Have you considered making your pets life as eco-friendly as your own? We know the harm plastic and harsh chemicals have on humans, but what about our pets? I’ve grown up owning pets my entire life, so I know that panicked feeling of seeing your dog chew off a piece of their plastic frisbee or a rubber shoe. Pets have so many benefits, but they also have a large environmental impact. If you consider their meat consumption and all the plastic packaging their items come in- pets can have a very large carbon footprint. Buying pet food in bulk and using all natural products are only a couple examples of how easy it is to keep your pets zero waste. Today I rounded up 10 zero waste pet products for dogs and cats that you can use to keep your pets (and the environment) safe.
FYI, this is a guest post written by Sydney Montagna, a zero waste advocate and aspiring writer. This post contains affiliate links. This means if you choose to purchase one of these items I will make a very small commission at no extra charge to you. Please see my disclosure policy for more information.
10 Zero Waste Pet Products for Dogs and Cats
Why switch to zero waste pet products?
Although it’s not fun to hear, owning a pet does have environmental ramifications. Dogs and cats are carnivores and have a rather significant carbon footprint. Pet waste left on the ground causes contamination and waste placed in non-biodegradable plastic bags end up in landfills. All the things we buy our pets come in packaging that ends up in landfills and there are pesticides/chemicals in certain products that are awful for the environment.
Plastic isn’t only an environmental issue with our pets, but also a health issue. If your pet eats plastic, here are a few examples of the harm that can cause:
- Can cause your dog to choke
- Can cause intestinal blockage, which prevents food and water from entering system
- May cut or injure your pet’s insides (stomach, throat, intestines, rectum, etc.)
These are only a fraction of the repercussions eating plastic can do to our pets.
On average, one medium sized dog actually has a yearly carbon footprint (pawprint?) of 2.1 acres. That’s a “gas guzzling” car driving around 6,000 miles per year!
Do you still find yourself using old plastic bags to pick up your dog’s dookie? While it’s convenient to reuse grocery store bags, at the end of the day, they’ll still wind up in a landfill. These compostable poop bags are specifically designed to hold your dog’s waste and break down at the end of their lives in just 90 days. Each bag is made from cornstarch and are 100% biodegradable. These are a perfect waste-free alternative to dangerous polythene plastic bags that continue to contaminate our oceans and won’t break down for hundreds of years.
My Alphapet bags are leak proof, unscented and can come in packs of 120 or 240. They’re packaged in a recyclable cardboard box and on rolls with a core made from cardboard as well. Each bag is large and 9 x 13 inches- perfect for dogs of all sizes. These also work great for kitty litter!
Giving your dog a bath can already be a stressful time (depending on how much they enjoy bath time), so you shouldn’t have to be worrying about what’s in your dog’s grooming products. Ethique’s dog shampoo bar is made from natural and effective ingredients such as neem, tea tree, oatmeal, lavender and coconut oil. This helps with fungal infections, skin problems, and fleas. All ingredients are biodegradable and the packaging is completely compostable.
Each bar used is equivalent to 3 plastic liquid shampoo bottles! This product is plastic free, palm oil free, cruelty free, vegan, and plant based. There’s also a sensitive shampoo bar option called “Shampooch” if your pup’s skin is on the sensitive side. The lavender helps with sensitive skin and it’s pH is balanced for dogs to leave fur shiny and soft.
Ingredients: Sodium cocoyl isethionate, sodium coco-sulfate, decyl glucoside, stearic acid, Theobroma cacao (cocoa) butter, Cocos nucifera (coconut) oil, cetyl alcohol, stearyl alcohol, Melia azadirachta (neem) seed oil, Ground oatmeal, Lavandula augustifolia (lavender) oil, Melaleuca alternifolia (teatree) oil, Citrus aurantifolia (lime) essential oil, lactic acid, limonene, linalool
Instead of going for those bulky, sharp dog brushes made of plastic- try opting for a handcrafted dog brush that will get the job done just as well. This two-sided brush is made from sustainably harvested wood from forests that are managed in ways that prevent overharvesting and promote the wellbeing of local ecosystems, animals, workers, and communities. The brush side with anti-static wood pins is for detangling those harsh knots, and the other side is for taming and collecting hair balls.
Redecker is a small family owned business where each product is handmade and meant to last a lifetime. This brush is also made with all natural pig bristles- a biproduct from slaughterhouse waste. The best part? Its completely plastic-free!
