Guest Blog: How to Travel Responsibly and Sustainably with a Dog
Travel is becoming a lot more popular among both younger and older generations, and there are some people who live their lives travelling all year round now.
It’s important that people move towards more sustainable and responsible traveling and the same goes for people who are travelling with their dogs.
Those people who are in a privileged enough to be able to travel, have choices about how to spend their money and make an impact on the area which they are passing though.
Whether you are travelling with a large dog such as a Belgian Malinois, or a smaller dog such as a Chihuahua, there are plenty of ways that you can travel responsibly with your dog, here are a few suggestions.
Use Sustainable Dog Bags
If you’re exploring a new area with your dog, you’ll need to be prepared to pick up after them. Most people are getting pretty good at doing this, however dog bags can take hundreds of years to decompose.
If you want to choose a more sustainable option for picking up your dog’s poop, choose a product which is biodegradable and compostable.
Whilst these options are more expensive and harder to find, it is worth buying a supply of them to take with you on your travels.
Choose Responsibly Sourced Dog Foods
It can be easy to pick up cheap tins of dog food while you’re travelling, but the impact that this has on the environment is huge.
Choose foods with a higher chicken content, or animal proteins that have a lower carbon footprint such as turkey, sheep or sustainably caught fish.
Most cheap foods contain beef which has a very high carbon footprint. While we’re on the topic of feeding your dog, choose a reusable food and water bowl that you can take with you.
Choosing organic foods for your dog is an even better option.
Walk as Much as You Can
Not only will the environment thank you for this, but so will your body and your dog!
When you’re exploring a new place, they best way to do this and get a real feel for the area is on foot.
Walking around a new area will give you a much better experience, than travelling around in a car or on a train. And you’ll be getting some much needed exercise for you and your dog.
Your dog will need plenty of opportunities to exercise their legs, so that they don’t become bored and consequently start displaying destructive behaviors.
Choose Greener Travel Options
If you can’t walk, and you need to travel further, there are plenty of ways to travel sustainably, and you should try to think of ways to travel responsibly with your dog.
Many modes of public transport will allow dogs on, as long as they are leashed and in some cases muzzled, so do you research and be prepared to follow the requirements of each transportation mode.
This is much better than getting a rental car as you’re exploring new areas.
If you need to travel on airlines, choose direct flights, sustainable airlines and keep the amount of flights you take to a minimum. You can also choose companies which will offset your carbon emissions with their revenues.
Choose Sustainable Dog Supplies
Your dog will need plenty of toys, a leash and collar and possibly a dog bed which you can take on your travels with you.
A lot of equipment that is available for dogs is made from plastic or synthetic materials. These toys are often destroyed within a few weeks and will need replacing which means plastic and other materials will take hundreds of years to break down.
Try to always choose ethically made toys, made from natural products. Even better, you can make your own toys or products from recycling old clothing.
Buy Local Items
If you find that you or your dog needs anything while you’re travelling, don’t go to the large chain stores which run country-wide.
Instead, choose small, independent stores and buy products that have been made locally to support the local area.
Buying locally, not only supports that areas but it also reduces the carbon footprint of each thing that you buy because the likelihood is that the resources that have been used to make the dog toy, or the new bed have been sourced from nearby, and made nearby too.
If you are in the privileged position to be able to travel with your dog, you should aim to make your travel as green and ethical as possible.
Try to reuse and reduce any equipment that you might take with you on your travels, also leave no trace, pick up after your dog and choose sustainable transport options.
Author Bio: Thomas Woods is the founder and editor of Perfect Dog Breeds, a website which educates people about keeping dogs. He is also a member of the Association of Professional Dog Trainers.
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