8 Eco-Friendly Dog Owner Tips - How to Reduce Your Carbon Paw-Print

Photo by Samson Katt from Pexels

We love the environment, and so do our smellydogz! Many of us are looking for ways to do our part in reducing our carbon footprint but how many of us are looking to reduce our carbon paw print

A paper investigating dog waste challenges in Metro Vancouver noted that a dog could produce 0.34 kilograms per day. According to Canadian Animal Health Institute statistics, the dog population stood at 8.2 million as of 2018. That translates to 2,790 tonnes of waste every day! 

The environmental impact doesn’t stop there as plastic food containers, poop bags, toys, chemicals from dog shampoos, and many other factors create a huge impact on our surroundings. To curb pollution, numerous Eco-Friendly pet products and practices can help you be environmentally friendly. 

Go Green for the environment

Here are some Eco-Friendly pet tips that can help you become a sustainable dog owner.  


  1) Scoop the poop and dispose of it responsibly


Sustainable dog owners are always on the lookout for local waste management plans by municipalities. Check out Canadian Public Health Associations guidelines to know what you can do (scroll to the bottom for the province) suggestions. 


The first step is to make sure you pick up after your dog as their waste can spread diseases to other pets and wildlife and contaminate water sources. If the usual method to pick up dog waste grosses you out, a pooper scooper can carry the load for you. 


Eco-Friendly Pet Products focus on the biodegradability of the material we send off into the landfills. It is a good idea to always pick up pooch’s poop in a biodegradable bag. You can flush the waste (without the bag) down the toilet once you get home or make a pet waste digester (see how below) to be on the safest side. 


2) How to get a pet waste digester (check out this how-to video)


A pet waste digester is an Eco-Friendly pet product that you can buy or make at home. This system allows the waste to be broken down by bacteria and microorganisms in a contained area, preventing the pathogens and contaminants from being washed into water bodies or ending up in landfills. 


  • Drill holes onto the side of a garbage bin (watch your fingers) 
  • Decide on the best place in the yard for a one-meter deep and one-meter wide hole (or slightly smaller than the size of the garbage bin you are using) by contacting Hydro and other utility providers 
  • Place the garbage bin in the hole with the lid on so that it retains its shape and start filling up the soil around it
  • Add some rocks at the bottom of the bin and test for drainage by pouring water over it; this will ensure that the waste is at a height and water can drain down.
  • Procure some septic starters, which include enzymes and microbes, along with water to start the decomposition process. 
  • Add poo inside biodegradable bags or directly into the pet waste digester and monitor it to ensure the waste is breaking down for the first few days  
  • Scatter some grass seeds around the top of the garbage bin to beautify the area and enjoy guilt-free waste disposal! 



    If you have a vegetable garden in the same yard, be sure to keep a distance of at least 100 feet between the pet waste digester and the garden to avoid any pathogens getting into the vegetables. 


    3) Avoid plastic food and water dishesDog drinking water


    If you’re thinking about becoming a sustainable dog owner, a simple way to look at the problem is to consider using environmentally friendly materials. 


    Use materials free of toxins and be used for longer like ceramic, natural bamboo fibre, or stainless steel. Instead of using single-use plastic, you can reuse larger bottles or plastic juice containers for storing water when you are traveling. 

     4) Donate


    One of the easiest Eco-Friendly pet tips to follow is to be careful about what goes in the trash. It is not uncommon for dog owners to throw away lightly used toys, leads, collars, beds, bowls, towels, blankets, and other everyday items. The local Humane society outlets or rescue groups would be happy to take lightly used items off your hands and use them to facilitate a good life for pets in their care. 

    5) Go green with grooming

    Whether you are brave enough to bathe your smellydogz at home or at the groomer’s, you can’t exactly use human shampoos and conditioners. 


    Natural pet shampoos are a good option as they aren’t as hard on your smellydogz’s skin and are chemical-free, making them eco-friendly. It is a good idea to look for environmentally friendly and natural shampoos/conditioners. 

     6) Re-usable shopping bags


    Re-usable shopping bags not only help you reduce plastic usage, but they are also sturdy and durable. If you’ve made the switch to fancy looking reuseable bags vs. flimsy plastic bags, remember to bring them along when you shop for your smellydogz. 

     7) Get around sustainably with your smellydogz


    While our smellydogz love sticking their head out the car window and enjoying the breeze, there are a lot more sustainable ways for them to get around. 


    Choosing a near enough park to walk to or planning playdates with your friends can deliver the same amount of fun but with a lot less carbon emission. If you do need to drive your smellydogz, try to run some errands on the same trip.  

     8) Recycle old clothes into tug toys


    If you’ve been buying toys for your smellydogz for a while, you probably realize that they can go out of order pretty quickly. 


    This Eco-Friendly Pet Tip doesn’t cost anything, sewing small tears and holes can save you some additional money, but you can also recycle old t-shirts into tug toys for your pup to destroy. 

    We’re all in this together! The world around us is always changing, and smellydogz of the future deserves the best possible version of earth that we can provide. 

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