Dog owners are a curious collection of people – we are often the first out in the mornings enjoying nature, but we don’t always have eco friendly dog products! I want to change that by listing and regularly updating this guide to the best biodegradable and eco friendly dog products!
Like many people, I watched the Blue Planet 2 series with my mouth open in horror. Sure, I knew that bad things were happening to our environment, but I had no idea how bad things had become. That, and the recent Extinction Rebellion protests have really helped to highlight to me that, if nothing else, I can do my bit to help the planet.
As a result, I am slowly shifting my spending habits to buy sustainable, recycled and, where practical, plastic free products for me, my family, and my cockapoo, Ziggy.
Along the way, I’ve found some brilliant eco friendly dog products and biodegradable solutions to common dog items that I want to share with people.
They are all available on Amazon (because, let’s face it, it is convenient!).
Biodegradable Poop Bags
Finding biodegradable, eco-friendly poop bags is no easy feat. As this website points out, biodegradable poop bags can not always be, well, biodegradable.
You see there are two types of common biodegradable plastics:
- Plant-based hydro-biodegradable
- Petroleum-based oxo-biodegradable
As this article explains, petroleum-based plastics can take a lot longer to biodegrade than plant based biodegradable poop bags.
So, if you want to get a poop bag that has the best chance of degrading quickly, go for a plant-based plastic poop bag!
I’ve recently switched from using biodegradable plastic to these corn-starch poop bags. I’ve found them to be comparable to the ones I used before (they are easily as thick, if not thicker) and – touch wood – I’ve not had any rips!
Of course, I know that some people prefer biodegradable poop bags with handles. If that’s you, then the below brand of poop bags on Amazon seem like a good choice!
That being said, using any bag is not the most eco friendly way to pick up dog poop! Now, you could go the whole hog and learn how to use newspaper to make dog poo bags … but I’m not quite ready to do that!
Instead, as a small extra step to improve our eco dog product credentials, we have stopped using bags completely in our own back garden.
To do this, we have “splashed out” on this inexpensive rake set. Now, when Ziggy does his business out back, it’s a relatively simple process of getting the rake out. As it’s rust proof, we store it outside by the garage to make it easier to get (it seems to be doing ok even with the amount of rain we get!)
Then whenever we’re taking our main bin bag out, we just empty the scoop into that. Not the prettiest thing, but nothing is when you’re dealing with poo…
A friend of ours has a poop bucket that gets emptied into the main big bag – I’m slowly coming round to the idea, but at the moment I prefer to do a garden “sweep” a few times a week instead. I don’t know why, but it seems less gross to me!
Related article: Puppy Proofing Your Garden (7 Easy Steps)
Eco Dog Blankets
When it comes to dog blankets, the choice seems to be infinite. But, when it comes to finding a decent recycled dog blanket you come across a big problem: for some reason, eco friendly dog blankets seem to come with a rather hefty price tag!
But, let’s face it, out of all the members of the family, the dog is the last one who is going to complain about looks or style.
So, with that in mind, when I set out to replace an old and over-washed dog blanket, I decided to get creative in my searching. That’s when I came across this fairly cheap recycled wool blanket on Amazon.
It’s made from recycled wool, so you don’t get a choice over the pattern, but a HUGE plus is that it is made in Wales – much better for the environment than a synthetic dog blanket made in China!
Here’s a picture of Ziggy “voluntarily” modelling the blanket!
I will say that the blanket is a little rough feeling and definitely not fleecy, but Ziggy seems to love getting comfy on it (I think it’s because it has a traditional “wool” smell!)
Either way, I found it a really good, cheap alternative to the recycled dog blankets that seem to cost an arm and a leg. I’ll definitely be buying others as his wear out!
Dog Collars Made From Recycled Materials
Now, full disclosure, I’ve not made this purchase yet as our existing dog collar isn’t completely worn out (I give it another six months). But, this dog collar from Amazon is made from recycled plastic bottles.
So, when it is time to replace Ziggy’s collar, I’m going to go for this. It comes in nine different colours (I’m thinking green) and the reviews for it are really positive.
