This blog is written by Beco Pets, a sustainable pet product company that makes some of our favorite toys, care essentials, and accessories. Shop all of their products here!
When you think of what we have learnt from this year, looking after our health and the planet immediately comes to mind. We also began to recognise the impact that we have on our planet in a way many of us have never considered before: through documentaries and the news, our planet’s fragility was brought into the spotlight. This new attitude has been echoed in the pet industry where there’s been a large shift towards more healthy and sustainable food options. A survey by Rover.com concluded that ¾ of pet owners are interested in how to live more sustainably.
We decided to explore where we have seen these shifts and how many dog (and pet) owners are beginning to demand more sustainable and healthy approaches from brands in the industry.
The growing understanding of our dogs diet
Dog owners have started to consider the health of their dog by looking at the food they give them – more than half think about their dog’s health before their own.
A particular health emphasis is on the pets’ digestion. 76% of cat and dog owners believe that looking after their pets’ digestive system is essential for their overall health – this is why we have seen a rise in dog food that is centred around this.
When it comes to an easily digestible diet, grain-free dog food is an obvious choice. As more and more people choose gluten-free diets (1 in 10 people in the UK avoid gluten), the choices dog owners are beginning to make when selecting their pups’ food, seems to be following this trend. This is because grains like wheat, rye and barley can be difficult for your dogs to digest. It is also normally used as a filler ingredient. So, in cheap dog food that is full of grain, these ingredients take up space that could be filled with healthier alternatives like vegetables or meat. Veggies or pulses like chickpeas or beans are excellent sources of fibre, which is great for the functioning of your dog’s digestive system.
Many dog owners are now also realising how vital it is that our diets and our dog’s diets are made up of foods that contain an abundance of vitamins and minerals. These can come in the form of vegetables and many varieties of dog food include vegetables like spinach, broccoli or pumpkin. Dog food containing these superfoods are becoming more popular as health conscious humans are realising their benefits and wanting the same for their pups.
Dog foods footprint on our planet
In a survey, 40% of dog owners said that they choose the food they give their dog depending on its environmental impact. You can’t think about healthy (and sustainable) eating, without thinking about the overall attitude towards buying high-quality meat. Human diets are becoming increasingly plant-based and choosing where they source their meat from more wisely – and this is the same for their dogs’ food. There are many reasons why protein is so important; it is in all cells and therefore an intake of protein is vital for cellular repair. It’s also important for muscle growth, so whilst your pup sprints around the park all day, they are growing fit and strong.
Buying sustainably sourced meat makes your dog a little more eco friendly – you just need to know where it comes from. There is a shift away from buying cheaper kibble, which has unnamed ‘meat meal’ labelled in the ingredients. In this food, owners have no idea what meat their pets are eating. Luckily, there are numerous dog food brands that are thoughtful about the meat that they include in their food. Gone are the days of processed, GMO-filled kibble: conscious owners now select ‘free-range’ or ‘sustainably sourced’ when buying food for their pups.
The war on plastic
It’s not just pet food that pet owners are considerate about. There has been increasing awareness around the overuse of plastic. More and more products are made from plastic but thankfully, we are becoming aware of the devastating impact this has on our planet. There are many issues with the world’s obsession with plastic. Mostly, it is that so much of it is single-use, for example, 40% of plastics produced each year is used only once. To solve this problem, dog owners are buying sustainable dog toys that are being made from recycled plastic. This means that instead of contributing to the problem, they remove the amount of plastic that ends up in a landfill. Pet companies have innovatively created toys from natural materials. One option is hemp: the plant absorbs more Co2 than other plants and its naturally bright colour means that it does not have to be bleached.
Choosing eco friendly toys does not just benefit the planet but it’s better for the health of your dog too. When your dogs enjoy a playful tug of a plastic toy, they inevitably swallow some of it and therefore ingest its chemicals. If the plastic is hard, it can damage their teeth too. Responsible dog owners are beginning to purchase natural options, so that their dog still has a fun play-time, whilst being healthy and sustainable.
Dog owners are becoming ever more considerate about what they buy for their dogs. In our eyes, this is something we should all be incredibly proud of as fellow dog owners. This comes in the form of accessories, food and toys, but this is being pushed along by the companies which are constantly innovating and finding ways for dog owners to lower their carbon footprint, whilst looking after their dog at the same time. Here are the top 3 ways that dog owners are being more eco and health-conscious, so you can become one of these responsible pet owners too.
- Healthy ingredients – more and more brands are replacing grain with nutritious veg and pulses
- Conscious meat – sustainably, free-range meat is much healthier for your pups, and the planet
- Sustainable toys – recycling plastic helps to fight the plastic problem and natural materials are healthier for your dog and the planet.
Surrounding ourselves with the unconditional love of our dogs is of course a great benefit to us all. Knowing we are giving them the best whilst making the least impact too is even better.
Want to explore all of Beco Pets sustainable pet products? Check them out here!