Americans will spend approximately $51 BILLION dollars on pets this year. Many of those billions of dollars contribute to a ton of waste and harm to the environment. It’s important for pet owners to make small, convenient, inexpensive changes that greatly benefit the environment by helping reduce your dog’s carbon paw print. Heidi Ganahl, CEO and Founder of Camp Bow Wow, North America’s largest and fastest growing pet care franchise, has come up with several ways that you can eliminate some burdens that dogs naturally impose on the environment. The following are a few tips on reducing your dog’s carbon paw print:
• Make Waste More Eco Friendly: A well-known fact is that it takes 1,000 years for a plastic bag to decompose. There are more eco-friendly options available at the grocery store, such as biodegradable bags made of corn husk that are made specifically for picking up after your dog.
• Premium Puppy Chow: When buying dog food and dog treats, always look for organic and/or natural products, which are easier on your dog’s stomach, and helps reduce waste overall. Be sure you recycle the packaging that is used for dog food, such as cans and food bags. To go the extra step, make your own dog food.
• Break out the Fine China: For your doggie dishes, buy stainless steel or ceramic bowls instead of plastic. These materials last longer and don’t have to be replaced as often.
• Groom Green: Use grooming products that are made with natural ingredients instead of chemicals that are harmful to the environment. You should also support groomers that use natural products or ask that your groomer switch to more eco-friendly products. Consider donating some green products so the groomer can see how much better they are than the toxic ones. These organic products are safer for the planet and Fido. At Camp Bow Wow, dogs are bathed with all-natural shampoo and conditioners. In fact, most locations also use "The Bathmaster Animal Bathing System", which cuts bath time and product usage amounts.
• Help Reduce the Population of Homeless Pets: You’ve heard Bob Barker say it before but here it is again: Spay or neuter your dog. This is not only beneficial for your dog’s health but the planet’s health as well. Humanely reducing the pet population helps to reduce the stress that dogs place on the environment. Instead of purchasing a dog from a breeder, you should strongly consider adoption. Sadly, there are a lot of homeless dogs out there. Camp Bow Wow’s charity, The Bow Wow Buddies Foundation, works with Camp Bow Wow franchisees throughout the county to provide foster care and facilitate adoptions for homeless pets.
• Purchase products for your pup that are made from sustainable, organic and/or recycled materials. There are many dog toys and beds that are made with organic cotton available.
• It’s important to understand that when you commit to buying a dog, you commit to Fido for the rest of his life. People who are not fully committed and purchase a dog on a whim often give up the animal to a shelter. Also, a high demand for a breed causes breeders to create a high supply, increasing the population of homeless dogs.