Leading an eco-friendly life isn’t always easy. We have to be mindful of literally everything we do – what we eat, what we use, what we watch, how we travel. It’s difficult, but worth it to ensure we treat the earth (and therefore everything living on it) well. For those of us with lovely pets, it can be even more confusing when trying to make ethical, eco-friendly choices on behalf of our pooches and moggies. However, in reality, there are a few simple things all of us pet owners can do to lead an eco-friendly life with our pet.

We all know that making small choices every day for the better can add up to a big change, so here are a few top tips to make the world just that little bit better, for all of us living in it…

Eco dog toys

Choose eco products for your dog wherever you can. For example, try purchasing eco dog toys that are made from natural, responsibly sourced rubber and that are biodegradable, instead of the plastic chews we often see in pet stores. You can also try all-natural treats, and natural dog care and hygiene. These are far better for your pet’s wellbeing, and far better for the planet – a win-win!

Donate what you don’t need!

So, you bought your dog a chew toy that he won’t even look at, or you bought your cat a bed that she flat out refuses to sleep in – donate it! Ask your local pet shelter if they’d like any of your pet’s items that they’re not using anymore or take them to a charity shop. This is a great way to avoid perfectly good pet equipment going to a landfill and making some other little creature happy.

Poo patrol

Consider new ways to deal with your pets’ poo. If you use a single-use plastic bag to pick up your dog’s poop three times a day, that’s over a thousand bags used a year! Try taking a little trowel on your walks instead and burying it (at least 15cm deep), or switch to compostable bags. For cats, go for natural litter options like sawdust, shredded newspaper or even leaves. If you don’t want to make your own, eco-friendly options are available.

Consider the food you’re giving them

If you have a pet that eats a plant-based diet, like a guinea pig, rabbit, or hamster, then try to buy their veggies loose and without bags or shrink-wrap to minimise your plastic use. You might also research their feed and consider making your own mix (that meets their nutritional needs), or purchase from a place that allows you to fill up your own container.

If you’re a cat or dog that eats a meat-based diet, opt for food that contains chicken or animal by-products to reduce your pets carbon footprint. Avoid beef, as this is the meat that puts the most strain on the earth, and if you’re looking for fish ensure it is sustainably sourced.

Don’t forget to recycle your pet food cans too!