Is Your Dog An Eco-Dog?

Nov 13, 2010 Comments Off by EcoFlirt

Is your four-legged pal also a friend of the earth’s? Reduce your dog’s carbon paw print with these eco-friendly foods and pet supplies.

To present these EcoFlirt tips, my two trusty dogs and I went around town to test eco-friendly pet products. (Proving my commitment to the cause, I even tested a dog treat myself! More on that in a bit…) Lucky for us, Charlotte makes it easy for old dogs to learn new, green tricks.

Green Accessories
Nylon is as unattractive as it is a hazard to the environment, so don‘t subject your loyal companion to such a fashion and environmental faux pas. Instead of nylon, choose collars made of recycled materials or hemp.
Charlotte Tips: Canine Café in South End has a wide selection of Planet Dog leashes, harnesses, and collars. My dog sports the hemp, fleece-lined harness and leash from Planet Dog, and I recommend them highly — they’re earth-friendly, cute, and incredibly soft. In NoDa, Meow and Fetch sells ECO Easy Walk harnesses and leashes, made from recycled materials.

Eco-Friendly Dog Tips

My eager cohorts, Murphy and Scout, during the treat testing portion of this blog. The shampoo testing wasn't nearly as exciting for them.

 

Eat Local
Even Spot can be a locavore. Choose locally made foods and snacks for your dogs; bonus points for going organic.
Charlotte Tips: Skye Turtle Designs is known by many Charlotteans for distinctive jewelry, but multi-talented designer Penelope Bakatsias also bakes a line of organic dog treats. The ingredients are of such high quality — including buckwheat flour, carrots, oats, extra virgin olive oil, and lavender — that she invites human customers to take a bite. I did, and while I won’t be serving them at my next dinner party, I understand why my dogs loooove these treats. You can find them at the Atherton Mill Market.
Canine Café bakes a wide assortment of dog treats and pastries in-house with high-grade, natural ingredients (human-grade meats, pureed fruits, whole eggs…). If you buy a bag of treats and return the bag for a refill, they will discount your next bag a quarter. Reduce, reuse, reward!

Go Green When Fido Gets Clean
Traditional dog shampoos pollute the groundwater once they go down your drain, and their packaging doesn‘t help much either. Choose eco-friendly products that keep the Earth clean while you keep your dog clean.
Charlotte Tip: Urban Pet in Park Road Shopping Center has a line of eco-friendly dog shampoos from Tropiclean. The ingredients are nearly all organic, and the bottle and label are made with US-made Ingeo, a biopolymer made of corn, not oil, so the bottle breaks down much more quickly than regular plastic. Plus the shampoos smell lovely, especially when your dog does not.
Canine Café sells the wonderful earthbath line of dog shampoos, made of natural, non-toxic ingredients with scents such as eucalyptus, green tea leaf, and tea tree oil.

Scoop the Poop
Always clean up after your pet. Beside the obvious reason (no one wants to be that dog owner), there’s also the eco-friendly reason: the bacteria contained in your dog’s waste pollutes groundwater when it’s left unscooped. Even while taking walks or hikes in natural areas, clean up after your dog. To be a true friend of the earth, choose biodegradable plastic bags. To be an eco-friendly rock star and risk the “eww“ factor, flush it so that it receives the same cleaning treatment as human waste.
Charlotte Tip: Biodegredable baggies are found at most independent and chain pet stores. If you don’t see them, ask so that stores know they’re wanted!

Do you have any more eco-friendly tips for pet owners? Product recommendations? Stores to visit?

Eco-Shopping, Green Living
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