Low-Waste Pet Care
Updated: Oct 28
Low-waste pet care is a great way to reduce your environmental footprint. In this blog, we dive into some simple swaps and tips that can help show your furry friend some love while loving the planet too. Dogs, cats, and rabbits - we've got you covered!
DOGS & PUPPIES
Compostable Doggy Bags:
Did you know dog poo decomposes in 7 days, but it takes roughly 1000 years to decompose in a plastic doggy bag? 💩 To reduce this plastic waste, look for doggy bags that are certified compostable.
Compostable bags will break down into natural elements, meaning you are diverting it from the landfill. Be sure to look for the BPI Certified Compost Symbol, as shown, such as those offered by the Canadian brand Earth Rated.
Food & Treats:
Treating your pet to some yummy eats and treats doesn't have to be wasteful. To green up your pet's eating habits, consider some of these options:
Buy in Bulk - Purchasing food and treats in bulk can decease your waste as you are purchasing package-free.
Make your Own - Next time you're in a baking mood, consider whipping up some tasty dog treats! We love this super simple peanut butter-based recipe.
Support Local - Another great way to reduce your waste is buying from a local pet store in your area - you'll be decreasing your footprint and contributing to the local economy.
Recycle and Reuse - If bagged food is the best option for your furry friend, we recommend checking with your local waste services to see if they are accepted as recycling. Some materials like paper or flexible plastics may be recyclable but it is best to confirm for your region/area. If these bags aren't recycled near you, reuse the dog food bag as a waste/garbage bag.
Pro Tip: If you want to consider purchasing dog food in bulk or making your own treats, consult with your vet to ensure the ingredients align with your pet's dietary needs.
Durable toys can go a long way in a dog household. As cute as the fluffy toy can be, the reality is, your dog may chew through it in a matter of days. Invest in items that will live past the teething stage! Materials like rope, rubber, and kongs can last a long time, meaning your pup won't chew through a new toy each day.
CATS & KITTENS
Kitty litter is a must for cat care, but there are many sustainable options you can explore such as: walnut shell cat litter, saw dust, mulch, or even wheat litter. If you try one of these options, all contents can be emptied into the compost after use, diverting this waste from the landfill.
Food & Treats:
It is common for cat food to come canned. To ensure you're minimizing waste, ensure you clean and dry the cans and place in your recycling after use. For other types of cat food, consider buying in bulk or in packaging that can be recycled or reused.
Cat toys can be easily crafted from upcycled materials such as cardboard tubes and boxes. Consider making your own or investing in toys that will last a lifetime.
RABBITS & BUNNIES
If you have a bunny, it's likely you will want to have a kennel or crate for those times you're away from your home. Building your own can be relatively easy and sourcing building materials second-hand can reduce waste. With a few pieces of wood, nails, and wiring, you can create a sustainable and effective house for your rabbit. Be sure to check out your local ReStore for secondhand supplies!
Food & Treats:
If you are feeding your rabbit carrots, celery, or other light vegetables, consider picking them up from the market. Doing so will reduce your footprint and support a local farmer. If you have a garden of your own, considering growing your rabbit's food as a sustainable option.
Most rabbits enjoying nibbling. A plain cardboard box or toilet paper roll that would otherwise be recycled could provide hours of fun.
OTHER TIPS & TRICKS
Preloved Pet Supplies:
Sourcing secondhand pet supplies is a great way to better your low-waste pet care routine. Opting for preloved items that are gently used means you're giving them a second life, and they tend to be easier on your wallet. For items like kennels, leads, collars and more, we recommend checking out our Shop Local Directory for a list of thrift shops in the Okanagan, as well as exploring Facebook Marketplace and local Buy & Swap pages.
Because pet hair is organic, it can actually be composted! If you have a backyard composter or green curb-side bin, you can add any pet hair you clean up to the bin to divert it from the landfill.
Adopt Don't Shop:
Adopting or rescuing a pet can be considered both environmentally and socially sustainable. You will be opening up a loving home to a pet in need and reducing the number of animals in shelters. Visit the BCSPCA's website today to find your next furry family member, fostering is also a great option!
For more exciting content on zero-waste living and sustainability, be sure to follow Green Okanagan’s social channels!