4 Eco-Friendly Ways to Go Green & Enrich Your Dog’s Environment
Dogs, cats and other pets can get bored just like we do. I struggle around snacking and over-indulge in bad TV. Keeping our minds and bodies active is important for our health, and environmental enrichment elevates your dog’s physical and emotional health. Why not provide your dog with an eco friendly house?
When Shadow-Pup feels bored, he terrorizes Karma-Kat. Oh, they love to play together, but he overdoes things and can get too rough when he feels bored. He’ll also demand more attention from his humans. That takes the form of staring and barking at us (READ MY MIND!), or bringing toys to play, or even indulging in zoomies—racing around and around the house l
There are many ways you can add some stimulation into your pet’s world. That doesn’t have to be expensive or time-consuming. Check out these easy and go green pet-parent projects you can try this spring.
Recycling your old clothes is a great way to give them a second life. Take an old sweater or something with a thicker material and turn it into a comfy pet bed or pillow. Here’s an easy tutorial to follow. If you’re like me, you’ve got lots of old pillow cases. Or, you can get an old sheet, stuff it full of clothing that’s not fit for donations, and stitch up the sides. You can get stick-on Velcro from sewing stores, too, if you’re not handing with a needle and thread. Your dog will love cozying up on a bed that smells like you! And BONUS…if the dog rips it apart, you aren’t out a bundle on a fancy high-dollar dog bed.
Tie up your clothes for tug toys!
This is great for those of you who don’t sew. Take your old socks–you know, gather up all the odd ones your washer didn’t eat–and stuff them inside each other. Tie them together for a longer tug toy. That works great for small to medium size dogs. For bigger dogs, an old pair of jeans or yoga pants offers more stretch-and-shake worthy sizes. And BUNUS…they smell like you! Oh, and there are RULES to follow in tug games, like teaching when it’s appropriate and how to keep the game going. My colleague Trish McMillan has a great resource here for tugging.
Pick eco-friendly companies that make dog toys
Many dog toy companies are paying close attention to their carbon paw print these days. Choosing safe dog toys is job one for pet parents. I love all the Planet Dog toys because they’re made with recycled materials—and you can even return chewed up toys to them to recycle. Shadow-Pup still plays with toys we got over a decade ago for Magical-Dawg. Checkout these other eco-friendly pet-toy companies listed on sustainablejungle.com.
For more help with your bored dog, get the QUICK TIPS book, below (click on the picture).
A ramble through the park, or the woods, or a car ride to enrich your pup while de-stressing you both. Consider how else you might consume valuable resources while you de-stress. Shadow loves car rides, where he gets to sniff the breeze and see all the different sites. And we’re lucky to live on 13 acres to ramble.
Being eco-friendly in all areas of my life is something I try to do to stay healthy, and treat my world right. I still need to work on it, though. Which of these little projects are you going to try? Let me know by commenting below.
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Amy Shojai, CABC is a certified cat & dog behavior consultant, a consultant to the pet industry, and the award-winning author of 35+ pet-centric books and Thrillers with Bite! Oh, and she loves bling!