Your Guide to Eco-Friendly Dog Toys & Accessories
Written by: Richard Rowlands, Pet Health Expert
Many of us are looking to lead greener lifestyles, and every little bit helps. That’s what makes eco-friendly dog toys and accessories a fun solution that’s perfect for you – the eco-conscious consumer – and your equally environmentally minded pup.
In this article, we’ll help you navigate the world of eco-friendly dog toys and accessories. We’ll explain more about the materials they’re made from and just how they have a positive environmental impact. You’ll also be introduced to several great options and learn how to select high-quality eco-friendly products from companies that care about the environment just as much as you do.
Let’s get started!
What Are Eco-Friendly Dog Toys and Accessories Made From?
Eco-friendly dog toys and accessories are made from a wide variety of materials that may sometimes also be called environmentally friendly or sustainable. To put it simply, this means they’re produced in ways that have reduced, minimal, or no harm on ecosystems or the environment.
Some materials might be familiar and perhaps some not so much. You might’ve heard of the more popular ones being used, like hemp, regenerated cotton, organic cotton, and recycled poly fill. But there are more, like recycled rubber, bamboo, and jute. With such a wide variety of eco-friendly materials being used in dog toy and accessory manufacturing these days, there’s definitely an option that matches the needs of your furry friend.
Now let’s take a closer look at some of the ones we just mentioned!
Hemp has been used to make various items for thousands of years. Recently, many nations have lifted bans on growing this versatile plant and that’s good news for eco-conscious pet owners! That’s because hemp is a biodegradable, sustainable resource that’s easily made into durable products such as dog toys and accessories.
Natural tug dog toys are a fine example of how hemp can be crafted into a great, long-lasting toy that a dog can enjoy for years.
Regenerated cotton is also known as recycled cotton or shoddy. It is made when previously manufactured cotton fabric is converted back into cotton fibers. Then, a new yarn is woven, and products are created from that. Cotton can be pre-consumer, like scraps from factories, or post-consumer, such as used garments, upholstery, and linens. Either way, it keeps perfectly usable cotton out of the landfills and makes for wonderful toys and accessories that your pet will love.
Organic cotton is a sustainable crop made from non-genetically modified plants. No synthetic chemicals, like fertilizers or pesticides, are used to grow it. By avoiding these potentially harmful substances in the growing process, they’re also kept out of the surrounding environment which is good news for plants and wildlife alike. That means your dog’s toys and accessories are not just safe for them, they’re safe for the planet.
Recycled Poly Fill
Recycled poly fill, also known as recycled polyester fiberfill, is usually made from plastic bottles. That’s great news, because it means they won’t be ending up in landfills. This material also uses less energy to produce than new polyester fiberfill, which is another win. As long as plastic bottles are being produced and used, recycled poly fill will be a great option for the pet owner who prefers green solutions.
Recycle poly fill is hypoallergenic, so it makes a popular choice for eco-friendly dog beds. It's also a great choice for plush dog toys.
Other Eco-Friendly Materials
The options for eco-friendly materials continue to grow and there are loads more appearing on the market on a constant basis. Items made from recycled rubber make use of old, discarded tires and are often solid, durable toys for dogs who love to chew. Fast-growing bamboo that requires no fertilizer or replanting is excellent for chew toys. And jute, with its ease of growth, is a wonderfully sustainable fiber that can be woven into durable dog toys that will last.
Keep an eye out for more options as time goes on! The demand for greener choices is here to stay and you can be sure that it will be answered with increased choice for you and your dog.
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How to Choose High-Quality, Eco-Friendly Dog Toys & Accessories
The first thing you need to do to ensure the eco-friendliness of your pooch’s next toy or accessory is to check what the product is made from. We’ve already given you a great list here, mentioning several notable materials to look out for. But if you’re unsure, either do a quick search or keep looking for options you know to be greener choices.
Certified B Corps
Another method for knowing your pick is going to be eco-friendly is to choose a company dedicated to helping the environment. B Corp status is a noteworthy certification to look for, as it means the company has achieved the highest standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency. Only Natural Pet, West Paw, and P.L.A.Y. are all popular pet companies that have achieved B Corp certification.
West Paw said it best when they stated, “B Corps are important because they inspire all businesses to compete not only to be the best in the world but to be best for the world.”
Pet Sustainability Coalition
the Pet Sustainability Coalition is a coalition of companies that are monitoring their environmental and social impact. Only Natural Pet is a founding member of this group and it has continued to grow as more and more pet companies are paying attention to their sustainability.
Eco-friendly dog toys and accessories come in the same variety of shapes and sizes as their less environmentally friendly counterparts. Some of the materials they are made with are produced in ways that are better for the natural environment, like hemp and organic cotton. Others, like recycled cotton and recycled poly fill, keep discarded materials from ending up in our landfills. As far as your dog and the planet are concerned, it’s all a big win.