Making small changes in how you raise your dog can make a difference
We all adore our pets and fully acknowledge the joy they bring to our lives but it’s important to consider the impact they have on the environment too.
For example, did you know that dog food production alone is responsible for an estimated 106 million tonnes of CO2 waste every year – equivalent to a year’s worth of driving from 21 million cars? Neither did we.
Thankfully, there are lots of things we can do to offset this impact and start creating positive change in how we look after our furry family members.
To mark Earth Month 2023, sustainably-driven Irish pet nutrition company Blue Pet Co. is teaming up with climate expert and dog mom Fionnuala Moran to share the simple actions that every pet owner can take to reduce their dog’s carbon pawprint.
1. Buy dry food
We want the best for our dogs but it’s worth noting that purchasing sustainably-made dry food instead of wet food significantly reduces the emissions incurred by our pets’ diets. We can go a step further by including some crunchy vegetables for them to limit their meat consumption and, in turn, their carbon pawprint. (Just avoid onions – they’re toxic to your dog.)
2. Use planet-friendly poop bags
Opting for biodegradable or compostable dog poo bags is one way to lessen the single-use plastic impact of having a pet. However, if you think you’re doing the planet a favour by not picking up after your dog, think again. Dog poo that isn’t picked up can leech bacteria, parasites and even any medication they may be taking into our water systems, harming ecosystems and aquatic life. With this in mind, perhaps we can go the extra mile and pick up additional poops we spy while dealing with our own doggy’s droppings.
3. Choose toys made of recycled material
Keep an eye out for toys made out of recycled materials, which are becoming more available. Or, even better, you could get creative making some yourself – think tug of war ropes by tying knots in strong old towels or snuffle mats out of old cloths, t-shirts or socks. You can reuse old cardboard boxes by adding treats to leftover scrunched-up paper for extra foraging fun.
4. Adopt your soulmate
We’re getting very good at sourcing second-hand clothing and homewares as we become more sustainably minded, but have you considered finding your four-legged bestie second-hand too? Ireland’s rescues are overflowing with beautiful dogs who have ended up in them through no fault of their own, waiting to be adopted. Spaying and neutering can also be a responsible way to make the population of our beloved pooches more sustainable, saving many pups from ending up in the pound or rescues.
5. Support Irish
We all know the importance of supporting Irish and it’s no different when it comes to caring for our pets. The market is full of fabulous Irish sustainable businesses like Happy Tails, Dog Dry and Wild Tails which can save on emissions from air miles shipping in foreign products. So, before you hit ‘add to cart’ on an overseas purchase, take a minute to search for a local alternative that will benefit the planet and make a small business owner very happy!
Click here to discover the best dog-walking route in Ireland