We all love our four-legged furry friends. They give us great company, joy, cuddles and they are there for us when we need them. But did you know that having a dog or a cat can have a big impact on the environment?
Of course we already know that traveling in itself can also have a big impact on our planet.
So if you want to take your precious pet traveling with you, then there’s a big chance your carbon footprint will be quite sizable. But there are ways we can do both of these things together while being kind to the planet.
Let’s go over five tips to help minimize the impact on our planet that having a pet and going traveling brings.
Using sustainable products
Using eco-friendly products can go a long way to reducing waste.
Some examples of sustainable products include using reusable containers when packing food for your pet as well as using eco-friendly dog bowls, and Earth-friendly sustainable dog toys. One look online and you can find loads of options for eco-friendly toys, bowls and more.
For toys, you can even consider making your dog their own toy from recycled materials around your home. You can create a snuffle mat, or even find cardboard lying around and create a puzzle toy that can keep them busy for some time while they’re in the car or the hotel.
Do-it-yourself toys can definitely be far kinder to the environment than buying plastic toys in plastic wrapping.
If making your own toy isn’t feasible then look into toys made from recyclable or environmentally-friendly materials.
In addition to toys, you can also look for sustainable and eco-friendly water bottles, dog beds, blankets and even dog clothes.
2. Be mindful of food
Many of us already know that eating meat has an adverse impact on our planet. Our dogs and cats have some of the most processed high-meat diets out there.
While cats are carnivores, some dog owners out there have their dogs on either a reduced meat diet, or have eliminated meat altogether. For the meat eater, there are more low-impact meats such as chicken, turkey or even fish, but try to avoid beef or highly processed meats that have an enormous impact on the environment.
When traveling, if possible try to bulk buy and then pack their food with the previously mentioned reusable containers rather than buying small individual packaged or canned dog food as the packaging can be harmful to the environment.
As for dog and cat treats, one of the most Earth-friendly ways to approach this is to look into making your own pet treats at home. There’s loads of resources online for how to make your own pet treats. And again you can use the aforementioned reusable food containers to store them.
3. Poo bags
When you’re out and about traveling, your dog will have to naturally poop at some point. Responsible dog owners pick up their dog’s poop in a bag and toss it in a bin. But, some bags, particularly plastic ones, add to the massive landfills of plastic bags where it takes forever to decompose. Nowadays, there’s plenty of options out there for more eco-friendly doggy bags.
You can opt for a biodegradable bag. There’s tons of them online and just one look and you can find many of them for a good price.
If you are out on an adventure in the wilderness with your dog, then you can actually bury the poop, but be sure to dig a hole about six inches deep before chucking it in there, of course, without a plastic bag.
Another tip to be friendly to the environment, if you and your dog are adventuring out in the wild, do not let your dog poo near the river as it can go in and contaminate it.
4. Be mindful of transportation
There are still many places in the world where public transportation is not readily available. For those in the US, going traveling with your dog usually means going in the car. Public transport may not be available and walking or hiking to the destination is also likely not an option. So this means it can be a challenging to avoid using a car while traveling with your dog.
If you are in the market for a new car, consider upgrading to an environmentally-friendly car. These are becoming more common as vehicle manufacturers increasingly add electric and hybrid cars.
If your area does indeed have public transport, check to see if they accept pets. Parts of Europe and the UK have reliable public transport to travel in between cities and many of these countries will allow you to bring your dog with you on public transport. Check to see if your dog is allowed and consider taking this option instead of driving.
If you must travel by plane with your dog, do a bit of research and see which airlines are considered to be the most fuel efficient.
5. Once at destination, keep it local
Once you manage to reach your destination with your furry friend, try to stay in locally owned accommodations, pet friendly of course. Dine in locally owned restaurants and shop locally-owned, if possible.
Of course there’s plenty of more things you can do to be kind to the planet while traveling with your dog but these are just some of the actions you can keep in mind for your next dog-friendly adventure! If you are searching for a new pet and want to stay as eco-friendly as possible, then check out this list of the most environmentally-friendly pets.