Top 10 ways to reduce your dog’s carbon paw print

An eco-friendly approach to dog raising makes for happy pets and a healthy planet.

Humans aren’t the only species to leave their mark on the environment, but we alone have the power to do something about our impact. And, we can do the green thing on behalf of our animals.

In recent years, eco-friendly versions of just about any pet product you can imagine have hit the market, from paraben-free shampoos to all-natural treats and biscuits to dog beds made of 100-percent recycled materials. That’s the easy stuff. If you’re really serious about reducing your dog’s carbon paw print, consider preparing her food yourself with locally made ingredients. And for the uber-conscious — or maybe just extra ambitious — teach your dog to turn off lights and put the newspaper in the recycle bin.

The trend is sweeping the country on a larger scale too. Shelters like the Silicon Valley Humane Society are leading the way as far as bridging the gap between animal welfare and conservation. Its facility boasts artificial turf, double-paned windows, and solary systems to generate up to 50 percent of its electricity. Other communities are following suit. Arizona’s Cooper’s Chance Animal Rescue and Florida’s Humane Society of Sumter County are raising to money to build the first green shelters in their states.

So in honor of Earth Day, we asked DogTime readers what specifically they do to reduce their dog’s carbon paw print. The vast majority of our readers are spaying and neutering their dogs (way to go!), nearly half are using eco-friendly pet cleaning supplies, and over a third are scooping poop into biodegradable bags.

Even the little things you do make a difference. So if you and your pup are looking for a few more planet-promoting ideas, check out the results from our survey…

Top 10 ways DogTimers are reducing carbon pawprints:

10. Use eco-friendly dog accessories

9. Use natural/organic flea medicine

8. Make homemade dog food/treats for dog

7. Feed dog raw, organic, or holistic diet

6. Use biodegradable or “flushable” poop bags

5. Use natural/organic shampoos to keep dog clean

4. Use eco-friendly cleaning supplies for dog messes around the house

3. Reuse leashes, collars, and other dog accessories

2. Keep dog leashed at all times except in designated off leash areas

1. Spay/neuter dog(s)