zero waste dog care from puppy to oldie sustainability dad

Zero Waste Dog Care – From Puppy To Oldie (The Ultimate Guide)

This is a long and complete article detailing all that you need to know in order to raise a happy zero-waste dog from puppy to oldie. This ultimate guide is packed full of information but I promise it is not a sales fest for the author.

If you really want to cut down on waste, save some money and raise a happy, healthy dog then read on…

Headings:

Zero Waste Puppy Potty Training

Training pads seem like the answer to all your prayers when it comes to potty training your puppy. They are relatively cheap and very easy to use once the dog is used to them.

For those who don’t know, training pads work like a big flat disposable diaper soaking up the mess and leaving your floor clean and hygienic. They also help to reduce the stress levels in both you and your dog as you are only rewarding good behavior.

Housebound, sick and elderly dogs can also benefit from having a pee pad in the house in order to avoid accidents. However, not all pads are the same and a huge amount of them find their way into landfill sites each year.

So What Are Your Zero Waste Dog Options?

zero waste dog puppy

Newspaper – These should not be your first option. Puppies are playful characters and are more likely to rip these to shreds as opposed to peeing on them! The last thing that you want during training is a confused puppy.

Biodegradable Training Pad – These pads generally use plant-based materials, can attract the dog, turn the pee into a gel, neutralize odors and dry quickly. Being plant-based they are non-toxic and will break down easily.

Reusable Training Pad – Multiple layers of absorbent material with waterproof backing. However, puppies love to chew on anything so make sure that they are free of harmful chemicals. Just toss in the washer and reuse!

Washable Dog Diapers – These diapers are also great for older, incontinent dogs or female dogs on heat. They mimic the baby world cloth diapers but the microfibre in these diapers can hold up to seven times its weight in liquid.

Fresh Patch Grass Dog Potty – Hydroponically-grown grass in a box delivered to your door weekly. City living dogs with no backyard will prefer to relieve themselves on a patch grass. All completely biodegradable!

One thing I must say about the floor pads is that you really need a tray to place these pads into. Not only will this tray hold any excess liquid but it will give the dog a familiar, secure, non-slip area to pee in.

If you have a tray you could make your own zero-waste puppy training pad area. Simply lay absorbent materials within the tray and then cover it with a patch of artificial grass. Just don’t forget to punch holes into the rubber backing.

What to look for when purchasing a puppy pad:

  • Quick Drying – Avoid paw prints all over your floor
  • Leak-Proof – Keep your area clean, smell free and hygienic
  • Odor Neutralizing – Ammonia smells are unpleasant
  • Absorbent – Generally the thinner the pad the less liquid it can hold
  • Attractant – Entice the puppy into the safe area, reduce stress
  • Materials – Puppies chew so they must be non-toxic
  • Size – Too big and it’s a sleeping mat, too small it will overflow

Once you have chosen your pads make sure that your selected area is dog friendly and safe. Keep the area free from wires, electrical equipment and anything that produces a constant noise that may cause unnecessary stress.

Zero Waste Dog Food

zero waste homemade dog food

Homemade Dog Food

The ultimate in zero waste dog food is to make your own. However, this option is fraught with difficulties and is both time-consuming and individualistic.

So what do I mean by individualistic?

Well, each dog is different in terms of size, breed, sex, and age. This means that they each have different nutritional requirements and underlying health conditions individual to them.

Therefore I would say this. Before setting off on a routine of making your own dog food please seek expert guidance first. Even though dogs are now omnivorous, and some can even cope on a meat-free diet, I personally would not recommend it.

For a list of human foods safe for dogs to eat please read;

If however, you are going to cook your own dog food there are plenty of books on the market. Cooking to these recipes will ensure that they are getting enough protein, nutrients, and fibers.

One thing I do like to do is to make Leo a leftover stew made from leftover meat. I just take the cooked meat and other leftovers, add either a very low sodium gravy or broth and a bit of dog food.

Human foods can contain hidden salts, sugars and other additives. So it is always wise to check that your dog has easy access to fresh drinking water.

