Reducing your dog’s carbon paw print

Published 12:00 am Sunday, January 9, 2011

Is your dog green? Of course, I am not talking about if your dog is a shade of avocado, but I am talking about the effect your dog has on the environment.

You don’t have to be a tree-hugger to care about making the world a better place for our children and for all the four-legged creatures for the years to come. While it may seem funny, there are several things you can do to reduce your dog’s carbon paw print.

We have heard a lot lately about invasive plants being spread from one region to another. One way these can be spread is though dog poop. That’s right — poop. If your dog has eaten an invasive plant at your home and then you go camping and he poops there, guess what — this could spread the seeds.

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While we are on the subject of poop, a park in Cambridge, Mass., has adopted a neat concept. A student at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology developed a poop-powered streetlight.

After park goers’ dogs do their business, the owners pick up the waste in a biodegradable bag and drop it into a 500-gallon oil tank. Microbes in the tank convert the waste into methane that fuels the lamp. Not only is this good for the environment, it has caused more folks to pick up after Fido.

Using a natural shampoo on Fido will also help reduce his carbon paw print. Some shampoos have the possibility of releasing chemicals into the ground.

For example, if you use a chemical flea shampoo on your dog and you rinse him off in the backyard; all those chemicals go straight into the ground. While the levels of chemicals are small, everything adds up.

Another way you and Fido can team up to help the Earth is recycling. Instead of tossing your used water bottles into the trash, consider making it into a toy. Dogs love to crinkle a water bottle stuffed into an old sock.

After Fido gets done with it, you can still recycle the bottle.

Protecting the environment is up to all of us, even Fido. When we are aware of what we do today, it will pay off for our children and puppies tomorrow.

Remember, every dog deserves to be treated like a show dog.

Tony Barker

The BARKer Shop