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Guest Post: Get Your Dog to Embrace a Green Lifestyle

January 31, 2012 by  
Filed under Guest Posts, Pets

dogsMost of us who believe in environmentally-friendly living take every step possible to insure that we have a green home. We use efficient light bulbs, smart thermostats, and proper insulation in order to reduce our energy use. We compost our foods and eat organic produce. We teach our kids to recycle, reduce, and reuse. There’s no question about it – for those of us dedicated to the cause, few things happen in our homes that we don’t endeavor to turn green.

But the family dog often gets a pass on this front. Sure, our pets have no conception of landfills or waste. And it’s true that our dogs make a carbon footprint far smaller than the average family member. But Fido still makes a footprint nonetheless. In fact, a recent study argues that a mid-sized dog has a carbon footprint of 2.1 acres – larger than that of a typical SUV. Consequently, turning your dog green is just one more small way to make your home a more globally-conscious place.

Here are a few tips for doing just that:

Change the Diet

Most dogs can attribute their surprisingly large carbon footprint to a diet that is high in meat. The average dog eats almost a pound of meat per day, much of which comes from resource-depleting beef. You can quickly change this by switching dog foods and removing beef from your pet’s diet. You can always switch to a food with beef flavoring if your dog proves resistant to such a change.

Turn Waste into Fertilizer

Most waste produced by a dog is of the natural variety. The most environmentally-friendly way to dispose of this waste is to let in decompose in the grass rather than to throw it into the garbage can. If your dog has an affinity for the neighbor’s front lawn, you can collect the droppings and then use them as fertilizer in your own yard.

Don’t Waste Lighting

Many dog owners – especially the overbearing ones – dislike leaving their beloved pet in the dark when the family leaves home in the evening. In response, they often turn on lights, a move which ultimately constitutes wasted energy. If you are determined to light a room for Fido while you are gone, save electricity by using a timer or an automated control system from a company like a Vivint.

By following these tips you can vastly reduce your dog’s carbon footprint and make your home an even greener place. Dogs may not generate waste in the same quantities that humans do, but there’s no reason why any family member – yes, even Fido – should be exempt from your effort to go green.

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