We’re celebrating Earth Day by reminding ourselves a few ways we can love our dogs and Mother Earth at the same time. Even if we can't do everything all of the time, any step we take toward embracing more sustainable habits counts.
Step #1: Adopt, don’t shop.
Rescuing a pet from a local shelter rather than buying from a breeder combats overpopulation. Plus you’ll be supporting a vital community service.
Practice tip: There are plenty of dog rescue groups doing good work in every city. Reach out and ask how you can help support them. They always appreciate qualified foster volunteers, financial support, and donations of gently used blankets, pet beds, toys, leashes, and quality food/treats.
Step #2: Cut back on meat.
Beef is the most carbon-intensive food to produce. Be kind to the environment and your pup's health by incorporating more plant-driven options into their diet.
Practice tip: Ahem, have you heard of Korean sweet potato, aka goguma? It's wildly healthy and delicious and leaves a minimal carbon footprint. Oh, and dogs love it!
Step #3: Shop local – or at least made in the USA.
Reduce the amount of fuel and packaging it takes for your dog’s food, treats, and other supplies to get to your home. Your pup will usually be rewarded with a fresher or higher-quality product.
Practice tip: At least once in a while, make your dog’s food and treats from ingredients you can buy during your regular trip to the grocery store. It’s a lot easier than it sounds!
We make our dogs' meals using the following ratio of ingredients: 50 percent protein, 25 percent vegetables, 25 percent high-quality carbohydrate, such as brown rice and/or regular sweet potato.
Step #4: Use holistic, all-natural pet care, food & treats.
Avoid products that use chemical and artificial ingredients or pesticides. Long-term exposure puts your pup's health at risk.
Practice tip: Try natural & essential oils like peppermint and neem as a flea and tick repellent instead of chemical insecticides. We've used both peppermint and neem oils, along with regular baths, to keep our pups flea-free and smelling fresh.
Step #5: Reduce waste.
Avoid buying items that add to the plastic problem, such as treats, food or toys packaged in material that can't be recycled or composted or don't biodegrade.
Practice tip: It's not hard to find dog toys made of natural or biodegradable material. Our dogs have fun playing tug-of-war with rope, which you can find made of hemp or recycled material like old t-shirts.
Deer antlers are another favorite with our dogs. They're not only biodegradable, but a good source of minerals like calcium and zinc. And not to worry -- deer aren't hurt in the process, as they naturally shed their antlers. Just be sure to always supervise gnaw-time with your pup, whatever they happen to be chewing on.