By Lottie Dalziel
They’ve won over your heart with those puppy-dog eyes, soft and cuddly fur and lovable nature but have you spared a second thought to the impact that your pal is having on the environment? From chewing through dog toys in record time to plastic poop bags here’s how you can be a more sustainable pet owner.
1\ Toy with the idea of making your own
If your playful pal is as clever as mine toys definitely don’t last very long. Instead of spending money on expensive toys that look pretty and are torn to shreds in minutes try reusing some of your trash at home like old milk bottles, plastic plant pots and if you’re feeling crafty you could even make our own toys.
The simplest way to MYO is to cut a t-shirt or towel into long strips and plait it to create a simple and fun toy that will last even the feistiest of dogs.
2\ In the bag
In Australia, it is illegal to simply flick your dogs poo into the garden or not pick it up at all. Don’t be tripped up by the term degradable and look for the official Australian home compostable label. Or if you're at home simply flush your dogs poo down the loo!
3\ Hairy idea
If your furry friend is extra fury and requires grooming every now and then don’t forget to pop dog, cat and human hair in the compost bin for a bit of extra nitrogen.
4\ Stinky scraps
On the topic of composting, unfortunately, dog poop doesn't belong in your normal compost bin (for health reasons it should be kept away well from food). Savvy pet owners have been making a separate bin by drilling holes into a builders bucket and throwing in poo and a couple of handfuls of newspaper.
Editor's note: don’t use your dog poo compost bin for 14 days after giving your dog worming tablets or antibiotics.
5\ Tucker time
When you’re purchasing packaged foods look for better packaging options like tins over sachets. Ask your local butcher for some offcuts and chicken necks. When it comes to feeding your pooch the most sustainable meat is kangaroo. And don’t forget that your best friend is great at eating your leftovers just make sure it isn’t too spicy.
6\ King of comfort
Is your furry friend always searching for some extra comfort? Make them a new bed out of some old blankets, simply cut them to size or use old clothes to make a new cushion cover. We promise they’ll prefer it over a brand new bed as it will smell like you!
About the author
Lottie Dalziel is the founder and editor in chief of Banish. She has a passion for the environment and wants to help educate and inspire individuals to make small changes towards a more sustainable future. Stay up to date with her latest challenges on Instagram @banish.au.