dog getting a bathAs we prepare for Earth Day, we tend to think about in terms of taking public transportation or carpooling, turning off the lights when we are not in the room, recycling our water bottles or switching to reusable bottles, swapping our cleaning supplies for natural products, upcycling our old furniture, and bringing reusable shopping bags to the grocery store. But, what can we do together with our pets to reduce waste and make the world a more beautiful and healthy planet? Here are some ideas on how small changes to our daily activities with pets can help care for our Earth.

  • Use Plant-Based Baggies For Waste
    In preparation for your daily walks, try making the switch to biodegradable waste baggies. This way, both the waste and the bag will decompose instead of filling up the landfills. Also, picking up after your pet keeps the land clean and ready to share with others while reducing the spread of bacteria and disease, not to mention preventing an unhappy surprise on the bottom of your best running shoes.

  • Natural Shampoos Work Great!
    After all that outdoor fun, a bath might be in order. When selecting a dog shampoo, look for all-natural shampoos that do not contain harmful chemicals. The American Kennel Club suggests some great-smelling shampoos you can make at home that can turn a smelly pup into a sparkly clean snuggle buddy in no time on the AKC's website. There are even a couple of recipes involving only three ingredients. If you just need ingredients you likely have in your home already, then you save money too!

  • Air Drying Is Easy And Fun
    Once your dog is clean, it is time to absorb most of the moisture from his fur with a towel and let the sun do the rest. Many dogs enjoy this towel drying experience because it feels like a massage. Avoiding any wet dog odor indoors is as simply as setting aside a little extra time to toss the ball or take a walk with your pet until he is fully dry before going inside.

  • Only Buy And Prepare The Recommended Amount Of Food
    It is always a good idea to feed your dog food made with real ingredients you can pronounce. Plus, it helps the Earth for the waste decomposing back into the dirt to be composed of natural products. But, taking this concept to the next level and reducing both food waste or excessive doggy waste caused by overeating is another great way pet owners can work to make our Earth a healthier planet.

    Try setting the recommended measurement of food out for a determined amount of time in the morning. Be sure to save any leftovers for dinner whenever possible. Then, set that same amount out at dinner time for the same specified time limit. Most dogs will learn to eat within the allotted timeframe. If your dog refuses to eat when the food is made available, ask your veterinarian for more advice on what you can do to reduce food waste and overfeeding.

  • Digital ID's - Better For The Earth, Great For Finding Pets!
    Adopting a new dog or moving to a new street address? Instead of making a new dog tag at the pet store with only a limited space to store your contact information, which may change again by-the-way, consider going digital. A digital ID uses a one-time printed UPC code that can be scanned to reveal any information you store on your pet's profile. This can go beyond your street address and phone number to display any medications or health concerns he may have as well as additional emergency contact numbers.

    A bonus of using digital ID's is you get a team of people working around the clock with you to find your dog should he go missing. Companies like PetHub use GPS tracking to pinpoint any scannings of your dog's tag, post your dog's profile on social media sites, and send out community alerts to shelters. So, your dog's tag is not only Earth-friendly, it's a lost dog game changer. 

Although taking the challenge to use plant-derived baggies, natural shampoos and pet food, air drying as opposed to using electricity, creating less food waste, and purchasing digital ID's may seem small in the scheme of things, remember previous generations once thought that way about the gross over-use of plastic products, water and electricity. This Earth Day, make some small changes in your routine while spreading the word about you took the initiative to go green with your pet. You may even be surprised to find you like living on the greener side.