There are no bones about it, going green and reducing your footprint is good, but what about the eco paw print of your pet? Here’s a look at how to turn your furry little friend's playtime into a green machine with these we eco Friendly Dog Toys That Are Pawfect For Your Pet!
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How to choose eco friendly dog toys and why you need to!
If you happen to be anything like me, you are probably worried about having PVC, phthalates, lead, and Bisphenol A (BPA) lurking in your home. The problem is that these toxic chemicals are found in just about everything we use on a daily basis.
Trying to sift through it all and find better alternatives can be a daunting task. The federal government has banned lead in kids' toys, BPA in baby bottles and, more recently, phthalates in kids' personal care products. While these are steps in the right direction, we should have more control over what we are putting on and in our bodies.
Currently, there is little to no regulation on the chemicals that end up pervading our daily lives and the same goes for our pets.
Back in 2008, the Environmental Working Group conducted a groundbreaking study that found that pets are polluted "with even higher levels of many of the same synthetic industrial chemicals that researchers have recently found in people, including newborns".
The study adds that "the results show that America’s pets are serving as involuntary sentinels of the widespread chemical contamination that scientists increasingly link to a growing array of health problems across a wide range of animals — wild, domesticated and human".
Pets face chemical exposures that in some ways are similar to those of infants and toddlers, who have limited diets and play close to the floor and put their hands and household objects in their mouths far more often than adults. For pets as for children, exposures are greater and the resulting health risks are higher.
The study found that both cats and dogs had high levels of Teflon chemicals most likely from food contaminated with PFCs leaching from food bag coatings, as well as house dust, and stain-proofed furniture, dog beds, and carpets.
Dogs and cats were also found to have high levels of phthalates (plastic softeners) mostly from plastic toys and certain medication and fire retardants found in bedding, house dust, and even food.
The study also notes that "dogs and cats were contaminated with 48 of 70 industrial chemicals tested, including 43 chemicals at levels higher than those typically found in people, according to our study of plastics and food packaging chemicals, heavy metals, fire retardants, and stain-proofing chemicals in pooled samples of blood and urine from 20 dogs and 37 cats collected at a Virginia veterinary clinic".
On top of all of this, if it wasn't enough right? We Earthlings also have to worry about the plastic waste that most pet toys are made from. Many of them are not recycled and many of them end up either in the garbage or worst the ocean.
So what is a pet owner to do? Well, lucky for you and your four-legged friends I am here to help. For this blog, I am going to focus on eco friendly dog toys. Like all eco things here on The Eco Hub, I wanted to make sure I cover the basics:
Natural or organic fabrics & materials: Are the toys BPA-free, what are they made from? Is it made from natural fibres like hemp, jute, bamboo or upcycled or recycled plastic? Toys go in pet's mouths so this is the most important factor to take into account and you want to make sure that when you play tug of war, the toy won't just fall apart as most do. Are there any third-party certifications in place?
Ethical sourcing: I also want you to know where the materials are sourced, just like my sustainable fashion criteria, it matters. Who is making the pet products and how are the workers being treated.
Corporate responsibility: What is the brand doing to take sustainability to the next level. Are they B. Corp Certified, do they offset their carbon emissions. Here are my top pick for sustainable dog toys.
West Paw's Eco Friendly Dog Toys
West Paw is really going the distance with their durable eco friendly dog toys. Owner and President Spencer Williams had this to say when I talked to him about his products: “We care about the pets we’re making products for and we want to keep them happy and healthy.”
West Paw's Natural or organic fabrics & materials
Their popular pet toys are made with Zogoflex materials that are non-toxic, BPA-free, and phthalate-free and made in the USA with a proprietary formula, they are fully recyclable and can be infinitely recycled into other toys. They have a lifetime guarantee, if your pets destroy their toy, they will replace it for you. And they even have a take-back program.
"Send us your dog tired, loved to death dog toys. We'll sanitize them, grind them up and make completely new, bouncy bright Zogoflex toys."
Their Rowdies® eco-toys are made with recycled PET plastic that has been certified safe by Oko-Tex, a third-party organization and is stuffed with IntelliLoft, made from recycled plastic, it's resilient, non-toxic, and third-party certified safe.
They made eco friendly dog beds, collars, leashes and even food. Their toys are by far the most durable eco friendly dog toys on the market.
West Paw's Ethical Sourcing and Corporate Responsibility
West Paw is B. Corp certified and has been making responsible pet toys since 1996. They manufacture all of their doggie goodies with safe, sustainable, non-toxic materials and source everything they use in an ethical manner.
You can find West Paw's dog toys in most pet shops across Canada and the USA.
Ware Of The Dog's Eco Friendly Dog Toys
Ware of the Dog makes the cutest eco friendly soft dog toys. These are perfect for little dogs or puppies. Each toy has so much character and charm, they are super colourful and you can choose from hand-crocheted hamburgers, swans, pizza slices, chicken legs and strawberries, just to name a few. It'll be hard to pick just one!
They are made with 100% organic cotton and recycled t-shirt scraps and are handcrafted and ethically made in fair-trade environments by craftswomen in both Turkey and Nepal.
They dyed in a facility in Kathmandu using OEKO-TEX Certified non-toxic Swiss dyes. Also choose from leashes and collars, clothing and bowls. You can find Ware of The Dog in most pet shops in Canada and the USA.
