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Sustainable dog ownership - 10 tips for environmentally friendly living with dog

How does sustainable dog ownership work? We are trying to find our own ecological footprint a little more every day. For example, by minimizing our meat consumption or Reduce plastic waste. But is it actually possible to live sustainably with a dog? The question is quite justified. After all, a lot of meat usually ends up in the bowls of our four-legged friends. And toys, collars, food and the like also generate a lot of packaging waste. My experience is that it works wonderfully. And dog owners don't even have to turn their entire lives upside down overnight.

In this article, I would like to show you how sustainable dog ownership can work. From a healthy and climate-friendly diet to toys, dog care and outings with your dog and family. Let's go!

Here are all 10 tips in advance in the Overview:

  1. Use natural dog shampoo
  2. Prefer vegetable food
  3. Make treats yourself
  4. Provide long lasting food bowl
  5. Use paper dog waste bags
  6. Get a natural basket
  7. Offer durable toys
  8. Using a wooden dog hairbrush
  9. Prefer collar made of recycled material
  10. Go on excursions on foot or by bike

10 tips for keeping and feeding dogs sustainably

Of course, this is primarily about the dog you are giving a home to. But if you don't yet have a four-legged friend but are thinking about it, you may be faced with the decision between a dog from the shelter and a dog from the kennel. In this situation, rescuing or adopting a dog is generally the more animal-friendly, sustainable and also cheaper alternative. However, it is also important to take a particularly close look when adopting a dog.

But we assume that your dog is sitting next to you right now and looking at you with expectant eyes. That's why we're now giving you the promised tips for a sustainable life With dog.

1. use plastic-free, natural dog shampoo

Where does sustainable dog care begin? Let's start directly with natural coat care - because this leads decisively to more Sustainability with pets. It is recommended to use a natural dog hair soap, which nourishes the coat from the inside and gives the quadruped a smooth and silky sheen. When buying consciously try Avoid plastic waste and to prefer a soap made from natural ingredients. I can recommend this dog shampoo with valuable oils*.

2. prefer high quality vegetable dog food

Dogs are fed sustainably

A sustainable dog diet is Tasty, balanced, as varied as possible - and preferably also plant-based. After all, the production of animal dog food devours huge amounts of natural resources, such as concentrated feed and the immense energy consumption in the Factory farming. Besides, the idea that dozens of other animals have to die so that your own dog gets something to eat is strange, don't you think?

If you want to improve your CO2 balance, you should your Feed your dog a vegan diet. Sounds unusual and unnatural? Studies have shown that a balanced, purely plant-based diet has no disadvantages for dogs.₁ For example, the Collie dog "Bramble", who was fed a strictly plant-based diet, lived to be 27 years old and even made it into the Guinness Book of Records.₂

As long as the above-mentioned factors for a sustainable dog diet are met, a dog can be fed rice, lentils and vegetables and live to a ripe old age. A sustainable dog store is for example Petcrew. Among other things, there is the vegan dog food "BIO LINSE POWER", which our dog particularly likes to eat. If you need to get used to a plant-based dog diet, you should have your four-legged friend checked regularly by a vet, especially at the beginning.

Apart from that, you should also when it comes to dog food Avoid food waste and also avoid ingredients such as sugar and flavor enhancers.

Important: Please remember that Dogs are not allowed to eat everything! Grapes and raw tomatoes, for example, are poison for four-legged friends.

3. make treats yourself

You don't always have to buy ready-made food and treats from plastic packaging. That doesn't necessarily correspond to sustainable dog care. Already from 150 grams of wheat flour, 150 grams of whole wheat flour and 150 grams of rye flour can be, for example, really delicious Sesame peanut butter cookies for dogs conjure up. So I guess they are delicious because our dog likes to eat them 😉.

Tip: Doing things yourself is also a fundamentally valuable tip in order to save money through sustainability.