Start With The Recommended Weight Of Your Dog

This may seem like an odd place to start but the simple fact is that obesity in dogs is rife. Overfeeding uses more resources, creates more waste from discarded food and shortens the life span.

An unhealthy dog also has increased veterinarian visits, uses more medicines, poops more and is less happy. If you want a zero waste dog then the simplest thing to do is to feed him to his correct weight range.

Reduce The Kibble

Whilst I do not condone an entirely plant-based or home-cooked diet for most dogs, I do encourage the introduction of fresh produce and proteins into their diets.

Speak with your veterinarian first but you could reduce the kibble and introduce a partly home-cooked diet. For instance, you could cook a chicken breast, (plain nothing added), add a few veggies and reduce the kibble.

Striking this balance means that the dog is not overfed and you can be happy that the dog’s nutritional needs are being met. Once you have struck this balance you can take it a step further with nutritional treats.

Make Your Own Zero Waste Dog Edible Treats

zero waste homemade dog treats

You control the ingredients and there is no packaging, what’s not to love. Treats are very easy to make and there are a ton of recipes online. If ever you wanted to bond with your dog, this is the perfect way to do it.

From baked biscuits to frozen fruit, your little one will love em. Plus the best bit is that they are all additive-free and can be made from all of your dog’s favorites. My dog Leo loves a ball of frozen sardines in the summer!

Leo also likes salmon and rabbit but strangely enough, beef has never been on his much-loved list. However, now that you know what a dog can and can’t eat you can save up your leftover food to make nutritious dog treats.

There are many recipes online but for leftovers just squeeze and shape them into small balls and refrigerate until required. This is the real beauty of homemade treats.

On a final note store dry baked treats in a glass or ceramic storage container to keep them fresh. Also, drop-in a few packets of the deoxidizer crystals, (still sealed), in the container of treats to keep them fresh.

Shop Bought Edible Treats

Most shop-bought treats come in plastic bags and have hidden additives so try to avoid them where possible. Also, steer clear of individually wrapped treats. These are often wrapped in plastic and you don’t want to increase the demand for this.

Another simple zero waste option is to buy treats wrapped in recyclable cardboard, (thinking of boxed bones here). Or better yet, simply take your own cloth bag and fill it up at the bulk buy bins.

However, make sure that you check the ingredients of these treats. Some unscrupulous retailers will often pop some cheap none nutritious “goodies” in there.

Leo is part of my family and I will always be conscious of the food I feed him.

Zero Waste Dog Chews (Rawhide & Antlers)

rawhide bone in puppies mouth zero waste dog treats

Dog chews are mainly given to dogs to occupy their minds, satisfy the craving to chew and to help clean their teeth. However not all dog chews are the same and rawhide can be very dangerous.

Rawhide:

Rawhide is made from the inner layer of the animal’s skin which has been processed using many dangerous and some toxic chemicals. Sometimes even formaldehyde is used, which is a carcinogen.

At the end of the chemical processes, the rawhide is ground up and then pressed into rawhide dog treats. These treats can present a choking hazard, break a dog’s teeth and cause digestive issues.

Given the high amount of processing and manufacturing required and the danger to health, these treats are definitely not zero waste worthy.

Antlers:

Although many times harder than bones, antlers carry the same risks. Both of the natural products can splinter, break teeth, become a choking hazard and cause internal problems. Especially for the very young or very old dog.

Make no mistake, the distress to the dog will be high and the veterinarian bills will be even higher! Many dogs love to chew on antlers but to my mind, these edible chews represent the canine equivalent of Russian roulette.

For a truly zero-waste edible dog chew, you should stick to homemade baked or frozen treats using their favorite foods.

Or try more natural but chewier products like dehydrated sweet potato chews. Sweet potato is a mild diuretic for dogs but can be used to settle and soothe mild stomach problems.

If you’re looking for chewable toys that can be stuffed with food then try the Kong brand. These toys are made from rubber and are virtually indestructible.

