It’s World Environment Day on June 5th and this year the theme is Time for Nature. As dog owners we often get to enjoy the natural world even if it’s just the local park thanks to our daily walks with our four-legged friends, so it makes sense to protect it!
Here are a few ideas you might want to consider that can help you be a more eco-friendly dog owner.
Recent research suggests pet food is already responsible for around a quarter of the environmental impacts of meat production (these include use of phosphates water etc.)
While dogs do need protein, it might be worth researching consider pet foods made from meat byproducts, offal, chicken or rabbit. If your dog likes these foods, they have less environmental impact than other red meats or fish. Also consider local pet shops to reduce the miles your dog food has to travel. Natural Cornish Pet Shop is one to consider, also Paws in Padstow.
Many poo bags sold to dog owners have ‘biodegradable’ or ‘eco-friendly’ written on them, but this doesn’t mean that they are helpful to the environment. As Cornwall’s Beach Guardian, marine biologist Emily Stevenson points out, “many of these don’t break down, they break apart into microplastics which are detrimental to the environment. Double check that the bags you are using are fully biodegradable. You can, for example, buy paper poo bags. Putting them in Cornwall Councils 4,700 specially designated dog waste bins is a way to dispose of them.
Avoid buying new plastic toys and opt for some eco-friendly toys instead. Here’s a selection from Cornwall-based company Furzu. https://www.furzu.co.uk/collections/eco-friendly-dog-toys
A good way to ensure your dog treats are healthy and don’t contain environmentally harmful ingredients such as palm oil is to make your own. One of our favourites is this recipe from Tina and Pete at the lovely Paws For Cake. When we had these in the office certain Dog Friendly Cornwall team members actually ate them thinking they were human cakes, and apparently they are very nice for humans too!
https://dogfriendlycornwall.co.uk/recipe-dog-friendly-muffins/ If you don’t have time for canine baking, you can just buy treats online at their website.