, and you will be contributing to a happy and safe countryside. Fortunately, there’s a plethora of useful information in the Countryside Code, with extra-useful up-to-date information about how to stay COVID-safe when out dog-walking.
Don’t – Make Your Dog Do Veganuary
Whilst there is growing evidence that canine ancestors were omnivorous, eating varying amounts of vegetables and carbohydrates in addition to meat, it is a no-no to put Rover onto a crash vegan diet without sound advice from a veterinary professional. Fortunately, there is a growing variety of vet-approved vegetarian and vegan dog food, as well as food with a much lower carbon impact. Not only will this be a great help with less cruelty to other animals, but it will also provide your dog with some much-needed nutrients as well as a potential improvement in the dog’s health and energy levels.
Do – Buy Reputable Eco-friendly Dog Food
More and more people are starting to look for eco-friendly alternatives to the usual pet products. Dogs go through hundreds of items that aren’t necessarily good for the environment; as an example, have a look at the types of items offered by Wild Thought. Stores like these sell a huge range of environmentally friendly, cruelty-free dog products, all in one place. From sustainably sourced mineral-rich antler chews to tasty veggie treats and ultra-low carbon footprint dog food, These types of products are certified by a range of organizations committed to fighting climate change and environmental degradation and animal cruelty, such as the Forest Stewardship Council, Marine Stewardship Council, and PETA.
Don’t – Stay Clear Of Plastic Toys
Finally, it is recommended to stay clear of buying your canine companion the typical plastic chew toys or ball flingers that you see so often. Of course, these provide a useful decoy for your pet, but they all end up being chucked away in the end into landfills, or even worse, they end up breaking and being swallowed up by your dog. Shards of plastic can also end up getting stuck in your dog’s teeth, which will result in an expensive appointment with the vet to remove them safely an to not injure your dog further.
These recommendations can help you become a more environmentally friendly dog lover. Learn more