They are a firm favorite for dogs who just love to chew, although sadly, they are not recyclable.

Buy Edible Zero Waste Dog Treats Made From Invasive Species

nutria invasive species zero waste dog food

This is a fantastic opportunity to feed your dog and help the eco-system while you are doing it. Invasive species have infested land and water across America and cause massive disruptions to the eco-system.

These invasive species have to be culled but then their precious nutrients go to waste. Nutria, for example, are smaller than a beaver but larger than a muskrat and do incredible harm to the Louisiana wetlands.

Nutria is a high-quality dense protein source similar in taste to a rabbit. It’s lower in fat and cholesterol than turkey, and free of hormones and antibiotics. To get this ecological alternative click here.

Other sources of protein that considerably cut down the carbon footprint and is a good zero waste option are insects. Crickets, for example, are high in protein, use less water, less land and are a completely sustainable food source.

If you really want a zero waste dog then look to eco-friendly and sustainable edible treat sources.

Buy Your Zero Waste Dog Food In Bulk

Cutting down on the packaging is the ultimate goal here. Although the monetary savings are a nice bonus! Lots of stores now sell their dried food in large bags but please check to see if the packaging is 100% recyclable.

For instance, did you know over 95% of pet food bags are considered unrecyclable? That’s a lot of large bags going to landfill so I would urge you to check them first for a 100% recyclable sign.

Better yet, move to sustainable packaging and buy dog foods whose packaging bears the Terracycle mark. TerraCycle® is a social enterprise Eliminating the Idea of Waste® and is a trusted recycler.

From TerraCycle®, you can order a free envelope in which to send them your old dog food bags to ensure they get properly recycled. It may not be strictly zero waste but it’s a start and it prevents the bags from going to landfills.

Dried dog food can also be bought package free and in large quantities, if you take your own containers. Although I would only advise cloth bags as some retailers will refuse plastic containers and boxes.

Buy Large Cans and Reduce Plastic Waste

zero waste reduce plastic wrap on dog food

Canned dog food is often packaged in multiples with a plastic wrap to hold them together. To cut out this waste encourage your retailer to buy and sell 100% cardboard wrapped products.

You can then buy these cans as singles or in multiples order to receive your discount. There is no need to use plastic and if you buy the largest cans you can also reduce the metal consumption.

The larger the container, the less waste per unit of food is the way I look at it. Plus if recycled properly metal is one of the elements that can be constantly recycled.

What Are The Best Zero Waste Food Choices?

Let me start with this amazing fact;

According to the (A.P.P.A.), American Pet Products Association in their 2019 – 2020 survey; 63.4 million American households own a dog.

Consider now that each dog eats tinned meat and that meat has to be fed resources and spews out waste. That is a lot of resources devoured and in the case of red meat, methane spewed out.

For this reason, I would encourage a diet of white meat and fish. This diet is kinder to the planet and fulfills the zero waste dog brief to a higher degree.

Also, dogs are now omnivores and as such, don’t need a grain-free diet unless specified by a veterinarian. However, adding grain to their diets does further reduce the demand for meat and inhumane animal practices.

Zero Waste Dog Food Made From Fish

Dogs do love to eat fish, and fish are kind to the environment. They clean the world’s oceans and if properly managed, are a sustainable food source.

However, did you know that some 4 million fishing vessels of all sizes now fish the oceans? Source WWF

We are overfishing our seas and illegally caught fish trapped in massive nets are just dumped overboard. For this reason, buy fish dog food only in containers marked with the ocean wise symbol.

By doing this we will promote sustainable fishing and reduce red meat consumption. This will also reduce the world levels of grain consumed and methane produced. This is important as methane is a greenhouse gas.

Studies also show that the environmental cost to the planet from raising poultry is significantly less than dairy.

Those are the two greatest zero waste tips for all dog owners dogs. By shifting away from a largely red meat diet, the savings to the earth’s ecosystem could be enormous.

