I thought I would share some eco-friendly tips for all the dog owners out there, as I have gotten lots of questions on this 🐾 I am definitely not an expert, but I have done some reading the past few months before I got Noah, and have discussed a lot with other dog owners!
Let’s start with one of the basics - dog food. Depending on your preferences, values and wallet, you might want to opt for food that has a lower environmental footprint, and that is eco-friendly in one way or another. Try looking for food that is produced using renewable energy, vegan or vegetarian food, grass-fed beef, organic, or locally produced food (or a mix).
Thoughts on vegan/vegetarian dog food
Just like our food, the dogs food will have a smaller or bigger environmental footprint depending on the diet. A diet containing more plants and less animal products has a lower environmental footprint. Many people (as I did) believe that dogs are carnivores (meat eaters), as their ancestors are wolves. Technically, they belong to the order Carnivora, (together with Pandas who eat mostly bamboo), but they are actually omnivores - which means that they are able to get all the nutrients they need through a plant based diet. These articles describe how dogs are able to keep a vegan or vegetarian diet, but they both note that it should be done under supervision of a veterinary nutritionist in order to feed the dog everything it needs.
So! If you do your research, its possible to have a vegan or vegetarian dog. I know a few people who feed their dogs a vegan diet - and they have all had really good results, and felt like their dogs became healthier and more energized! Thats pretty cool. Currently, my puppy is very picky about his food, and he didn’t want to try the vegan food I mixed in with his other food, but maybe I will consider it with time. Right now I feel more secure with him eating the puppy feed I got from the vet (Eucaneuba), but after knowing your animal for a while, a switch might be doable - and be better for the dog and the planet!
Vegan/vegetarian dog food
If you’re looking for vegan dog feed in Norway, check out eco pets.
I was also recommended Yarrah Organic vegan/vegetarian food.
Peta has also made a list of companies selling vegan dog food.
Organic dog food
Yarrah is a brand of organic dog food - with meat, fish, vegetarian or vegan.
Newman’s Own Organics doesn’t contain GMOs and is produced without the use of herbicides, pesticides or artificial fertilizers, or chemical additives or preservatives.
Organix: This brand of pet food is made in the U.S. and is the only complete line of USDA organically certified pet food. It is free of allergens such as corn, wheat, or soy, and is created without synthetic pesticides or fertilizers, antibiotics, or artificial preservatives.
I and Love and You: This pet food line uses natural ingredients that contain no grain allergens such as corn, wheat, soy, or fillers like rice and white potatoes and no artificial flavors, colors, artificial preservatives, or by-product meals.
There are A LOT of toys out there for dogs. Most of them are made of plastic, and I usually steer away from buying any of those. In general I have looked for toys of natural materials, toys produced by recycled materials, toys from nature or (new) toys sold at second hand sites that people didn’t want after all. Here are some examples of eco-friendly dog toys.
BeecoBall from Alphadog.no - a ball that you can put goodies inside made of rice fibers and natural rubber.
Chewing toy from twobarks.no - a chewing toy made of wool that cleanses the teeth of the dog
Squeeky chewing toy from twobarks.no - another chewing toy made of wool
Hemp dog toys from Amazon - water, tear and bite resistant toys made from 100% hemp
Sticks from nature!
Dog toys from your friends’ that their dogs don’t enjoy anymore <3
3. Dog waste bags
In Norway, there has been a debate on whether or not the biodegradable dog bags are better for the environment or not. Many have thought that these bags can be left in nature, and that they will biodegrade quickly, which is a misunderstanding, as they are made to biodegrade in an industrial compost system. They have to be thrown away in residual waste for the time being.
In my opinion, this might be a better choice for the environment any way, as the production process is more environmentally friendly. It’s a choice not to support regular plastic - made from fossile fuels (oil) - and to support a “new” plastic industry where materials such as corn and potato starch are the ingredients. This is why I opt for the biodegradable bags.
4. Dog bed
My little puppy was lucky enough to get a sponsored dog bed from the amazing company Cocomat! It’s made of natural rubber, coconut shells and residual materials from their bed producer factory. Find the dog bed here.
Before we got the bed from Cocomats, Noah slept in the coating from Billy’s (moms dog) cage, which he didn’t use.
5. Wash your dog with natural products
I don’t wash Noah too often, as animals clean themselves up, but with the rainy autumn season coming I’m sure there will be plenty of shower sessions with Noah. When I do, I make sure to use shampoo (and conditioner haha) for sensitive dog skin. These from C-Soaps are amazing, Noah is a fluffy cloud!!! ☁️☁️🌦 They smell lavender, patchouli and juniper berry.
6. Pick up trash
The last tip is pretty easy - no purchases needed. This one goes out to everyone, with or without a dog. Pick up 5 items of trash when you’re out for a walk, and together we will prevent lots of plastic from entering the ocean!
Do you have any comments, questions or products you recommend for me or others to check out?