Now, there is an argument here to also use leather (as it’s a byproduct), but from my experience leather buckle fasteners are a little too fussy to be very useful.
I have come across this leather collar on Amazon that has a click-fastener, but I think the recycled dog collar is winning out in my mind at the moment for this category of eco friendly dog products!
Plastic Free Dog Toys
Now this is an area I’m really keen to solve. This is because all dog toys – including the soft ones – seem to be made of un-recyclable plastics. And, because our dog loves to chew his toys, we’re often replacing them. Finding plastic free dog toys is a huge priority for me on my search for eco friendly dog products.
Luckily, Amazon do sell some alternatives to plastic dog toys. One I have in my basket right now is this wooden puzzle toy:
As I’ve written before, we use puzzle toys as a way of helping our cockapoo cope with separation anxiety, so this seems like a really good choice.
Another alternative to completely plastic chew toys (like nylabones) that I now buy regularly are deer antlers:
Not only do these last us an absolute age, but they are “cruelty free” if you buy the right ones in that they are made from antlers that have naturally fallen from deer. They are also a great way to divert attention to stop your puppy from biting your hands!
When it comes to snuggly plastic free dog toys, there are obviously cotton or hemp alternatives, but even these seem to come with plastic parts to them, or contain plastic squeakers.
So, as a compromise, I’ve opted to start buying Beco soft toys. They are, essentially, the same as regular soft toys, but the stuffing is made from recycled plastic bottles.
They look super cute, and Ziggy loves the giraffe. Surprisingly, it has lasted longer than a week (which is good for him!).
Eco friendly dog leash
Finding an eco friendly dog leash proves to be surprisingly easy on Amazon. As two alternatives to nylon or leads with plastic fasteners, I found these two really good eco dog products alternatives.
First – and this is the one I went for – there’s this inexpensive handmade rope lead made from cotton, with leather fasteners and a metal clip.
I’m a huge fan of rope dog leads because they last an absolute age. This one is proving to be absolutely excellent and sits comfortably in my hand.
The manufacturer of this one claims that I’ll never have to buy another lead again having purchased this one. I find this kind of hard to believe because Ziggy likes to chew on his a little bit if we’re sat at a pub table, but I have no doubt that I’ll have to wait for a good few years before swapping it out!
Another eco friendly dog leash I’ve come across (but don’t own) are these flat dog leads from Cycle Dogs made from recycled bicycle inner tubes!
Unfortunately, I came across this one after buying the rope lead above, but they look awesome and I love the fact that this company is re-purposing something that would have just ended up in landfill! They even come with bottle openers!
Eco dog wash / shampoo – great eco friendly dog products
Another thing on my list of products I’m slowing switching towards to make my dog ownership a little more environmentally friendly is eco friendly dog wash.
Not only do some dog washes contain all sorts of nasty chemicals, which aren’t great for your pooches health or the environment, but almost all come in plastic bottles.
I feel like I’ve saved the best for last here! A great alternative that I’ve recently switched to are these organic shampoo bars from Little Beast.
- The packaging is minimal and completely plastic free
- They are manufactured in England, which means less air miles etc.
- They are vegan friendly (which means no horrible animal testing)
- You only use what you need
- Our cockapoo smells great and doesn’t itch himself afterwards (he tends to have sensitive skin!)
Out of all the eco friendly dog products I’ve listed seen, if you buy this one trust me: you will not regret it!
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Top picks for our cockapoo
1. BEST SUMMER ESSENTIAL
We love: These brilliant dog cooling mats that keep our dog cool and relaxed the whole summer. They can be placed in crates, or our outside in the shade – worth every penny.
2. BEST DOG LEAD
We love: This ingenious shock-absorbing dog leash. It’s inexpensive and it’s a great way to keep you dog from getting injured.
3. BEST VALUE DOG TOY
We love: The absolutely classic KONG, made in the USA and pretty much indestructible! Make sure to get some KONG Liver Spray too for hours of doggy entertainment!