Zero Waste Dog Poop Disposal Information (Bags)

All that food we have been talking about has to come out sometime and how we deal with it is extremely important. Some might argue that leaving it on the grass is the optimum of zero waste.

But is this correct?

How Safe Is It To Leave Dog Poop On The Ground?

Dog poop should never be left on the ground as it is estimated that 1 gram of dog waste can contain up to 23 million fecal coliform bacteria. They also carry the following diseases:

  • Whipworms
  • Hookworms
  • Roundworms
  • Tapeworms
  • Parvo
  • Corona
  • Giardiasis
  • Salmonellosis
  • Cryptosporidiosis
  • Campylobacteriosis

When left on the ground the eggs of certain parasites and worms can linger in the soil for years. Anyone or any dog who comes into contact with the contaminated soil may also come into contact with these eggs.

Think of your child coming directly into contact with fresh poop, “1 gram 23 million bacteria”, or even these eggs a year later. Young children love to play on the ground and often put things in their mouths or rub their eyes.

This is why dog poop is very dangerous and should never be left on the ground. There is also a link between dog feces and Toxocariasis which is a roundworm parasitic infection that causes blindness.

The Environmental problem Caused By Not Picking Up Dog Poop

asphyxiated fish zero waste dog poop disposal

Think of it this way, 63.4 million American households have at least 1 dog. Each dog poops a minimum of 2 poops a day and all of them are filled with microorganisms and pathogens.

If left on the floor each poop will eventually flush into the water systems, contaminating drinking water and feeding aquatic algae. This algae then blooms and strangles streams, lakes, rivers, and waterways.

As a result, light cannot fully penetrate the water surface and the oxygen levels in the water decrease. As a result of this, all the fish and aquatic animals in the water slowly become asphyxiated and die.

This may seem like a horror story but with an excess of 63.4 million dogs and 2 poops a day, can you see it happening?

So if we are happy that leaving it is not the best option, what is?

Zero Waste Dog Poop Solutions

So what’s the best zero waste way to pick it up and dispose of it? Well, we have several options open to us but not all are as straightforward as they may seem. So let’s delve in and find the best match for you.

Newspaper

The ultimate in zero waste is to use something you already have and is 100% natural. A newspaper fills this brief but it can be messy and is not secure unless you paper tape it, closed.

If you do use newspaper try to get in under the dog as soon as it crouches and save yourself a lot of frustration. Also, use plenty of paper as it may leak due to its absorbent nature.

Zero Waste Compostable & Biodegradable Poop Bags

We will not talk about 100% plastic bags here, poop or otherwise, as I think we can all agree that they are not a zero-waste dog option.

On the subject of biodegradable poop bags, however, Buyer Beware. Not all biodegradable poop bags are the same and you could be an innocent victim of greenwashing.

Greenwashing is to make people believe that your company is doing more to protect the environment that it really is. If you want to learn more about this, read on.

Biodegradable Poop Bags

Some doggie poop bags are made from plastics that are oxo-biodegradable. This means that they contain chemical additives that break down plastics into smaller elements.

Ultimately, oxo-biodegradable products become less visible, however, they can still cause the same damage to the ecology. It may take 12 – 18 months plus for these products to fragment depending on weather conditions.

Microplastic beads are the result of the complete fragmentation of oxo-biodegradable material and they can become part of the food chain.

These microplastic beads are not eternal but it will take a very, very long time for the molecules to become CO2 & H2O. That being said, it is still the green choice if the alternative is to leave it on the ground.

Compostable poop bags

zero waste landfill dog poop

Truly biodegradable poop bags are made from 100% natural elements and will be consumed as food by natural organisms. However, if these bags go to landfill sites and are buried, they will not break down as you might expect.

This is true of all poop bags regardless of composition. This is due to the lack of oxygen. When matter is dumped in a landfill site it undergoes anaerobic decomposition and this generates methane. (A greenhouse gas).

It is therefore important to try and dispose of the poop and bags in other ways which we will discuss later. For the moment, use compostable poop bags made from 100% natural ingredients that are compostable.

