Living Green With Dogs? Easy 12 Steps!Tail Wag Wisdom

Is your dog green? Nope, that doesn’t mean sick. And it doesn’t mean expensive. It certainly doesn’t mean a Kermit the Dog. YIKES!!! Conversely, I mean are you living in a way with your dog that does the least amount of harm to Mother Earth? I’d like to think that most people are trying to do their parts these days. Perhaps I’m a bit of a Pollyanna in that thought. But what do you have without hope, right? So, can we have green dogs? It may not be as difficult as you think to join the sustainable living pack with your dog. Today, let’s dig in and discover all about living green with dogs in 12 easy steps. 

a cute pug is happy to be living green with dogs
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Budget tip:

Living green with your dog is actually rather simple. It means passing it along instead of throwing it out. Additionally, it means upcycling instead of trashing. Even more, it means selecting products that are eco-friendly, which pays back to Mother Earth for years to come. Most steps you take will cost you nothing. However, the changes are like a domino effect on the Earth. The more positive changes you make, the more impact they’ll have over time. All for little or no out-of-pocket expense and helping the Earth. That’s a super green sustainable living Win-Win for you and your dog!

What does living green with dogs mean?

Of course, living green will most likely have different definitions for different people. However, at its core, it basically means living in a way with your dog to reduce your waste and carbon footprint. Thus, doing the least amount of damage possible to Mother Earth now and for the generations to come. 

Is climate change a bunch of hooped-up hooey?

Unfortunately, climate change appears to be all too real. NASA has even documented it here.

Additionally, NOAA states that it’s not too late to slow or even reverse global warming. That means we all need to pitch in on the efforts.

What can I do to live green with my dog?

There are many steps a dog parent can take to start living green. Again, the focus is reducing your carbon print as much as possible. Thus, allowing Mother Earth to heal and reverse or at least slow climate change.

Moreover, when you are looking to go green with your dog, look at all the steps involved in each item and try to cut them down. That means shipping, packaging, electricity, ingredients, gas, plastic, paper, you name it. 

Furthermore, you’ll want to look at items you already have for ways to reduce, reuse, and recycle (or even upcycle) them. You will be surprised how a simple worn-out rug can become a snuggly bed for your dog. Or a tattered towel can become a tug toy. If you can’t think of what to do with an item, then ask your kids or a child. They are great at brainstorming outside the box.  

Here are 12 ways to live green with your dog.

1. Biodegradable poop bags

We all use and should use poop bags for our dogs’ waste. Yep, you know where I’m going with those plastic bags. However, the bags we choose matter. Simply switching to a biodegradable pet waste bag, can make some difference. Although the bags still take a while to decompose, they’re better than non-biodegradable dog waste bags. Thus, it’s a step in the right direction you’re aiming to live green. 

Cost: Free – $

What about flushing my dog’s poop?

First, you never want to flush a waste bag unless it’s been certified flushable. 

Second, you’ll need to check with your local water system to make sure they can handle the pathogens found in dog poop. Some areas are up to this task. While other facilities don’t have the ability to break down the poop sufficiently. 

Finally, if you’re on a septic system you probably will want to avoid flushing your dog’s poop as it can damage your system. 

Are there flushable dog poop bags?

Yes! However, if you have older plumbing or you’re on a septic system, you’ll still want to avoid these waste bags. Apparently, they have a tendency to clog or damage these systems. 

Although, if you’re interested, these flushable poop bags seem to work much like toilet paper and will dissolve when they get wet. You can find their site here. 

Are you frustrated with trying to pick up your dog’s poop? In this article, I share a simple and free hack that makes it super easy!

2. Buy food in bulk

You may not think about how much dog food you buy has an environmental impact, but it can. Remember that every bag of pet food takes energy. Think of the steps involved. There are such things as paper, probably plastic, people power, gas to deliver the ingredients to the factory, trucks, and planes with gas and products to your home, and well, you get the idea. 

Thus, try to buy the largest amount of dog food possible. You may even want to go in on a larger bag with a friend, family member, or dog community member. This will cut down on the carbon footprint.

Additionally, the larger amount of dog food you buy the cost per meal goes down. Naturally, this is a general rule and can have great savings. That’s a super win! 

Of course, if your dog eats a fresh meal you won’t be able to buy too much ahead. However, whatever you can do will help.

Do you know that simply feeding your dog the appropriate amount of food is not only good for them, but the cuts your costs as well? It’s also very eco-friendly as well. In this article, I share how much can be saved by feeding your dog the right amount of food.

Cost: $$ 

(But the cost per meal should be less than a smaller bag. Thus, you’re saving)

3. Whip up some treats

This is a simple one and one that cuts your costs as well. Simply by making your dog treats, you can diminish the need for a lot of resources as described above. Plus, I love that when I make doggie cookies, for my dog, Henry, I get to control everything that goes into them. As such, they’re more healthy, tailored to his needs, and more cost-effective. That’s a winning cookie idea all around for your dog and the Earth!

Making your own dog treats is easy, saves money, and as I just said great for living green with your dog. In this article, I go into detail about how much money you can save and even share a simple dog treat recipe. 

Cost: $

4. Pass along unused items

If your dog has outgrown dog beds, pet toys that aren’t used, older collars, or other furry friend equipment, consider passing them on to someone in need. For example, when I adopted Henry, I bought him additional food and water bowls. I quickly found out that they simply were too small for his needs. He’d drink all the water in a few hours and then flip the bowls. So, I passed them on to someone who was over-the-moon grateful to receive them. 

