Eco-Friendly Dog Products

Hello! I am a huge believer in recycling, and doing what we can to be as sustainable and environmentally friendly as possible. In my life it is easy, I have found replacements for plastic bags, I recycled nearly everything, and have compost/Knuckles/Diego for any food scraps. Owning Diego however, is where the bulk of my problem comes in. Dogs are just not environmentally friendly to own! Everything you buy is covered in plastic, or made of plastic, and a lot of stuff just doesn't last long term. I decided to put together a list of dog products or companies that are putting a conscious effort towards being more environmentally friendly. I am not sure if these are obvious, or already known but I love the idea of putting all my knowledge into one blog post. This month I will also be doing a separate blog post on how to deal with dog poo, and another post on human products that are good for you and the environment.

This first one is just a tip, not an actual product but buy stuff that will last! This is something I have noticed over the past year, and have started to make a conscious effort to reduce. Buying cheap dog toys, or ones that are not aimed at your type of dog generally results in the toy being destroyed or thrown out. With most dog toys being made of fabric or plastic, this is not something you want filling up the landfill. Diego is a destroyer, so I know not to buy him anything made of cheap plastic from Kmart, or other cheap store (There is also the ethical problem of slave labour potentially going in to making these) or buy any soft toys. These will be destroyed within the hour and then just go straight into the bin. Instead of spending loads of money on continuously buying toys that will go to the toy graveyard, I save that money to buy a more expensive item. These are like clothing investments. I think the same goes for a lot of dog related products like collars, leashes, bowls etc, if you pay more at the start, they generally will last longer and reduce waste in your household.

Beco Pets
This brand is one of my favourite large companies that offer an eco-friendly range of products. Their entire product line and company ethos is based around being ethical and environmentally friendly. They make everything from food bowls (including a slow feeder bowl), toys, can covers and even poop bags. Their rubber toys are made out of rice husk rubber and are actually durable against tough chewers. I wouldn't rate them as high as a Kong toy, but stronger than a ChuckIt ball depending on how you allow your dog to play with them. Their soft toys are made out of recycled plastic bottles, and are double stitched making them stronger than other soft toys. Finally, their bowls are made from bamboo and rice husk. They are durable, look gorgeous in multiple colour ranges and can be composted if they break or wear out.  Beco Pets product lines can be bought easily throughout New Zealand in pet shops, or online at Animates, or Petpost.

Yes this is a puppy Diego.

Cotton Tails Store
This is a wonderful small business from Auckland, New Zealand and the owner, Maegan is huge on making a conscious effort to be more environmentally friendly. She has taken the extra step, that a lot of small businesses would see as an unnecessary expense, by buying shipping bags that are made from recycled plastics and are fully recyclable themselves. This shows the care and thought that goes into her brand, and her products reach this high level also. Currently she makes Skully Wag dog toys, which are skeleton shaped toys made out of recycled denim, and stuffed with offcuts from making her other products, and other recycled fabrics. I've never owned a denim 'soft' toy, and they are more hardy and durable compared to their fabric counterparts. Due to the inside not being stuffing, it makes it harder for your dog to destroy, and easier to clean up if they do. She currently is looking at other products, and materials she could use in the future to make more top quality dog accessories, so make sure you follow her to see any future projects!

Planet Dog Recycle Balls
This company make some of my favourite dog balls and interactive toys however those are not recycled or environmentally friendly unless you take my first tip into account, then you are good to go. They do however, make a range of dog balls that are made from the left over material from the production of their other products. That means there is virtually no waste from the manufacturing process of Planet Dog toys, and they get to make a ball which appeals to the eco-friendly community. Because they are made using the same materials as their other toys, these are still super strong, durable and have their 100% guarantee. The cool part is you never quite know what colour, or what pattern you will get in each ball as they range depending on what else was manufactured at that time.

Bow Wow Boutique
This is another fantastic small business, and this one is based out of Wellington, New Zealand. Bow Wow Boutique is a huge part of the dog community in New Zealand, and is a brand I see on so many dogs when out walking. Alex, the owner, hand makes a range of collars, leashes and harnesses using different patterned ribbon, quality backing material and high quality hardware. Her hardware is the best of any collar I have ever owned. When my mum first got Chico, multiple years ago, I got her a BWB Martingale collar. This collar has been to the beach, through mud, been worn constantly, then left in the garage for a year when she got another collar and it still hasn't rusted. Bow Wow Boutique's way of being environmentally friendly is by offering a discount if you send back your faded or worn Bow Wow Boutique collar, and she will make a new collar using the same hardware. Instead of you throwing out an old collar that has torn, faded, worn or you don't like any more, she will use that same hardware and put it onto a new fabric. Her hardware is so good that it will still look pristine when this has been done that you won't realise it's still the same hardware. This is also good if you have attached your council tag to the D loop because it can be transferred onto the new and improved collar.

Feed my Furbaby
Let me just start this one by saying, I have never tried this or purchased this brand before. I cannot guarantee that their actual dog food is any good. However, I really love the concept of delivering dog food in a box, and storing it in that same box. Thus eliminating the waste of the plastic lined bags that food comes in, and the plastic storage bin that you generally keep your dogs food in. Feed my Furbaby is a New Zealand company, from real New Zealanders who saw a problem with how pet food was purchased. Instead of having to go to the store to purchase your food, they decided to make it easy by having it delivered to you each month. They tailor the amounts sent to you, and the delivery frequency based on your dogs weight, activity level, and age meaning you will never run out of food again. The food itself is grain free, and has chicken as it's number one ingredient. I think this is an awesome, and innovative idea which really appeals to my eco-friendly lifestyle. I am just too scared to change Diego's food since he is such a sensitive creature.

I want to end this by saying that you don't have to be perfect, 100% of the time. Small changes make a big difference when everyone starts implementing things that work in their life. I am not wanting to force my eco-friendly beliefs onto anyone, but I do believe that everyone should be a little bit more conscious on how they live their lives. I would love to know of any products, companies or tips that you have to being more eco-friendly when owning a pet!


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