Harry Barker's Eco Friendly Dog Toys
Harry Barker's eco friendly dog chew toys are not only super stylish, but they are also 100% heavy-duty cotton rope made from 100% recycled yarn. They come in 5 chic colours and a perfect for playtime with your pooch.
Harry Barker has been around since 1997, I have worked with them several times and love how their pet products are a really great addition to the decor in your home.
Harry Barker's Natural or organic fabrics & materials
They use earth-friendly fabrics and azo-free dyes, eco-fleece and “green” bed inserts made from 100% post-consumer recycled plastics, as well as all-natural ingredients for treats and biodegradable shampoos.
They have five fun categories to choose from eat (the cutest dog bowls and container), play, sleep (beds you will want to sleep on), walk (collars and leaches and spa (for messes and washing).
If you are not sure what to buy or a looking for the paw-fect gift, make sure to check out their Hampers and Bundles, these are baskets of goodies hand-picked just for you.
Harry Barker's Ethical Sourcing and Corporate Responsibility
Harry Barker is also about giving back, they give back a portion of proceeds from our Coastal Seahorse Toy to Mote Marine Laboratory, a portion of proceeds from our Canines for Veterans Treat Tin to Canines for Veterans and 10% of proceeds from our Honey Bee Treat Bag and Honey Bee Canvas Toy to Planet Bee Foundation.
Honest Pet Products Sustainable Dog Toys
If you want to spoil your four-legged friend with a hemp dog toy to play catch with, then this is it. Honest Pet Products make a range of hilarious Eco Quacker dog toys that are super durable and super fun.
Honest Pet Products Natural or organic fabrics & materials
The outer layer is made from regenerative hemp, one of the most sustainable fabrics on the market, its free from herbicides and pesticides, it's naturally mold and mildew resistant, it's very strong, fast-growing, and fully biodegradable.
The inner layer is made of ethically sourced wool. It also features a squeaker that peeps when thrown and shook. They also have frisbees, an Eco-Tugger and an Eco Fetchin Stick.
Honest Pets Ethical Sourcing and Corporate Responsibility
"Not only are Honest Pet Products toys made with all-natural materials that keep our pet pals safe and healthy, they also work to uplift people both locally and abroad. All hemp toys are assembled in Wisconsin while all wool cat toys are hand-felted by women in both Nepal and Mongolia."
Check with your local pet shop, a lot of them so carry these brands.
Puurfect Play's Sustainable Doy Toys
Puurfect Play makes eco friendly dog chew toys that are ideal for your conscious canine. Each toy is handcrafted in their home-based workshop or in our local community member's homes.
Puurfect Play's Natural or organic fabrics & materials
The toys are made with hemp, they actually use multiple layers of sturdy hemp canvas to ensure the toy does not fall apart. The inner stuffing is organic cotton and the squeaky bits are optional.
Puurfect Play's Ethical sourcing and Corporate responsibility
Their dog balls are made entirely of wool that is ethically sourced from a small family farmed pasture-raised wool and area also machine washable. If your dogs love to play with a tennis ball, this is way better, tennis balls should be used to play tennis not fetch with your dog, they are treated with toxic chemicals and are considered to be a health hazard.
Beco Pets Eco Friendly Dog Toys
Beco Pets make some of the cutest recycled rubber dog toys. When they first started making pet products Beco started with recycled bowls made from discarded bamboo chopsticks and it just grew from there. Now they offer a full range of really cool eco pet products like bowls, food scoops, poop bags and toys.
Beco Pet's Natural or organic fabrics & materials
Their pet products are made from recycled bamboo, recycled cotton, recycled water bottles, hemp, and plant-based resins, all BPA-free and cruelty-free.
For toys, I love the plush dog toys range, the hemp ropes, rope and balls, frisbees, rubber dog bones and much more. If you need sustainable dog toys for tough chewers, this is it!
Becco Pet's Ethical sourcing and Corporate responsibility
Beco is also part of the Sustainable Pet Coalition, a non-profit that aids businesses in their sustainability and social endeavours. Plus, they contribute to several animal-focused charity groups like “Dogs on the Street (DOTS), Yorkshire Poundies (HYPS), and environmental non-profits such as the Marine Conservation Society and The Royal Parks.
Bottom line when it comes to eco friendly dog toys
You want to make sure that the toys your dog is putting in his/her mouth are non-toxic. Lots of cheap yous made in China and purchased at dollar stores will contain BPA and lead. It's worth the investment to spend a little more to ensure your dog stays healthy.
Choosing the right toy is also important. If your dog destroys everything you probably want to stick to natural or recycled rubber and more durable options like Beco, West Paw Design and Kong. I love Harry Barker for small dogs that don't have such a big bite. Read the review before you buy anything and if you are not sure, get in touch with the maker directly.
Dog, and cats have a large carbon footprint over their lifetime, and that's not their fault. It's ours. We have the choice to make more sustainable choices for their health and that of the planets.
Use natural pet-care and cleaning products
Read the labels and make sure there are no nasty chemicals lurking in your pet's shampoo etc. And also use non-toxic cleaners to wipe up after your furry little friend. I'd prefer you to make your own though! 🙂
Looking for more eco-friendly pet and home goods? Take a quick look at the brand directly, it's a cured marketplace especially for you!
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