Happy Earth Day! Living in Los Angeles, the importance of Earth Day and its impact on environmental awareness and protection is clear, as we see both the boundless beauty of Mother Earth and also the harmful effects of pollution in LA on a daily basis. For most, Earth Day is about how we as people can reduce our carbon footprint by making adjustments in our own habits, but we want to take a moment to talk about how that can extend to your pup’s life, too.
Today’s blog post is all about how you can support Earth Day by working to reduce your pup’s carbon paw-print. Here are 5 quick steps you can take towards being an eco-friendly dog owner!
Adopt Don’t Shop!
You may be wondering how adopting a dog has to do with protecting the environment. By adopting, you help rescue organizations like Wags and Walks save more dogs from potential euthanization at shelters, which in turn saves lives. You also help to free up these shelters’ resources, like food, toys, medical care, etc, which the organization can now put towards saving another dog. When you start your journey with your dog by adopting instead of buying from a breeder or a pet store, you are already taking an Earth-friendly approach to being a dog owner.
Bonus tip: When you adopt a dog from Wags and Walks, you join an entire community of like minded individuals who are here to support you every step of the way as you bring your new fur-baby into your life. To start, we have an entire page on our website dedicated to resources to help new dog parents!
Spay and Neuter Your Pets
In California, it’s legally mandated that all pet owners spay or neuter their dogs and cats. This helps curb overpopulation of animals and thus reduce the number of homeless animals that wind up in shelters and at risk of euthanization. By spaying and neutering your pet, you are again helping the environment by reducing shelter overcrowding and allowing shelters to put resources towards saving those existing animals in need. You also reduce the waste that stray puppies would create while homeless.
Bonus tip: Wags and Walks spays and neuters all dogs who we rescue so the adoptive parents do not need to worry about doing so!
Use Biodegradable Poop Bags
This tip touches on something all pet owners experience quite a bit of...picking up poop. The facts are, leaving your dog’s waste on the sidewalk is both unfriendly to the neighbors and unfriendly to the environment. What isn’t much better, though, is using plastic bags that end up in landfills to pick up your dog’s poo. The good news is, there are many biodegradable and compostable doggy bags available today that are affordable for pet owners. Making a simple switch in your routine can make a big difference in reducing your dog’s carbon paw-print.
Bonus tip: if you already compost or are looking to start, turn your eco-radar up a notch by composting your dog’s waste instead of ditching it in the trash!
Choose Sustainable Pet Food
Without even knowing it, our pets contribute a shocking amount to unsustainable eating habits. With few regulations surrounding pet food manufacturing, most dog food is far from eco-friendly. It is often filled with synthetic fillers, additives, and meat or meat by-products sourced using unsustainable practices. That said, your dog’s diet doesn’t need to be vegetarian simply for it to be more environmentally friendly. There are an increasing number of sustainable dog food options on the market, all it takes is some research and some experimenting to see what your pup likes best!
Bonus tip: Inside our Adoption Center is our Puss and Pooch retail store where we sell a variety of goodies to set you and your pup up for success, including Halo pet food. Halo’s mission is to produce holistic, sustainable food that your pet will love, plus for every bag of Halo dog food bought in our store (or online through our Amazon wishlist) Halo will donate a bag to Wags and Walks!
Buy Eco-Friendly Pet Toys
If you take a look down the toy aisle at the pet store, you’ll find a variety of toys, most of which are made from rubber or plastic. Toys like these lead to a lot of waste and harm to the environment both in the manufacturing and disposal processes. Not to fear, environmentally friendly pet products do exist! The next time your dog ruins that chew toy he so loves, try looking for a new toy that is made from recycled rope and plastic. Also, consider buying dog leashes and collars that are made out of alternative materials like hemp as opposed to nylon or other synthetic options.
Bonus tip: Looking to save some money as well as the environment? Make your own pet toys and gear! Our dogs seemingly always prefer our blankets and personal items to the ones we buy for them anyway, so this is a perfect opportunity to recycle some of those old stuffed animals you were looking to donate! Of course, we recommend you always supervise your dog while playing with toys, and check periodically for wear and tear, especially if the toy isn’t made to sustain some dogs’ chewing capabilities.
These are only 5 of many tips on how you can give back to the Earth today by taking a step towards living an eco-friendly life with your dog. Changing your habits to help the Earth doesn’t need to be a big effort. Something as small as choosing glass water bottles over plastic or paying more attention to the labels on dog products to cut out the bad stuff is a great way to start going green in your everyday life.
We hope you have a wonderful Earth Day! To stay updated on what’s new at Wags and Walks, please follow us on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. Also, don’t forget to sign up for our e-mail newsletter. Who doesn’t love cute animal pupdates?