If your local region or municipality has a dog waste management plan these are the bags that they would prefer.

Remove as much air as possible before knotting the bag to prevent poop explosions from the truck’s compressor. As such explosions might propel poop into the faces of the workers or children passing by.

Key compostability standards in the US are ASTM D6400 or D6868. In Europe, the standard is EN 13432.

BioBags are made from plants and conform to ASTM D6400. Look for these standards when buying your poop bags. We will discuss how to compost these bags at home in the next section.  

Flushable Poop Bags

Before using this option please check to see if your local municipality accepts this option. I personally would not use this option due to the problems they can cause.

In Australia, flushable poop bags have blocked pipes as they do not dissolve quickly enough in cold water. These bags are also made of polyvinyl which is an oxo-biodegradable plastic.

If you do use these bags then don’t tie the flushable bag as air will be trapped inside. This will increase the chance of blockages in the system if it flushes at all!

Never deposit these bags into the storm sewers either as these often flow into waterways and will contaminate the water.

Remember, no matter what the bag; if they are buried on a landfill site they will only produce methane gas.

Plus poop in landfill sites can lead to water contamination which is why some landfill sites have a no poop policy.

Disposing Of Dog Poop The Zero Waste Way (No Bags)

dog

Flush The Poop Directly Down The Toilet

Again, before using this option please check to see if your local municipality accepts this option. Dog waste is not the same as human waste due to pathogens and bacteria within it.

So it is only safe to flush dog poop directly down the toilet after you have checked that your water treatment works can process it. If they cannot then the municipality will advise you of your options.

However, if you are allowed to do this then the most effective way is to use a pooper scooper. Simply pick it up with the scooper and no bag, drop it into the toilet and flush it away.

The second option is to bring the poop home in a bag and then empty the contents into the toilet and flush. The bag can go into the waste for landfills. However, the good news is that it will now create significantly less methane.

Cat feces are different from a dog’s feces and must never be flushed down the toilet.

Bury Dog Poop – Zero Waste Style

The Ultimate in zero waste is simply to bury it but is this advisable? Dog waste is full of nasty pathogens like Giardia, Salmonella and E. coli. It can also carry worms and other diseases depending on the health of your dog.

Dog waste also has many nutrients that encourage the growth of fish and plant-killing algae. Therefore it is only possible to bury dog poop under strictly controlled conditions.

Your local municipality may even ban the practice altogether so please check with them first. If you can bury the waste it must be buried in a spot in which cannot contaminate any waterways.

It must be at least 6 to 12 inches deep and lay undisturbed for 12 months or more. Furthermore, due to the bacteria and parasitic content, the waste must not be able to leach into any edible plants.

Ringworm, for instance, can live in contaminated soil for years and you don’t want these on your edible plants.

Zero Waste Your Dog Poop By Composting

composting for zero waste

You have compostable bags so you can just toss them onto the compost, right? Well, the answer is both yes and no.

A small largely unattended compost pile will not get to a high enough temperature to kill the pathogens or bacteria. For this reason, a small outdoor composter is not recommended for dog waste.

Temperature is the key here as the compost pile needs to get to 145F to 165F for five days to kill the pathogens. After this time you cannot use the compost on edible plants but only on ornamental ones.

If all of this sounds too risky contact the local municipality and see if they have a dog waste collection service. Many do and will be glad of all the extra nutrients that this waste can provide.

For every detail, you might ever need to compost dog waste check out this guide from the N.R.C.S. (National Resource Conservation Service).

Zero Waste Your Dog Poop With A Wormery

Worms will eat almost anything and you can compost your food waste in a wormery as well as dog waste. However, just like a composter, you should not use the final product on your edible plants.

A wormery will, however, speed up the whole composting process. Plus in addition to the compost material, wormeries also produce organic juice. This concentrated juice makes excellent fertilizer and is produced daily.

Simply drain off the juice and drop it at the base of your non-edible plants, flowers, and shrubs.

Install A Doggie Dooley (Septic Tank)

This involves digging a hole in the ground and sinking your septic tank into it. Next, after ensuring good drainage, you would simply drop the doggie waste into it.