Considering dogs don’t wear shoes, they have to use their bare paws to get around. Inevitably, they become dry, chapped or cracked over time. This natural paw soother is a healing balm that repairs broken skin and chapped paws. All ingredients are 100% pet safe, edible, non-toxic, organic and vegan- so you can apply it several times a day without any worries. This balm is perfect for extreme weather conditions, dry elbows, allergies, peeling, or hyperkeratosis of the paw.
This product is made from fair trade ingredients that are sustainably sourced and harvested without synthetic additives! It’s free of dyes, parabens, chemicals, fragrance and sulfates. Each tin is 2 oz. and it encourages that you reuse each tin once they’re empty.
Ingredients: Organic Coconut Oil, Organic Cupuacu Butter, Organic Hempseed Oil, Organic Jojoba oil, Candelilla Wax, Calendula Extract, Cajeput Essential Oil, Natural Vitamin E, Chamomile, Rosemary Extract
This durable quacker dog toy made of hemp is perfect for dogs of all sizes. Hemp is described as the strongest natural fiber on earth, so if your dog tends to rip their new toys to shreds- this is the toy for them. Hemp is also a renewable resource that regenerates depleted soils and even captures more carbon dioxide than trees. Each duck is stuffed with organic, ethically-sourced wool and a squeaker that peeps when thrown and shook.
This adorable duck toy comes in three sizes and it’s waterproof. It floats in water, so you won’t have to worry about drying any soggy materials. The wool and hemp are both biodegradable and naturally anti-bacterial and anti-microbial.
Sometimes finding the right cat nip for your furry friend can be difficult. But with this organic cat nip, you know you’re giving your cat the best. If you’re new to cat nip, it’s a natural herb that helps attract cats to their beds and toys. It also keeps their instincts sharp and stimulated. This cat nip was harvested at the peak of the season and completely free of pesticides, toxic fertilizers and sprays. It’s packaged in a reusable tin and sent out in recyclable packaging as well.
As a bonus, Friendship Wool company is partnered with 1% for the Planet. So one tree will be planted with every purchase you make! Around 20% of proceeds will be donated to environmental and social organizations.
Tired of stinky plastic litter boxes that are a hassle to clean? Try giving a stainless steel litter box a go. These litter boxes are rust-free and long lasting. Unlike plastic, it doesn’t absorb any odors nor does it stain. It comes in an extra large size- around 23.5 x 15.5 inches and 6 inches deep. The rubber feet at the bottom prevent the pan from slipping and sliding around. Many cats prefer an open litter box since it’s easier for them to access.
A stainless steel litter box means it’s much easier and smoother to clean! There’s no sharp edges or sides so it’s nice and safe for your kitty.
This natural cat food is filled to the brim with proteins, probiotics and prebiotics for your kitty. With Chicken as top ingredient and Omega-3 rich Atlantic Salmon Meal and Salmon Oil, TLC Whole Life Natural Cat Food’s meat first formula provides essential amino acids, digestibility and palatability. It promotes a healthy fur coat, healthy teeth/gums, hair ball relief, and urinary tract health. Each ingredient is carefully selected for its nutritional benefits! They also protect against obesity and diabetes.
There’s no by-products, corn, potato, wheat, soy, fillers, artificial flavors or colors. TLC pet food company delivers their food completely fresh and right to your door for free. Their website even provides a feeding calculator, where you can input your cat’s weight, and it’ll tell you the amount of food you should feed your cat each day.
Ingredients: All listed here.
Looking for a plastic-free toy for your cat? This adorable kitty catcher toy will keep your cat preoccupied without leaving the couch. The poll is 12 inches of pure bamboo with a bouncy worm at the end made from wool. Each worm is connected to 6 inches of durable hemp twine, as well.
Since this product is handmade and uses vegetable dye, colors may vary when it’s received in the mail. Also, it’s recommended that you hand wash the wool worm in cold water if it gets dirty for best results.
Keep your kitty well fed the sustainable way with these adorable stainless steel food bowls. They’re a healthy alternative to plastic bowls, odorless, and way less messy. This is a two piece set that comes in a variety of different colors to choose from, along with cute little cat imprints on the front. Each bowl can hold up to 8 oz. and they’re very easy to clean.
While this product is targeted towards cats, it’s also a great size for rabbits and small dogs. Also, the rubber ring on the bottom of each bowl makes them completely skid-proof.
What’s your favorite zero waste pet product?
If you’re looking for more zero waste tips, check out these 6 ways to avoid microplastics.
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Guest post: Sydney Montagna is an advocate for animals and plastic-free living. She is studying English and is an aspiring writer. In her spare time, you can find her watching classic TV shows and researching all things Michael Jackson related.