4. provide durable dog bowl

Anyone who gives a dog a home will inevitably need a number of items. The basic equipment definitely includes a sturdy and durable bowl for water and food. Preferably use Stainless steel or ceramic and do without plastic. Ideally, the bowl is even handmade and from regional production.

5. use paper dog poop bags

Poopick dog waste bag paper

Here in Berlin, there are always full dog waste bags on the roadside - for an indefinite period of time. Because plastic does not rot, which is why the Plastic waste in the environment is also one of the greatest ecological challenges facing mankind. A no-go for sustainable dog ownership. Instead, we prefer to rely on a "Dog waste bags" from cardboard, the so-called PooPick. Here you get it*.

6. get a natural basket

If you want to keep your dog sustainably, then you can also take an important step when it comes to baskets. Here, too, you should use handmade and regionally produced Baskets made from wicker or jute preferable to plastic baskets.

Does your dog prefer to hang out in the kennel? Then you can try to build them yourself from old reclaimed wood!


Your dog needs something to do. You can also write sustainability in capital letters when it comes to toys and brain teasers. How about an eternally durable and washable Natural rubber chewing bone or simply with a rope? When buying, pay attention to environmentally friendly manufacturing processes and short transportation routes in order to air pollution and climate change counteract.

Furthermore you can use the minimalist lifestyle to a dog as well. One favorite ball is better than 14 different balls. Less is more - you know the game!

8. use a wooden dog hairbrush

The grooming brush is also crucial for healthy coat care and sustainable dog ownership. Prefer a durable beech wood brush, for example Dog hairbrush from local forests and certified sustainable cultivation compared to a short-lived and cheap plastic fur brush. I can recommend this sustainable hairbrush for dogs*.

Tip: Don't just want to help your dog, but all other animals too? Then use my tips for more Animal welfare in everyday life, which can be implemented at any time!

9. use recycled collar and leash

A Timeless style and durable material make your four-legged friend's collar and lead as durable as possible. After all, this way you avoid constantly buying new ones. If buying a new one is unavoidable, then you should make them as in recycled or upcycled form buy, as is the case, for example, with Ropes Upcycled is the case. Buckle this sustainable collar on your dog in future, for example* um.

10. excursions and walks On foot and by bike

sustainable dog keeping - excursions

Sustainable living with a dog? Then you should leave the car in the garage more often. Take the opportunity for more everyday Walks and Trips by bike. This is good for your health, your dog and last but not least for the environment.

Tip: Do you actually know why we are looking for a Feel so good outdoors in nature? Find out in the linked article!

Keeping and feeding dogs sustainably - no problem!

Long-lasting products instead of disposable goods. Plant-based food instead of meat. Waste avoidance instead of packaging madness. Repairing instead of buying new. Trips by bike and on foot instead of by car. As you can see, there are countless ways to make life with a dog more sustainable and to protect your dog. reduce our ecological footprint. You don't have to do everything at once. Just try to get a little better every day.

I hope you were able to pick up some tips for sustainable dog ownership here! Do you have any questions or suggestions? Then, as always, feel free to write me a comment.

Stay animal-friendly and sustainable,

Christoph from CareElite - Plastic-free living

PS.: Feel free to look further in the animal welfare blog um. Learn, for example, What we humans can learn from animals.

₁ Pia-Gloria Semp: Vegan Nutrition Of Dogs And Cats (as of December 2014), [16.03.2021].

₂ Dr. med. Henrich ProVegan Foundation: Fundamentals of vegan pet feeding, available at [16.03.2021].

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* Links with asterisks are so-called Affiliate linksIf you click on it and buy something, you automatically and actively support my work with, as I receive a small share of the proceeds - and of course nothing changes in the product price. Many thanks for your support and best regards, Christoph!

Christoph Schulz

Christoph Schulz

I'm Christoph, an environmental scientist and author - and here at CareElite I'm campaigning against plastic waste in the environment, climate change and all the other major environmental problems of our time. Together with other environmentally conscious bloggers, I want to give you tips & tricks for a naturally healthy, sustainable life as well as your personal development.

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