Follow this with water and the starter enzymes, replace the lid, and you’re good to go. Now you just need to add your waste, water, and enzymes over the weeks as per instructions.

The waste will be broken down and will drain through into the soil leaving no mess, no smell, and very little maintenance.

Things to consider about installing a septic tank:

  • Doggie doolies (septic tanks) need free-draining soil
  • The enzymes stop working below 40 F
  • Bury the tank in a quiet spot away from a watercourse
  • The plastic lids can become brittle in the sun (choose a shady spot)
  • The moisture levels must be checked and maintained

This is the best and greenest choice for the zero waste enthusiast. Dog waste can be picked up using a pooper scooper cutting out the need for a bag. It is then dropped into the septic tank and its job done!

Zero waste Eco-Friendly Dog Toys

natural dog toys zero waste pets

The two things you need to look out for in a zero-waste dog toy is durability and natural materials. If you can combine these traits with natural colors and a pleasant scent then you are onto a winner.

In order to get this perfect blend you have two options;

  • Make the dog toys yourself (it’s easier than you think)
  • Buy dog toys of a higher quality and specify no plastic

Making Your Own Zero Waste Dog Toy

Making your own eco-friendly dog toy is a great idea and a very rewarding experience. I cut an old pair of jeans into strips, braided them together and knotted the ends.

This cost me nothing, repurposed some material, was fun to do and gave my dog Leo a toy containing my scent. This was a no-sew toy but honestly, it’s one of his favorites.

There are many different toys you can make in this way and all you have to do is utilize what you already have. Trust me your dog will love you for it and you will form an even stronger bond than you have at present.

Here are a few quick ideas for making simple zero waste dog toys:

  • A tennis ball in a long sock is a great throwing toy
  • Old T-shirts cut into strips and braided make a fantastic small pull toy
  • Use Garden Furniture and kids toys to turn your garden into an agility area
  • Make a large pull toy from old jeans by cutting up the legs and braiding them
  • Cut the end off a thick sock and tie it off with string. Fill a toilet roll tube with crinkled brown paper and put it into the sock. Tie off the remaining end and you have a crinkle chew toy. (I put treats into mine and Leo destroys it!)
  • In summer soak a sock in water and drain, add some tinned sardines and freeze. This cools Leo and gives him some protein treats at the same time.

Zero Waste Dog Toys Are Made From Natural Materials

Cheap dog toys are made to entice the owner, not the dog. Humans see a cheap, bright red, mouth-sized, fun and bouncy hardball. Suitably enticed, we buy it and smile.

However, the dog only sees a black moving stone!

This is why soo many dog toys are left unplayed with and end up in a landfill. In this example, the ball here is uninteresting as dogs do not see the color red. It has no scent and is virtually unchewable because of its shape.

Contrast that experience with a natural dog toy. A light blue ball, oddly shaped, made of naturally fragrant rice husk that squishes in the mouth. Fun for a dog but looks dull and yet expensive to a human.

This is because the makers of natural dog toys have taken the time to understand the needs of the dog. They make the toy that, to the dog, smells good, looks good, feels good and that it can see properly.

Dogs see the colors of the world as basically yellow, blue, and gray. They see the colors green, yellow, and orange as yellowish, and they see violet and blue as blue. Blue-green is seen as gray and bright red as black.

Dogs see the colors of the world as basically yellow, blue, and gray. They see the colors green, yellow, and orange as yellowish, and they see violet and blue as blue. Blue-green is seen as gray and bright red as black.

So when your dog passes that cheap plastic red ball on the grass, hopefully, you can see now why he has done so. If you want a true zero-waste toy, then buy or make a natural one.

Look out for toys made of hemp, rice husk, natural rubber, bamboo, etc.

Zero Waste Essentials Beds, Bowls, Collars

zero waste dog essentials bowls

My doggy essentials zero waste tip is to buy quality even though it may seem to be expensive. We are talking about collars, leads, harnesses, beds, and bowls here.

