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Every pet parent can make small and conscious steps to make the world a better place, with eco swaps and greener alternatives that will help leave a smaller pawprint on the planet. Read on to discover our top tips on treading lightly when it comes to caring for our pets.

Start small

A simple and relatively straightforward swap, food might be the quickest swap with the biggest impact. As it’s a constant for your pet, opting for a recipe that comes in recyclable packaging, or sourced in a sustainable way, can mean that no meal will cause additional hard to the planet. Cats and dogs can be fussy creatures, so we appreciate this may not be an option for every pet owner, but if it does, it’s one step close to responsible ownership and a greener planet.

Tough stuff

Toys and pets go hand-in-hand, but it doesn’t escape us that the majority of pet toys are made with plastic. Saying this, there are some options that can make them a little more earth friendly. Firstly, pick something strong, sturdy and that can withstand some chewing. A durable option will last longer and means there’s less of a need to replace it. Another option, and a significantly greener one, is to consider household items that can be repurposed as toys. It might be as simple as popping some treats in a toilet roll tube, creating a new (and tasty) game for your dog, or it could be that cardboard box that a package arrived in – need we remind you how much cats love a box?

While we’re on the topic of toys, we know that a great deal of pet owners will have a stash of toys that have been neglected or shunned by their (sometimes fussy) pets. A green way to make use of these toys is by donating them to a friend that has a dog or cat. After all, one pet’s nonplussed reaction is another pet’s waggy tail or enthusiastic purr.

A cause close to our hearts, we would always encourage people on the hunt for a new pet to consider adopting. It’s a sad truth that many pets are unwanted and given to shelters, but these four-legged friends are just as deserving (and appreciative) of love and affection as other pets. Giving them a second chance is immensely rewarding, for both you and the lucky furball. A little patience and a bit of paperwork is so worth the effort, and is far greener than sourcing via a breeder.

Clean and green

There are some products that you constantly need as a pet parent, and that includes hygiene essentials. Luckily, there are several eco options when it comes to cats and dogs, from compostable poo bags to biodegradable cat litter. Incorporating easy changes into your daily routine can make a huge difference, including these small (but very important) tweaks. 

Walk it off

There’s nothing better than a long dog walk, and the more local you make it, the better. We know that some people have to rely on a car to reach walking spots, but if it’s possible to find somehwre closer to home that doesn’t require a car journey, the environment will be all the better for it. If you do visit a protected woodland or an area with endangered wildlife, remember to keep your dog on a lead and leave the area as you left it.

Small steps can often lead to the biggest results, so while we know not every pet owner can adopt these tips, just making one small tweak will contribute to creating a heathier and greener planet for us all.