Raising a Green Dog

Raising a dog is a pretty straight forward experience. They eat, sleep, potty and play. Where in that routine is there room to make them more environmentally friendly? You'd be surprised.

First, lets get the dirty stuff out of the way and talk about your dog's waste. You should already be picking up any droppings when you're on walks. Dog's waste contains bacteria and nutrients that can get washed into rivers and lakes every time it rains. This has two consequences: 1) Our drinking water could become contaminated and 2) An overload of nutrients in water bodies could kill plants and animals. Always make sure you use biodegradable bags when picking up your dog's droppings (find some HERE).

Second, what kind of food is your dog eating? It might sound silly to feed your dog organic food, but the principle is the same whether its food for you or for your dog. Organic food is grown and raised without pesticides, harmful fertilizers or toxic chemicals. These things also wash away into rivers and streams which eventually lead to the ocean forming "dead zones" where no sea life can exist. Newman's Own has an organic line of dog foods that you can read about HERE.

Third, avoid pet supplies and toys made of plastic. Some dogs have an allergic reaction to plastic. If your dog's mouth area has a rash or breaks out often it might be because of a plastic water dish. Plastic is made using petroleum and, therefore, contributes to our little oil crisis. Instead, look for dog products made of recycled materials. The American Kennel Club has a green collection of products HERE. Planet Dog sells products made of recycled products HERE. Finally, Earthdog sells toys made of durable hemp you can find HERE.

Just by making a few changes, you can significantly decrease the impact you and your dog have on the planet.

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