Cost: Free

5. DIY toys with an environmental twist

There are times when we get items that aren’t too environmentally friendly. It could be the situation or time. But we can always recycle materials and turn a non-green item into a green item, simply by reusing or upcycling it. One great idea is a DIY treat dispenser. Blue Cross UK has a super easy one your dog will love! Plus, the plastic stays out of the landfill. Did you know as much as 91% of plastic put in recycle bins, isn’t recycled? That means we need to get more creative on upcycling and reusing our pet supplies. 

Does your dog simply not like dog toys? If that’s the case then you can probably pass on most of your dog’s toys. Henry doesn’t like dog toys either. But he does love to play once I learned how he likes to play. In this article, I share what dogs who don’t like toys do like. 

Cost: Free

6. Eco-friendly dog mealtime products

Another great way to go green with your dog is by using more environmentally friendly dog bowls. These would include ceramic, steel, or glass. However, if your dog has a plastic bowl, don’t toss it. Instead, try to find a way to recycle it. Maybe store items in it or donate them to the shelter. 

Cost: $

7. Digitalize records

There’s no doubt that cutting down trees has an impact on our Earth. Trees are kind of the lungs of Mother Earth. Thus, a simple way to make a change is by requesting your dog’s records are digitalized. I would recommend that you have a backup of those records though. 

For example, you could have your dog’s digital records on your G-Drive, dropbox, or even an external drive. You definitely don’t want to lose these records. Yet, you want to have easy access to them as well. 

Cost: Free

8. Ditch the chemicals

Our world is full of chemicals. Unfortunately, the chemicals we use make their way to our waterways. In turn, they can damage the Earth. 

Furthermore, chemicals can also cause health issues for our pets and dogs. For example, the chemicals tetrachlorvinphos and propoxur often found in dog collars for fleas and ticks should be avoided. Among other health issues these chemicals can cause are neurological and cancers. 

However, many chemicals for other everyday things such as fertilizing your yard and lawn for bug protection can be harmful. Always read labels and consult your vet when in doubt. 

Cost: $$

(But remember this should be replacing something equivalent)

Henry knows he's living green with dogs and he's happy about it with his toothy grin
Henry relaxes on a spot of artificial turf and loves it!

9. Go with natural remedies (whenever possible)

Whenever possible, opt for natural remedies for your dog. Additionally, if you can keep chemicals to a minimum that’s a good idea. That’s not so say to deny your dog medication. Not at all! Always provide your dog with great care. However, keep in mind that when medication is ingested, the urine with chemicals can still make it to the waterways. Thus, try to be mindful of where you allow your dog to pee or poop. Crazy to play this out, right? 

NOTE: Always check with your vet before trying any new food, supplement, or remedy. 

Will turmeric help your dog’s health? In this article, I share everything you need to know about turmeric for dogs. 

Cost: $

10. Switch to limited ingredients and natural products  

Of course, when you bathe your dog, it’s best to opt for pet shampoo with minimal, yet quality ingredients. Remember this will be going directly into the water system. Also, it will be going directly onto your dog’s largest organ, your dog’s skin. That means you need to read the labels and be mindful.

Do you know how to bathe your dog and not hurt your back? In this article, I share what I learned from a physical therapist. 

Cost: $

(Remember this is replacing a current product)

11. Support environmentally conscious companies

This goes to the basic model of supply and demand. If a company is thumbing their noses at the environment, then thumb your nose at them. This is something I have done for years.

For example, I tend to always look at the companies I buy from and how they use their money. Of course, I also read the labels. If one or neither passes my tests, then I walk to the next company. 

Cost: Free

12. Encourage family, friends, your dog community, and dog vendors to follow your lead 

Once again, this goes to supply and demand. You reward the companies that are nice to the Earth and turn your back on those that aren’t. Thus, hopefully bringing the bad players into the light of playing nice. 

Moreover, as you are a guidepost, you get to show others the way to live green with dogs. Thus, when someone is being green with their dog, thank them. They’ll be encouraged to do more. 

However, if you see someone not being eco-friendly with their dog give them easy actionable ways to be green. Perhaps it’s simply something they think is too costly or too much of a headache to attempt such as passing along used items or digitalizing their dog’s record. But when you show them how they may just surprise you.

Naturally, I love this one. However, it often gets overlooked. After all, how can one person or just a few people make a difference? Well, everything has to start somewhere. Why not start with you?

Cost: Free

Related articles:

Summary of living green with dogs

You may not have considered your dog as an outlet for living green. Yet, with just a few simple adjustments to your dog’s world, he or she can be a “green dog”. Most of the actions given such as passing along used or still usable equipment are easy. Additionally, it doesn’t cost a thing. However, it can make an impact on your dog’s carbon footprint by not tossing items into the landfill. That’s a good, green way to live that we should all strive to achieve. I know I’m doing my best with Henry to live green and to leave a positive environmental impact.

an adorable Husky is happy to be living green with dogs

Are you living green with your dog? What green tips do you have to share? 


Categories Other Savings and Tips

About Terri Rodefer

Terri Rodefer is the founder of Tail Wag Wisdom, a blog focused on affordable pet care. She likes to say helping pet parents afford and love their animals even more, makes her tail wag. As a lifelong lover of all animals with a background in economics, biology, and marketing, allows Terri to bring a unique spin to pet care. 

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