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September 2024

10 Tips to be an Environmentally Conscious Pet Parent


Have you ever thought about the environmental impact of your pets? It’s important to consider these impacts and do what we can to reduce them. From eco-friendly products, to pet adoption and waste management we can make a positive difference to pets and planet.

1. Reduce, Repair, Reuse, Recycle

Waste is at the heart of many environmental problems. Let’s keep products and materials in circularity through processes like reuse, repair and recycle!

Reduce: Opt for bulk packaging, which cuts down on excess packaging materials.

Repair and Reuse: Extend the life of pet toys and accessories by making eco-conscious choices (instead of replacing their bed because it’s got a small hole in it, repair it).

Recycle: Recycle pet food packaging wherever possible.

Can I Recycle My Pet Food Packaging In Australia?

You can recycle some of your pet food packaging (like empty tins and cardboard boxes) in your kerbside recycling bin. And now, you can also recycle dry pet food bags and wet food pouches at Petstock!

We’ve partnered with Royal Canin to bring you a free recycling program for pet food packaging. Instead of throwing away your dry pet food bags or wet food pouches, clean them and bring them into your local Petstock for recycling. They don’t need to be Royal Canin – any brand of dry pet food bags and wet pet food pouches can be recycled through the program.

Hot Tip

All dry food bags and wet food pouches must be clean and dry as they cannot be recycled if they are dirty or still contain food.

For every kilogram of packaging accepted (don’t forget they need to be cleaned), Royal Canin will donate $1 to the Petstock Foundation.

Once collected, the packaging is sorted, shredded, and melted into pellets which can then be re-moulded to create new, recycled products.

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2. Choose Eco-Friendly Bedding

Pet beds need to be updated semi-regularly – often resulting in the old ones being thrown away and finding their way to landfill. Decrease your contribution to landfill by donating old beds to animal care centres located across Australia. Please check directly with your local centre to see what they need to keep their animals warm and cosy.

And when you are making a new purchase, opt for sustainable and biodegradable pet products, such as bedding made with recycled or organic materials.

The Buddy and Belle Conscious Choice bedding range is made with 100% recycled pet fabric and filled with 100% post-consumer recycled polyester. Every bed made diverts a minimum of 120 plastic bottles from landfill – and we love that!

Alternatively, you can opt for beds made from natural materials. Hessian is an environmentally friendly option as it’s made from natural fibres and is fully biodegradable. It’s also durable, breathable, and lightweight – so your pet will love it too.

3. Buy Australian Pet Food

Feed your pet a nutritious diet that's good for both them and the planet. Look for sustainably sourced and locally produced pet food options, rather than imported brands which have a higher carbon footprint due to the distance they travel before they end up at your local pet store. Advance, Billie’s Bowl, Black Hawk, Glow, Ivory Coat, Lifewise and Savourlife are all examples of great Aussie brands producing quality pet food.

4. Reduce Plastic Where Possible

Plastic pollution is one of the toughest challenges the environment faces. It takes anywhere from 20 to 500 years to decompose, releases toxic chemicals when burnt and only 9% of plastic products are recycled – meaning the bulk of plastic products end up in landfill.

Instead of using plastic food and water bowls, try stainless steel or ceramic alternatives. Ceramics are made from natural materials and don’t contain harmful chemicals that can leach into pet food. Stainless steel also has the benefit of being a healthier option as it’s harder for bacteria to accumulate on its surface and it’s 100% recyclable.

5. Make Your Own Pet Treats

Have you tried making your own pet treats? It’s a great way to cut down on the number of packaged products you’re purchasing – thus reducing your carbon footprint. Another bonus of making pet treats yourself is you can tailor the treats to your dog or cat’s preferences.

6. Use Biodegradable Waste Bags

Dispose of pet waste responsibly by using biodegradable waste bags. Unlike plastic bags, biodegradable bags are made from cornstarch and cellulose. This means they break down naturally in soil, thus contributing less to landfill.

  1. Eco-Friendly Litter

If you have a cat, choose biodegradable or compostable cat litter options. Traditionally, cat litters have been made with silica variants which are treated with chemicals. Alternatively, natural litters are made from tofu, corn or bamboo – and they can be composted or disposed of along with green waste.

  1. Support Eco-Conscious Brands
    Choose pet brands that prioritise sustainability. Look for certifications like "Certified B Corp" or "Cruelty-Free." Eco-Friendly brand DGG is a great example of this – all their doggy shampoos, balms and conditions have the ‘B Corp’ tick of approval!

Find them at your local Petstock.

9. Get a Cat Enclosure
Do you allow your cat to roam outside? It’s becoming more of a hot topic, with local councils around Australia introducing new regulations and, in some case, implementing hefty fines in an effort to protect native wildlife.

Rather than preventing your cat from going outside or allowing them to roam freely where you’re unable to monitor them – consider a cat enclosure. They allow your cat to experience the outside world safely, prevents them from getting into fights with other cats and potentially being exposed to infectious diseases and injury – and also keeps native birds and other wildlife safe in the process!

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10. Support Pet Adoption

All pets are special – whether they’re rescue animals or from a breeder. But the benefits of adopting are clear when you consider how many animals don’t have homes. Support responsible pet ownership by attending local adoption events and joining the rescue community – through donation or active involvement. The Petstock Foundation participates in National Pet Adoption Month in March – but you can adopt any time of year.

Visit our Adoption Hub to learn more about adoption, and how you can adopt or foster.

FAQs For Pets And The Environment

Are biodegradable poop bags really better for the environment?

Yes, biodegradable bags break down faster than traditional plastic bags, reducing their environmental impact.

How can I minimise my pet's carbon footprint?

Focus on sustainable pet products, proper waste disposal, energy-efficient practices, and supporting eco-conscious brands.

Is vegetarian or vegan pet food a good option?

Consult your vet before switching to vegetarian or vegan diets. Dogs and cats are naturally omnivores, and vegan diets may not meet your pet's nutritional needs.

Can I use essential oils around my pets?

Some essential oils are toxic to pets. Research thoroughly and consult your vet before using essential oils at home.