Happy Earth Day, Frenchie fam!! Whether you're headed out to enjoy the spring weather or planning a hardcore day of gardening, it's time to celebrate this beautiful Earth of ours.
One thing people don't mention often when you're about to adopt a dog is the amount of trash you're about to produce -- from doggie bags to torn up toys to that TV remote you forgot to puppy-proof, being a pet parent comes with a LOT of unexpected extras.
This Earth Day, we're highlighting a few steps you can take as a dog dad, mutt mom, or pet parent to reduce your puppy's footprint.
How can I reduce waste as a pet parent?
1. Make your own dog food and pet treats.
Save on wasteful packaging (and overpriced fancy food!) by whipping up a chef-style meal plan for your pups. An important thing to note -- Many breeds like French Bulldogs suffer from specific food allergies, so if you're switching over from bagged food to homemade, take it slow. Always speak to your vet before making any drastic changes!
And if your pup has to be on a specific diet (we get it, Leo is the same way!), see if you can buy in bulk to save on shipping costs, packaging, and more. Some specialty pet stores even allow you to bring in your own container to fill instead of wasting bags!
2. One man's trash is a dog's favorite toy!
Have you ever bought your dog a really cool toy, only for him to be totally fascinated by the tissue paper from the box? Seriously, dogs can be so easy to please.
Instead of investing in cheap toys that your pup will rip into shreds in a couple of minutes, look into creating your own toys -- an old sock tied into a knot makes for a great tug toy, and reusable items like tennis balls and small sports toys from yard sales are much more wallet- and eco-friendly than store-bought toys!
3. Look for organic or all-natural pet care products.
Whether your dog is terrified of the tub or never wants to leave the kiddie pool, sometimes you just have to bite the bullet for bath day. To reduce your footprint, look for pet care products like shampoos and medicated conditioners that are made from all-natural or organic ingredients.
They'll come with a slightly higher price tag, but they also offer SUCH higher quality. Your pup's silky-smooth fur will be all the convincing you need!
4. Buy second-hand when you can.
A dog crate is probably the most expensive thing you'll buy when you first become a pet parent (unless you're like us, and can't stop drooling over those $600 video camera/treat dispenser gadgets). When you're looking for new "stuff" for your pup, check out thrift stores and your local buy/sell group on Craigslist or Facebook.
Things like pet bowls, brushes, crates/kennels, and toys can be found for a fraction of the cost of buying them new -- and they're easy to sanitize and introduce to your pup! You're saving a dime and the planet at the same time!
5. For daily use items, invest in products that will last forever.
This one's not so obvious, but the savings and waste-reduction add up. Things like brushes and nail clippers can cost a pretty penny up front (if you can't find them used, of course). But the cheapest option is never the most durable -- if you find yourself replacing the cheap brushes that keep breaking, invest in a higher quality item that will last a lot longer.
By not having to replace your item over and over, you're saving on packaging waste, shipping costs, and more!
6. Flush it when you can.
Finally, the EPA's #1 recommendation for dog parents is to flush their waste when you can, instead of relying on plastic baggies.
Obviously this isn't going to fly if you're out hiking, walking in a public park, or making a run to the hardware store. But if you have a fenced yard or a spot at home where your pup knows to do his business, scoop and chuck what you can in the toilet instead of in the trash!
What are you and your four-legged family members up to this Earth Day? Be sure to let us know on Instagram -- find us @frenchie_bulldog and strut your stuff!