Eco-Dogs: How to Keep an Environmentally-Friendly Pet

Most people tend to think that just about anything found in nature is innately good for the environment while most machines are detrimental. While you glare at the gas-guzzling SVU rumbling down the street, you may be horrified to learn that some of the worst offenders when it comes to disrespecting the environment are actually pets.

Dogs can have a bigger impact on the environment than operating a Toyota Land Cruiser, despite being a natural part of Earth’s fauna. If you are conscious about the eco-footprint you leave behind, it may be time to look at ways to make your dog more eco-friendly.

 

Protect Wildlife

One of the ways that dogs can harm the environment is by hunting and killing wildlife. When you think about a menace to birds, cats often come to mind. Still, dogs aren’t entirely innocent and can sometimes hunt and kill small animals that are essential to an area’s ecosystem.

Because of this, it is likely better to keep your dog contained in a fenced-in area so he cannot run free and hunt. When you’re on walks, keep your dog leashed so he can’t go after small animals when out and about.

Change Diet

When dogs eat food that is hard on natural resources, they create a large carbon footprint. In general, foods that are made with beef and fish take more resources than foods made with rabbit and chicken, and this holds true for dog food as well.

White meets are easier to process and require fewer resources- a secret eco-friendly companies like Royal Canin have always taken advantage of. If you want to reduce your footprint even more, you can purchase food from local vendors so it’s not being shipped to the store.

Better yet? Grow and make some of your own dog food so you can further drive down the environmental cost of owning a dog. Greens and eggs are excellent food for pooches.

Clean Up

Okay, so cleaning up after your dog once it has done his business in the park isn’t the most glamorous part of pet ownership, but it actually helps the environment when you’re diligent. Leaving dog feces on the ground doesn’t only make a mess, but it can kill grass and other plant life.

If you really want to do your bit, you can use biodegradable pet bags, which can be tossed in the trash, but limit the impact on landfills as well. That way, your dog’s business doesn’t become a problem for the Earth as a whole.

Spay and Neuter

A pet overpopulation problem puts a strain on plenty of resources. From the extra food to the money spent by government organizations to help pay for food and shelter for pets without owners, allowing your pet to reproduce has serious consequences. You can do your part by simply spaying or neutering your pet to help reduce the strain put on resources.

Luckily, it’s not expensive if you bring your dog to a clinic or take advantage of programs that subsidize the cost. The bottom line? Spaying or neutering your pet is simply the responsible thing to do for you, your pet and the environment.

While pets may not inherently be bad for the environment, the human behavior that goes along with caring for a pet often does have damaging consequences. Whether it’s allowing a pet to roam the neighborhood or leaving a mess, the environment can be severely impacted by your decision to own a dog.

By making an effort to lessen that impact by choosing the right food, being responsible and even purchasing pet goods that are locally made and eco-friendly, you can be sure your pet ownership doesn’t become a problem.

Lilly Sheperd is an occasional guest-blogger and a self-proclaimed geek girl from New-Zealand. When not blogging, she likes to play netball with her girlfriends. Lilly is interested in and produces commentary on education, technology, health, law, finance, fashion, beauty, green, non-profit, home improvement, and business.