Does your best friend have paws and a tail?
Her name is Bindi and she is the sweetest little pit-mix. Her days consist mostly of snuggling and then running around and accompanying me on hikes and outdoor activities.
As cute as she is, she’s definitely made me get more creative with my zero-waste lifestyle. There are many things a loving pooch needs: food, baths, toys, treats, collars, leashes, to-go snacks, breath fresheners… you get the point. So just how do we live a zero waste lifestyle without neglecting our four-legged fur babies? Take a peek at either my recent VLOG post or the more detailed descriptions below!
Typically, bathing your pup consists of plastic bottles filled with specialized shampoos and conditioners. If you live in a city (or the suburbs of one), consider looking up self-service dog washing facilities. These places have large drums of shampoos and conditioners for your pet AND they have stalls where you can walk in, secure your dog with the provided hook and collar to the washing area and proceed to wash him/her without getting your carpets at home soaked. The drums of product are often-times connected to hoses and you can simply flip a switch on to get the hose provided to dispense that particular product in your water.
Where I go (Treats Unleashed) also provides brushes for both dry and wet grooming, ear cleaner with cotton balls, towels, and a drying hose connected to the back wall. The dirty towels are taken and dry-cleaned to be re-used. However, do consider the hose if your doggie can tolerate it because it will cut down on water and energy waste used by the facility in washing and drying the towels! Waterproof aprons are also provided for your comfort!
Search “self-service dog wash near me” online to find a station close to you!
For those of you who do not have immediate access to a dog wash or for personal reasons need to be washing your pup at home, try using Dr. Bronner’s solid castile soap as a shampoo and then following up with a rosemary rinse for your dog. You can also use some coconut oil to rub into their fur and provide not only healthy skin, but a shining coat as well.
ROSEMARY DOG RINSE
1 heaping TSP dried rosemary
2 Cups boiling water
*Optional: one lemon for a brighter coat
If using the lemon, cut into thin slices.
Mix the dried rosemary and lemon slices in with the boiling water and let sit for 10-15 mins before straining into a jar.
Pour the completely cooled mixture over your pup after you have finished shampooing and rinsing him/her. Do not rinse this mixture off, instead proceed to drying your dog. If using a towel, pat dry your pup instead of hard rubbing which would cause the mixture to be rubbed off
COCONUT OIL COAT CONDITIONER
1/4 rolled oats (blended until only a fine powder remains)
2 TBLS coconut oil
1 TBLS olive oil
1/2 cup warm-hot water
Optional additions (choose one):
*3 drops lavender essential oil to soothe the skin
*3 drops rosemary essential oil to help with conditioning
*3 drops peppermint essential oil to perfume coat
Mix all ingredients together and blend for a creamy mix. Pour into a jar to use.
After shampooing and rinsing your pup, scoop out this mixture and rub into your dogs fur. Let sit for 5 minutes and then gently rinse off with warm water and dry your dog as normal.
DOG FOOD BAGS
Another problem you may run into if you purchase food for your dog versus making it yourself is how on earth to recycle your dog food bags! Most pet food bags are recycling #81 which IS NOT recyclable as is *face-palm*. Recycling #81 materials are plastic and paper layered on top of each other. However, paper and plastic have to be separated from each other in order to be processed for recycling.
From here, you have three options: peel apart the layers of paper and plastic (it should be 2-4 layers) and put them in the correct recycling bins, re-use the bags to create cool crafts which I will link to here: http://www.thriftyfun.com/tf96950438.tip.html , choose a brand of dog food that offers a free recycling mail-in program such as Wellness and Core through http://www.terracycle.com/en-US/
You can also choose to make your own dog food! Here are a few of my favorite places to go to for dog food recipes:
If you make your own dog food, be sure you are getting their required nutrients in and check with your vet first!
This infograph from herepup.com offers some basic knowledge on what dogs can and can’t eat!
Hopefully you found this article helpful!
Let me know what you think! There will be more Zero Waste Pet blog posts to follow!
Enjoy the dog kisses,