Get Earth Friendly with Your Dog!

Four dogs running together down a trail through the woods

It’s Earth day and seems an opportune time to bring up a subject I love chatting with people about: eco or carbon footprints. Footprints are something left behind after you’ve traveled through. So an eco footprint refers to the impact on the earth we each have that lasts. Most specifically with respect to climate change and how our behaviors leave a lasting imprint.

Black lab in guide dog harness sits on a wood bridge next to a creek with rocks

When we are talking dogs, they too leave an ecofoot print. And there are things we each can do to help the footprint left by our pets and ourselves is as minimal as possible. Yay for being able to do some good for the planet!

First: walk your dog. Head out the front door and walk. Skip the car, skip the manicured lawn, both of which increase our negative carbon footprint, and walk. Maybe run some errands while you’re walking, reduce your single car usage as much as you can. Walk, bike and support public transit initiatives.

Now when you’re walking, another way you can be earth friendly: pick up the poop and dispose of it properly. Dog poop since dogs are omnivores and have a fairly meat high diet and majority are fed commercially processed feeds, doesn’t break down quickly and can in fact pollute waterways. So scoop the poop.

A third one for today, which also hits another point I love to teach people about: keep your dog at a healthy weight. Not only is a svelte figure better for your dog’s overall health, it means your dog is maximizing what you are feeding them and that means less waste and less planetary impact. Also do what you can to feed your dog sustainably farmed or procured feeds. Beef production is notoriously hard on the earth and over fishing is another area of concern. Sustainable food source practices though work to ensure species survival, improve ecosystem diversity, and keeping the carbon footprint low.

Ok and one more, support your local green spaces and conservation areas! Yay for walks in the woods! More green space means more plants to help absorb carbon dioxide and more places to enjoy the great outdoors with our canine friends.

Help your dog help the plant this Earth Day! Remember the 4 Rs: Resist (don’t use it), Reduce (use less), Reuse (use what you already have until you can’t anymore) and when you can’t do the first 3 anymore then finally Recycle. Happy Earth Day!

Black lab guide dog leads handler in red coat down a wood path with corgi and yellow lab walking off leash beside them

3 thoughts on “Get Earth Friendly with Your Dog!

  1. And though it’s kinda gross…another way to help the planet is to flush your pup’s poop instead of putting it in the garbage. I can’t say I do this all the time, and doing it all depends on the texture of the poop (e.g., not soft and slimy!!) but every little bit helps.

    1. Absolutely! If you can get it into the septic or sewer so it ends at a waste treatment plant that’s the best way to appropriately dispose of dog waste

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