You will get a lifetimes wear from good quality gear which will save you money in the long run. Look for products made with sustainable materials from ethical suppliers or local traders.

From stainless steel or bamboo bowls to hemp collars and leads, they are all out there. Zero waste means buying these things only once and not having to replace them. This saves you money and the planet its resources.

If you are handy with a sewing machine you can make dog beds, car seat protectors and many other items really easily. Old towels are great for this plus old clothes cut up into rags make great stuffing materials.

Small dog beds are even easier. Just take an old pillowcase, fill it with old clothes/rags and seal the end. Next, place the pillowcase in a suitable sized cardboard box or old suitcase, job done!

It will always smell of you which your dog will love, is fully washable and can be remade at any time.

Zero Waste Dog Kennel

For the dog who loves to live outside, there are many zero waste options. Look up bamboo dog house to find a house that is strong but will weather down and eventually add to your compost.

Alternatively, you could build your own ultimate zero waste dog house out of reclaimed wood. This would be a great way to get the kids involved and give little fido an away day retreat!

Buying Secondhand Is The Zero Waste Way

Before you buy secondhand goods scope out the free adds. Many people would love to give their stuff away to support other dogs but might not be able to take it to a thrift store.

While you are there consider picking up all that you can and donating it to the local shelter. They will be happy with the help and in this way everybody wins!

If you do need to buy secondhand then you can find pet carriers, toys, dog beds, and leads, etc at your local thrift store. So this is still a great place to start before you buy any new products.

These items may not always be plastic-free or made from natural materials but you will be keeping them out of landfill sites.

Buying from here will also extend their life and give them a new home. Do make sure however that they are clean and free of any scents before giving them to your dog so that they are not rejected.

Zero Waste Grooming

zero waste grooming

I know some people like to use essential oils on dogs but do you know which ones to avoid. Please read; Essential oils dangerous to cats, dogs, and birds before selecting and using essential oils.

Dogs, especially mine, tend to smell after a while and need a good bath. This is the time to say no to plastic.

There are many companies that sell dedicated bar soaps for dogs with minimal or all-natural packaging. You can also try using Castile soap diluted in water or grooming shampoo from your local dog parlor.

Leo has sensitive skin so the only product I use is a diluted Castile soap and water.

Dog hair can be a real pain, however, so you need to stop using the lint rollers as they are extremely wasteful. You need to buy a Chom Chom pet hair tool. It easily picks up the hairs and is very easy to clean, It’s a doggy must.

Be aware that the Chom Chom is plastic and is therefore not suitable if you are trying to go plastic-free. However, this is a zero-waste article and it will make massive savings on lint rollers.

Alternatives to the Chom Chom would include steel combs and wooden-handled brushes found in most stores. Or you could try the rubber dishwashing glove. Simply rub the hair in one direction and watch the magic!

And don’t just throw away those stray pet hairs.

Pet fur is perfect for nest building so please place clumps of hair at the bases of trees. It will make some birds very happy and will also encourage wildlife into your life. You are happy, they are happy, it’s a wonderful thing.

In Summary

So there we have it. A complete breakdown of the information that should allow you to have a zero-waste dog. I may have gone on a bit about the importance of picking up your dog waste but hopefully, you can see why.

For this reason, my final tip is to say this;

Whenever you are picking up your dog waste please look around to see if there is another dog’s waste on the floor. If there is please pick it up also as the environmental effect of everybody doing that will be enormous.

If you don’t see another poop then please look around for small waste such as a cigarette butt or bottle top.You could pick this up first, then the poop and make the planet that little bit happier.

Thank you for reading Zero Waste Dog Care – From Puppy To Oldie (The Ultimate Guide)

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Mark Aspland is a proud father of two boys, would be amateur actor and green living enthusiast. He has been sharing hints, tips and sustainable living content on his website Sustainability Dad since august 2019. 

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He now has an army of followers who are like hearted individuals passionate about the environment and how to affect positive change through peaceful action.

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