HOW TO GREEN YOUR PUP: Creating a safe environment

by , 04/05/10

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Inhabitat dog owners listen up!

Looking for ways to green life with your furry four-legged friend?

Considering all of the things that ‘man’s best friends’ do for us, it’s only natural that we’d want to pay them back by providing them with a healthy and green home. But what many people don’t realize is that some of the most common products we use to take care of our dogs can actually be harmful to both them and the environment (and no one wants that!). If you want to green your best friend’s regime, we’ve got some helpful and simple tips right after the jump, so check it out!


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1. Green Your Dog’s Outdoor Time

Every dog loves being outside, so it’s no mystery that keeping the lawn clean and green is important to any good dog owner. Unfortunately, many of the fertilizers that are being sold today are extremely toxic and can cause serious harm to the health of the planet and our pets. Be sure to keep your backyard free from chemicals by using only organic fertilizers. You can find these products in any home gardening store or you could even try making them yourself.

With or without a lawn, cleaning up your dog’s “business” can be messy and sometimes not-so-great for the environment. Fortunately for you eco-minded dog lovers, there are a number of ways to keep harsh chemicals out of the picture and avoid sending even more plastic bags to your local landfill. Companies like BioBags and Dog Poo Bags offer biodegradable alternatives to make sure everything your dog leaves behind goes right back into the Earth.

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2. Make Your Pup’s House Eco-Friendly

Whether we’re talking about the First Dog or your lovable mutt, it’s important that Fido has a home to call his (or her) own. Dog houses provide the necessary shelter to keep your dog safe from the elements. We love LA-based company Sustainable Pet Design‘s models which use non-toxic paint and responsibly harvested materials to deliver the perfect prefab solution for all of your dog’s needs!

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3. Keep Your Home Clean and Chemical Free

Dog houses are great, but many of us prefer our furry friends hanging out by our feet as much as possible. Sadly, our homes can be filled with harsh cleaning products and toxic insecticides. Make sure you opt for eco-friendly cleaners like those made by Seventh Generation and Method whenever possible, and be sure that any chemicals you do keep around are stored in a secure place.

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4. Safer, Greener Dog Bowls

Every time your lovable pup reaches down and grabs a bite to eat or something to drink they may not be as safe as you think. Many dog bowls can contain hazardous chemicals like BPA and lead, and scratched plastic bowls can turn into the perfect breeding ground for harmful bacteria. We recommend using stainless steel or lead-free ceramic dog bowls like the ones that NYC based company Harry Barker carries. They are committed to doing what is right for the environment and make all kinds of pet products that are not only eco-friendly but sport sleek and modern designs that you could never find at large retail chains.

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5. Use Natural Products to Keep Your Dog Healthy and Clean

Let’s face it, nobody likes a smelly pup, but what many people do not realize is that commercial dog shampoo and other grooming products can be extremely toxic to our four-legged friends. Luckily there are several natural alternatives for keeping your furry friend’s appearance best in show like Wysong Bug Off soap that uses natural ingredients like jojoba oil, coconut and vitamin E.

Another great option to keep your dog’s coat looking good is making cleansers in your very own kitchen. Try making your own shampoo or flea dip. Most recipes call for things like organic apple cider vinegar or natural dish soap. These items are cheap and easy to find, and you probably have everything you need in your pantry right now! You can mix them up in recycle plastic bottles that would other wise be thrown away.

This post is part of our It’s Good To Give series, which is sponsored by Milk-Bone. Check out their Canine Assistants program, which helps people with disabilities and get involved by sharing photos of your own dog on the Milk-Bone Flickr stream.

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4 Comments

  1. ryooon22 April 22, 2010 at 1:52 pm

    Thanks for this. I have tons of plastic bags that I use for my dog, and I have always been skeptical about how green they are.

  2. evelyn April 17, 2010 at 11:24 am

    Love the Harry Barker Dog Bowls – makes for an excellent new house warming gift for my pet loving friends.

  3. Kristi Bernick April 8, 2010 at 9:17 am

    Those Sustainable Pet Design dog houses are great! At least someone in the family will have a green roof. :)

  4. pupapup April 4, 2010 at 2:05 pm

    This is a really helpful and useful article – thank you for all these great tips! Also – love the hipster dog in the photo with the scarf and glasses – where did you get that awesome photo?

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