While I am away on a trip with my husband and my dog, we will of course be taking steps to make sure that we walk our dog responsibly. So I thought I would share some sustainable tips today for those who also have dogs, to help them make sure they are not causing any harm.
Of course, when walking your dog, picking up after you pet is essential for a sustainable way of life. Dog waste is not only an environmental nuisance for people – it (and the bags in which it is collected) can also do harm in natural ecosystems. Always make sure that you pick up after your dog, and take the bags home with you to dispose of property!
It is important to move away from synthetic plastic dog bags which will not biodegrade, and which pose a massive waste problem. Fortunately, it is now possible to buy fully home compostable (not just biodegradable) dog poo bags to pick up after your pet.
The faeces of meat-eating pets cannot safely be added to most cold composting systems, and pathogens are a risk. However, if you are really dedicated to preventing waste and reducing your impact on the planet, then you can compost pet faeces at home in a specialist (carefully managed) hot composting system.
Walking dogs responsibly also involves thinking about taking care not to disturb ecosystems and wildlife. Keep your dog on leash and on paths in sensitive areas. Make sure they cannot chase livestock or wildlife, or disrupt, for example, ground-nesting birds.
Keeping dogs quiet can also be important in sensitive areas. Barking can cause disruption for people and wildlife, even when your dog is being kept under control.
Sustainable pet ownership is an important thing to consider if you want to make sure that you and your canine companion do as little harm as possible.