Go Green With Your Dog

The featured dog this month is Koda! The smiley red-headed boy who has more friends than he can count on all four paws. He’s humble about it, in fact, he’s the balanced social type who doesn’t have to say hi to everyone but always gets along.

Koda is extremely in-tune with his surroundings, a real sharp boy. You can see his intelligence through his eyes, and so did his owners when they first saw him. Sure, he needed some training like any good smart dog, but there’s no doubt they hit the jackpot! Koda is the ideal Fernie pal that many of us long for. He’s healthy, fit, and he won’t slow you down on those day-long adventures. He’s just an all-around best hiking, biking, shredding buddy you could ask for.

When it comes to dogs and the environment, having one inevitably increases consumer goods and environmental impact. As long as you’re aware of that, you can make eco-conscious decisions and there are lots of ways you can reduce your footprint. Like many green tips, most of them are also cost-saving and who doesn’t love that? Here are a few creative ideas.

Dogs go through more beds than most humans in their short lifetime, yet many of them come with these handy dandy zippers that have another advantage - easily tossing the cover in the washing machine. Next time you’re doing that and you notice that the bed is getting flat, dirty or too stinky, consider swapping out the mattress with a used memory foam topper that you can cut to size, or even an old camping mattress or thick blanket. Dogs are simple, anything cozy will do.

As for toys and accessories, there are endless sustainable pet products available and it’s becoming easier to choose a brand that is environmentally conscious, just look for it on the packaging. One brand that stands out is West Paw Designs where they make non-toxic durable toys from a proprietary plastic that are safe and not only recyclable, but they can be infinitely recycled by sending the used ones back to the company so they can turn them into the same new toys!

Speaking of recycling, a lot of pet food packaging is not recyclable, that is until the new and free recycling program opened at each Transfer Station in the Elk Valley! They are now accepting all kinds of items that used to get thrown out. Check it out, make the change and take advantage of it.

Dogs are constant waste producers. Their toilet is our backyard, parks, trails, you name it. It’s just plain gross to not take responsibility for their waste, plus it contaminates the environment. Fernie is super well-equipped with garbages and bag dispensers, there is never a reason to not pick up after your dog. In your own backyard, there is a simple solution to turn a disgusting job that you will inevitably avoid into something you can keep up with regularly within minutes. Take an old plastic basket or small garbage can with the bottom cut off and bury it in the ground in a convenient spot, adding a few rocks inside. Just like that you’ve got yourself a place to put the waste in the form of a poop composter and the scooping job can be done much faster, easier and most of all, a lot cleaner. Place a lid over the area and add some leaves and septic enzymes once a month to keep it composting. You can keep your yard neat year-round and avoid the dreadful spring clean-up.