Love your pooch, love the planet

Dr. Tim Rayner

Dr. Tim Rayner

Director of Education and Culture @ the merrier

31 Oct 2018 | 8min read

Sustainably-minded pet owners were shocked to discover, last year, that their cats’ and dogs’ dinners are contributing to dumping as much as 64 million tons of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere every year.

Who would have thought that tinned meat could have such a large carbon pawprint? It's an annual emissions total equivalent to 13 million cars!

The flipside of these stats is to indicate how pet owners can have a major positive impact in the war against climate change.

There are estimated to be more than 24 million pets in Australia alone. Dogs are the most popular pet, with an average of 20 dogs for every hundred people. That's nearly 5 million carbon polluting pooches. This is a huge opportunity for pet owner-driven change.

The good news is that there is a growing range of pet food and pet accessory brands offering dog tucker, chews and toys that are good for your pooch and the planet.

We pulled together some of our favourite pet products for our latest campaign - a creator-led crowdfunding movement for Sydney not-for-profit Pound Paws.

Here are some choice examples:

Wag Dog Treats’ Green Lipped Mussel Snacks

WAG are 100% personality. Here's how they describe their products:

"We’ve got beef with any ingredient that’s not 100% natural. When you treat your pup to WAG, you’re treating them and their health with wholesome single-ingredient goodness. Doggos all over the world agree, WAG treats are not just worth waiting for, they're worth wagging for."

When we first encountered to the WAG product range, we were blown away by their eco innovations. Case in point: their green lipped mussel snacks.

It's no coincidence that when sustainable outdoors wear brand Patagonia developed their Patagonia provisions range, green lipped mussels were a key part of it. Green lipped mussels are one of the best food sources in the world. Mussels are fast growing, easy to cultivate, water filtration systems. They are low on the food chain, and fantastic for dog and human health.

Want to lower your dog's carbon pawprint? Feed them a pescatarian dinner! Nine out of ten eco-conscious dogs agree that WAG’s Green Lipped Mussel Snacks are the (low carbon) bomb!

Frontier Pets’ free range, ethically farmed pet foods

Frontier Pets are on a mission to end factory farming. The brand does everything it can to transform practices in the pet food industry, working as a powerful advocate for change.

As Frontier Pets declare on their website, factory farming is inefficient, unnecessary, and abominably cruel. Once you factor in the land that's required to grow cereals to feed the animals in factory farms, the true environmental cost of the practice is apparent. For every 100 calories of edible crops produced to feed these animals, human beings get 30 calories of edible meat and milk. That's a colossal waste of land and resources, coming at a considerable carbon cost.

Frontier Pets’ food is 100% ethically farmed and free range. This means that it's light on the planet and easy on your conscience. Plus it tastes great (actually, we take the word of Spot the Labradoodle on this one - we haven't tried it ourselves).

Essential Dog's dog grooming products

Most dog grooming products on the market use synthetic fragrances and sulphates. These can be highly irritating to a dog’s skin and cause dermatitis, allergies, and other skin problems.

Essential Dog offer a 100% natural range of shampoos and conditioners containing certified organic extracts. These products are soap and sulfate free. They are fantastic for a dog’s skin and give the coat a healthy shine.

What's the eco upside? Essential Dog’s products are packaged in 100% recyclable and biodegradable plastic bottles. The dispensing systems (pumps, caps & sprayers) are made from 100% recyclable PET plastic.

If you're an eco-conscious pet owner (like me), that kind of commitment to sustainability's not just a nice gesture - it's essential.

East Coast Collection dog toys

East Coast Collection launched with the mission of creating high-quality, handcrafted toys with pets, people and the planet in mind.

Their quality dog toys are made from 100% New Zealand wool. Each item is compostable, toxin and plastic free, and manufactured with zero waste.

There's a heartwarming backstory to East Coast's manufacturing process as well. All their toys are handmade in Nepal by local women in family-owned workshops. East Coast Collection ensures the artisans are fairly paid, enabling them to financially support their families and send their children to school.

These are just a few examples of the many sustainable dog products we are promoting in our Pound Paws campaign. Do your pooch and the planet a favour and stock up on them. To keep abrest of the most innovative and sustainable pet products money can buy, follow the creators leading the campaign and stay tuned for our next animal care initiative!