If you’re a new pet parent, or you’ve been raising dogs for over 20 years like I have, you’ve probably noticed that dogs go through a lot of things! There’s treats, food and toys. And if you’re getting those products delivered, there can be a lot of packaging!
The stats can be staggering! Did you know that over 300 million pounds of plastic pet food and treats bags are being thrown away in the US each year? Or that dogs and cats are responsible for up to 30% of the environmental impact of meat consumption in the US?
You might be wondering how to raise an eco-friendly dog. Is it possible to reduce your dog’s carbon paw print? It is possible and you can start with some small changes that make a big impact!
4 Sustainable Pet Brands Share Tips to Raise an Eco-Friendly Dog
To get trustworthy advice on this, I interviewed several woman-owned sustainable pet brands on my podcast. In our conversations, they shared great tips on how to make your life with your dog more eco-friendly!
Get to know the founders of Yay Hound, Piggyback Treat Company, PureEarth Pets and Jiminy’s and get their advice on how to raise an eco-friendly dog! Click through to all of their website where you’ll find more sustainable pet resources, recyclable DIYs for pet parents and recommendations for even more eco-friendly pet products and brands!
Re-Purpose Dog Toys You Already Have
When Veronica Guzik her husband first rescued their greyhound, Fly, they bought her tons of new toys, treats and goodies! One day they looked around at the pile of stuff and thought, “there has to be a more sustainable way to pet parent.” And that’s how Yay Hound was created!
At Yay Hound, Veronica now curates sustainably sourced, non-toxic dog toys made with the earth in mind and ships them out in compostable mailers. When I talked to her on my podcast, she also shared great advice on how to get the most out of your existing dog toys so you throw away less.
To reduce waste, Veronica recommends donating toys your dog is bored of to local animal shelters. If you’re not ready to part with them, you can also use some of those toys your dog is bored of to make DIY toys! Stuffing toys inside of each other, wrapping them in towels or and adding treats makes for great enrichment toys!
>> Learn more about Veronica and YayHound (formerly Pupcycle) on podcast episode 132!
Buy Sustainable Dog Treats That Reduce Food Waste
Jen Kirby started Piggyback Treats Company to make dog and cat treats from unused, human-grade foods that would otherwise go to waste. She got the idea for her business about 8 years ago when she saw barrels full of salmon skins at a fish cleaning shop and found out that they just throw them away. She knew there had to be a better solution!
Now she rescues salmon skins, chicken feet, pumpkins, apple pulp, liver and so much more to make 50 varieties of sustainable dog treats.
Piggyback Treats Company believes that our pets deserve not only to be spoiled but that we can do so while being conscious of our effect on the environment. Jen and her co-founder/boyfriend Chris hope to encourage as many people as possible to think sustainably while spoiling their pets!
>> Learn more about Jen and Piggyback Treats Company on podcast episode 140!
Look for Recyclable and Compostable Packaging
Leanne Pinard Baum’s passion for helping the planet evolved when she recognized how hard it was to find sustainable toys for her dog, Dover. She made it her mission to find them, and bring them to the doors of dog owners around the country with her eco-friendly subscription box Pure Earth Pets.
Over 300 million pounds of plastic pet food and treats bags are being thrown away in the US each year!
Leanne always looks for products with packaging that is recyclable or compostable. She also encourages pet parents to upcycle things that might be thrown away to make DIY toys for your dog. She told me about how she used strips of a cut-up t-shirt to tie around an old ball and make it more exciting for her dog, Dover.
All of the boxes that Pure Earth Pets ships out are bio-degradable, compostable and printed with soy-based ink. And unlike other subscription boxes, Leanne leaves out added in flyers paper, opting to email customers about the contents of their subscription box instead.
>> Learn more about Leanne and Pure Earth Pets in podcast episode 139!
Save the Environment with Cricket-Based Dog Treats
Have you ever considered that dog treats could change the world? Anne Carlson left the corporate pet industry to start Jiminy’s, her own sustainably-minded brand that uses an unusual protein source, crickets!
According to a UCLA Study, dogs and cats are responsible for 25% to 30% of the environmental impact of meat consumption in the US.
Jiminy’s is working to change that by creating pet treats and food using insect protein and other plant-based ingredients. Anne told me, “There are about 525 crickets in one of our bags of biscuits. What’s great is that you use the entire cricket so there’s hardly any waste. It makes it this incredible superfood because it’s not just protein, we also get fiber from the cricket’s exoskeleton.”
Crickets are also better for the environment than traditional protein sources. A recent study found that Jiminy’s treats “consume substantially less water, [and] emit an average of 7.4 times less greenhouse gas than beef protein treats, and 2.3 times less greenhouse gas than chicken protein treats.”
>> Learn more about Anne and Jiminy’s on podcast episode 48!
Recycle Trash into Dog Toys with a DIY Busy Box
Want to do more something to make a difference for the planet TODAY? Instead of throwing away cardboard boxes or plastic berry containers, hold onto them for a DIY busy box enrichment puzzle for your dog.
This is one of my most popular blog posts! Dogs love dismantling the boxes and finding treats or kibble inside. And I feel great knowing that my boxes and containers have been used well before heading to curbside recycling.
The guys who pick up my recycling must wonder what goes on here because I don’t put anything out until the dogs have totally destroyed it!
Learn how to make your own DIY Busy Box!
Find all of these great eco-friendly posts:
Podcast Episode 132 with Veronica Guzik of Yay Hound
Podcast Episode 140 with Jen Kirby of Piggyback Treat Company
Podcast Episode 139 with Leanne Pinard Baum of Pure Earth Pets
Podcast Episode 48 with Anne Carlson of Jiminy’s
DIY Busy Box Recycles Packaging into an Eco-Friendly Dog Puzzle